Running an unmanaged server is a lot of work. In a previous post, we looked at options for paid support for Linux servers, but with a limited budget, paid support might not be an option you can even consider. There is really only one other alternative: community support.
Fortunately for you, Linux community support is very strong, largely because of the free and open source nature of Linux distributions. Therefore, a free operating system like CentOS, has a large community of users who help each other learn how to manage and optimize servers that use it.
You can typically find Linux support from the following places:
Support Forums – Both general Linux forums and distribution-specific forums.
Wiki documentation – These are usually official wikis for Linux distributions, but there are also some unofficial ones that may be of benefit. Some of them, like the Gentoo wiki, are very comprehensive and may be useful even for other distributions.
Bug reports – Most distributions allow access to their bug reporting systems where you can search for your specific problem or submit a bug if you cannot find it.
Linux blogs – Many Linux users document their experiences and provide helpful tips. Sometimes, simply searching for these blogs can turn up positive results.
Documentation – Most Linux applications are well-documented, and sometimes all you need to do is read a “man” page thoroughly. (From the command line, type “man” followed by the command’s name).
When searching for community support, it is important to be patient and respectful. Everyone involved offers their support at no charge, simply out of the kindness of their hearts. Therefore, you should give them the benefit of the doubt and treat any help they give you as a favor.