XFAX 4.3a - User's Guide

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3. Configuring the software

The behavior of XFAX is mainly controlled by a number of keywords used in the configuration file, config. You can alter the way XFAX acts by modifying config and then restart faxmaster. You restart the faxmaster by finding the process id, kill the process and then start the daemon again. Do not use the -9 option when killing the faxmaster process.

3.1 Keywords

To use a new keyword in the configuration file add the keyword, preferably at the end of the file, and then restart faxmaster.

Examples of some useful keywords:

DIAL_PREFIX Dial prefix, for example "0" to get out through a PBX
INIT_STRING Initilisation string for modem
XON_XOFF Specifies XON/XOFF flow control is to be used
FLOW FLOW=0 specifies do not try CTS/RTS flow control
EXECUTE_AFTER_SEND Specify a program to be executed after transmission
MAX_RETRIES Maximum number of tries to send a message
RETRY_TIME Time, in minutes, between tries
ROUND_ROBIN Used with multiple modem devices

There are more than 100 different keywords used by XFAX.

3.2 Environment variables

A couple of environment variables can be used to change the behavior of XFAX:

XFAXDIR Specifies where the XFAX config file is located, normally /etc/xfax.
XFAXCONFIG Specifies an alternate config file to use. Must specify the filename including the complete absolute path.
XFAXID Specifies for faxsend which id to use, this is displayed in the page header.
XFAXLICENSE Specifies an alternate XFAX licence file to use.

Example, in Bourne shell:


3.3 Adding actions

You can tell faxmaster that it should execute a specific script or program after a fax has been sent or could not be sent. This could be useful if you want to update your own database or similar and is done by using the EXECUTE_AFTER_SEND keyword in the configuration file:


The specified program will be called with a number of parameters.

3.4 XFAX and multiple fax devices

To use multiple fax devices, or fax lines, with XFAX first of all you need an XFAX license that permits multiple lines. You can display the number of lines your current license permits using faxmaster -v.

To define which tty:s should be used by XFAX you use the FAXLINE keyword in the XFAX configuration file. If you for example want to use tty1 and tty2 you should use the following:


By default XFAX, when sending a fax, tries to use the first line specified by the FAXLINE -keyword and if that one is busy it tries with the next one. You can use the keyword ROUND_ROBIN to make XFAX use the fax lines in a round-robin manner. This means that it alternates between the line in a cyclic way. The first line specified is used for the first fax, then line number two and when the end of the list is reached it starts over from the beginning again.

All keywords in the configuration file specify attributes for all lines if not surrounded by the LINE ttyxx < ... > keyword. If you for example would like to define a different init-string for the modem on tty2, you could use:

LINE tty2 <

Keywords that may be used for line-specific attributes:


When you display the queues for sent and failed faxes you can use the -x parameter to see which line was used. This can be useful for debugging purposes.

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