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HylaFAX

Contents

1. Introduction

2. What is HylaFAX?

3. Useful resources

4. Packages and installation

5. Setup

6. Users

7. Clients

8. Misc





1. Introduction

This is only a brief description that's covering the problems I experienced when installing HylaFAX. I'm using a Red Hat machine with a USR 33.6 (voice/fax) modem connected to an analog telephone line.

2. What is HylaFAX?

I quote www.hylafax.org
HylaFAX is a telecommunication system for UNIX systems. It supports :
  • sending facsimile
  • receiving facsimile
  • polled retrieval of facsimile
  • transparent shared data use of the modem
  • sending alpha-numeric pages
I was looking for a good way to use my old 33.6 modem after upgrading to a DSL-line. Because I need to send some faxes (approx. 5 a month) I decided to install a fax-application on one of my GNU/Linux-machines. This way I could use the personal fax machine on all of my machines.

3. Useful resources

Please honor the homepage of HylaFAX with a visit :

  www.hylafax.org

By the way, it's HylaFAX and not HylaFax or FlexFax, the reason why?...read all about it on http://www.hylafax.org/overview.html (on the bottem...Esoterica)

4. Packages and installation

Allthough I'm working with RedHat and there are RPM's available for HylaFAX, I decided to install it from source. Just download the latest tarball from ftp.hylafax.org/source/

Before you start compiling, make sure your system has the these packages installed :
  • libtiff-3.5.5 or better

  • ghostscript-5.50 or better

  • ghostscript-fonts-5.50 or better

Unpack the tarball and change to the newly created directory. Now follow the regular compilation process.
tar zxvf hylafax.tar.gz
cd hylafax
./configure
make
make install
After this, HylaFAX should be properly installed.

5. Setup

Before you can run HylaFAX, you should first make sure that your modem is properly working. The easiest way to test this is by using a communication tool like Kermit and start a session. If your modem dials you know at least for sure that malfunction of HylaFAX has nothing to do with the modem. To check your modemconfiguration, use setserial. You can use
setserial -g /dev/ttyS0
to check if your modem is responding. With GNU/Linux, /dev/ttyS0 is COM-1 with Windows. When this works, try to start Kermit and let your modem dial a random number (I suggest your neighbours phone-number...[grin]). When you're having problems configuring your modem, I advice you to read through http://www.linuxdoc.org/HOWTO/Modem-HOWTO.html

After you have succesfully installed your modem (I hope), you can start running the configuration scripts for HylaFAX. The first one is
faxsetup
You will be asked some questions (make sure you remember your phone-number) and the script will do all kind of nasty things to your system (like probing for a modem). Just answer the questions (most of them can be left to their default values) and the script will create the necessary configuration files. Next, start
faxaddmodem
Please note that in some setups this script is started after the execution of faxsetup so you don't need to run it twice (allthough it won't screw up your settings because the values entered in the first run are kept). Also be carefull with your naming convention. When you have called your modem at first /dev/ttyS0 and afterwards you're refering to it as ttyS0 there will be for certain some trouble with your configuration. So always use the same naming-convention.

Now you need to alter the inittab-file to make sure the faxgetty is started at boot time. Open the file /etc/inittab in your favorite text-editor and add this line
mo:2345:respawn:/usr/local/sbin/faxgetty ttyS0
Off course, doublecheck that a) ttyS0 is the port your modem is connected to and b) faxgetty is at /usr/local/sbin (try with which faxgetty). Now you can 'reload' the inittab with
init q
You can start the HylaFAX service with
/etc/init.d/hylafax [start|stop]
During setup, a mail-alias FaxMaster is added to your alias-file. This address is used as a recipient for information and incoming faxes. Edit /etc/aliases and change this to whatever user you want. After you have changed the alias-file confirm your changes with newaliases.

6. Users

Before you can start sending faxes (and installing a client), you should add one or more useraccounts. This is done with
faxadduser [password] [uid] username

7. Clients

I use a Windows-client to manage most of my faxes. One of the best clients I found was www.cypheus.de. It's free of charge for personal use, full featured and very robust. Download the latest release and install it. After installation start the exe and connect to your server. When you don't want to use the Cypheus-interface, you can send faxes from every program just by redirecting them to a printer. During installation, a TIFF-printer is installed. It just needs a little bit of tweaking (mentioned in the Cypheus-help-file) and is ready to go.

One thing you need to make sure is that you change some settings in the configuration file. Open the file /var/spool/hylafax/etc/config.ttySx with 'x' your devicenumber (or wherever you placed the HylaFAX config-files) and change these values
RecvFileMode:0644
LogFileMode:0644
DeviceMode:0666
Afterwards, restart HylaFAX and Faxgetty.

When you're running Linux (KDE) there's K-Send-A-Fax (allthough it isn't that featured as Cypheus).

8. Misc


USRobotics modem

I'm using a USRobotics 33.6 Sportster Voice/Fax modem. At first, I was able to receive faxes but couldn't send one out. I found a solution on the mailinglist. Open the file /var/spool/hylafax/etc/config.ttySx (with 'x' your devicenumber) and add this line :
ModemATCmdDelay: 100
Now restart HylaFAX and it should (?) work.


Converting a fax to a PDF-file

By default, HylaFAX will send a mail with a FTP-link by which you can view the fax. I certainly dislike this way. It's possible to have the incoming faxes converted to a PDF-file and then let them be mailed to you. First, navigate to this directory.
cd /var/spool/hylafax/bin
Now first make a backup of the file faxrcvd (just to make sure). Next, download these two scripts into the same directory :
http://www.hylafax.org/howto/faxrcvd/faxrcvd-pdf
http://www.hylafax.org/howto/faxrcvd/faxrcvd-mail-pdf
Rename these files to faxrcvd and faxrcd-mail. Now open the file faxrcvd-mail in your favorite text-editor and look for the line where it makes its calls to faxinfo. Doublecheck to see if the path is the correct one. Now save the file, stop and start HylaFAX and you should receive a PDF-Fax very soon.
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