NOTE: The system referenced in this article is no longer supported by Nerd Vittles as this version of Asterisk® has been phased out. For the latest and greatest, please consider our new PBX in a Flash offering.

Perhaps the most requested new article by Nerd Vittles' readers has been a HOW-TO for configuring a Linux-based TrixBox system to do everything our VMware TrixBox build for Windows can do. So today we decided to tackle it. If you read nothing else, read the following cautionary note: This application only works with a clean build of TrixBox 1.2.3 using the TrixBox .iso install on a dedicated PC. If you've already installed TrixBox 1.2.3 and made any configuration changes either to Linux or Asterisk with or without using freePBX, do not use this program. It will overwrite (aka erase) all of your existing settings! Just consider it the last critical step in an initial TrixBox 1.2.3 install, and you should be fine. There, you've been warned.

Overview. If you can cook French Toast without burning yourself or setting your kitchen on fire, then PBX-in-a-Flash™ will be a piece of cake for you. The good news is that, with a clean TrixBox 1.2.3 .iso install, this may just be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Why? Because it builds you a turnkey Asterisk PBX with all of the security patches, and freePBX and WebMin updates, and Nerd Vittles apps in just a few minutes with no user intervention. You'll still need to secure your passwords and walk through the freePBX module updates process, but you'll be ready to roll with 8 extensions and 2 phone lines in less than 30 minutes... and that includes installation of TrixBox from the boot disk. You really don't need to know much of anything about Linux or Asterisk for that matter. And, as much as we love freePBX, the number of menus and options can be intimidating until you get your feet wet. PBX-in-a-Flash solves that by preconfiguring virtually everything on your new system. For ease of reference, portions of our previous tutorials on TrixBox 1.2.3 and the VMware build for TrixBox 1.2.3 are also repeated here so that everything is easy to follow. And, when you're finished, phones ring, voicemail works, voicemail messages get emailed to you without any further tweaking of Linux and SendMail, callers get a welcoming message and music on hold before your phones start to ring, and those (like you) with the secret password can do all sorts of other tricks while the AutoAttendant plays... such as getting dial tone to make an outbound call using your (almost) free VoIP international calling plan.

Here are the basic steps:

Step 1. Download and install the TrixBox 1.2.3 .iso on a dedicated PC ... and, yes, VMware installs should also work.

Step 2. Download and run the Nerd Vittles pbx-in-a-flash script to get everything loaded, configured, and up to date.

Step 3. Reboot your system and be sure all your passwords are secure.

Step 4. Load and activate all of the new freePBX modules. We've preconfigured the rest of freePBX for you.

Step 5. Sign up and then enter your usernames and passwords for your VoIP hosting providers.

Step 6. Plug in and set up your phones.

Step 7. Enjoy!

Step 1. Installing TrixBox 1.2.3. Begin by downloading the TrixBox 1.2.3 ISO image from here and burn a CD (click here if you need a refresher course). Using your dedicated PC, insert the CD you made, plug your machine into the Internet, and turn it on. Then watch while TrixBox loads CentOS/4.4 (with an older Linux kernel that doesn't break voice applications!) and all the Asterisk and Linux goodies imaginable: Apache, SendMail, Asterisk Mail, SugarCRM, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, SSH, Bluetooth, freePBX, the Flash Operator Panel, Call Detail Reporting, and on and on. This install will reformat (aka ERASE) your hard disk before it begins, but it will warn you first. You'll be prompted to choose your keyboard language, then your time zone, and then your root user password. Make up a password that you can remember but others can't ... and write it down! About 5 or 10 minutes after the installation begins (depending on the speed of your machine), the boot disk will eject. Be sure to remove it before the system reboots to continue the install, or it'll just start over by rebooting from the CD again. When the installation is finished, you should see a login prompt.

So You Need a $100 Computer? TrixBox runs best on a dedicated machine. And, unless you have an old clunker sitting around, here's a deal you shouldn't pass up. It's a used Dell OptiPlex GX150 for $47.91. Bump up the RAM to 256MB for $12.95 (recommended) and add $32 for shipping, and it still comes in at under $100. If you're feeling downright wealthy, add another $10 for a one year parts and labor warranty including shipping fees (recommended). You can also bump up the processor to 1 Ghz for $30 more, and the box still comes in at under $140.

Step 2. Installing PBX-in-a-Flash. Now for the fun part. Don't do anything on your system yet except to login as root with the password you wrote down. At the command prompt, type these commands in order:

cd /root
wget http://nerdvittles.com/trixbox123/pbx-in-a-flash
chmod +x pbx-in-a-flash
./pbx-in-a-flash

Read the warning and then press the Enter key to proceed with the pbx-in-a-flash update. When it finishes, you'll be prompted to press the Enter key again to reboot your system. Just do it!

Step 3. Securing Your Passwords.When the install is finished and reboots again, log in as root with the password you assigned. Type help-trixbox for a listing of the other passwords that need to be changed. Change them all NOW! Keep it simple and use the same password for everything. You're not going to expose this web server to the Internet anyway... if you're smart.

passwd admin
passwd-maint
passwd-amp
passwd-meetme

Securing AsteriDex. Because of a security vulnerability in our very own AsteriDex, you'll need to download and install this simple patch. Log into your Asterisk server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /var/www/html/asteridex
rm -f callboth.php
wget http://nerdvittles.com/trixbox11/callboth.zip
unzip callboth.zip
rm -f callboth.zip
chown asterisk:asterisk callboth.php
chmod 775 callboth.php

