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I'm thoroughly confused regarding the the closing of:

How to fix wsl2 not opening graphical apps?

by a single gold-badge as a duplicate of:

How to skip update to Windows 11 on Windows insider program?

The reason that was given in the comments was "Except the relation is the answer that indicates that WSLg is a feature of Windows 11 which I submitted in September? What makes it a duplicate is the answer." (emphasis added)

But this question didn't even ask about WSLg (which I agree is a feature of Windows 11), or even Windows 11, or Insider. It was asking about a specifical problem with a different technique for running Linux graphical apps on Windows 10 with WSL2. Note that WSL2 and WSLg are two different features. There are multiple ways of running graphical apps on WSL2 (one of these provided a year ago before Windows 11 was even announced by the same person who answered this one) that don't require updating to Windows 11/WSLg, and the OP was asking about one of those. Should a question be closed just because one answer is to upgrade to Windows 11? There are other, more helpful answers possible, especially when many people can't upgrade to Windows 11 (either due to hardware or workplace limitations).

To take this to the extreme, I could ask "How to center the Task Bar on Windows 10?". If someone answered, "Upgrade to Windows 11", by this logic, the question would be a duplicate of both of these (obviously, completely unrelated) questions. There may be a way, or a third-party application, that would allow centering the task bar. There may even not be a way now, in which case the only current answer would be to upgrade to Windows 11. But that's not to say that another method might not become available in the future. One of the great things about Stack is that we can add new answers years later when things change (Side note: This is one of the reasons I prefer asking and answering here instead of Reddit, where posts are locked after 6 months). Just because one answer, today is "Upgrade to Windows 11", doesn't automatically make every question where that is a possible answer a duplicate of the others. Does it? Should it?

Specifically, regarding this question -- Just because one answer is the same as to another question doesn't mean that there aren't additional answers (that wouldn't apply to the duplicate) that wouldn't be perfectly valid (and more useful) here.

So is it valid, or even logical, to close a question as a duplicate based solely on a single (potentially even wrong) answer?


Additional notes/research:

This poster came here because I (a) voted to close the same question as off-topic on Stack Overflow, and (b) I asked them to repost it here instead, where it would be on-topic.


My meta question here seems related to Should a question be closed as a duplicate of a different question because the other has an answer to the "duplicate"?, but in that case the question was (apparently) really a duplicate. However, the original has been removed, so I can't refer to it for reference. Per the comments, it never ended up addressing how to handle this case for completely unrelated questions.


I'm also not saying that this isn't a duplicate, but I don't think we know yet. It's certainly not a duplicate of the question that was linked. There have been a number of questions around running graphical apps on WSL on Windows 10, but this one stands out as possibly unique for two reasons:

  • This question is specifically around a problem with XLauncher. I could find no other WSL questions regarding XLauncher as the X server.
  • Most questions that we see around this are in regards to the general "how to", and are easy to spot because the user typically sees an error with the DISPLAY variable. This one does not error out -- It just fails silently.

This could be related to Windows Firewall, which (if so) could make it a duplicate of this, but that one also failed with an error (instead of silently).

But I would prefer going through the "more lenient" process of proposing/flag duplicates first, rather than the gold-badge-hammer based on (what I hope we can agree is) a bad "duplicate" reason.

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  • The question has now become mute, because the post in question has been reopened by the gold-badge user who closed it. I think that a general answer is not possible to this question, as every case could be different.
    – harrymc
    Nov 28 '21 at 16:03
  • @harrymc - The word you are thinking of us moot not mute. This question cannot be mute, however, it can be moot. moot: having little or no practical relevance, typically because the subject is too uncertain to allow a decision.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 28 '21 at 16:38
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But this question didn't even ask about WSLg (which I agree is a feature of Windows 11), or even Windows 11, or Insider. It was asking about a specific problem with a different technique for running Linux graphical apps on Windows 10 with WSL2.

If it was asking about a different technique that certainly wasn’t clear. In fact, it received an answer before it was closed, that indicated the feature they wanted to use only existed in Windows 11.

I've been trying to install graphical apps on wsl for 2 months now without success using xLaunch and I haven't found any working solution yet

This suggests the author is attempting to launch a Linux application within Windows 11 that has a graphical interface and thus would require Windows 11.

Certainly, there are workarounds, but there are existing questions from before WSLg existed, that provide solutions to that problem. This ultimately would still make the question a duplicate, however, the specific use of the word graphical makes it apparent that the user was talking about trying to leverage WSLg capability.

Should a question be closed just because one answer is to upgrade to Windows 11?

Strictly speaking, a question that already has been answered, should be closed.

There are other, more helpful answers possible, especially when many people can't upgrade to Windows 11 (either due to hardware or workplace limitations).

Those other answers also already exist and should simply be added to the list of duplicates.

Specifically, regarding this question -- Just because one answer is the same as to another question doesn't mean that there aren't additional answers (that wouldn't apply to the duplicate) that wouldn't be perfectly valid (and more useful) here.

That is literally the definition of a duplicate question. Duplicates have less to do with the question that was asked, and more about the answers, to that duplicate question. We try to avoid answering the same question, in multiple different locations, thus allowing a single collection of answers to a question to be in the same location (question).

I will add these answers to the list of duplicates to the question at hand.

But I would prefer going through the "more lenient" process of proposing/flag duplicates first, rather than the gold-badge-hammer based on (what I hope we can agree is) a bad "duplicate" reason.

The author who submitted an answer, to the question at hand, also has a gold badge in Windows 10 and could vote to reopen themselves. I suspect there are existing questions, with existing answers, that already answer the question at hand.

This isn’t to say that I don’t necessarily disagree that the question at hand isn’t a duplicate, of the particular question, I initially selected. I just disagree that the question should be reopened, thus allowing yet another answer, on how to run a graphical application, when that question most definitely has already been answered.

I am willing to see what will be submitted, of course, I suspect I will be extremely disappointed by seeing any solution that already has been provided by the existing answer. This meta-question most certainly was unnecessary, the user who submitted the answer to the question at hand, also has a gold badge in Windows 10 and could have reopened the question. They also disagreed with the closure of the question.

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