In the interest of transparency, RTFM offers a client space, a simple service and fee structure, and frank dialog.

During an intervention on one of your machines, you are encouraged to observe what is happening, usually by sharing a screen or VNC session.

Often clients' home machines (Linux, Windows, Mac, or Android) can be connected via VPN to their office network for after-hours access to critical files. OpenVPN is the prefered tool for this task.

Client space

If you are already a client of RTFM, you can access your encrypted and password-protected client space at

Note: The SSL certificate of this site is signed by the RTFM Certificate Authority: Click here to download and accept the CA in your browser if you choose to trust this CA.

The client space contains technical journal entries and billing information in plain text and HTML format.

Some of the information in the client space may be confidential. An account will be created for each user who needs to access a client space. Clients are advised not to share passwords among multiple users.

Services and fees

RTFM is an IT service company specialising in counselling, installation, and maintenance of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) systems. RTFM does development only in the domain of system administration tools and sells no material. See the list of services and supported systems.

The basic fee is CHF180/hour.

Times are rounded to the nearest 15 minutes.

Our first meeting is free if it leads to significant work.

There is a surtax of CHF60/hour for emergency work. The surtax is waived if the emergency work did not interrupt anything important (like other work, supper, sleep, or vacation).

For larger projects, there is a discount if time is bought in advance. A block of 50 hours costs only CHF140/hour. But a block of hours must be used within 3 months. Any remaining time will be forfeit.

RTFM also offers a continuous machine surveillance agreement costing CHF1080/year/machine. This is based on the average time it takes to read daily emailed status messages every morning, about 1 minute per day (i.e. 6 hours per year). Any investigation of anomalies is charged at the usual rate. If there are two or more machines to monitor, real-time monitoring with Nagios and Cacti may be recommended.


At the moment RTFM has only one full-time employee, its owner, Erik Rossen.

Erik Rossen has worked as a GNU/Linux system administrator and FOSS system consultant in the Lemanic area of Switzerland since 1999. For more details, see the English version or the French version of his CV on his personal website Or simply do a search on Google for "Erik Rossen".


References from past and current clients of RTFM are available on request.