Securing and Activating A2Billing. This web-based application allows you to generate and issue calling cards to individuals so that they can place calls remotely through your Asterisk server. If you've always wanted to be just like Ma Bell, here's your Big Chance! There's very little that you can do with an AT&T calling card that can't be done as well or better using A2Billing. And, it won't take an M.B.A. to undercut AT&T's calling card rates and still make buckets of money. All you need now are a few customers. But first, a word of caution. Assuming your Asterisk server has web exposure on the Internet, you need to secure the admin and root passwords in this application whether you use it or not. To access the application, go to http://192.168.0.104/a2billing/ using the actual internal IP address of your Asterisk server. Log in as root with a password of myroot. Click on the ADMINISTRATOR tab in the left column and then click Show Administrator. Now click on the Edit button beside each of the two administrator accounts and change the passwords to something secure. If you really would like to learn more about it, documentation for the application is available here. And, if you decide to use the application, you'll need to uncomment six actual dialplan lines in /etc/asterisk/extensions_trixbox.conf and reload Asterisk. Be sure to use a separate DID for this application and point it to custom-callingcard,s,1. We'll have a terrific new VoIP provider with dirt cheap DID rates to tell you about shortly so stay tuned!

;[custom-callingcard]
;exten => s,1,Answer
;exten => s,2,Wait,2
;exten => s,3,DeadAGI,a2billing.php
;exten => s,4,Wait,2
;exten => s,5,Hangup

Securing SugarCRM Contact Management. TrixBox includes the best open source contact management application on the planet, SugarCRM. You access the application with a web browser: http://192.168.0.104/crm/ substituting the private IP address of your Asterisk box, of course. We're going to stop repeating the substitution tip from here on. Whenever you see a reference to 192.168.something, just substitute the private IP address of your TrixBox server. Once the SugarCRM login screen appears, specify admin for your username and password for your password. Whether you use the application or not, change the admin password. It's easy. Just click the Administrator link under Welcome admin. Then click the Change Password button. Complete documentation for the application is available here. If contact management is your thing, knock yourself out, and we'll talk to you next spring when you finish getting everything set up to run your business. It's a great product, but be prepared to invest lots of time in the project if you expect to use it productively. If all you need is a phone dialer and a database that can display CallerID info for your friends and business associates, our AsteriDex product will be a better fit, and it takes about 2 seconds to enter each new person into the AsteriDex database.

Step 4. Load and Activate freePBX Modules. freePBX is the web GUI which manages your Asterisk system. You access it with a web browser by going to the IP address of your Asterisk server. If you don't know the IP address, log in as root, and it will tell you. Then go to that IP address with your browser, e.g. http://192.168.0.142/. At the main TrixBox menu, choose System Administration. When prompted for your username, type maint with the password you assigned above for passwd-maint. Now choose FreePBX and then Tools and then Module Admin. Put a check mark beside each of the Modules (shown in green) and then click Submit. After the modules are enabled, click the Red Bar at the top of your screen to reload the settings into Asterisk.

Next, select the Online Modules Repository. Put a check mark beside each of the Modules (shown in orange) and then click Submit. After the modules are installed and enabled, click the Red Bar at the top of your screen to reload the settings into Asterisk.

Before the extensions will actually ring (instead of going directly to voicemail), you'll need to click on Setup->Extensions. Then choose each extension and at least click the Submit button followed by the Red Bar. This is a security feature to encourage you to change the password for each extension including its voicemail password.

If you'd prefer that callers hear Music on Hold rather than ring tones after the AutoAttendant plays, then click Setup-> General Settings and change the entry for Asterisk Dial Command Options from tr to tm. To enable recording of incoming calls by pressing *1, add a lowercase w to the string. Then click Submit and the Red Bar when you're finished.

Step 5. Setting Up Your VoIP Providers. Before you can place calls to real phone numbers, you'll need at least one outbound VoIP provider. Before you can receive calls from real phone numbers, you'll need at least one inbound DID trunk (aka "phone number") from a VoIP provider. These can be the same provider or different ones. Unlike with Ma Bell, more is better in the VoIP world because it gives you some redundancy... and stuff does break from time to time.

You add hosting providers in freePBX by adding Trunks in the Setup menu. We've preconfigured your system for two providers, VoipDiscount and Stanaphone, so that all you have to do is click on each of those trunks, plug in your account names/numbers and passwords, save your updates, click the Red Bar, and you're off to the races. You may want to choose your own providers which is perfectly fine. But, for $15 which works out to $5 a month, our two picks will get you started for three months with free incoming calls, a free phone number, and 300 minutes a week of free outbound calls to dozens of countries including the U.S., most of Europe and Asia, and Australia. During that three months, you can start your VoIP Provider Education here and then you can read our reviews and HOW-TO's for setting up dozens of different providers with Asterisk here.

DISA Security. Getting remote dialtone can be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands so let's put your own password (of any length) on the DISA function that is triggered by pressing 8 when your AutoAttendant answers your incoming calls. In freePBX, choose Setup. Then click DISA in the left column of freePBX and then DialTone in the right column. Now enter a PIN that will let you sleep well at night ... knowing that you are paying for all outbound DISA calls. When you finish, click the Submit Changes button and then the Red Bar to reload Asterisk.

Step 6. Setting Up Your Phones. Before your new PBX will be of much use, you're going to need something to make and receive calls, i.e. a telephone. For today, you've got three choices. Option #1 and the best home solution is to use a Plain Old Telephone or your favorite cordless phone set (with 8-10 extensions) if you purchase a little device (the size of a pack of cigs) known as a Sipura SPA-1001. It's under $60. Be sure you specify that you want an unlocked device, meaning it doesn't force you to use a particular service provider. Once you get it, plug the SPA-1001 into your LAN, and then plug your phone instrument into the SPA-1001. Your router will hand out a private IP address for the SPA-1001 to talk on your network. You'll need the IP address of the SPA-1001 in order to configure it to work with Asterisk. After you connect the device to your network and a phone to the device, pick up the phone and dial ****. At the voice prompt, dial 110#. The Sipura will tell you its DHCP-assigned IP address. Write it down and then access the configuration utility by pointing your web browser to that IP address.

