Simple vgetty install
(vgetty, The vice extensions for the mgetty+sendfax package)
Copyright (C) 1995, 1997 Marc Eberhard.
Simple vgetty installation instructions

Written by G. L. "Griz" Inabnit <>
(E-mail any corrections, misspelling or edits to


Hey!! vgetty is EASY to install!

    As a good number of you are aware, the vgetty documentation has not been real forthcoming, or simple to use. The cause is simple. Time! Marc is a busy soul, getting a clean, fast package ready for the next distribution. In this little doc, I'm going to (attempt) a simple setup that I accomplished on my DEBIAN LINUX box.
    Most of this information is an echo of the README.BEGINNERS file in the vgetty docs. So, you're welcome to see the source too! After all, Marc DID build it for you. :-)
    For most of us using the distribution packages of Debian and Redhat, the package maintainers have put everything together rather nicely. Therefore, step one...

1.) Copy and rename the voice.conf-dist file to the same directory as the mgetty configuration files as voice.conf
2.) Read this file!! It is VERY well documented and quite explanatory. You will find areas that you may wish to edit and change to customize for your machine.

The areas I found myself concerned with were the;

voice_log_level x
port_speed xxxxx
rec_silence_len xx
rec_silence_threshold xx
rec_remove_silence (false/true)
rec_min_len x
rings x

    Not much there, eh? The port speed I changed for various modems I tried and found that leaving it at the default of 38400 was perfectly fine for modems from 14400 to 57600!
    The rec_silence areas are rather modem and phone line specific. These are values that you can edit and change for "your" conditions. If you're running a noisier or quieter phone line than myself, your numbers will change accordingly. The rec_min_len I ended up using for my temperamental USR 33.6. It seems that it didn't notice (and report) silence quite the way it was expected to. (Don't you wish the manufacturers would get standardized?!?)
    And of course the rings is just that. "How many rings before I answer?" Simple!

3.)     Do a locate on vgetty. You'll likely find it in either /usr or /usr/sbin. Record or memorize the true location. Open your /etc/inittab file in your favorite editor.

a.) find a line that looks similar to this:
# s2:23:respawn:/usr/mgetty ttyS2
remove the # to uncomment the line and then follow the instructions in the step below.

b.) If you're running an mgetty already, and find the appropriate line and if the vgetty and mgetty reside in the same directory SIMPLY CHANGE THE M TO A V ! :-) If the vgetty is in a different directory, then also edit the line to point to the appropriate place.

4.)     Locate the voice_dir where vgetty will look for the outgoing messages. By default the "outgoing message" (standard.rmd) will be in /var/spool/voice/messages. From this point, I'm writing under the presumption that your machine is configured in the same manner.

a.) cd /var/spool/voice/message

b.) Record the greeting message. There are a number of ways to do this. I used the vm program, which was quick and simple.

vm record standard.rmd

The other method that Marc offers is using an already recorded sound file in the modem expected format using pvf tools.

E.g. convert a voc file to Rockwell (compression type 4) format;
voctopvf file.voc | pvftormd Rockwell 4 > standard.rmd

5.) At a root prompted I enter init q (to restart my inittab).

AND THAT'S IT! That is all there is to it. Told you it was simple!

    From here on, your modem will answer the line using the settings you've specified in the voice.conf file. The next step is to begin your testing. (the fun stuff)


1. playing incoming messages

a. using vm :
play the message with &quot;vm play file_name&quot; (type vm to see options)

b. using audio card and sox :
rmdtopvf file.rmd | pvfspeed -s 8000 | pvftobasic &gt; /dev/audio
(see rmdtopvf -h and rmdtopvf -L for more)

A T T E N T I O N ! ! ! A T T E N T I O N ! ! ! A T T E N T I O N ! ! !

    When(if) you have trouble and desire to use the mgetty/vgetty mail list, the first thing you're going to need to do is increase your log level in the voice.conf file to 6 (L_JUNK) !! Marc is going to want to be able to verify what you're modem is, and is not, doing. Use the TWENTY (20) lines above and below the

05/27 12:13:34 yS1 waiting...

    Please don't dump the complete log to the mail list, as it eats bandwidth, time, energy, and patience. :-)

    Well, I hope this explained the "simple vgetty" so you can understand it. Enjoy this wonderful package.