Build A HylaFax Server With AvantFax Frontend Using Debian Etch

Install Debian. I used the basic barebones install option. I did some things that were done because of preference, and not necessary. I have marked them approriately. I encourage contributions from anyone who would like to add or correct something in this HowTo to contact me so I can fix it. I have installed this setup twice following these instructions and used Avantfax 2.3.0. Thanks to all the resources who helped me figure this out. Especially Razametal, who submitted a fantastic Spanish language walkthrough on

**********optional section***************

Remove cdrom source:

 # nano /etc/apt/sources.list

Throw a # in front of the cdrom source.

Bring your box up to date:

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade


 # shutdown –r now

***********end of optional section************

Log in as root.

Give the machine a static IP:

 # nano /etc/network/interfaces

Replace the “inet dhcp” with something similar to this:

iface eth0 inet static

Reset the connection:

 # ifdown eth0 && ifup eth0


Install ssh server:

    # apt-get install openssh-server

Log in as root via PuTTY (or continue on the terminal).

***********end of optional section*********

At this point, you need to know what port your modem is at. It should be at one of the /dev/ttyS*'s. If you don't know this, start googleing.

Install hylafax:

# apt-get install hylafax-server
# faxsetup

Allow it to run faxmodem to connect the modem. Use defaults except for:

# Area code [415]? <your area code>
# Phone number of fax modem [+1.999.555.1212]? <your phone number>
# Local identification string (for TSI/CIG) ["NothingSetup"]? <a name for your fax server>
# Protection mode for received facsimile [0600]? 0644
# Protection mode for session logs [0600]? 0644
# Protection mode for ttyS0 [0600]? 0666

Use class 1 modem unless you know better.

Allow users from your subnet access to the fax service:

 # nano /etc/hylafax/hosts.hfaxd

Add to the end of the file:



 # shutdown -r now

Test the server:

 # faxstat -a -s

You should get something like this:

    # HylaFAX scheduler on <your server name>: Running
    # Modem ttyS2 (<your phone number>): Running and idle

Add a fax user. This will create a user named "user" with userID 101 and no password.

 # faxadduser -u 100 user

Add an administrator. This will create a user named admin with admin password <password>:

 # faxadduser -a <password> -p <password> -u 100 admin

At this point, hylafax works. You can test it by connecting  a client like WHFC to try it out. If you need to switch up the config later, use these files:


Now, lets get messy and install a cute web front end on it. 

Install the prerequisites:

# apt-get install apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils apache2.2-common \
libapache2-mod-php5 libapr1 libaprutil1 libpq4 libsqlite3-0 php5-cli php5-common \
mysql-server imagemagick libtiff4-dev netpbm libnetpbm10-dev libungif-bin \
libungif4-dev sudo postfix php-mail php-mail-mime php-file php-db php5-mysql \
 psutils wdiff

# cd /usr/src
# wget
# tar zvxf avantfax-2.3.0.tgz
# cd avantfax-2.3.0

You can edit avantfax/includes/config.php if you need to, but I didn't have to change anything.

Move avant to web folder and set permissions:

# mv /usr/src/avantfax-2.3.0/avantfax /var/www/
# chmod -R 777 /var/www/avantfax/tmp /var/www/avantfax/faxes

Rename original faxrcvd and notify scripts. Replace with avantfax ones:

# cd /var/spool/hylafax/bin
# mv faxrcvd faxrcvd.old
# mv notify notify.old
# ln -s /var/www/avantfax/includes/faxrcvd.php /var/spool/hylafax/bin/faxrcvd
# ln -s /var/www/avantfax/includes/notify.php /var/spool/hylafax/bin/notify
# mv /usr/bin/faxcover /usr/bin/faxcover.old
# ln -s /var/www/avantfax/includes/faxcover.php /usr/bin/faxcover

Edit create_tables.sql to use avantfax database:

 # nano create_tables.sql

Add "USE avantfax;" to top.

Edit to chown to "root.root":

 # nano

Change apache.apache to "root.root".

