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  Linux simple fax printer server mini-HOWTO (faxsrv-mini-
  Erez Strauss <> <mailto:Erez Strauss
  v1.0, 8 November 1997

  No warranties. Comments are always welcome.  This document describes
  in details one of the simplest ways to setup fax server on your Linux
  system. The fax is available to the users on the local host and to
  network users.

  Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. Questions & Answers

     2.1 What is a fax printer server ?
     2.2 How to set it up ?
        2.2.1 The efax Software
        2.2.2 The printcap entry.
        2.2.3 The fax command
        2.2.4 The /usr/bin/fax file.
        2.2.5 The /var/spool/fax directory.
        2.2.6 The lock file.
        2.2.7 The /dev/modem special file.
        2.2.8 The
     2.3 How do I use it, for the server ?
     2.4 Where do I specify the target Fax number ?
     2.5 How do I use it from other Unixes on the net ?
     2.6 Caldera, LPRng users

  3. Latest version, Contacting the author.


  1.  Introduction

  To get a working printer/fax on the linux machine you should have some
  software and fax modem.

  The Printing software will be using the fax software as a print
  filter.  The efax will find the fax number from the print Job number
  and will send the fax.  The efax software was written be Ed Casas

  The rest of the document is build as Q&A.

  2.  Questions & Answers

  2.1.  What is a fax printer server ?

  A fax printer server is a setup of few programs: efax, and the print
  server, in such a way that sending a fax from the computer is as
  simple as sending printout to a printer.

  2.2.  How to set it up ?

  Setting efax as fax print server includes few problems As I worked it
  out few times, I decided to collect this wisdom in this small mini-
  HOWTO, comments are welcome at <>.  I describe them
  here and the solutions, and all the instruction in short steps:

  2.2.1.  The efax Software

  make sure you have the efax package.

  On RPM based system use the command 'rpm -qv efax'.

  You can get the efax sources in tar.gz format from sunsite: or
  binary rpm package:

  2.2.2.  The printcap entry.

  The efax documentation is missing the :  at the end of the printcap

  Solution: Add the following /etc/printcap entry:


  2.2.3.  The fax command

  Use hard link and not symbolic link to the fax command.

  Run the command:

       ln /usr/bin/fax /usr/bin/faxlpr

  2.2.4.  The /usr/bin/fax file.

  Edit the /usr/bin/fax to your preferences:

  choose the right Fax Class for your modem:


  Set the FROM="your international phone number" field

       NAME="Your Name"

  Add the line for conversion of international phone number to local for
  example in Israel you would use:

       TELCVT='sed -e s/+972/0/ -e s/+/00/'  # Israel

  There is a problem in the file in line 586, change the cfile=... with
  the following two lines:

       cfile=`/usr/bin/tail -1 lock`
       cfile=`cat $cfile`

  at lines 586,587 there shouldn't be '-' signs the lines are:

       0) echo "$l" | mail -s "fax to $num succeeded" $user@$host ;;
       *) echo "$l" | mail -s "fax to $num failed   " $user@$host ;;

  2.2.5.  The /var/spool/fax directory.

  create the directory /var/spool/fax

       mkdir /var/spool/fax
       chmod 777 /var/spool/fax

  2.2.6.  The lock file.

  The lock file (/var/spool/fax/lock) is being created with incorrect
  permissions, use the following command to set it correctly:

       touch /var/spool/fax/lock ; chmod 644 /var/spool/fax/lock

  2.2.7.  The /dev/modem special file.

  The efax program is expecting real device file at the /dev/modem and
  will not work with symbolic link, so create a device file with the
  same major and minor number as the /dev/cua? the is connected to the
  modem. The file should have the rw-rw-rw- mode to enable any user to
  use the fax software.

  ls -lL /dev/modem
  rm /dev/modem
  mknod /dev/modem c Mj Mi
  chmod 666 /dev/modem

  Mj is 5, and Mi is 64 for the cua0, 65 for cua1 and so on.  For
  example (for cua1):

       mknod /dev/modem c 5 65

  2.2.8.  The /var/lock  directory.

  change the mode at the /var/lock directory

       chmod 1777 /var/lock

  2.3.  How do I use it, for the server ?

  You should use the fax printer using the -P option and the -J option
  with the fax number.

  use one of the following lpr commands:

        lpr -Pfax -J <Fax-Number> [file-names]
        any command | lpr -Pfax -J <Fax-Number>

  2.4.  Where do I specify the target Fax number ?

  After the -J option.

  2.5.  How do I use it from other Unixes on the net ?

  Add the following entry into the /etc/printcap file and the client
  Linux systems, create the spool directory, and so on ...


  add the name of the client hosts into the /etc/hosts.lpd on the fax
  server machine.

  use it as before.


  The header string that efax adds to the fax pages is not effected by
  the user name that sends the fax. (can be updated).

  2.6.  Caldera, LPRng users

  The LPRng printing management software is using a different method to
  handle the control file.

  Thanks to Luca Montecchiani <>, who found the problem
  and the solution.  Here is an update to the /usr/bin/fax file. The
  following line replace the two simple cfile=... lines at lines 586,587

       # Modified to work also with the LPRng package
       # Luca Montecchiani (08/11/97
       if [ !-z "$CONTROL_FILE" ]
               cfile=`cat tail -1 lock`
               cfile=`cat $cfile`

  3.  Latest version, Contacting the author.

  The latest version of this file can be accessed through the world wide
  web using URLs

  You can contact me

       Erez Strauss
       Phone: +972 52 739737
       Fax:  +972 9 954 3034

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