Faximum Mfax Toolkit 4


Fax Software for
Linux (IA32)

It runs on...

README Updated 2002-03-20 1:45 for 4.0-17 EAP (Linux)
COPYRIGHT © 2002 Faximum Software Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Faximum Software Inc.
1497 Marine Drive, Suite 300
West Vancouver, BC
Canada, V7T 1A6

Phone: 1 (604) 925-3600
Support: 1 (604) 922-7311
Fax: 1 (604) 926-8182
Email: info@faximum.com
WWW: www.faximum.com

If you received this README file as a printed version in your software media kit it may be more current than the version on the media. Please use this version rather than the version on the CD-ROM. The most current copy is always available from http://www.faximum.com/support/readme/mfax-4-linux.html.

Please visit http://www.faximum.com/status for the latest news on this software release. This web page also contains information on any updates that might be released after this document was written.

Software Activation Key

Before you will able to use the software included in this distribution you will have to obtain a confidential activation key from Faximum Software.After you have installed the Faximum Mfax Toolkit, please follow the instructions below to obtain the needed key.


Important Legal Notice

This software and related documentation is covered by a licence and may only be used under the terms of that licence. A copy of the licence may be found at http://www.faximum.com/licence/. Installation of this software is evidence that you have read and agree to be bound by the terms of this licence. If you do not agree with the licence then do not install the software and return the software to your vendor or to Faximum Software Inc. within 10 days of purchase for a full refund of your purchase price.

Faximum is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries. It is used by Faximum Software under licence. Other products names used in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks and are used here for identification purposes only and should not be construed to indicate that technology identified by the trademark is part of the Faximum product.


Preparing to Install Mfax

  1. This version of Mfax has been developed and tested for Linux Red Hat 7.2, Caldera OpenLinux Server 3.1, and SuSE 7.3. If you wish to install this software on other Linux distributions please contact Faximum Software Inc. (support@faximum.com) for the latest information.
  2. Although this software will drive a wide range of Fax Class 2/2.0 modems, you may find that using a modem other than one recommended (see http://www.faximum.com/modems/) results in less than acceptable performance (owing to limitations in the modem's firmware).
  3. Make sure you have sufficient disk space on your machine to install the software. Note that the software may be installed in any directory on your system (/opt is used by default). The software requires about xxMb of disk space.
  4. In order to complete the installation and configuration of this software you will need to know the following information about your network and server:
    1. The name of the serial port on your FMS server machine that your fax modem is connected to (i.e. /dev/ttyS0).

Installation and Configuration

Installation from the Faximum Web Server

  1. Visit http://www.faximum.com/downloads/ and download the current version of the software into a temporary directory on your system. (Remember that if you have to transfer the software from the Faximum server to your system by way of an intermediary Windows system and are using ftp, then make sure that the ftp transfers are done in binary mode to prevent corruption of the files.)

Installation from CD-ROM

  1. Put the CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive

  2. While logged on in as root (the superuser), mount the CD-ROM by running (on Linux):
        mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom 

  3. Copy the installation file to an appropriate temporary directory on your server, for example:
    cd /mnt/cdrom/linux-mfax
    cp faximummfax-4.0-5-linux.tar /tmp

    (Note that the exact name of the tar file may vary slightly so you will need to list the files in this directory -- as shown here by the ls command -- in order to determine the correct file name to use here and below).

Unpacking the Software

  1. Login as the root user or use the su command to obtain superuser privileges.

  2. To install the Faximum Mfax Toolkit software, change into the directory in which the Mfaxinstallation file has been placed and type (of course the exact name of the faximum...tar file will depend on the name of the file you downloaded or copied from the CD above):
    tar xPf faximummfax-4.0-5-linux.tar

Configuring the Software

  1. Make sure that the serial port that you will be using for your fax modem is disabled for logins. You can either use the system administration tools that came with your Linux distribution (consult your documentation) or edit the /etc/inittab file manually to ensure that any lines that reference your serial port are configured to be "off".

  2. Edit the file /etc/opt/faximum/dev/fax-line-1 and change the device= parameter appropriately.

Obtaining Your Software Activation Key

  1. Obtain the MAC address for your network interface card by running the ifconfig command, for example:
    /sbin/ifconfig -a eth0
  2. Which ought to return something similar to the following:

    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:A0:C9:A8:9F:12
              inet addr:  Bcast:  Mask:
              UP BROADCAST NOTRAILERS RUNNING  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:73216 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:16327 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:1134 txqueuelen:100
              RX bytes:21495687 (20.4 Mb)  TX bytes:2195955 (2.0 Mb)
              Interrupt:9 Base address:0xd000
    The field labelled HWaddr (in this example 00:A0:C9:A8:9F:12) contains the information you will need to register your software and obtain your software activation key.

  3. Visit http://www.faximum.com/register/ and complete the form in order to obtain your software activation key.

  4. Once you have received your activation key, copy and paste it into a file called /etc/faximum.lic and ensure that this file has read/write permissions for all.

