Is it off topic to ask general Unix and Linux questions on Stack Overflow? The obvious answer is to post Unix and Linux questions on the Unix and Linux Stack Exchange site. On the other hand, my question is about symbolic links, and searching "symbolic link" returns 1197 search results on Unix and Linux, compared to 4849 search results on SO. Also, I'm not a big forum user and honestly I'd rather post on a smaller number of forums instead of posting my one question on Unix and Linux. Here's my specific question:

I've always only used absolute paths when making symbolic links. I was taught to do this in order to avoid complicated or unknown behavior. Is good style to avoid relative symbolic links the way I was taught, or is that a bunch of nonsense? The question is a bit subjective, but some things are so commonly accepted as good or bad style that it's possible to give a pretty concrete answer.

What makes it even worse is that it's a somewhat subjective question. These two threads are related but not exactly the same as my question:
Where questions about linux shell commands go?
Are too many Linux programmers' questions migrated away from Stack Overflow?

2 Answers 2


That question would likely not be a good fit anywhere, because it is subjective.

You could change it a bit to make it less subjective by asking what best practice is, but I'm not sure if that would make it fit any better.

Also, just because there are a number of related questions on Stack Overflow, does not make the question on topic. The rules changed since Stack Overflow was created, and so there are a lot of older questions that wouldn't be welcome today. You also need to look at the context of the question. Are they about creating symlinks programmatically? In that case, they may still be on topic.

  • I guess you point out a different problem with my question: where to post style-related questions, if anywhere. Oct 4, 2012 at 23:37

Questions on Stack Overflow are expected to relate to programming in some way, within the scope defined in the faq. More specifically, we accept questions about programmer tools, but not about any software or hardware that a programmer might use.


Visual Studio ------------- Yes.
SQL Server ---------------- Yes, if question is within a programming context.
SQL Server Installation --- Generally no.
Word/Excel ---------------- Only VBA-specific questions.
Unix, Windows ------------- No.

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