Can someone explain with words, how is this question:

NFS Server/Client administration of multiple machines through a GUI

... off-topic from SuperUser?

Just to clearly point out that I've read the FAQ:

What topics can I ask about here? - Help Center - Super User

Super User is for computer enthusiasts and power users. If you have a question about …

computer hardware,

Nope, not for computer hardware, so probably off topic?

computer software, or

Yes, about computer software, so on topic?

personal and home computer networking

Yes, it was for home computer networking, so on topic?

and it is not about …

programming and software development,

I didn't ask how to program such an application, I asked for already existing application, so on topic?

video games or consoles,

Nope, so on topic?

websites or web services like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress,

Nope - unless you consider anything dealing with a "network" to be a "website", which if you're extremely cynical, you might.. So on topic here?

electronic devices, media players, cell phones or smart phones, except insofar as they interface with your computer,

Nope - however, a "computer" is an "electronic device", so a cynical reviewer could consider every question on SuperUser "off topic", hehe :)

issues specific to corporate IT support and networks,

Nope - home usage, so on topic?

asking for a shopping or product recommendation,

I'm asking about a GUI program to manage a networking file system for Linux, which as hopefully known, is free and open source, so no "shopping" involved. However, a cynical reviewer might consider mentioning any piece of software that runs on a computer a "product recommendation" - thus any question on SuperUser that is not expressed in terms of pure mathematical formulae would be off topic :)

What types of questions should I avoid asking? - Help Center - Super User

First, make sure that your question is on-topic for this site.

I think I did above; although as mentioned above, any mention of "electronic devices" and "product recommendations" is a qualifier for off-topic - so I wouldn't really know; which is why I'm asking.

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

There either is a GUI tool that can handle both server and client NFS administration, or not. If not, I do not expect an answer (apart from maybe "No such tool at the moment" - but I don't expect downvotes either). I don't see how that would qualify for "chatty, open-ended questions". I was looking, and I could find only one, server-side only, GUI tool which I referenced, so it's not like I was lazy or anything.

Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much.

No I cannot imagine a whole book - as I said; there either is a GUI tool of the kind I'm looking for, or there isn't.

If your motivation for asking the question is “I would like to participate in a discussion about ______”, then you should not be asking here. However, if your motivation is “I would like others to explain ______ to me”, then you are probably OK. (Discussions are of course welcome in our real time web chat.)

I cannot see how asking about an existence of a GUI tool would be inviting to participate in a discussion. Then again, I can always rephrase the same question as: "I would like others to explain how to manage both server and client aspects of NFS shares with a single GUI tool"; which will again boil down to: there either is a GUI tool of the kind I'm looking for, or there isn't.

To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where …

every answer is equally valid: “What’s your favorite ______?”

I believe I didn't ask about favorite choices.

your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?”

Nope, never seen a tool of the kind I'm looking for, which is why I was asking in the first place.

there is no actual problem to be solved: “I’m curious if other people feel like I do.”

I'm totally not curious about other people's feelings - I just want to know if there is a GUI tool that manages client and server side of NFS sharing; and if so, which one it is.

you are asking an open-ended, hypothetical question: “What if ______ happened?”

I don't think I did - although, if I was cynical, I could always rephrase as: "What if a GUI tool that can manage both server and client side of NFS shares existed?"

your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”

I don't think I had any ranty aspects in my question - apart from a slight disappointment that such a GUI tool doesn't exist, or if it does, it cannot be tracked down with a moderately thorough search. Again, if I was cynical, I could always reconstruct the meaning of my question to be: "Managing NFS shares through the terminal sucks, am I right? Better to use a GUI tool, no?"

So, taking the above into account- as far as I can see, my question was on topic for SuperUser. But since the community insisted it wasn't I (and probably others), would be greatly appreciate an explanation of where did I go wrong in reading the FAQ (taking into account that there are enough possibilities to take pieces of the FAQ cynically, and thus declare any and all questions on SuperUser off-topic).

