A FreeBSD Fax Server

   This how-to will step through installing and configuring HylaFax on FreeBSD.

What is HylaFax?

From the HylaFax web site…
”    HylaFAX is an enterprise-class system for sending and receiving facsimiles as well as for sending alpha-numeric pages.
    The software is designed around a client-server architecture. Fax modems may reside on a single machine on a network and clients can submit an outbound job from any other machine on the network. Client software is designed to be lightweight and easy to port.
    HylaFAX is designed to be very robust and reliable. The fax server is designed to guard against unexpected failures in the software, in the configuration, in the hardware and in general use. HylaFAX can support multiple modems and a heavy traffic load.
    If you expect to send more than a few facsimiles a day, then HylaFAX is the fax package for you! “

The Hardware

  This help file was done using FreeBSD 6.2 and HylaFax 4.3.4 from the ports collection. The server is a 2.4 Gig P4 with 1 Gig of ram and 320Gigs of disk space. The server is also running a web server, MySQL database, and is a Samba file server. The addition of HylaFax added very little load to the system and could be run on a lot smaller box.
    An external USR Sportster 28.8 fax modem was used to send and receive faxes.  This external modem is connected to com2 on the PC.  The use of an external modem is recomended.  If the modem need repair or replacement, then the whole box does not need to be taken down to fix it.

Installation

    Install HylaFax from the ports collection. Durring the install, the system will ask about where to install the various binaries. Go ahead and just select the defaults.

# cd /usr/ports/comms/hylafax
# make install
# make clean

    Once it is installed then run the faxsetup program. Most of the defaults are OK here and the only thing that will need changing is the area code.  When it gets to the end it will ask you if you would like to run the faxaddmodem program.  Select “No”. We will run this after but we need to add the port on the command line.

# /usr/local/sbin/faxsetup

    Next configure up the fax modems.  The faxaddmodem script will setup each modem that is connected to the system.  Make sure that your modem is plugged in and turned on before you run this script as it will probe the modem at the end of the script ot determine best speed and capabilities. For the USR Sportster that I was using it determined that the modem was capable of both Class 1 and Class 2.0 fax.  I selected Class 1 as this allows Hylafax more control over the call. Since we only have one fax modem and it is connected to /dev/cuad1 (COM2 in the PC world) we use the following command.

# /usr/local/sbin/faxaddmodem cuad1

Enter the defaults for all the questions except for the following lines:
Area Code [415]? 780
Phone number of fax modem [+1.999.555.1212]? +1.780.555.1212
Local identification string (for TSI/CIG) ["NothingSetup"]? "ITS EPSB"
Command line arguments for getty program ["-h %l dx_%s"]? "std.%s -" 

 

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