In systems with free and open source software we have plenty of resources to get help, from the different commands to get information such as man, to documentation, fantastic Wikis like the ones we see on Arch Linux sites, and other distros, and a great job done by the community to fix all the problems that may arise for users They report the bugs to the mailing lists. There are also many companies that give good technical support for their paid products. This is the case with SuSE for your SLES or Red Hat for your RHE, but not all distros have these services ...
Therefore, in some cases of GNU / Linux distributions that do not have technical support or in those software projects that lack this type of services, users are much more unprotected than in the case of using proprietary software. With this I do not mean that we should use proprietary software just for technical service or support, but I would like to reflect a bit and comment that we have a multitude of resources to get that long-awaited technical support for all our free and open source software. Never give up on open-source and free projects!
Well when we meet projects without technical support or professionals willing to respond to user problems, this is a big problem for home users, but even more so for companies and organizations. In general, we could always go to the official website of the project or to mailing lists to leave our problems to the developers, and if they are bugs or vulnerabilities, we will most likely have a quick response (I have to say that they usually tend to be quicker to react than proprietary software companies, so a point in favor) and fix the problems in future updates, but ...
And when are there other types of doubts or problems of use? OR we may not know english, german or another language in which we can communicate with the community to help us. In those cases we are relegated to looking for information and help in native forums in our language if they exist, otherwise we would be somewhat disappointed.
We always must help the community improve. They work altruistically in many cases so that we can enjoy distributions or programs completely free of charge. Therefore, we as users should also help them. And we can do that in many ways, from helping to translate documentation, helping people who have difficulties, contributing code and reporting errors or possible improvements that can be carried out in the software we use.
For this, we have to contact developers of the distro that we are using or the software that is and report all the problems and information possible. For example, we can make use of the information from the distro logs so that developers know the cause, or report error messages, etc., use commands to get help, and if it is a program that causes problems, we can run its name on the command line followed by –help or similar options to find out how to get the version and report it.
And again we find another problem, and that is that if it is a fork or code that they have modified to redistribute itAs can be quite usual, then the original developers will not take care of the problems, and in many cases neither will those who have modified the code as they are independent developers or organizations that are not dedicated to answering your questions ...
Some places of interest are:
By not paying for the software we have no right to have a technical support serviceBut despite this, on many occasions the community overflows in kindness and helps us. Only in those cases in which it is not possible to obtain help from the community or the doubts and problems are of another nature, in that case we have other resources to turn to. There are companies, very few at present, but there are, that are giving technical support to open source and free software projects. This is the basis of your earnings, complementing the community. Some examples are:
Some of them aimed at Linux companies and servers, and others something more generic providing cheap solutions for individuals and companies.