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I set up a hylafax server on Ubuntu Edgy, with the Avantfax front end. It worked very well for about 6 months, then failed. I couldn't find the failure point.

Since it was a test setup, I dumped it. Loaded Ubuntu Jaunty and tried again. This time the Avantfax front end was no good. Same in CentOS5. Trying in PCLinuxOS, but having issues loading on older PC (crappy optical drive).

My goal is eventually to have multi-line fax to email (and email to fax). I'm currently using a Class 1 modem (Multitech Multimodem 56k) attached to the serial port on a PC. I've heard that Class 2 modems are far more effective, but much more expensive.

What faxserver's / modems have you tried? What was the most stable / successful? What was the worst? I'm tired of trial and error.

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3 Answers 3

We use Hylafax + Avantfax on a CentOS 5.3 virtual machine.

Incoming faxes are handled by our dedicated asterisk server using IAXModems. Each external fax no. has an IAXModem registered as IAX peer on the asterisk. The fax-server and the asterisk "talk" to each other using interceptty, which works surprisingly well. The idea was to keep the CPU-intensive tasks like creating PDFs away from our phone-server.

No hardware modem involed, but maybe this is still of some help.

Edit: Mix this with Avantfax and interceptty and you have pretty much, what we're using right now.

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Brilliant! What distro did you host your Asterisk server on? And what phone hardware is in the Asterisk box to enable connection to the T1 (I'm presuming it's a T1)? –  Jereme Hall Aug 28 '09 at 21:31
    
It's an E1-connection, I'm from europe :) We have a dedicated Asterisk server running CentOS 5.3, phone hardware is a Junghanns doubleE1-card, Asterisk version is 1.2.34-BRIstuffed-0.3.0-PRE-1y-y. First attempt was to run IAXModems on the fax-server and register them as peers on our asterisk box, but that didn't work out well. We had lots of half-transmitted faxes, so we went with the interceptty solution. –  toString Aug 28 '09 at 21:57

Currently Hylafax on CentOS 5.3 - No issues. In my last job I had it also on CentOS, starting with about version 4.2 and upgraded as newer version became available. No front end, as the clients are Windows machine, using a custom version of HOT (Hylafax Outlook Thingy). Once configured properly it's rock solid. The only issues are with modems sometimes freezing, as consumer modems are prone to do. Over the years I've mainly used USR Sportsters but have also used a couple of internals.

As for yours, failed in what way? What were the symptoms?

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The server was set up as an aid to our Outside Sales force. I had only one fax line available and did not want ALL incoming faxes to go to ONE email recipient. So, I installed Avantfax so that the employees (only 2 or three of them) could sort through what was theirs from anywhere. It worked great for a while, then I had failures with Avantfax reading the directory where received faxes waited. I couldn't figure out what had slipped. I also had my Multimodem hang from time to time, but I wasn't worried about that. –  Jereme Hall Aug 28 '09 at 23:27
    
For what it's worth, I have Hylafax check incoming faxes against a list of known senders (we only have about 2,000 to 3,000) and email the received fax as a PDF to the appropriate person. All "unidentified" faxes go to one person who distributes then as necessary. This eliminates the need for any extra software. –  John Gardeniers Aug 29 '09 at 1:11

HylaFax on CentOS 5.3 here, too. Few enough users that I just created an email distribution list for receiving faxes.

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