Sending a Fax

Bill Tillman btillman99 at
Fri May 6 11:00:50 UTC 2011

From: Doug Hardie <bc979 at>
To: FreeBSD Questions <questions at>
Sent: Thu, May 5, 2011 10:21:29 PM
Subject: Sending a Fax

One of my clients needs to send a lot of faxes.  He has a Brother 8680DN which 
will fax.  Any ideas how to send a file to it and get it to send a fax?  I am 
not finding anything beyond printing for that unit via 
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I read the other replies to your post so let me put in my 2 cents worth. For the 
last few years, I have basically abandoned faxing in favor of e-mailing PDF and 
other document files. Paperless is not only more efficient but its green too. 
Still there are those who must or insist on cutting down huge swaths or forest 
in order to send out more paper which will only end up in the land-fills. OK 
that's my 2 cents worth so now I will address your question.

I would assume that the Brother Fax machine you have should be able to handle 
network printing which means it should handle network faxing. It not then it 
will almost certainly have to be decommissioned if network faxing is what you're 
after. Some have said you can get FreeBSD using Linux emulation to talk to it, 
but unless you really know what you're doing this will be like reinventing the 
wheel. Personally, I doubt you could get this to work and even if you did, it 
would be such a complex setup that no one but you would know how it works and 
the next IT person who steps up to manage it will curse the day you were born. 
Not to mention getting your people in userland to understand and use this 
process will prove fruitless because unless the users can simply point and click 
it will never be accepted by them. So unless you plan on being there to hold the 
user's hand throughout each fax.....get the picture.

HylaFAX is a nice alternative and the port in FreeBSD has been tried and tested 
by many and it has earned it's stripes. But you will need a modem of some kind 
to work with it and I doubt that the modem inside the Brother unit you have will 
work. On top of that, if your client is using Windows as their workstation OS 
then you wil need a client to interface with HylaFAX unless again you plan on 
being there to massage and handhold them through the entire process. There are 
several Windows clients available for HylaFAX, a few of them are free but 
require more than a point and click process to run. The makers of HylaFAX have 
an excellent client which works just like a simple print queue process but it 
costs $35 per seat. Other clients are available and cost a few $$ per seat as 
well. I have a nice setup with HylaFAX and Windows clients but I just don't fax 
anymore so I hardly ever use it.

I assume the Brother machine will do other tasks like printing, scanning, etc... 
but to get it to interface with FreeBSD will be a major undertaking. No offense 
but the users in this group will make suggestions which sounf like you just 
simply plug-n-play. When in reality, it will take a huge effort for which there 
will be little or no documentation available and in many cases will never work 
in the first place because drivers don't exist for what you want to do.

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