Once the configuration utility displays in your web browser, click Admin Login and then Advanced in the upper right corner of the web page. When the page reloads, click the Line1 tab. Scroll down the screen to the Proxy field in the Proxy and Registration section of the form. Type in the private IP address of your Asterisk system which you wrote down previously. Be sure the Register field is set to Yes and then move to the Subscriber Information section of the form. The preconfigured extensions are set up as 500 through 508 with voicemail activated for extension 500 and 501 presently. To keep things simple, enter House Phone as the Display Name. Enter 500 as the User ID. Enter 1234 as the Password, and set Use Auth ID to No. Click the Submit All Changes button and wait for your Sipura to reset. In the Line 1 Status section of the Info tab, your device should show that it's Registered. You're done. Pick up the phone and dial 611 to get a current weather report or dial 511 to get today's news headlines.

If you're like us, you've gone to all this trouble downloading your fancy new PBX, and you sure as hell don't want to wait a week for your Sipura 1001 to arrive before trying it out. So here's the quick and dirty solution. There's software that will run on your Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop that acts like a telephone. You obviously need speakers and a microphone on your system for this to work. Assuming you have those, go to CounterPath's web site and download X-Lite for your favorite OS. There's a manual there, too, but you probably won't need it. Once the download completes, click on it to start the install. Accept the obnoxious license agreement and install the software in the default directory. Unless you want X-Lite to load every time you restart your machine, uncheck the Launch on Startup checkbox. Reboot your system and, if it's also running your TrixBox system, restart it first. Then run the X-Lite application. Click No to turn off X-Lite's spyware. When the "SIP Accounts" window opens, click the Add button and fill in the following data:

Display Name ... House Phone
User name ... 500
Password ... 1234
Auth. User Name ... 500
Domain ... the IP address of your TrixBox system

Leave the other defaults and click on the Check Voicemail tab. For the Number to Dial to Check Voicemail, enter *97. Then click OK and Close. If your Windows Firewall is doing what it's supposed to, it will probably block the connection to your Asterisk system. When prompted, tell it to allow future connections. If this happens and X-Lite does not register with your Asterisk system, click the Down Arrow at the top of the softphone (Show Menu). Click SIP Account Settings, Properties, OK, and Close again. You now should be registered. Dial 611 and get your first weather report. To exit from X-Lite, click the Down Arrow and then Exit.

Step 7. Enjoy! We saved the best for last. All you have to do now is learn about all the great freebies that have just fallen into your lap. Here's a little info to get you started.

Linux 101. If you're new to Linux and/or Asterisk, here are a few commands you'll need from time to time. And, if you didn't already know, you don't just pull the plug on a Linux system ... even if it's running in a window on your Windows Desktop. Linux caches lots of stuff to speed up processing. So always shut things down gracefully if your data matters.

df -h ... Free disk space remaining on your Linux system. Be sure you always have the required 6GB of Windows space for this app!
logout ... Logs you out of the Linux system.
Ctrl-Alt ... Gives your Windows cursor back and lets you run other Windows apps until you click again in the nv-TrixBox window.
asterisk -r ... Runs the Asterisk Command Line Interface (CLI) after you've logged in as root.
quit ... Exits gracefully from the Asterisk CLI
amportal restart ... Restarts Asterisk.
/etc/webmin/start ... Starts up WebMin, the Swiss Army Knife of Linux. Access it with a web browser: https://TrixBoxIPaddress:10000/
shutdown -h now ... Shut down your Linux system right now. Wait for VMware Player window to close!
shutdown -r now ... Reboot your Linux system right now.
nano -w filename ... Edit any file in your Linux system. Ctrl-X, Y, then Enter saves your changes.
cd dirname ... Changes to another directory below current directory.
cd /dirname ... Changes to another directory below the root directory.
ls ... The Linux equivalent of dir to get a directory listing.
cd /var/www/html ... Home of the TrixBox web server files accessed at http://TrixBoxIPaddress/ or https://TrixBoxIPaddress/
cd /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin ... Home of the TrixBox and Asterisk scripts for Asterisk apps.
cd /var/lib/asterisk/sounds ... Home of Allison and all the voices prompts that make up the Asterisk system.
cd /etc/asterisk ... Home of all the Asterisk, TrixBox, and freePBX configuration files.

The Nerd Vittles Collection. Below are links to tutorials for the Nerd Vittles applications that are preloaded in the PBX-in-a-Flash install. AsteriDex and MailCall require some quick configuration so take a look at the tutorials. You also may want to change the Telephone Reminders default password of 123 in line 28 of /etc/asterisk/extensions_trixbox.conf. If you do, remember to restart Asterisk for the change to take effect.

AsteriDex - The Poor Man's Rolodex (http://TrixBoxIPaddress/asteridex/)

NewsClips for Asterisk - Get the News By Telephone (Dial 511)

MailCall for Asterisk - Get Your Email By Telephone (Dial 555)

Weather Reports by Airport Code - Get the Latest Weather Forecasts for 1,000 U.S. Cities (Dial 611)

Telephone Reminders for Asterisk - Appointment Reminders By Telephone (Dial 123)

GabCast Studio for Asterisk - Create and Play PodCasts Using Your Phone (Dial *422 and 422)

TeleYapper Message Broadcasting System - Deliver Appointment Reminders and Important Info to Any Custom Calling List (Dial 674)

What To Do Next. Once your new PBX is humming away, here are the next steps. First, you'll want to upgrade freePBX to version 2.2.x. The tutorial to walk you through the drill can be found here. Last but not least, you'll want to apply the latest Asterisk security patches to prevent a denial of service attack on your system. The tutorial for that can be found here.

