mgetty_fax (1) - Linux Manuals

mgetty_fax: fax sending and receiving with mgetty+sendfax


fax - fax sending and receiving with mgetty+sendfax


faxspool [options] phone-number file

faxrm job-id

faxq [options]

faxrunq [options]

faxrunqd [options]

sendfax [options] phone-number file

mgetty [options] tty

pbm2g3 [options] [pbm-file]

g32pbm [options] [pbm-file]

g3cat [options] [g3-file(s)]


This manpage very briefly describes every program from the mgetty+sendfax fax/modem software suite. For details, see the manpages for each program.

faxspool is used to queue jobs for later transmission by fax. faxspool accepts different input formats, converts them into the proper format required by sendfax and places the jobs into the outgoing spool directory.

faxq displays the current FAX work queue.

faxrm removes one or more jobs from the current fax work queue. You have to specify the job id (returned by faxq) on the command line.

faxrunq processes all the faxes in the fax work queue, and sends them one-by-one. If transmission isn't possible, the job will be retried later. While meant to be run from cron, faxrunq can as well be started from the shell (but you must have access to the fax queue and the modems, which means you must be 'root' or 'fax')

faxrunqd is a replacement for faxrunq to be used in environments that send a high number of faxes per day, or need more flexibility.

sendfax is the backend used by faxrunq for actually sending the fax. It is not meant to be ever called directly, but can be used in own applications.

faxq-helper is a helper program that is used by faxspool, faxq and faxrm to access the fax spool directory (which is not world-writeable since mgetty version 1.1.29).

mgetty is the part of the program suite that handles incoming calls. Data calls are handled as getty does it (login, shell), while fax calls are handled internally. The received faxes are stored in /var/spool/fax/incoming. See the mgetty(8) manpage for details. mgetty can not be called directly, it must be called by /etc/init.

pbm2g3 is used to convert portable bitmaps to G3 fax data (for sendfax). Do not use the pbmtog3 program from the pbmplus or netpbm toolkit, it will create broken G3 data.

g32pbm is used to convert received faxes (which are stored in G3 format) to portable bitmap format. PBM can be converted to other formats with the named pbmplus toolkit.

g3cat is used to concat multiple G3 files, as cat does with text files.


outgoing fax spool directory
incoming faxes
The cover page program, faxq-helper, and a few font files live here.
most configuration files for mgetty and sendfax live here.
mgetty, sendfax and faxrunqd live here
all the other programs
global fax alias file
private fax alias file
list of allowed users
list of denied users
fax page header
program to create fax cover page (see coverpg(1)).
login configuration file for mgetty.
caller ID setup file for mgetty (optional).
runtime configuration file for mgetty (not implemented yet).
runtime configuration file for sendfax (optional).


Look into the responding man pages.


The mgetty+sendfax program suite is Copyright (C) 1993-2002 by Gert Doering, <gert [at]>. Parts of the programs kindly donated by Chris Lewis, Paul Sutcliffe, Klaus Weidner, and numerous others.


faxspool(1), faxq(1), faxrunq(1), faxrunqd(8), sendfax(8), faxrm(1), mgetty(8), pbm2g3(1), g32pbm(1), g3cat(1), faxqueue(5), mgettydefs(4), coverpg(1)