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Running Your Own Fax Server with HylaFAX

Running Your Own Fax Server with HylaFAX

HylaFAX, which was renamed from FlexFAX for trademark issues, was released to the public in 1991 by Sam Leffler while working at Silicon Graphics.  While the project had seen a period of hiatus starting in the mid 1990s, it has since been revitalized by an enthusiastic public, myself included.

I first started looking into HylaFAX around 2003 when researching for a free, open-source, and configurable solution to enterprise FAX for a family business that would allow field sales personelle to send and receive FAX’es while they’re not in the office.  I knew services like eFAX and jConnect exist, and offer free services for incoming FAX’es, but they didn’t have phone numbers in Taiwan, where the family business resides, and frankly, I just wanted to play around with a pet project.

I initial plan was to setup an old AMD K6 that was lying around and try Redhat 6 on it, but the antiquated ISA FAX modem proved too difficult to locate a Linux driver for, and at the time Linux hardware support was very frustrating.

Today, several polular Linux distributions come with HylaFAX packages, and is a lot more compatible (or tolerant) with a wide range of hardware.  It is now fairly easy to setup a spare laptop (say, post-2004) with Ubuntu Hardy and have it as a mobile FAX server.  I’ll provide the details later, if you’re interested…