Linux and Open Source Online Faxing

With the advent of internet based fax services, more services have come to Linux based systems. In many cases, there is no longer the need to wait for software to be ported over to Linux based OS’s or to deal with the hassles of Wine or other Windows emulator compatibility.

Linux (and other operating systems such as Unix, BeOS, etc.) based users should be aware, however, that there have been no online fax service providers that have made a full port of their software specifically for non-Windows or Mac operating systems.

Instead, we evaluate the use of a provider’s software on its web-only merits, as well as the compatibility of file formats such as Open Document that are open source in nature.

Table of Contents

  • Online Fax Services for Linux (and other OS) Comparison
  • Focusing on “Web Only” Services
  • File Format Compatibility
  • Use of a Windows Virtual Machine or Wine Emulator
  • Review of Each Service from a Linux or Web-Only User Perspective

Online Fax Services Compatible with Linux Comparison

Service

RingCentral

Nextiva

MyFax

eFax

Plan Reviewed

Fax 500

Single User

Best Value

eFax Plus

Outgoing Pages / Month

500

500

100

150

Incoming Pages / Month

incl. in Outgoing

incl. in Outgoing

200

150

Overage Page Cost

5.9c

3c

10c

10c

Customer Support Hours

24 / 7

6-6 MST / PDT

24 / 7

24 / 7

Fax Authority Rating

4.5 / 5

3.5 / 5

4 / 5

3.5 / 5

Mthly Cost

$7.99

$8.95

$10

$16.95

Mthly Cost – Annual Plan

$6.59

$4.95

$9.17

$14.13

Linux Features

All Features Available on Linux

No

Yes

Yes

No

Open File Formats

No

No

No

No

Buy Now

Free Trial

Full Review

RingCentral

Nextiva

MyFax

eFax

Linux Review

RingCentral Linux

Nextiva Linux

MyFax Linux

eFax Linux

Focusing on “Web Only” Services

For most Linux users, we have found that the true trick in finding a proper online fax service is to look at the providers that offer all their services over a web based and email interface.

For example, Nextiva and MyFax offer everything that their service provides over the web interface – from setup and configuration to selecting cover sheets and sending and receiving faxes. There is nothing that needs to be downloaded or configured on your actual computer, and therefore little that can go wrong between one operating system and the next.

File Format Compatibility

We like to see see compatibility with file formats that are based on an open standard, such as the Open Document format used with Open Office. Aside from all the benefits of open formats, they are also the formats that most Linux and non-Windows/Mac operating system users use.

Use of a Windows Virtual Machine or Wine Emulator

For Linux users that already use a Windows based virtual machine, there should be no problems using any of the recommendations from the overall product reviews.

For users of Linux based emulators such as the popular Wine program, our results have been mixed when it comes to online fax software. There are too many variations when it comes to software updates, both from the providers as well as Linux and Wine versions, to accurately keep track of which are functional at what time.

Reviews of Each Service from a Linux & Open Source User Perspective

eFax

We find eFax a feature rich service, providing all the bells and whistles that can come with an online fax service.

We find a major quirk with the eFax service is that some of the functions such as custom cover pages, the signature stamp, and faxing directly from a scanner are only available through eFax messenger. Users with a Windows based OS can configure the custom cover pages and signature stamp, and after that the rest of the features with eFax will run well through a web and email only approach. Scanning directly to fax is not available with eFax on a Linux OS.

While users should not discount this service, as there may be a small feature that is valuable to them personally, they may want to consider a service that allows all functions on a Linux platform.

Full eFax ReviewMacLinux & Open SourceCanadaUK

RingCentral

Like eFax, RingCentral is a fully featured service, but also like eFax does not make its desktop software, CallCentre, available for Linux based systems.

Custom cover pages and the signature stamp will need to be configured on a Windows based system, and will operate after that. Scanning directly to fax will not work on a Linux based platform.

Full RingCentral Review – Mac – Linux & Open SourceCanadaUK

MyFax

We consider MyFax as a good first choice for many Linux based users. Being a web based service, it offers all of its features and functions over the browser, and therefore is compatible across any platform.

While the service is not perfect transition for Linux users (we are still waiting for a Linux-based print-to-fax driver) MyFax offers the widest range of file formats that Linux users are most likely to use.

Full MyFax ReviewMacLinux & Open SourceCanadaUK

Nextiva

In our opinion a close second to MyFax when it comes to serving Linux users, Nextiva excels because it, like MyFax, offers all of its services on a web based platform.

Where Nextiva comes up short is in file format compatibility – Linux users will need to convert their documents over to DOC or PDF format to be able to send them through Nextiva’s service.

Full MyFax ReviewMacLinux & Open SourceCanada