Where To Go From There. If you're new to the Asterisk world, you have lots of fun (and learning) ahead of you. Start with the comments to this article for late-breaking news. Then take a look at our Newbie's Tutorial. We've already done most of the work for you here so you'll get to see how much fun you missed. Seriously, it's an easy read and covers many topics that we didn't get to here. So start there. If you want to review what actually got installed with the PBX-in-a-Flash script, take a look at our article on the VMware build of TrixBox 1.2.3. You'll also want to get plugged into the TrixBox Forums. That's the place to ask questions after you do some reading. Posting support questions on Nerd Vittles just doesn't work because of the cumbersome blog format. Don't email us questions either! About 20,000 pages of our tutorials get downloaded each day so we hope you'll understand why free, individualized tech support is not possible. We do accept thank you notes with or without donations to the site. Finally, take a look at our catalog of articles, projects, and Asterisk resource links. You'll find just about everything you'll ever need there. Enjoy!

Nerds' Corner. The trick to building the backup image which makes PBX-in-a-Flash tick lies in the backup script which we use to back up critical pieces of our TrixBox system to a redundant server. Before you can use it to backup your own TrixBox system, you'll need another TrixBox server or any Linux system. Then you'll need to run through the SSH autologin trick which is outlined in our TrixBox 1.2.3 tutorial. This sets up your system so that you can log into other Linux machines with ssh or scp without having to type your password. Finally, you'll need to modify the last line of the backup script so that it points to the correct IP address of your remote Linux server. If you want more detail on the backup process, read our article: Backups and Redundancy with Asterisk. The only remaining piece to make all of this portable was to create a compressed archive of the backup folder on the backup server and make it available to you using the new pbx-in-a-flash script. This command did the trick:

tar cfvz /tmp/backup.tar.gz /backup

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This article has 62 comments

  1. Got it up and running with SPA3000 and PSTN line as my in/out trunk. Took me about 2 hours since I needed to configure (with a little research) the SPA3000. All seems to work fine. Thanks!

    Have one question – would like to have music-on-hold after the stealth Autoattendant announcement – instead of the current silence. Not sure of best way (simplest) to do this without rewriting your autoattendant. Any pointers on this??

    Thanks again.

    Rgs,

    Ray

    [WM: Fire up freePBX with your web browser. Go into Setup->General Settings. Change the Asterisk Dial Command options from tr to tm, save your settings, and click the Red Bar to reload the settings into Asterisk. That should do it. I’ve added this tip to the body of the article for the benefit of others.]

  2. All went well except.
    == Parsing ‘/etc/asterisk/manager.conf’: Found
    == Parsing ‘/etc/asterisk/manager_custom.conf’: Found
    == Manager ‘phpagi’ logged on from 127.0.0.1
    == Manager ‘phpagi’ logged off from 127.0.0.1
    — Got SIP response 503 "Service Unavailable: cli is wrong, check your configuration, switch to 08 number" back from 204.147.183.18

    [WM: There are two preconfigured trunks, but you’ll have to plug in your credentials for each one to activate them. Otherwise, you get these errors when Asterisk attempts to connect to each service. If you are using other VoIP providers, just delete these trunks and reconfigure your incoming and outgoing routes to use your own providers. Then the CLI errors will go away.]

  3. Is there a way to set this up easily so it will install on two drives using software raid 1?

    [WM: Once you have a trixbox 1.2.3 system installed with RAID-1, you simply run the script. Mirroring between the drives is handled automatically.]

  4. Hello Ward. Thanks for making this the most fun Monday in a long time! One thing — when securing various passwords, you might want to add how to secure the FOP as well, since that’s just right there for anyone with http access to the trixbox. Also the instructions about securing MySQL in some older columns (and on voip-info.org) are a little confusing because they talk about the asterisk.local must not have a blank password, but that’s not the one with full dbase access. Which one(s) should users change?

    [WM: Wouldn’t worry about MySQL. As configured now, it’s secure unless someone has physical access to the box on which MySQL is running.]

  5. Thank’s for the ‘easy’ way to get music-on-hold after the stealth Autoattendant announcement – works great! However using the ‘tm’ command has a global effect for all ringtones being replaced with MOH. When ringing local extentions this may not be desired as its always good to hear some indication that the ‘phone is ringing’ – even though the MOH is same indication – its not as natural. On the otherhand when hearing a message – as in the Autoattendant announcement – its great to hear the MOH instead of ringing. Is there a clever way to just have the MOH during the Autoattendant routing and not on all ringthrough when dialing local extentions?

    Thank you once again for all your fine work!
    Rgs,

    Ray

    [WM: Not an easy way to separate the two in freePBX. Sorry.]

  6. Question,
    In the beginnig of this Article:
    Monday, November 6, 2006
    PBX-in-a-Flash: HOW-TO NerdVittlize Your TrixBox 1.2.3 Asterisk PBX
    Your warning message states:cautionary note: This application only works with a clean build of TrixBox 1.2.3 using the TrixBox .iso install on a dedicated PC. If you’ve already installed TrixBox 1.2.3 and made any configuration changes either to Linux or Asterisk with or without using freePBX, do not use this program. It will overwrite (aka erase) all of your existing settings!

    Then down below in the Installation Instructions it sates:

    Step 1. Installing TrixBox 1.2.3.

    This install will reformat (aka ERASE) your hard disk before it begins, but it will warn you first. You’ll be prompted to choose your keyboard language, then your time zone, and then your root user password. Make up a password that you can remember but others can’t … and write it down! About 5 or 10 minutes after the installation begins (depending on the speed of your machine), the boot disk will eject.

    Which is the Factual or carrect statement…?

