Bug 4499 - lpr/lpd do not function properly for faxing
Summary: lpr/lpd do not function properly for faxing
Alias: None
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: lpr
Version: 6.0
Hardware: i386
OS: Linux
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: David Lawrence
QA Contact:
Depends On:
TreeView+ depends on / blocked
Reported: 1999-08-12 23:22 UTC by Nadeem
Modified: 2015-09-03 19:11 UTC (History)
0 users

Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
Clone Of:
Last Closed: 1999-09-22 23:05:56 UTC

Attachments (Terms of Use)

Description Nadeem 1999-08-12 23:22:59 UTC
Hi, lpr/lpd do not function properly to permit faxing. At
this point, I'm not really sure if the problem is with the
efax package or lpr/lpd. I followed the instructions in
/usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Fax-Server to setup a fax server,
however whenever I tried to fax something, the fax wouldn't
go through. It appears that when I use lpr to try to fax
something, efax never dials the number. However, using fax
directly from the command line works fine. I hacked up
/usr/bin/fax (lpd's input filter for faxing) and traced this
to the following:

When /usr/bin/fax is executed, it reads the fax lock file to
ascertain the file with configuration options (the impotatnt
one being the phone number in this case). The configuration
file is dynamic (I'm no printing hacker, but I would assume
its written by lpd). After getting the name of the
configuation file, the fax program tries to read the file,
but can't because the user who executed the fax program
(uid: 4 (lp), gid: 0 (wheel)) does not have permission to
read the dynamically generated configration file owned by
bin.lp , permission 640. At the moment I'm not sure which
program is at fault, but I'm guessing its lpr/lpd. I
temporarily fixed the problem by chmod g+s /var/spool/fax. A

Pertinent info:

Program Versions:
[root@nut bleh]# rpm -q lpr efax
[root@nut bleh]#

Fax entry in printcap:


(faxlpr = symlink to /usr/bin/fax -- part of efax)

It would be nice if you guys added the ability to add faxing
through printtool :].

Comment 1 Bill Nottingham 1999-08-21 22:26:59 UTC
lpr/lpd doesn't make the config file you speak of for faxing.
I'd suggest checking your faxing program.

------- Additional Comments From   09/18/99 20:09 -------
Sorry for the delay, but I was on vacation. It does though create a
file, or at least it is creating it on my system. The file needs to be
created or else the /usr/bin/fax would not know what number to dial.
To fax a file, the following command is evoked, lpr -Pfax -J<phone
number> .

From /usr/bin/fax (part of standard efax package)
Around line 588, is the following:

cfile=`cat \`tail -1 lock\`` # configuration file --> file with
phone 				     # number

The problem is, this file is not readable by the user who executed
/usr/bin/faxlpr (user info mentioned in previous post). Since th efile
is not readable, the number to fax to can not be gained, and as such,
nothing happens.

Again, all this is on a standard rh6.0 system, and I followed
instructions as given in /usr/doc/HOWTO/mini/Fax-Server. As mentioned
in my prior most, chmod g+s /var/spool/fax/ fixes the problem, because
then all files writen to the spooling directory (including the
configuration file) are owned by group wheel, and this permits the fax
program to read the file (since it is executed gid: 0).

Comment 2 Nadeem 1999-09-19 00:25:59 UTC
Just to clarify a little bit, the config file name is stored as the
last line in the lock file. The config file, with defaults settings,
is unreadable by the user who executes the fax filter.

On my system, after I have sent the command to fax (lpr -Pfax -J

the content of /var/spool/fax/lock is
[root@nut fax]# cat lock
[root@nut fax]#

The last line, is the name of the config file.

in this instance, it contains:
[root@nut fax]# cat cfA052AqC86Yh
H<hostname hidden to protect the innocent>
J<phone # hidden to protect the innocent>
[root@nut fax]#

By default, this file, is not readable to the user who ran the fax

Comment 3 Bill Nottingham 1999-09-20 19:24:59 UTC
OK, I see now.

What happens if you try this with the latest lpd from Raw Hide?

------- Additional Comments From   09/21/99 22:00 -------
lpr (lpr-0.41-2) in rawhide does the trick. Thanks.

Comment 4 openshift-github-bot 2015-09-03 19:11:26 UTC
Commit pushed to master at https://github.com/openshift/origin

integration/diag_nodes_test.go: fix test flake issue 4499

also now returns the node config from allinone helper.

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