The following section briefly describes the use of the system. Following a short introduction to the reception of messages with the Linux mail system, a description is provided for the operation of the fax functionality and the answering machine.

General Notes about Reception

The development of CapiSuite heavily relied on using already existing capabilities of Linux. This is why the delivery of incoming faxes and voice messages is handled by the internal Linux mail system instead of proprietary applications and protocols.

This requires the configuration of a mail client for receiving local messages for each user of CapiSuite. For details, read the respective chapters about the mail program or the documentation provided with the application.

Follow these steps to activate reception of local e-mail messages in KMail:

  • Start KMail as usual.

  • Select Settings -> Configure KMail.

  • Click the network icon in the list to the left.

  • Select the Receiving tab.

  • Reception is already configured if an entry with the type local is already present in the list. The dialog box can be closed with Cancel in that case. If not, click Add....

  • Select Local mailbox from the list and confirm with OK.

  • Name the new account (for example, "local inbox") by entering the name in the upper input field. All the other settings can be left at their default values.

  • Then complete the configuration by clicking OK.

If you have not disabled the sending of mail in the CapiSuite configuration (see previous section), you will receive all incoming voice and fax messages in your e-mail program, where you can view them or listen to them as usual.

Fax Operation

No further instructions are necessary for receiving fax messages. As soon as a fax is received for a number assigned to a user, the message will be stored in the system and delivered to the user as an e-mail with a PDF attachment (PDF is a common exchange format for documents and can be read in virtually all operating systems with Acrobat Reader from Adobe). The user can open, read, and print the document as in his mail program.

For backup purposes, every received document is also stored on the hard disk in /var/spool/capisuite/users/<username>/received/. This directory can be accessed if anything goes wrong during the e-mail transmission of if an e-mail message was accidentally deleted. More information can be found in the CapiSuite documentation in /usr/share/doc/packages/capisuite/manual/index.html.

The command line tool capisuitefax is available for the sending of faxes. It accepts one or more target fax numbers and one or more documents in the PostScript format. This format is generated by virtually all Linux applications when printing to a file.

capisuitefax supports parameters such as the following:

-h or --help

Returns a short summary of valid parameters.

-d <number> or --dialstring=<number>

This parameter declares the target number to which the fax should be sent.

-n or --noprefix

Does not permit use of the number for external calls. If your ISDN adapter is connected to a phone exchange, you can use this option in order to send a fax to an internal number.

-q or --quiet

capisuitefax usually generates a few informative messages. This option suppresses this and only allows the display of possible error messages.

The following command would send the two documents and to the target number 089123456:

capisuitefax -d 089123456

capisuitefax converts the documents to the correct format and stores them together with a description file in a special folder from which they are then fetched and sent by CapiSuite. Naturally, there can be a short delay between the execution of the command and the actual sending. The user is notified by e-mail when a fax message has been successfully sent or after the failure of a set number of attempts.

You can also use capisuitefax to list the queue and terminate fax jobs. The option -l displays a list of the jobs in the queue. The command:

capisuitefax -a <faxid>

can be used to terminate a job. Replace <faxid> with the job ID indicated in the left column of the list.

In the standard desktop KDE, fax messages can easily be sent from any KDE application with the help of the KDEPrintFax utility. Configure KDEPrintFax as follows:

  • Start KDEPrintFax. This can be done, for instance, by pressing Alt + F2 and entering kdeprintfax.

  • Select Settings -> Configure KDEPrintFax.

  • Click the System icon in the left pane.

  • As capisuitefax is largely compatible with the HylaFAX suite, select HylaFAX under Fax system.

  • Set Command to the following command:/usr/bin/capisuitefax -d %number %files (see screenshot).

  • Finish the configuration by clicking OK and closing KDEPrintFax.

Figure 17.5. Configuring CapiSuite in KDEPrintFax

Configuring CapiSuite in KDEPrintFax

The option Send to Fax is then available in the Print menu of any KDE application. Selecting it starts KDEPrintFax, which requests the target phone number and sends the fax.

Non-KDE applications can also use this function if their print command can be set manually. In this case, replace commonly used lpr with kprinter. When you print a document, the KDE print menu will be displayed along with the possibility to transmit fax messages.


To date, capisuitefax does not support the full range of HylaFAX features. Thus, features such as the resolution settings are currently ignored.

Operation of the Answering Machine

If e-mail transmission was not deactivated, voice messages left on the answering machine will be sent by e-mail to the recipient associated with the dialed phone number. Thus, the operation of the answering machine does not require any additional description. All incoming messages can be received and opened in the e-mail client. For backup purposes, the incoming messages are also stored in /var/spool/capisuite/users/<username>/received/.

The recording of the personal welcome message is performed directly over the remote access feature of the answering machine.

To access your answering machine remotely, call your associated number from any telephone. Enter the previously-defined PIN during the welcome message playback. Wait a few seconds if you mistype your PIN then try again after the beep. Shortly after having correctly entered the PIN, the answering machine gives the number of stored messages. You then have the choice of either recording a new welcome message or listening to your stored messages. Follow the instructions given.

The following table provides a brief overview of the menu items for the remote accessing of messages. It is recommended to carry a copy of it if you use the remote access frequently. The commands can be entered at any time during the playback of the messages. This means that an excessively long voice message can be skipped easily.

Table 17.1. Commands for Message Playback

1delete current message
4skip to the next message
5skip to the previous message
6replay current message