    I’m currently running Windows XP Pro and VMware with Trixbox.
    (Still in the Testing stage)

    Seems to run good under windows and VMware.

    [WM: This article is intended for use by folks that want to run Linux and TrixBox on a dedicated PC. If you’re running our VMware build which runs Linux and TrixBox in a window on your Windows PC, then this article isn’t for you. Everything mentioned in this article is already included in our VMware build which is available here.]

  7. Downloaded the FLite Voice Syn and came up with these results.
    When I do the Weather *61 I get a Max Headroom type voice,
    But when I do *65 for the Extension I get a nice female voice and sounds humanoid.

    If I modify the extensions.conf the *65 voice will then become the
    Max headroom type voice.

    Any Ideas..?

    [WM: 611 is our weather system. *61 and *65 belong to others so you might want to post your question on the trixbox forum.]

  8. We’ll have a terrific new VoIP provider with dirt cheap DID rates to tell you about shortly so stay tuned!

    I can’t wait! Who are they?

  9. When I load CD and answer i586 it runs like a dream, then ejects the disk, then starts cranking again.

    Then I get a bunch of warnings ending in NOKEY, Key DI ccccc
    Then
    Preparing Packages for installation …
    0:adding group munin…
    0:adding user munin…
    Preparing Packages for installation…
    0:group munin already present
    0:user munin alreadu present
    munin-node-1.2.4-7
    __

    And then it stops … Help Me Please … I really want this to work.
    Thanks

    [WM: Try just hitting Enter instead of choosing i586.]

  10. Kudos to you…. Great fun setting up my new system today. How are people setting up to call the operator since you cant use Zero an an extension??

  11. I just build a new system using i586 for the first time, mine is a celeron 333 and seemed to work fine though I dont notice any difference in how trixbox/asterisk runs. I do agree with Ward just press enter and take the default i386 build it could help, I do have another machine I been trying the last 4 version of asterisk on and it will just loop through endless reboots on the install that machine is an AMD k6, anyway just keep on with it, most machines work just fine though be a bummer if you got to source out another when you got a machine that should be good.

    Ward, some feed back for your new script, I had no eth0 after the success message then a reboot, I ran netconfig and had to reboot to see eth0 again. based on no other mentions I seem to be an isolated case. I would also like to say; thank you. Hope you may be able to keep on doing this long as you enjoy it, I know I enjoy having you around.

    Thank you,
    Dave

  12. Hi Ward. I tried to turn on the debug email for teleyapper, and it seems like mime-construct (which is used in the PHP scripts to send the emails) is not installed. However, your nv trixbox install does send email voicemail notifications just fine. Should we install mime-construct, or should we tweak the PHP code to use a different method to email the debug logs? Any hints would be appreciated — having gotten pretty much everything working (amazing!) I really don’t want to break my nv-ized Trixbox at the 11th hour.

    [WM: Thanks for the heads up. Haven’t used it in a while so I didn’t notice. According to Andrew: "This is not an extensions.conf from trixbox. FreePBX no longer requires MIME-construct or install PDF. It now uses a file called fax-process.pl to mail incoming faxes." Since we don’t use freePBX to do this, we’ll need to root around in their code to see what’s going on. My one beef with the trixbox builds is that we seem to be reinventing the wheel with each new release. This inevitably breaks stuff that used to work just fine. Here’s a message thread that shows how to install it if you’re desperate. Unfortunately, the odds of getting it installed from RPMs are pretty slim because of all the dependencies. But keep reading…]

    Andrew’s tip got us scratching our head about this. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite put this down where the goats could get it. So here’s the simple solution that restores the original functionality of MIME-construct thanks to the programming genius of Rob Thomas. Since Rob’s fax-process.pl code mimics the old MIME-construct application, the simple solution was just to tweak it a bit for Nerd Vittles and TrixBox compatibility and then copy a renamed version into the PATH (remember the DOS PATH!) on your Linux box. Log in as root and issue these commands, and you’ll be back in business:

    cd /usr/local/bin
    wget http://nerdvittles.com/trixbox123/mime-construct
    chmod +x mime-construct

    As of 4:30 am (Eastern) on November 9, 2006, this is now part of the PBX-in-a-Flash script.

  13. Buy a Dell GX150?? –Those things are pure crap. We had the whole line of Dells at work and I’d give those a thumbs down. Worst part of it? Probably the fact it doesn’t even accept half-height PCI cards…you have to find 1/3rd height cards for that thing! I bought a bunch of spare GX110 SFFs and use that for Asterisk. The beige small form factor 110 has full height card slots since they are mounted sideways unlike the 150. –granted they top out at 933 or 1Ghz. However, the fact you can swap in normal PCI cards to make it a firewall, etc. beats trying to find 1/3rd height cards! That’s my opinion at any rate…

    [WM: Thanks for the tip. If you’re going to build a pure-SIP machine, I suppose it wouldn’t matter. The price was certainly right. Now we know why.]

  14. Hey Ward, you know how people who use them often call a Blackberry a ‘Crackberry’? I’m thinking we ought to rename this software Cracksterisk… it’s that addictive. And like any addiction, the more you play with it, the further it lures you down the rabbit hole.

    So, for those of us who are quickly approaching the need for a 12-step program, do you have some particular favorite resources that really get into the how-to’s of Dialplans and AGI? I have the O’Reilly book v1 (available as a free download BTW) and that was very helpful, as far as it goes. Any next steps you can suggest that get a little more meaty?

    Also, has MySql replaced AstDB, or in your opinion is AstDB still a reasonable path to go if you just want some persistent storage?

    [WM: I was just thinking about some of the same things this morning. I’ll give it some thought and write about it. And, you’re right about Cracksterisk, too. Thanks.]

