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HylaFax is a fax server that can run on Linux operating system. It is developed and maintained by It runs fine on debian as well as ubuntu distro of linux. Ubuntu is basically Debian with some added features to make it easy and more user friendly as well as more up-to-date. However the core base is still debian.

If you are a ubuntu user, you can use Synaptic Package Manager to download and install hylafax. Since it is not part of the core ubuntu package, you will need to add "Universe" to the list of sources where to download packages from. In Linux a package basically means a program. Just like in windows when you buy a program you may get multiple files as well as installation program, that is same for a Linux Package.

Remember, HylaFax is only a Fax Server. It neither has a fax client as I know of or gui (Graphical User Interface) for setup or alteration of setup. Thus carefully follow the setup instructions.

You can use apt to download and install HylaFax from the command prompt but in ubuntu, the universe has to be added to the sources.list file. At command prompt type: "apt-get install hylafax" without the quotes. Once installed you will need to run faxaddmodem program from command prompt to add one or more modems that you want hylafax to use. You will also need to add users, at least one, so you can get/view/delete the faxes that hylafax will receive. It however, does create a default user called faxmaster.

To send faxes from Windows you have several options. One of the ways is to use the program WHFC. This program will enable to "Print To Fax". First install WHFC. Then add/install a postscript printer (e.g., Apple LaserWriter 12/640 PS) in windows. Then change the port of that printer to WHFC. Now whenever you print to that printer, the printout will be capture by WHFC ready to be forwarded to HylaFax Server. After installation, run the WHFC program. If asks for password then keep cancelling it. Go to user preference and add username that should be identical to the username in HylaFax server already created previously as well as same password. Then go to system preferences and enter the hostname (Computer Name) running HylFax Server like ubuntu. Play around with other preferences.

To view Sending queue click S, for Receive queue, R and from Done queue D. You can delete faxes by clicking the trash can but only those items can be deleted that belongs to the active user!

WHFC is offer OLE for faxing programmatically from your own application. To use cover page you can use the file in HylaFax computer. Simply copy it to a location of your preference and map that path in WHFC. It can reside on client computer or any other file server.

How To Set Up A Debian OR Ubuntu Linux Fax Server

HylaFAX is a free fax server program consisting of several daemons. Daemon is to Linux what service is to Windows and TSR (Terminate and Stay Resident) to DOS. Even though the HylaFAX software is running on a Linux system, client software for it is available for Windows and Macintosh systems. The client could to simply be a printer driver (Print-To-Fax) or the fax can be sent to HylaFax server via email or via a Telnet connection. The latter can be done manually or via a client program like WHFC which provides and Print-To-Fax functionality but itself then forwards the fax to HylaFax server via a Telnet connection on port 4559. You can see for yourself what happens when you make a telnet connection at port 4559 to the computer running HylaFax. In windows: telnet 4559 if the ip address of the computer running HylaFax is "".

HylaFax must receive the document file to be faxed in .tif, .pdf, or PostScript file (.ps or .psd) format. However, natively it may not support all 3 formats and it may need help of additional programs and if that is the case, they would need to be installed. HylaFax can notify the sender via email whether fax went successfully or not.

HylaFax can forward all received faxes to a designated email address. HylaFAX can also automatically print all received faxes to an lpr printer (LAN Servers). The printer would have to have PostScript capability.

Setting Up The Server

First install a modem. Then at command prompt type: Remember to activate universe in Ubuntu. 

apt-get install hylafax-server

Next type following at command prompt:


and press Enter and you'll see a lot of text fly by. Answer Yes to adding a FaxMaster alias.

For a user to received fax-related mail enter the user account you created for yourself during the Debian/Ubuntu installation.

Four configuration parameters will be listed and you'll be prompted as to their correctness. Press Enter to accept these values. You'll then be asked if you want to run faxaddmodem to set up the software to use the modem. Press Enter to accept the default Yes response.

Enter the correct ttyS designation for the serial port your fax-modem is connected to (ttyS0 is for COM1). You'll be prompted for quite a few values. For most you can accept the default values by pressing Enter. For US Robotics modem on one of the systems it was ttyS14! The values you'll want to enter are:

You'll then be asked to confirm the values that you entered and then the utility will query to modem to determine the fax classes that it supports.

Even if your modem supports both Class 1 and Class 2 Class 1 may be preferable. With Class 1, HylaFax does greater job while with Class 2 you depend more on the modem to do the job correctly.

