How to Share a Fax Modem Using Mac OS X Server 10.6

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There’s precious little on the Interwebs about sharing a fax modem using Mac OS X Server 10.6 (or 10.5 or 10.4…). Trust me, I’ve looked.

If you’re looking for the clues, here they are. I started out by monkeying around with /etc/cupsd.conf, got it to work, but ended up just doing this:

  1. I created the fax printer using the usual MacOS X Server System Preferences. I also set it up to answer and receive, and that works OK. I then tested the fax printer to make sure it works. (The modem is a MultiModem USB modem, FYI, so I have no Apple Stick-of-Gum Modem problems to deal with. It is rumored that the Apple Stick-of-Gum modem won’t work with a 64-bit server.)

  2. Use Safari to visit localhost:631/printers/. Selected “MultiModemUSB”.

  3. Selected “Maintenance” and “Modify Printer” from the drop downs. Entered my administrator username and password.

  4. After some Carousel spinning, clicked “Current Connection” and “Continue”.

  5. Checked “Share this printer” and “Continue”.

  6. Left all settings as-is and clicked “Modify Printer”.

  7. Clicked the “Administration” tab.

  8. Checked “Share printers connected to this system”.

  9. Clicked “Change Settings”.

After cupsd restarted, I was able to browse on 10.6 client machines to see the fax machine using the Default browser!

Could it really be that easy? Is this going to work? Will Superman be able to save Lois Lane in time?

Tune in next time…


James Moser said:

Thank YOU!!! I have been wanting to do this forever but never took the time to figure it out as I don't fax very often. I hated having to run a phone line across the room all the time!

James Moser said:

and fyi, I have an apple modem and it works fine with 10.6 Server 64 bit.

Bill Eccles said:

Thanks for the clues--please let me know how and if it continues to work well. And since I have the stick-of-gum modem too, I've now got a backup.

Johann Muller said:


Excellent - and you right about trying to find this info on the web!!!

Thanks for the help - worked first shot!!!

Is there a way on setting the "wait for dialtone" to default of off??

Thanks Johnn

Bill Eccles said:

Look out, folks! I think I found a flaw here.

If my experiments are correct, it looks like trying to send a fax from a client while the server is receiving a fax causes the send queue to hang, launching numerous efax processes which don't go anywhere or get anything done.

I thought, "Well, I'll be clever. I have two modems. I'll set one up to receive, the other to send."

No dice. You can't specify which modem receives, and I ran out of patience.

Let me know your findings on the matter--I'd appreciate learning, too!