faxmail - HylaFAX mail-to-fax gateway application
faxmail [ options ] [ destination [ from ] ]
faxmail takes an electronic mail message on standard input and submits
it as a facsimile to a HylaFAX server for transmission.
faxmail is designed for use in constructing electronic mail to
facsimile gateway services. For example, mail aliases may be created
to automatically transmit electronic mail; e.g.
sam: "|/usr/bin/faxmail sam@5551212"
or faxmail may be used as a ``mail transport agent'', extracting the
necessary delivery information directly from the envelope of the mail
faxmail formats a mail message according to the following rules: First
it parses the envelope information interpreting any meta-header
information (see below) that is present. Once the entire envelope has
been collected it emits a formatted set of header lines. By default
all header information except the ``From'', ``To'', ``Cc'',
``Subject'', and ``Date'' lines are discarded. Header lines that are
kept have the tag (the string to the left of the ``:'') set in a bold
font and the value (the string to the right of the ``:'') set in an
italic font. Mail messages that conform to the Multipurpose Internet
Mail Extensions (MIME) specification are parsed and handled according
to the rules given below. Plain text body parts of a mail message are
formatted in a text font with any long lines wrapped at word boundaries
unless the -c option has been specified.
By default, faxmail sets all text in 10 point type on an 8.5" by 11"
portrait-oriented page with .35" top margin, .25" bottom margin and
.25" left and right hand margins. There are command-line options to
control the point size, page dimensions, orientation, and multi-column
formatting. Text formatting can also be controlled through meta-header
directives placed in the envelope of the mail message.
faxmail pre-processes the envelope information (i.e. the header lines)
before formatting the message contents. Header lines whose names begin
with ``X-FAX-'' (case-insensitive) are handled specially-they are
treated as command directives that specify how to generate the
resultant POSTSCRIPT or, optionally, how to deliver the resulting
document as facsimile. The set of known meta-headers corresponds to
the set of configuration parameters defined below. A meta-header is
specified as ``X-FAX-parameter'' where parameter is the name of a
configuration parameter; e.g. ``X-FAX-TabStop'' to set the number of
spaces between tab stops.
Controls for specifying headers to be passed through in the formatted
text identify not only which headers but also the order in which the
headers should be emitted. faxmail initializes the set of headers to
retain to: ``To From Subject Cc Date''. If this order is acceptable
then additional headers can simply be added with the X-FAX-Headers
directive; e.g. ``X-FAX-Headers: Message-id''. If however a different
order is desired then the header set should be cleared with a ``clear''
header tag and then completely specified in the desired order; for
X-FAX-Headers: clear Message-id Date To Subject From Cc
will cause headers to be emitted in the order ``Message-Id Date To
Subject From Cc'' (depending on what headers are present). Note in
particular that all header lines in the envelope can be suppressed by
specifying ``X-FAX-Headers: clear''; this is useful, for example, when
the body of the mail message contains a preformatted document that is
to be transmitted.
In addition to the above controls, faxmail can also be instructed to
substitute an arbitrary string for a header tag when generating the
final envelope. This facility can be used to better format ad-hoc
header information that is passed through the envelope of the message.
The ``X-FAX-MapHeader'' meta-header specifies how to map a header line.
X-FAX-MapHeader: x_FAX_For Deliver FAX To
would cause any header ``x_FAX_For'' that appeared in the envelope to
be replaced in the formatted envelope by ``Deliver FAX To''.
faxmail parses MIME mail messages and does some rudimentary work to:
o decode encoded parts,
o formats the message and text parts into a Postscript document
o insert ``digest dividers'' between multipart/digest subparts,
o format message/rfc822 parts as described above for the top-level
o submit all other attached documents to be faxed.
MIME processing is fairly simple and (currently) somewhat constrained.
faxmail has builtin support for the following MIME parts: text/plain,
multipart/mixed, multipart/digest, message/rfc822,
application/postscript, and application/x-faxmail-prolog. Parts can
also be processed through external processing scripts that faxmail
looks for in a ``MIME converters'' directory hierachy. External
scripts may override builtin processing or suppliment the builtin
support. For each MIME body part with type T and subtype S faxmail
checks first for an exceutable script named T/S in the converter
heirarchy. If a script exists then it is run and the resulting output
is saved as a document submitted to HylaFAX. If the output is empty,
the part is suppressed, and will not be submitted. All other parts
will be saved as documents and submitted to HylaFAX. faxmail uses the
typerules(5). mechanism to convert file formats into one of the format
The builtin handling support is as follows: text/plain parts are
formatted using the default text font and point size; multipart/mixed
are ``burst'' and interpreted per the specification but are otherwise
unformatted; multipart/digest are burst and an optional ``digest
divider'' marking may be inserted before each subpart; message/rfc822
are formatted as described above with envelope header lines culled and
formatted with bold and italic fonts (in addition, if there is
insufficient space in the current output page/column for the message
envelope, optional divider, and one line of text, then faxmail will
insert a ``break'' so the the message starts at the top of the next
page/column); application/postscript are copied through untouched to
the output; application/x-faxmail-prolog are copied through untouched
to the end of the prologue section of the generated PostScript document
to permit customization of the formatted output.
faxmail supports the following Content-Transfer-Encoding schemes: 7bit,
8bit, binary, base64, quoted-printable, and x-uuencode. Any character
set that is not us-ascii is treated as iso-8859-1.
When faxmail is invoked it delivers the formatted document directly to
a HylaFAX server for transmission as facsimile. Command line arguments
may be supplied to specify the delivery destination and sender
identity; typically from information extracted by the mail transport
facility. A command line destination is specified with the same syntax
as the argument for the -d option to the sendfax(1) command. Similarly
any from identity specified on the command line follows the same rules
as the -f option to sendfax. An explicit dialstring to use in delivery
can also be specified with an X-FAX-Dialstring header in the mail
message envelope. If no sender identity is provided on the command
line then faxmail will extract it from the ``From'' line in the
envelope. faxmail will not submit a message for delivery if either the
dialstring or sender identity is missing or null.
X-FAX- header lines may be included in the mail message envelope to
control the submission and delivery process. As above these lines are
specified as ``X-FAX-parameter'' where parameter is the name of a
configuration parameter for the sendfax program; e.g. ``X-FAX-VRes''
to set the vertical resolution of the transmitted facsimile. By
default automatic cover page generation is enabled when direct delivery
is used; this can be overridden with the -n option on the command line
or by including an X-FAX-AutoCoverPage header in the message envelope.
-1 Set text in one column (default).
-2 Set text two columns.
-b font Make font, a POSTSCRIPT font name, the ``bold font'' used to
set header lines. The default bold font is Helvetica-Bold.
-c Clip long text lines instead of wrapping them at page
-C cover Use the cover page template file specified by cover.
-f font Make font, a POSTSCRIPT font name, the text font used to set
the body of mail messages. The default text font is Courier.
-H height Use height as the height, in inches, of the output page. The
default page height is taken from the default page size.
-i font Make font, a POSTSCRIPT font name, the ``italic font'' used
to set header lines. The default italic font is Helvetica-
Set the page margins; the default margins are: left and right
.25 inch, top .35 inch, bottom .25 inch.
-n Suppress auto cover page generation.
-N Suppress formatting of mail envelope headers.
-p size Set all text using size for the font point size.
-r Set pages rotated by 90 degrees (in ``Landscape mode'').
-R Set pages unrotated (in ``Portrait mode'').
-s size Set the page size to use. Cover pages are normally generated
using a system-default page size (usually letter-size pages,
8.5" by 11", for sites in North America). Alternate page
sizes are specified symbolically using either the name or
abbreviation of an entry in the pagesizes(5) database; e.g.
a3 (ISO A3), a4 (ISO A4), a5 (ISO A5), a6 (ISO A6), b4 (ISO
B4), na-let (North American Letter), us-leg (American Legal),
us-led (American Ledger), us-exe (American Executive), jp-let
(Japanese Letter), and jp-leg (Japanese Legal). Comparisons
are case-insensitive and any match of a substring of the full
page-size name is sufficient; e.g. ``legal'' would match
-t notify Specify the notify value to use
-T Trim leading blank lines from text parts. If the text part
is completely empty, it will effectively be skipped.
-u user Set the user name to use when logging in to do direct
delivery. By default the user is specified by the MailUser
configuration parameter (see below). If a null user name is
specified, then the facsimile will be submitted using the
identity of the user that invoked faxmail.
-v Enable tracing of envelope, MIME, and job submission
processing. Diagnostic information is written to the
standard error (envelope and MIME processing) and standard
output (job submission).
-W width Use width as the width, in inches, of the output page. The
default page width is taken from the default page size.
faxmail reads configuration information from the files
/etc/hylafax/faxmail.conf, and ~/.hylarc; in that order. Configuration
files follow the conventions described in hylafax-client(1). In
addition to the formatting configuration parameters below, all of the
parameters listed in the sendfax(1) man page apply as well.
The following configuration parameters are recognized to support
Tag Type Default Description
AutoCoverPage boolean Yes automatically generate cover page
BoldFont string Helvetica-Bold font for setting header tags
Columns integer 1 number of columns in formatted output
DigestDivider string - multipart/digest divider POSTSCRIPT command
FontPath string see below directory for font metric files
GaudyHeaders boolean No enable/disable gaudy page headers
Headers string see below headers to retain in envelope
ISO8859 boolean Yes use ISO 8859-1 character encoding
ItalicFont string Helvetica-Oblique font for setting header values
LineWrap boolean Yes wrap/truncate text lines
MailUser string - user identity for doing direct delivery
MarkDiscarded boolean Yes mark discarded MIME body parts
MapHeader string - define header mapping
MIMEConverters string see below pathname of MIME converter scripts
Orientation string portrait orientation of text on page
OutlineMargin inches 0 width of outline line
PageCollation string forward collate pages in forward or reverse direction
PageHeaders boolean Yes enable/disable page headers
PageHeight float - output page height
PageMargins string see below margins for formatted page
PageSize string default output page size from database
PageWidth float - output page width
Prologfile string see below pathname of POSTSCRIPT prologue file
TabStop integer 8 inter-stop setting in characters
TextFont string Courier name of font for setting text
TextLineHeight inches - text formatting line height control
TextPointSize inches see below size to use in setting text
Verbose boolean No trace envelope and MIME processing
Values marked as inches are specified using a syntax that identifies
one of several possible units:
#.##bp big point (1in = 72bp)
#.##cc cicero (1cc = 12dd)
#.##dd didot point (1157dd = 1238pt)
#.##mm millimeter (10mm = 1cm)
#.##pc pica (1pc = 12pt)
#.##pt point (72.27pt = 1in)
#.##sp scaled point (65536sp = 1pt)
Unit names can be upper or lower case but no white space is permitted
between the number and the unit. Values specified with no unit are
interpreted as points.
The configuration parameters are explained below. Most parameters
correspond to a command line option. Parameter values identified above
as inches are converted according to the conventions described above.
AutoCoverPage Control whether or not a cover page is automatically
generated for each job.
BoldFont The name of the font to use to set header tags (i.e. the
string to the left of the ``:'').
Columns The number of columns to set text in. (Equivalent to
the -m option.)
DigestDivider The string to emit in the output before each subpart of
a multipart/digest mail message. This string is
typically a POSTSCRIPT procedure that draws a mark of
some sort. Dividers are expected to use no more
vertical space on the output page than a line of text.
FontPath The path where Adobe Font Metric (AFM) files are
located; by default /usr/share/fonts/type1/gsfonts.
GaudyHeaders Control whether or not to use a gaudy-style page header.
Enabling gaudy headers implicitly enables page headers.
Headers Define the headers retained from the envelope and
specify the order that they should be emitted in the
formatted output. The set of headers is initialized to
``To From Subject Cc Date''. Headers specified are
appended to this list except for a ``clear'' header that
causes the current set of headers to be discarded.
ISO8859 Control the use of ISO 8859-1 encoding in the generated
ItalicFont The name of the font to use to set header values (i.e.
the string to the right of the ``:'').
LineWrap Control whether long text lines are wrapper or truncated
at the right hand margin. (Equivalent to the -c
MailUser The account name to use to login to a fax server when
doing direct delivery. Note that this account name is
not used for the identity of the sender; this comes from
the command line or the ``From'' line in the mail
message. If a null account name is specified, then the
facsimile will be submitted using the identity of the
user that invoked faxmail.
MapHeader Define a substitution for the specified header that
should be done each time the header is emitted in the
formatted envelope. Header tags are matched in a case-
MarkDiscarded Control whether discarded MIME parts are replaced by a
text message indicating the original content was
MIMEConverters The pathname of a directory hierarchy that has scripts
for external processing of MIME body parts. The default
pathname is /usr/sbin/faxmail.
Orientation Control whether pages are oriented horizontally
(``landscape'') or vertically (``portrait'').
(Equivalent to the -r and -R options.)
OutlineMargin Control whether columns of text have a line drawn around
them and the width of the line. Setting this parameter
to 0 disables outlines.
PageCollation Control whether the output file has pages collated in
the same order as the input file (``forward'') or in
reverse order (``reverse).
PageHeaders Control whether page headers are generated.
PageHeight Set the output page height (in inches).
PageMargins Set the output page margins. Margins are specified as
string of the form: ``l=#,r=#,t=#,b=#'' where l
indicates the left margin, r indicates the right margin,
t indicates the top margin, b indicates the bottom
margin, and numbers are interpreted as inches.
(Equivalent to the -M option.)
PageSize Set the output page dimensions by name. (Equivalent to
the -s option.)
PageWidth Set the output page width (in inches).
PrologFile The pathname of a file containing POSTSCRIPT that should
be included in the prologue section of the generated
POSTSCRIPT. The default prologue file is
TabStop Set the tab stop distance (in characters).
TextFont Set the name of font to use for setting text.
(Equivalent to the -f option.)
TextLineHeight Set the vertical text line height and spacing.
TextPointSize Set the point size to use in setting plain text.
(Equivalent to the -p option.)
Verbose Control tracing envelope and MIME processing.
Because a sender's identity in an electronic mail message is inherently
untrustworthy, using faxmail to build a mail to fax gateway is
problematic. Unless mail service is somehow restricted or the sender's
identity is verified using a mechanism such as RFC 1847's
multipart/signed MIME type there is no reliable way to restrict access
to facilities setup with faxmail.
Only the last instance of a header is kept and written to the output.
This means, for example, that only the last of many ``Received'' lines
will be included in the formatted output.
~/.hylarc per-user configuration file
/etc/hylafax/pagesizes page size database
/etc/hylafax/faxmail.ps POSTSCRIPT prologue
/etc/hylafax/hyla.conf system-wide configuration file
/etc/hylafax/faxmail.conf system-wide configuration file
/etc/hylafax/sendfax.conf system-wide configuration file for direct delivery
/usr/sbin/faxmail hierarchy for external MIME converters
/usr/share/fonts/type1/gsfontsfor font metrics
hylafax-client(1), textfmt(1), sendfax(1)
July 22, 1996