14.1. Free Support
Free support may be obtained from friends, colleagues, user groups, mailing lists, and interactive help facilities. An example of an interactive dacility is the Internet relay chat (IRC) channels that host user supported mutual assistance.
The Samba project maintains a mailing list that is commonly used to discuss solutions to Samba deployments. Information regarding subscription to the Samba mailing list can be found on the Samba web site. The public mailing list that can be used to obtain free, user contributed, support is called the samba list. The email address for this list is at mail:firstname.lastname@example.org. Information regarding the Samba IRC channels may be found on the Samba IRC web page.
As a general rule, it is considered poor net behavior to contact a Samba Team member directly for free support. Most active members of the Samba Team work exceptionally long hours to assist users who have demonstrated a qualified problem. Some team members may respond to direct email or telephone contact, with requests for assistance, by requesting payment. A few of the Samba Team members actually provide professional paid-for Samba support and it is therefore wise to show appropriate discretion and reservation in all direct contact.
When you stumble across a Samba bug, often the quickest way to get it resolved is by posting a bug report. All such reports are mailed to the responsible code maintainer for action. The better the report, and the more serious it is, the sooner it will be dealt with. On the other hand, if the responsible person can not duplicate the reported bug it is likely to be rejected. It is up to you to provide sufficient information that will permit the problem to be reproduced.
We all recognize that sometimes free support does not provide the answer that is sought within the time-frame required. At other times the problem is elusive and you may lack the experience necessary to isolate the problem and thus to resolve it. This is a situation where is may be prudent to purchase paid-for support.