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The soul of open source

Bill Wear

on 18 October 2023

The power of community-backed open source: a Canonical perspective

The open-source advantage

Open-source software offers unparalleled freedom to use, modify, and distribute code. But freedom comes with responsibilities, often making it challenging for businesses and organisations to manage and support these applications. Canonical stands at this intersection, striving to be the undisputed leader in the open-source realm. We provide not just first-class code largely devoid of licensing fees but also a balanced array of free and paid support options.

When to opt for paid support

We understand that not every situation calls for a free solution. Some scenarios demand more than what community-led efforts can provide. Whether it’s a project that necessitates dedicated Canonical intervention, a unique environment requiring specialised field engineering, or a need that deviates from the our roadmap, our paid support is designed to fill these gaps.

Giving and receiving free help

That said, there are various channels through which you can both seek and provide free help on a best-effort basis:

  • Engage on our forum: Our Discourse platform offers a collaborative space where you can interact with other users, our support staff, and the development team. It’s a hub for problem-solving, knowledge-sharing, and even light reading to stay updated.
  • Voice your feature requests: We don’t just hear; we listen. If your feature requests could benefit more than just a few users, we’re all ears. We’ve delivered on such requests before and welcome your ideas for future enhancements or changes.
  • Report and review bugs: Transparent and constructive bug reporting helps everyone. Our guidelines ensure that your bug submissions are handled efficiently, with minimal need for additional clarification.
  • Contribute to documentation: Quality documentation is a collective endeavour. Our workflow ensures that contributions from community members like you are reviewed by our Technical Authors prior to editing.
  • Contribute code: Ready to get your hands dirty with code? Our development team and wider community are always open to skilled help. Contributing code can speed up the implementation of features you want, making them better tailored to your requirements.

A harmonious balance

At Canonical, we believe in a balanced approach that combines the virtues of open-source software with the practicality of expert, paid support. You can tap into the robust features of our products without being encumbered by licensing fees or the complexities of self-management. At the same time, our paid support gives you a safety net of expert advice and technical assistance when you need it.

The bigger picture

Open-source is not just a software distribution model; it’s a philosophy of community engagement and collaborative improvement. With Canonical’s dual approach to support, you enjoy the best of both worlds—a dynamic, community-supported software ecosystem and the assurance of expert help. And remember, whether you opt for paid support or choose to contribute to the Canonical community, you’re a valued member of an ever-growing network of open-source professionals. Some of us just happen to wear Canonical badges.

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