  15. Have a question… did a fresh load of Trixbox 1.2.3, followed the directions above.. I can register phones on the system, get the weather report from multiple phone, etc… BUT i can’t seem to get one extension to ring another!!! All I get is the Voicemail for that extension.. I’ve looked everywhere I can think of, but no luck…

    Help please…

    [WM: Have you called up each extension in freePBX and saved it and then clicked the Red Bar. All of the extensions are disabled until you call each one up and save it. This was a security feature to encourage everyone to change the default passwords for each extension and voicemail account.]

  16. That did the trick… I didn’t see that in the docs anywhere.. As soon as I posted about this issue, I created a new extension and it worked.. I was thinking it somewhere in the Voicemail redirect.. Now that I look back, I was able to talk to an IAX extension I created because I had to "CREATE IT", hence clicking on the save button.

    Thanks again for the help and all you are doing to further this Open Source project along (for us newbies). I will have to click on the donation button here later on this evening….

    Barry

    [WM: Step 4, para. 3 discusses it, but I may need to better emphasize it. Thanks. Glad we got it working.]

  17. Got a problem with the displaying of the inbound callers name, I ran your script and I can now dial speed numbers but when I receive a call, the number is displayed without name. Any ideas ?

  18. Ward, don’t know if you’re aware but FreePBX has a cool new interface and some added features, one of which is Dictation. I upgraded using the instructions at http://aussievoip.com/wiki/freePBX-Upgrading and because I like to live on the bleeding edge (actually, I wanted the latest bug fixes). I used the instructions for "Upgrading to the current development code (‘SVN’ – WHICH IS 2.3 NOW)"

    I’m not telling anyone else to do this but if you do, be aware that you may need to go to each extension individually and "Submit" it, otherwise it might not recognize which extension you’re calling from when you try to retrieve VoiceMail. But also, if you want to use the built-in "Dictation" feature, which will allow you to record audio and then e-mail it to yourself, you’ll have to enable it in each extension you wish to use it from, and provide an e-mail address. For some folks the dictation feature may be worth the minor pain of upgrading. Note that Dictation is a bleeding edge feature and there are reports it doesn’t always work right in the "beta release" version.

    But anyway, once I installed the new version, it complains about a couple of things and I’m not sure what it’s referring to, nor how to change it, but it seems like these MIGHT be things that even users that have not upgraded FreePBX should be concerned about:

    Warning: You are running freePBX and asterisk with the default manager pass. You should consider changing this to something else.

    Warning: You are running freePBX and mysql with the default password

    Can you (or anyone) shed any light on these passwords and how to change them without breaking anything? I didn’t see them mentioned in the article above.

    [WM: Changing the freePBX manager password is part of the drill covered in our tutorials. As for the MySQL password, there is no enabled access to MySQL outside of your physical machine (i.e. localhost) so, unless physical access to your system is an issue, I wouldn’t worry about changing the MySQL passwords.]

  19. Thanks for all the great tutorials and advice on this stuff over the years, Ward! I have a question, though: I just got my hands on a new Mac Mini, the 1.66Ghz model, but increased the RAM to 2GB. Do you think I could run this install in a window using Parallels Desktop instead of VMWare? It says they run Red Hat Enterprise, from which CentOS is derived, I’m told. Whaddaya think, would it work? Or is there a better way to do this. FYI, this will be a dedicated server – web (low-traffic, family site), media (mostly iTunes, rarely video) and, hopefully, if I can make it work, trixbox/asterisk/freepbx. Does it have the horsepower to do all three of these things capably? And will Parallels work?

    [WM: I wish you’d try it and let the rest of us know. Just build your TrixBox 1.2.3 boot disk and then follow the PBX-in-a-Flash tutorial.]

  20. Regarding the Dictation feature in the new freepbx, it is possible to do that with any version of AAH or TB. Simply create an extension called Dictation and enable voicemail and put in your or your assistants or secretary’s email address. Log into the voicemail of dictation by pressing *98 and the mailbox and password. Create appropriate voiceprompts. Now to dictate simply call the extension and dictate away. Makes a great addition when you are out of the office and can use DISA or have someone transfer you to the correct extension. Heck – for $1.50 a month plus 0.01 per minute you can create a number that is forwarded directly to the dictation voicemail. Sounds like an idea for a dictation service! To transcribe buy some usb pedals and appropriate software (we use the products from nch.com.au for this.

    [WM: Great tip!! Thanks.]

  21. Hello everyone,

    Im getting this when I try to make a call. the phone rings but never connects.

    fixlocalprefix: Could not parse /etc/asterisk/localprefixes.conf

    when I installed the new trixbox.

    anyone know how to fix it?

    I opened this file in the config edit and it is empty? Should it be like that?

    thanks

  22. Hi,

    Any pointers on a channelized T1 setup. I have a Digium TE110P that is connected to a T1 not a PRI. Everything I’ve seen mentions PRI configuration and not TE110P T1 configuration.

    thanks.

    [WM: The TrixBox Forums are your best bet on hardware-related issues.]

  23. Ward, great stuff, trying to migrate from Axon to ‘trix, this is all good.

    Humm, following your guide here, booted with iso, installed, ran script, enter to reboot, change passwords.. found admin tab in A2Billing.. can’t change either password. comes back with DNS error:

    The confirm button shows link:
    http://192.168.1.40//a2billing/Public/CC_entity_edit_user.php?form_action=ask-edit&atmenu=resellers&groupID=0&id=1&stitle=Administrator management

    and the DNS error page full address is:
    res://C:WINDOWSsystem32shdoclc.dll/dnserror.htm#http://a2billing/Public/CC_entity_edit_user.php

    Prolly because of the // after the IP.

    Any idea on how to fix this?