Run the setup script:

# ./

Add two scripts to root's crontab:

 # crontab -e
# runs once an hour to update the phone book
0 * * * * /var/www/avantfax/includes/phb.php
# runs once a day to remove old files
0 0 * * * /var/www/avantfax/includes/remold.php

Switch up your Apache settings:

 # nano /etc/apache2/sites-enabled/000-default

Change it to this:

NameVirtualHost *
 <VirtualHost *>
         ServerAdmin [email protected]
         DocumentRoot /var/www/avantfax
         <Directory />
                 Options FollowSymLinks
                 AllowOverride None
         <Directory /var/www/avantfax>
                 Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                 AllowOverride None
                 Order allow,deny
                 allow from all
                 # This directive allows us to have apache2's default start page
                 # in /apache2-default/, but still have / go to the right place
                 #RedirectMatch ^/$ /apache2-default/
         ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
         <Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin">
                 AllowOverride None
                 Options ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
                 Order allow,deny
                 Allow from all
         # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
         # alert, emerg.
         LogLevel warn
         CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined
         ServerSignature On
     Alias /phpmyadmin "/usr/share/phpmyadmin/"
     <Directory "/usr/share/phpmyadmin/">
         Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
     Alias /doc/ "/usr/share/doc/"
     <Directory "/usr/share/doc/">
         Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
         AllowOverride None
         Order deny,allow
         Deny from all
         Allow from ::1/128

Restart Apache:

# /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

Go to http://<yourIP>/admin. Log in using u/n: afadmin, p/w: password.

Configure your modems. For /dev/ttyS2, use ttyS2. Mind the caps... as always.

Add a user.


 # shutdown -r now 

Try to start hylafax:

 # /etc/init.d/hylafax start

You will get some errors about one file being newer than the other. mv the newer file over the older one. Repeat 3 times.

Once you can start it successfully, reboot:

 # shutdown -r now

Now you users can access the fax server login at http://<faxhostname>.

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9 Comment(s)

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By: tototyt

Error :
Fatal error: main() [<a href='function.main'>function.main</a>]: The script tried to execute a method or access a property of an incomplete object. Please ensure that the class definition &quot;AFUserAccount&quot; of the object you are trying to operate on was loaded _before_ unserialize() gets called or provide a __autoload() function to load the class definition in /usr/share/avantfax-3.1.6/avantfax/index.php on line 18


Please Help Me


Why do you frequently reboot?

Restart services is most easier.


For Ubuntu 6.x and higher.

For if your hfaxd daemon is acting funny (client gives "can't get a socket" errors).

Edit your event.d file for your modem:

sudo vi /etc/event.d/ttyS0

If it is empty, first do the last instructions in the Handbook for Binary Package Install

Then add this line to the end and save:

exec /init.d/hylafax

By: Nejc Menard

Hi to everyone and thanks for great tutorial...

I followed it and there is only one thing i would like to add i any one other had or that will not have the same problem...

 If you will try to automaticaly print faxes, you need to enable this in local-config.php file and install cupsys-bsd package that gives directly support to needed lpr program. if you only install lpr package it will not work...

 Works now as expected. I even put it in wmvare debian image... :-D Only sending faxes does not work, but this is modem problem i suppose.

By: Anonymous

How create the database for avantfax?


Please help.

Thankx for the good tutorial

By: Micha Spoli

Why  i cannot delete failed faxes from webinterface.

Maybe somebody have got an Idea?


Thanks for the Tutorial. Working on Ubuntu !

By: Roxana

Saludos! Muy buena la informacion, yo segui esta configuracion y ahora me esta resultando una fallita, y es que al ejecutar faxstat me pide un pssword, sabran a que se deba o que password es el que me solicita? Gracias. 


I need to set up hylafax on arm at91sam9263ek. until now i have successfully installed the hylafax on it and my system shows following processes running

 628 ?        Ss     0:00 /usr/sbin/faxq                              
  630 ?        Ss     0:00 /usr/sbin/hfaxd -d -i 4559                  
  705 ttyS0    S      0:00 faxgetty /dev/ttyS1

however when i check the faxstat it shows the following  message every time. My modem replies perfectly if i send commands to it on minicom.Please guide me what is the problem.

HylaFAX scheduler on at91sam9263ek: Running                            
Modem ttyS1 (22): Waiting for modem to come ready  

By: Soner CAKIR


I'm trying this tutorial on Debian 8 and on the "Now, lets get messy and install a cute web front end on it. " part getting below error;


Reading package lists... Done

Building dependency tree

Reading state information... Done

Note, selecting 'giflib-tools' instead of 'libungif-bin'

Package libtiff4-dev is not available, but is referred to by another package.

This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or

is only available from another source

However the following packages replace it:



E: Unable to locate package libpq4

E: Package 'libtiff4-dev' has no installation candidate

E: Unable to locate package libungif4-dev