Using the Software

Converting Documents into Fax Format

Prior to sending a document it must be converted into fax format. The Faximum Mfax toolkit includes a utility to convert ASCII text files into TIFF-F (fax format TIFF) files. If you need to convert HP LaserJet print files (i.e. PCL-5e) then you will need to purchase the PCL-5e emulator option. If you need to convert PostScript files then you may find GhostScript (an Open Source PostScript-compatible emulator) useful. Source for GhostScript may be obtained from SourceForge. If you have a technical support contract with Faximum Software we can provide GhostScript binaries for all platforms that we support.

The Mfax Toolkit includes two versions of the asciitiff utility. The pkasciitiff version uses bitmapped fonts that are found in the /opt/faximum/fonts directory. The fsasciitiff version uses the X11 font server.

The advantage of the pkasciitiff version is that it is faster than the font server version and does not require the X11 font server to be installed and running. The disadvantages are: (a) the fonts included with pkasciitiff support only 7-bit ASCII (i.e. no support for accented or non-English characters); (b) the fonts are limited in selection and size.

The advantage of the fsasciitiff is that a wide range of scalable fonts supported a many character sets. The disadvantage is that you need to ensure that the X11 font server is running and has access to a selection of scalable fonts.

To convert a text file into fax format one runs the selected asciitiff. For example:

/opt/faximum/bin/pkasciitiff -o output.tif  input.txt

Using the X11 Font Server

If you wish to avail yourself of the wide range of X11 fonts available you will need to first verify that the X11 font server is running (and if not, start it). Once it is running you need to determine the port the font server is listening on and configure the /etc/opt/faximum/faximum.conf file appropriately.

  1. To see if the font server is running, use the ps command, for example:
    ps -eaf | grep xfs

  2. If the font server is not running it can be started (on most Linux distributions) by running:
    /etc/init.d/xfs start
  3. Once the font server is running you need to determine which port it is running on. Run:
    netstat -a | grep 7.0.

    Depending on the Linux distribution your are using and the configuration of the X11 Font Server you will see one of two possible results from the netstat command.

    FIFO (Named Pipe) Font Server

    unix  2 [ ACC ]  STREAM  LISTENING  1223  /tmp/.font-unix/fs7100

    TCP Port Font Server

  4. tcp      0      0 *:7100        *:*       LISTEN
  5. If your font server is listening on a fifo (named pipe) then edit the font-server parameter in the /etc/opt/faximum/faximum.conf file to read:
    font-server = /:7100

    Where 7100 is replaced by the number that netstat reported.

    On the other hand, if your font server is listening on a TCP port then the font-server parameter ought to read:

    font-server = localhost:7100

    Again, where 7100 is the port number as reported by netstat.

Sending a Fax

The TIFF-F files produced using asciitiff (or obtained from other sources) can be transmitted using mfax as follows:

/opt/faximum/lib/mfax tx  -f fax-line-1  -p 1-604-926-8182  output.tif

If you would like to observe the detailed communications between the server and the fax modem add the debug (-d) flag, for example:

/opt/faximum/lib/mfax tx  -d  -f fax-line-1  -p 1-604-926-8182  output.tif

For more information on the options available with mfax please see the man page referenced below.

Receiving a Fax

To initialise your fax modem to receive a fax and, when the line rings, to answer and receive that fax and store it in the specified TIFF-F file, run mfax as follows:

/opt/faximum/lib/mfax listen  -f fax-line-1  received.tif

The -d flag will also work in receive mode.

Related Reference Documents


http://www.faximum.com/technotes/071 - Information on TIFF File Compatibility

http://www.faximum.com/technotes/171 - Listing Available Fonts and Changing the Default Font for fsasciitiff

http://www.faximum.com/technotes/217 - Adding New Fonts to an X11 Font Server

Manual Pages



Removing the Software

To remove the the server software follow these steps:

  1. Delete all the Faximum MFax related directories. For example (as root):
    rm -rf /etc/opt/faximum /opt/faximum

Resolving Problems and Contacting Technical Support

Should you experience any problems with this software, please visit our Technical Support web page at: http://www.faximum.com/support. This page provides access to our library of TechNotes that describe solutions to common problems.

Please also visit the page: http://www.faximum.com/status which contains updated information on bugs and fixes available for this release (i.e. your problem may be the result of a bug that has already been reported to Faximum).

If you are still unable to resolve your problem after following those steps, please contact the company that supplied you with this software.

If your vendor is unable to assist, please contact Faximum Technical Support by fax at (604) 926-8182, by email to support@Faximum.COM or by phone at (604) 922-7311.

Please read http://www.faximum.com/support/policy for detailed information on the options available for purchasing technical support.

Note that if you are contacting Faximum Technical Support with a question we need the following information:

  • the company name under which the product is registered
  • your Activation Key Number (emailed or faxed to you by Faximum Software when you registered the product);
  • the version and release number of the software (from the installation file name, for example 4.0-2) and the name of the fix file(s) installed (if any);
  • the type and release of your operating system; and
  • the manufacturer and model of your fax modem (and if using an external fax modem, the manufacturer of the intelligent multi-port card that the modem is connected to).


Comments and suggestions regarding the software are always welcome. Please send your comments to support@Faximum.com or fax them to (604) 926-8182.