  24. Does anyone have an all-encompassing ‘cheat sheet’ for this puppy?
    Going through the articles, etc, I’ve got a good idea of the MAJOR components, but there’s so many features.

    What I need [well, maybe my wife will need it too] is a list of what can be done and how with the config as-is.

    For instance, I know transfer is phone dependent, but in a house of multiple IP phones, how do you park and retrieve? Using Stealth, there is a common voice mail box, how do you access it? Via web interface? I understand all the info is scattered around somewhere, but is there a central place for the default use ‘out-of-the-iso’?

    Then I’ll know what I can mess up… I mean ‘tweak’, yeah, that’s it…

    Thanks! And thanks Ward for awesome work!

    [WM: Take a look at our tutorial on TrixBox 1.2.3. That’s what it was designed to address.]

  25. Found the answer to my previous question after much searching. If you are using Asteridex and want the callers name displayed on your phones, this can be done with instructions found here;
    http://www.trixbox.org/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=588&forum=7&viewmode=flat&order=ASC&start=20

  26. Hurrah! I finally have a working system on a stand alone machine. Previously, the only way I could get things to work was using the vmware version. I’ve slashed my cell phone bill with your great tips re sprint home and on the go. Now, I want have remote extensions hook into the trixbox. I am using pap2t-na. I can get idefisk to use my trixbox from a remote location, but can’t get teh pap2ts to log in. When I change the settings in sip_nat.conf, my cell phone extensions can no longer dial in. Help?

  27. Hi Ward, do you have any idea how to adjust the call volume for all pre-recorded sounds being played back to callers?

    By default, for VOIP calls, the playback() and background() commands play sound at levels that cause a LOT of clipping, hence distortion. There is a txgain setting in zapata.conf in your "nv" setup, but changing that does not seem to affect anything for VOIP calls . (I think that setting is just for use when using cards connected to POTS.)

  28. CallerIDname script update. There’s been a change in the way Perl handles uninitialized variables so we’ve updated the calleridname.agi script. If you’ve already run the PBX-in-a-Flash script before the date of this post, here’s how to update your system to get rid of all the (harmless) warning messages. Log in to your server as root and issue the following commands to get the update:

    cd /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin
    mv calleridname.agi calleridname.agi.old
    wget http://nerdvittles.com/wp-content/calleridname.agi
    chmod +x calleridname.agi
    chown asterisk:asterisk calleridname.agi

    Special thanks to Davy Chan for the fix.

  29. Thanks Ward for all your hard work. Not exactly the place for the question but thought I would give it a shot. I am trying to install MythTv on my trixbox. Having very little luck meeting all of the dependancies. Do you or one of your readers know of a guide or script I could use? Thanks again for all your work. Yes I know about PlutoHome but would rather use the trixbox build as it seems more active.

  30. Log File Bloat Is Killing TrixBox Systems. It is being reported that some TrixBox versions no longer rotate log files so they continue to fill up until your disk is full. You can read all about it as well as some solutions here. We’ve reviewed our TrixBox 1.2.3 systems and the logs are being rotated properly, but you might want to check yours in /var/log/asterisk. If you have one big, huge file rather than files with extensions like .1, .2, etc. then you’ve got the problem. Apparently, the problem exists in all TrixBox 2.x beta releases to date; however, it is in their bug tracker to be fixed before final release of the 2.x code. Running a TrixBox update on version 1.2.3 also breaks log rotation at the moment. HINT: Don’t go there yet!

  31. WARD! I am writing to tell you that tonight all is well in IT world. This is now my 4th time setting up a aah/trixbox system at one of the offices I work at (always faithfully following your instructions) and this time unlike all the others everything just worked! It was amazing. You are right it looks like with 1.2.3 they finally got this thing figured out. And with your pbx-in-a-flash script I have one problem, I think you lied, I do not believe you put that together for free I think it was given to you by angels and you are taking the credit for it… how dare you! j/k thanks very much for all the NV goodies I was going to go back and try to get to install one day when I finally got some time. Now they’re all there! I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. Please keep it up. You don’t know how much you help some of us out…

  32. For your next article (or one down the road), can you come up with a way to create a bootable CD (or DVD) with Trixbox on it? Basically, I want to be able to take my Trixbox system down for hardware upgrades, but I don’t want to have to format another harddrive to do so. Since my machine is basically configured how I want, is there a way to take my configuration and make a bootable disc from it?

    I love reading these articles, by the way. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  33. The donation I sent you is SOO worth it – you’re changing the world for the better! Only one comment for improvement: the http[s]://ampserver/panel remains unprotected and really should be locked down. I have done this with the help of an Aussie nerd by editting /etc/trixbox/httpdconf/trixbox.conf and adding the following information:

    <directory /var/www/html/panel>
    Order deny,allow
    Deny from all
    Allow from 192.168.218.0
    </directory>

    Just change the 192.168.218.0 to your internal network (or whatever network should have /panel access.

    And, the other proactive security step would be to turn off apache’s server signature to give potential hackers a little less information about the server version you’re running. Credit goes to Scott McKenzie for these two tips.

    [WM: Great tip, David. Thanks for the donation. And now you’ve won one of our PBX-in-a-Flash drives. Just send me your mailing address privately.]

  34. Ward,

    Any plans to do a PBX-on-Flash without the VM Ware part? I would love to load your imagine (with all the fixin’s) to a flash drive and quickly install. The only issue that I have is that I don’t do Windows nor do I do vmware.

    Anyway to do a straight linux deployment? Please, please, please.. 🙂

    [WM: This is for a straight Linux install. Just run the script after the basic TrixBox install, and you’ll get the same feature set as our VMware builds.]