You will then be asked for values specific to the modem. Just press Enter to accept the default values as they are a result of the modem query and the class you selected. You'll then be prompted to confirm these values by pressing Enter.

The non-default scheduler values will then be displayed with a confirmation prompt. The Area Code may not be correct. If so, answer No and correct any erroneous values. You may also want to increase the time value for "Timeout when converting PostScript documents" if you fax long documents but you can just press Enter to accept the default values for the rest of the values.

Answer No when asked if you want to configure another modem.

Accept the default Yes answer to run faxmodem on your newly configured modem to verify settings. You'll then be returned to the shell prompt.

If you want to manually edit the file that contains these settings do so with the command:

ee /etc/hylafax/config.ttyS0

Remember ee is a linux console text editor (easy editor). Linux is cAsE sEnSiTiVe.

You have to run the faxaddmodem utility to create this file first though.

Next we'll set up HylaFAX to run automatically when you boot the system. Check the configuration file:

ee /etc/default/hylafax

to make sure there's no # character at the beginning of the line containing RUN_HYLAFAX=1. Exit the editor.

One last that item is to let HylaFAX know who is allowed to send faxes. You can use a modified subnet address to let everyone on your network submit faxes to the server. Edit the hosts.hfaxd file with the command:

ee /etc/hylafax/hosts.hfaxd

As an example, if your using a subnet address for your network of enter the following line into the hosts.hfaxd file:


Likewise, if your using a subnet address of your hosts.hfaxd file entry would be:


The hosts.hfaxd file must not be publicly readable otherwise access to all clients will be denied. Older versions of HylFax were not picky.

The ASCII file etc/hosts.hfaxd in the HylaFAX spooling area specifies the hosts and users that are permitted to access services through the hfaxd(1m) process. This file must exist for client access; if it is not present then hfaxd will deny all requests for service. Note also that this file must be readable only by the ``fax'' user; i.e. it should have mode 600 and be owned by ``fax''.

You can enter as "wide" of a network address or multiple narrower address entries as you'd like. If you'd like to restrict access to specific users you can enter their individual IP addresses. When done, save the file and exit the editor.

NOTE:  You will see the paths /var/spool/hylafax and /var/spool/hylafax/etc specified in HylaFAX documentation and utilities. Do NOT edit the files in these directories. The files are duplicated in the /etc/hylafax directory. If you ever want to manually edit the configuration files, only edit the files in the /etc/hylafax directory.

Reboot the system by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del and you'll have yourself a fax server! Once you're back at a shell prompt, type in the command:


and you should see output similar to the following:

HylaFAX scheduler on localhost: Running
Modem ttyS0 (+1.111.555.1212): Running and idle
The first line indicates that the HylaFAX daemon is running. The second line indicates that the fax-modem is initialized and ready.

Fax Server Clients

There are numerous free and commercial HylaFAX clients available for Linux, Windows, and Macintosh systems. The commercially available clients tend to be more sophisticated including the ability to view incoming faxes, but at a price. However, you may need only one or two of these more sophisticated clients to manage received faxes and set up the majority of network users with a less-sophisticated free client.

For Windows I found WinPrint HylaFAX at to be the easiest to set up and use (and ease of use is a consideration if you're planning on implementing network faxing to a wide variety of users). It's a send-only client that sets up a printer. You then simply modify to printer port properties to point to the IP address of your fax server.

The above Web page not only provides a download link for the software but has excellent instructions with screen shots on how to set up the WinPrint HylaFAX client.


The HylaFAX Web site has extensive documentation on setting up a server, advanced configuration options, customization, available clients, and a FAQ. They also have several mailing lists that you can subscribe to as well as archives of mailing list messages. Their Web site is at:


Connect to Telnet from Windows client by typing following at Command Prompt

telnet 4559

where the ip address of the server computer is

Hylafax answers on port 4559

Now login like this where faxuser is a user already created in the system with password being "mypassword":

USER faxuser

PASS mypassword

Usernames are case sensitive

To delete a fax file from received faxes type:

DELE recvq/fax000000048.tif

This will delete the fax file named fax000000048.tif from recvq directory which is the default directory for received faxes. If you do not have proper permissions to delete the file, you will not be able to delete the file. Permission is OS (operating system) level and not just in HylaFax users file.

To End the connection type: