There are some questions asking for a small set of features that can actually be done with software most users already have installed on their systems.

For instance, one user asked for a tool to check network connectivity, and I suggested they use ping.

Is suggesting solutions using existing software on-topic? Or should answers assume the existing solutions are unacceptable and suggest "new" software?

Personally, the less I have to install the better. But I'm curious to know what the general sentiment is.

1 Answer 1


In the past, this was done. And I don't see anything wrong with that – after all it's software "available", and in cases like that the user could even skip the download+install part.

But in your example, keep in mind whether the user might be happy with it: recommending a CLI software (here: ping) to an Android (or iOS) user might not be a good fit (if alternatives exist). In the given example, you could e.g. point out there are graphical alternatives feeling much more native than running a terminal app and fiddling with CLI options – which on the given screen sizes (think of a 4" display) is no fun ;)

  • As lzzy@ wrote -> tags might help you to distinguish between e.g. Android user (whre command line is considered non-trivial) vs Amiga OS or Palm-9 or other system user :) Commented Jun 28, 2015 at 15:25

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