  35. Thank you for all of the Notes and info! I have a successful VM image running 5 Extension with Faxing and Email forwarding, 2 with Video via Eyebeam thru my Linux Firewall. I have SPA3000 with Verizon POTS PLUS SPA1001 all Feeding 2 line Wireless Trunked with PSTN and Telasip. It has taken some fiddling but with patience and researching Nerdvittles for the missing links! I have a great system. Now to roll it out to Dedicated hardware with you latest Tips and Help. Thank you again! Kelly

  36. Great tutorial!
    One question. Is the Hudlite setup changed from the defaults in any way? I’m trying to setup the client and it isn’t working? I get a HUD connection lost error when tring to connect.

    [WM: Haven’t touched hudlite. Did you first run install-hudlite?]

  37. Found the solution myself. you need to run install-hudlite. Hudlite isn’t installed by default?

    < [WM: Two ships passing in the night. Right you are!]

  38. Alright I think i got it! I am runnin a 600 mhz 128 mb of ram i586 I loaded the trixbox 1.2.3 then I ran "cd /root
    wget http://nerdvittles.com/trixbox123/pbx-in-a-flash
    chmod +x pbx-in-a-flash
    ./pbx-in-a-flash"

    Then I did
    login as root
    cd /usr/src
    wget http://pbx4pros.com/files/epia/tb/epiafix.sh
    chmod 0777 epiafix.sh
    ./epiafix.sh

    And the end result is I got everything working or at least it looks that way, now its time to test it 🙂

  39. Ok I have the Trixbox up and running and working well, I have one question. The sugar CRM install is showing me that there is a new version, How do I upgarde it without screwing everyting up? (I am good at screwing things up)
    Thanks

  40. Unable to determine from the above how-to whether or not subsequent use of the built-in CentOS and/or Trixbox update functions will break anything that has been implemented as part of PBX-in-a-Flash. Now that my system is up and running, I’d like to update to newest available CentOS packages and Trixbox components/scripts, but don’t want to break anything that has been done by PIAF. Am I safe to update, or is there is PIAF-preferred update mechanism/process?

    [WM: As the old saying goes, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." Everything not on your system is either beta software or certifiably breaks something. So… I’d hold off a bit longer.]

  41. I am greatly appreciative to the gods of this group for creating this easy to install package. I only have one issue that i cant seem to overcome. I cant seem to get into the voicemail on each extention. I saw the post regarding the change of the password on each to something new, but still no dice. I receive the error that "login incorrect" Any ideas of what may be happening?

    [WM: Post the details on the TrixBox forum, and we’ll have a look at your setup. Are you sure you opened each extension setup and resaved it?]

  42. Error message running pbx-in-a-flash quote ‘RESOLVING NERDIVTTLES.COM…. FAILED: TEMPORARY FAILURE IN NAME RESOLUTION’ UNQUOTE.

    Help is urgently required.

    [WM: Same typo I make all the time. NERDIVTTLES.COM should be NERDVITTLES.COM.

  43. As a follow-up to needing the MySQL password, if providing the MySQL password is a bad idea for the security of the image, the perhaps steps on what it takes to change the current MySQL password without breaking the dependent apps would be great.

  44. Concerning "PBX-in-a-Flash: HOW-TO NerdVittlize Your TrixBox 1.2.3 Asterisk PBX" (Linux), could you please tell me:

    what are the minimum requirements for the PC hardware for a complete installation? In particular, what is the required minimum size of the hard drive? Also, RAM size and processor speed?

    Thank you.

    Johan

  45. Sorry, my first comment didn’t "take" so my follow-up didn’t make sense. I’m looking to put a Ruby on Rails app with my TrixBox setup but since I don’t know the "root" password for MySQL, I can’t configure MySQL.

    [WM: Logging in from the Asterisk box (only), the root password is passw0rd with a zero. If you change it, it will break all sorts of apps. So, unless your Asterisk box is insecure, we recommend leaving it alone. You must log in from this machine to use this account and password.]

  46. Alright… I’ve done my reading and I know this is an end user problem , but once I get to the part about installing the modules, the instructions clearly state to select all modules ‘shown in green’… and then select modules ‘shown in orange’….
    My question is simple… Shown where? I don’t see any screen shots?

    [WM: Shown in freePBX->Tools->Module Admin.]

  47. Ward – I just set up Trixbox 1.2.3 (clean install since I’ve been using your older AAH setup) and so far things seem to be ok with the exception of my Sipura-3000 setup. I left the 3000 as-is and setup extensions 99, 199, and 204 in Trixbox as I did last time (so I think) and added a trunk for the 3000 as well. My only incoming route is the default and cid/did one and it’s set to ring a ring group that has my 3 extensions in it. When I call into my Telasip line, I get the system voicemail – fine. When I call into my PSTN line that the 3000 is sitting on, I get one ring and then a busy signal. I think I did everthing I did in my previous setup – aside from manually editing config files like I did last time because I thought that was a no-no in Trixbox. Can you help with this? Hoping it’s something simple/obvious.

  48. I got the PBX-in-a-Flash setup and can make outbound calls and calls between extensions, however I can not hear any system recordings. I do not hear anything when I call voicemail, weather reports, an unavailable extension. I can not for the life of me figure out why this would be.

    [WM: Look in /var/lib/asterisk/sounds/custom and be sure there are no .wav files remaining. If there are, delete or rename them.]

  49. Once this is flavor of trixbox installed and setup, what is the best way of performing updates for both the OS & trixbox..? Also can the latest version of FreePBX be installed..?

    [WM: Yes, you can upgrade freePBX. Our tutorial will walk you through it. We don’t recommend applying any other updates to either trixbox or the OS at this time.]

  50. Can you tell me if the support for "RTP 96″ payload is included in this release..? ( as this is required for ISP – MyNetFone, in Australia). If not could you advise on how to include it without braking anything..!

    [WM: You might want to post this question on the Whirlpool Forums.]