  • 1
    The question isn't closed yet, but it is of the type, "this is my unique environment, suggest a tool that I can use here"
    – random Mod
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 22:35
  • @random - ok, I see; although I was just trying to explain what my motivations are; but what I want is really a GUI tool that can handle both client and server - that is not a web application, I'm not asking for instruction on network setup. Is there an appropriate site where I could move this question?
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 22:37
  • I removed the text considering unique setup in that question, hope it's OK now...
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 25, 2013 at 22:43
  • 1
    You can also "shop" for free software, e.g. "What's the best free, open source video converter?" – that's the kind of question we wanted to discourage with this particular rule in the FAQ.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:22
  • @slhck - ah, I see - thanks for that clarification; I didn't connect the "what is the best..." prompt to "shopping" until now; it does make sense. However, that question still does not ask about the best alternative - it asks for any (if existing). Cheers!
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:45

1 Answer 1


OK, I've deleted the question - hope you're all happy now, given how you downvote, and do not care about explaining what is wrong.

  • 1
    Quote from a diamond moderator, in a comment to your above question: The question isn't closed yet, but it is of the type, "this is my unique environment, suggest a tool that I can use here" - random ♦. I haven't seen the question, however it appears to be an opinion based question ("What's the best {thing}?"), and those aren't allowed on superuser.
    – Jon
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 18:43
  • 2
    I'm not sure your edit made the question better, it just now lacked important context. While I agree unexplained downvotes can appear confusing or even demotivating, having a question downvoted doesn't mean you should instantly delete it—it wasn't even closed. Now I'm not so sure if you actually want to discuss this… if you want to, here's a tip: don't throw the towel so quick.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 18:48
  • 1
    I made an edit in order to hopefully improve the post, but your question is still deleted. If you want to have it undeleted, please flag it for moderator attention.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:03
  • @chipperyman573 - thanks for the comment; I wasn't asking for a best alternative, I was asking for any alternative; the software I cited handles only server-side NFS; I was looking for a tool that handles both server- and client- side NFS; and as noted, I could not find such a tool by now. Cheers!
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:08
  • @slhck - thanks for the comment; context is the reason why I included that text in the first place - but then I see closevotes as "Off Topic" without any further comments; and since only @\random responded with ""this is my unique environment" as a possible off-topic trigger, I thought it better to remove the text, so as not to trigger downvotes. I actually do want to discuss this, but I did get very frustrated by "Off-topic" without any further clarification; the edit in this OP shows why I think the question was on-topic. And I really put a lot of effort into writing questions on ...
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:13
  • @slhck ... these sites (because I truly appreciate all answers I've gotten so far, and I would hate to waste people's time). But getting "Off-topic"s, without further qualification after all the effort I put in to be on topic, is truly frustrating, that is why I threw the towel. Of course I'd still want it discussed, and I'll flag for undelete - but should the original text with extra context be restored, or the edited post? Thanks!
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:15
  • 1
    Please search MSU for this, e.g. here: Update the FAQ to disallow any product recommendation questions – the gist being, rather describe what problem you need to solve than looking for a magic tool you think solves the problem. This should be fine. We of course can't close all questions that may require some software as a solution (although some close voters might think so), but asking for a certain problem you have with software X is the way to keep these posts within our scope, or simply describing what you need to accomplish.
    – slhck
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:21
  • @slhck - thanks for the link, I have already seen the post - and although I somewhat got the gist of it, that post is also somewhat inconclusive. I guess this case is a bit of a gray area: if I formulate the problem as "I find command line NFS setup too difficult, is there a GUI I could use to make it easier", I would rightly expect a first order answer to that to be "get outta here, learn to type" :) So I add some info on context, but it turns out it is a trigger for "this is my unique environment" as off-topic; so I remove that, and I get even more off-topic closevotes; so I didn't know...
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:39
  • @slhck ... how to proceed really. Then again, the core of the problem could be understood as "NFS setup is too difficult", and given it's a difficulty with a network protocol, some may consider that as off-topic; but again, I'm not asking for help with the network setup - just a GUI tool applicable to it (both server and client side). I was just trying to keep everyone in the community pleased - but sometimes I guess it is not possible. Thanks for the feedback - cheers!
    – sdaau
    Commented Aug 26, 2013 at 19:41

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