eFax Review – Linux and Open Source Supplement

In this supplement to our eFax review, we focus on how well eFax works with Linux operating systems and how well it satisfies users of Open Source software.

Most of the information here is valid for users who:

  • Will only be using an online fax service through remote interfaces (for example traveling heavily).
  • Are using other non-Windows / non-Mac operating systems with email and web access (Unix, Solaris, BeOS, Citrix, etc.).
  • Are using any distributions of Linux with email and web access (Mint, Ubuntu, Red Hat, Debian, openSUSE, Arch Linux, etc.).

Everything in this supplement only reviews the native-Linux ability to run a system. We have done no testing on Wine and other Windows emulators.

Alternatively, users can always install a Windows based virtual machine to run any options that are not working in Linux. Options that do not work through the web and email faxing have are rarely changed once they have been configured.

In general, we find that eFax has a good selection of Open Source file formats that are compatible with the system.  Linux users will find that most of the day-to-day functionality is there; however, some features are missing for Linux users, as well as some advanced setting will have to be changed on a Windows based system.

Linux Compatibility of eFax

While we can find no online fax service that caters to the Linux community specifically, we have found that certain services are better for Linux users than others.

The best way to analyze the compatibility of an online fax service with Linux is to look at it from the perspective of a user who is exclusively cloud based.

Sending and Receiving Faxes with eFax through Linux

Sending and receiving faxes works well with eFax on Linux – since the service is primarily email and web interface based, all the functions involving sending faxes over the web or email work well.

Hiccups with operating eFax on Linux

The majority of the hiccups involving using eFax on a Linux based system involve functions that need eFax Messenger.

Linux users should assume that none of the features of eFax Messenger will work.

These include:

Custom Cover Sheets

The ability to edit a custom cover sheet with eFax is not available when working on a Linux based system.

Users can enable the system in a Windows-based version of eFax Messenger, edit the cover page, then set that cover page for default and use it through the Linux install at any time.

EFX File Format Support

Without eFax Messenger there is not support for EFX files (eFax’s custom file format). This feature is only necessary for people who want to use the EFX file format. Usually, that is when users want to send password-protect files.

Editing Signature Stamp

Like the custom cover sheets, the ability to Edit the signature stamp happens through eFax Messenger.

Scan to Fax Directly

eFax Messenger also allowed for the ability to scan directly to a fax transmission – on Linux this option is not available.

eFax’s Open Source File Format Compatibility

For users of Linux and fans of open source in general, Open Office and Star Office are often the primary choices for an office suite.

We have attempted to list all of eFax’s compatible file formats that are open source, as well some others frequently used in the open source community (such as Star Office formats).

Open Office / Open Document File Support:

OpenDocument Drawing (ODG), Presentation (ODP), Spreadsheet (ODS), and Text (ODT) are all supported by eFax.

Image File Formats:

eFax lists PNG and JPEG files as a compatible file format for sending graphics.

Other Open Source Formats:

Text (txt), HTML files can both be sent through eFax.

Star Office File Support:

StarOffice Drawing (SXD), Presentation (SXI), Spreadsheet (SXC), and Text Document (SXW) are all supported by eFax.

More on Faxing with Linux:

More eFax Review Resources: