XFAX 4.3a - User's Guide

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6. Handling faxes

The fax system contains a number of commands for handling faxes and fax queues. A description is given below of what can be done by using these commands. Generally, commands are run which affect a fax using the fax's ID number as an argument. The ID number can be found with the aid of the command faxq.

6.1 Fax queues

The system separates faxes into four different queues, which can be shown by giving the parameters shown below as an argument to the command faxq.

Argument Queue
none, -p Outgoing faxes
-r Incoming faxes
-s Transmitted faxes
-f Not transmitted due to a failure


# faxq
ID     Fax number       Enqueued       Next  St P Try LC   User            Pgs
14     55576861         11:01 19980430 11:41 SE 4   1 BUSY stenor            1 
15     04012345         11:33 19980430 11:33 PE 4   1 NOAN davcar            3
>>>> Infoflex System AB, Lars
18     55576861         11:45 19980430 11:45 PE 4   2      davcar            1

The information that is in the columns above is in sequence:

The Fax's ID number, the recipient's fax number, the time and date when the fax was placed in the queue, the time for the next transmission attempt, status, priority, the number of attempts to date, the latest status code, the user who placed the fax in the queue plus the number of pages in the fax.

The following codes occur in the status column:

SE Sending
PE Pending
HO Holding

The latest status codes can be:

NOAN No answer
NOCA The link was broken before connection was made (no carrier)
NODT No dial tone
LINE Communication with the modem is not functioning
INTR Transmission interrupted
UNKN Unspecified error

Numerical error codes above 20 means that a failure has occurred during fax data transmission.

Some examples of error code intervals:
20-39 Handshaking before the page failed
40-49 Fault in the transferring of data
50- Handshaking after the page failed

6.2 Reschedule a fax

Outgoing faxes that are awaiting transmission can be "given a push", i.e. the transmission time can be set to the current time, by using the parameter -n to faxq. E.g.:

# faxq -n 3

This means that an attempt is made to immediately transmit the fax with ID 3.

6.3 Scheduling a fax

The transmission time for a fax can also be brought forward in time by means of the parameter -t as shown below:

# faxq -t 12:18 16

The above changes the transmission time for a fax with an ID of 16 to 12.18.

6.4 Canceling of a fax

A fax can be cancelled, i.e. removed from the outgoing fax queue, by means of the command faxrm which takes one or several IDs as an argument. E.g.

# faxrm 28 12

removes faxes with IDs 12 and 28.

Faxrm is also used to remove a fax from the statistic queues for sending and faulty faxes. When canceling such faxes, the fax is marked as having been removed in the statistics file, but statistic information still remains as a basis for statistical calculations. In order to remove old statistics completely, the command faxclean is used, which can only be run by the system administrator.

All the faxes in a queue can be removed by using the parameter -all queue to faxq, where the queue can be p (outgoing), s (sending), f (faulty) or r (receiving). These can also be combined, e.g. faxq -all sf. If you wish to remove all faxes up to a certain date, you use -all in combination with -to date. E.g.:

# faxq -all s -to 20010401

6.5 Printing a fax

Faxes that lie in a queue for outgoing faxes plus received faxes can be printed out on an HP Laserjet compatible printer. The command that is used is faxprint with the fax's ID or a file name as an argument. The fax's ID can be obtained by means of the command faxq.

For example:

# faxprint -d LASER 28

in order to print out a fax with ID 28 on the printer LASER, or

# faxprint -d hplj /usr/spool/fax/D.00023

in order to print out the fax file D.00023 on the printer hplj.

Normally, the UNIX command lp is used for printing and the standard printer in the operativing system. To change this the keywords LP, LP_PRINT_OPTION and DEFAULT_PRINTER in the configuration file can be used.

6.6 Listing faxes in a particular directory

Faxes that it has not been possible to transmit after the maximum number of attempts specified will be, if NO_ERROR_SAVE has not been defined, moved to the directory Fax under the home directory of the user who placed the fax in the queue. In order to list the faxes that are in this, or some other directory, the parameter -d is used to faxq. When this parameter is used alone, files in $HOME/Fax are shown. E.g.:

# faxq -d
Directory /Fax
ID     Fax number       Sec Try Time           LC   User        Pgs
14     55576861           2   3 11:01 19980601 BUSY stenor        2

The command searches for files which have a name beginning with S. and R. and which are recognized as XFAX files. The information that is listed includes the recipient's fax number, the time when the fax was first placed in the queue plus the name of the user who placed the fax in the queue.

6.7 Routine maintenance

When XFAX is set up in accordance with requirements and started, the system requires very little maintenance. It can be worth keeping an eye on the size of the statistics file to see that there is no old data and control files remaining in SPOOLDIR. If you run mail integration, there is a debug trigger which creates log files under /tmp or ETCDIR. You will not want to have these files remaining if you run in production.

It is appropriate to set up a job for "cron" which is run each night or similar. Before clearing out the statistics files you can print out the data if you think you might have use for it.

By giving the parameter -x to faxq -f it is possible to see if there is one particular modem which causes more faulty transmissions than any other. In such a case there is a suspicion of there being a hardware problem. This of course only applies if several lines are run.

6.8 Cleaning the statistics file

After a period of use, the statistics file may have grown to a considerable size. In order to remove parts of the contents of this file the command faxclean is used.

As an argument for faxclean it can be indicated that information up to and including a particular date should be removed in the following way:

# faxclean -to 19980420

Note that faxclean must be run on the machine where the statistics file is kept, i.e. where XFAXDIR is to be found. The user who runs faxclean must also have the authority to read and write in the file, which is normally only the system administrator (root).

This command can, to advantage, be run automatically once a day or similar using cron.

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