Some voted to close Desktop Linux distribution with the latest GNOME 3? with the following reason:

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a Linux distribution and not about software

I'm pretty sure Linux distributions are software :)


3 Answers 3


Indeed, a Linux distribution is software.

This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a Linux distribution and not about software” doesn't make sense.

This question is very opinion-based (“good community support” is not an objective criterion, and “excellent support” is inviting debate). But it is definitely not off-topic.

Let me stress however that on-topic does not imply good. In my experience, questions asking for a Linux distribution tend to be underspecified. You can run almost any Linux application on almost any Linux distribution (in a given category, i.e. general-purpose or appliance). If you ask about a Linux distribution, make sure to explain why it makes a difference, why you can't just take any of the major distributions and install whatever software you need.

  • 4
    I agree with this 100% - it's silly to think that Linux Distributions are not software.
    – dotVezz
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:35
  • 1
    @dotVezz Maybe my statement was to quick, but I'd rather see these kind of question off topic on this site. Good to have a meta-discussion about that.
    – Bernhard
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:40
  • 1
    Full ack from me. There are very specialized distros e.g. for education, children, multi-media, maintenance, ... So questions like "Linux-distro suitable for children" would IMHO be a perfect on-topic question on our site.
    – Izzy Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 13:54

Is this OS question on-topic?


Major requirements are about the ability of running some software (OP just need to have a look on editor's download page to see if Linux is supported), and as Gille writes:

You can run almost any Linux application on almost any Linux distribution

  • Almost is not always and this can be very hard. For example is not easy to install deb application on RPM based system. Feb 26, 2014 at 9:13
  • @MariuszS An application isn't “deb”. A package may be “deb”. The application itself will also install on non-deb-based distribution. Feb 26, 2014 at 10:28
  • 2
    Yes, this question (as it is now) suffers from the same defect as many questions about choosing a Linux distribution: any will work equally well. It isn't off-topic, but it is incomplete. Feb 26, 2014 at 10:29

I'm gonna pitch in with this site is intended for single-use applications, such as Microsoft Word is designed for editing documents, it is not designed for editing photographs or movies. In the same vein, a developer oriented gui merge tool does not create CD-Rom images.

In this sense, a Linux distro is actively a thing of research and passion, as well as platform alignment, but it is in no sense a single-use application. Indeed, the mere fact that there are many ways to configure a given distro (think Ubuntu vs Kubuntu) and still retain the core commonality should be evidence that this will be a tricky question to answer.

I vote that it is not appropriate for this site, as that is too wide ranging.

  • 3
    As a user, I want to use a distro with a default configuration that best meets my needs. I dont want to reconfigure all things manually to make from distro X distro Y. Feb 4, 2014 at 21:39
  • 5
    Wait, does this mean I'm not allowed to answer “Emacs”? Feb 4, 2014 at 21:42
  • @Gilles has a good (also entertaining) point.
    – dotVezz
    Feb 4, 2014 at 21:43
  • 1
    Also, questions like "Linux distro for children" or "Linux Live-Distro for maintenance" are IMHO very fitting questions on our site.
    – Izzy Mod
    Feb 9, 2014 at 13:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .