Next: , Previous: , Up: Fax   [Contents]

3.1 Converting fax files

I recommend getting the ‘pbmplus’ package written by Jeff Poskanzer, which includes lots of small programs to convert various bitmap formats into a portable intermediate format (pbm) that can easily be converted to fax format with the pbm2g3 program. Further, it comes with lots of tools to scale, flip, and otherwise manipulate the pbm bitmaps. Be warned: it includes its own version of G3 conversion programs (pbmtog3 and g3topbm), so be careful which one you use. The programs in the mgetty package (pbm2g3 and g32pbm) behave slightly different (that is, they work!), and are significantly faster. Note that the pbmplus package does not include a graphical front end.

The pbmplus package can be found on most major FTP sites, e.g. on in the /contrib directory. See ftp.

If you want to view the images using X11, you should get one of the many image viewers, like ‘xview’, ‘xloadimage’ or ‘xv’. See Fax-Tools. A simple, but very fast fax viewer can be found in mgetty/frontends/X11/.

Here are some examples for viewing fax files using g32pbm:

There are three easy ways to create g3 fax files, either use pbm2g3 (included in this package. Do not use pbmtog3 from the pbmplus toolkit. See pbmtog3.), use GhostScript (GNU Software, can be found on which contains a “digifax” driver that will produce the required format, or try Chris Lewis’ ‘hp2pbm’ package which will convert HP Laserjet print files into g3 fax files (hp2hig3 program).

Once you have the right tools, there are lots of ways to create fax files for a wide variety of applications. Here are some examples:

A rather crude sample conversion program (faxcvt) is provided in the fax directory.

Better conversion, including guessing of the format of the input files, is done by the faxspool program, also provided in the fax directory. See Queuing.

Next: , Previous: , Up: Fax   [Contents]