It's okay to read the documentation. Really. Nobody can see you, and we won't tell. In fact, Samba ships with a large set of documentation files, and it is well worth the effort to at least browse through them, either in the distribution directory on your computer under /docs, or online at the Samba web site: http://samba.anu.edu.au/samba/. The most current FAQ list, bug information, and distribution locations are located at the web site, with links to all of the Samba manual pages and HOW-TOs.
Usenet newsgroups have always been a great place to get advice on just about any topic. In the past few years, though, this vast pool of knowledge has developed something that has made it into an invaluable resource: a memory. Archival and search sites such as DejaNews (http://www.dejanews.com) have made sifting through years of valuable solutions on a topic as simple as a few mouse clicks.
The primary newsgroup for Samba is comp.protocols.smb. This should always be your first stop when there's a problem. More often than not, spending five minutes researching an error here will save hours of frustration while trying to debug something yourself.
When searching a newsgroup, try to be as specific as possible, but not too wordy. Searching on actual error messages is best. If you don't find an answer immediately in the newsgroup, resist the temptation to post a request for help until you've done a bit more work on the problem. You may find that the answer is in a FAQ or one of the many documentation files that ships with Samba, or a solution might become evident when you run one of Samba's diagnostic tools. If nothing works, post a request in comp.protocols.smb, and be as specific as possible about what you have tried and what you are seeing. Include any error messages that appear. It may be several days before you receive help, so be patient and keep trying things while you wait.
Once you post a request for help, keep poking at the problem yourself. Most of us have had the experience of posting a Usenet article containing hundreds of lines of intricate detail, only to solve the problem an hour later after the article has blazed its way across several continents. The rule of thumb goes something like this: the more folks who have read your request, the simpler the solution. Usually this means that once everyone in the Unix community has seen your article, the solution will be something simple like, "Plug the computer into the wall socket."
This mailing list has information on precompiled binaries for the Samba platform.
This mailing list is the place to report suspected bugs in Samba.
This mailing list has information on support for domains (particularly Windows NT) with the Samba product.
This mailing list maintains debate about where the future of Samba is headed.
This is the primary Samba mailing list that contains general questions and HOW-TO information on Samba.
There is a search service for the primary Samba mailing list. At the time this book was written, it was listed under "searchable" in the Sources paragraph on the first page of the Samba site and its mirrors, http://samba.anu.edu.au/listproc/ghindex.html.
Hunt, Craig, and Robert Bruce Thompson; Windows NT TCP/IP Network Administration. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly and Associates, 1998 (ISBN 1-56592-377-4).