Asterisk on Steroids: Introducing the Orgasmatron Installer

If an Asterisk® distribution with every bell and whistle on the planet is at the top of your Wish List, then the new Orgasmatron Installer may just be your cup of tea. Let’s face it. The Asterisk learning curve is horrendous. As some of you know, we have built some custom PBX in a Flash systems for the Dell, Everex, and Atom platforms. These builds differ from the PBX in a Flash base install in that they were turnkey PBXs with dozens and dozens of custom applications, extensions, and trunks already preconfigured. While you still needed to change some passwords and plug in some phones, the Orgasmatron builds reduce the Asterisk learning curve to almost zero. Out of the box, email works. Faxing works. ENUM works. Interconnecting Asterisk servers for free calling works. And extensions for 15 phones already are in place. Plug in your Vitelity credentials, and you can place calls to any phone in the world using your new VoIP PBX in a couple of minutes. That’s the good news.

The problem with these builds lies in their basic architecture. To date, all of them were really Mondo backups. And once you strayed from the platform on which the original system was built, your odds of getting a successful restore went down the toilet quickly. Well, that was then. And this is now!

Today we introduce an installation script for PBX in a Flash that lets you build a PBX in a Flash base system, run the Orgasmatron Installer script, and boom! Within a few minutes, you’ve got an Asterisk-based Orgasmatron server on the computer platform of your choice regardless of processor, disk controller, disk drive, network card, and video adapter. And it works equally well in a virtual environment using an open source platform such as the fantastic and free Proxmox Virtual Environment.

Update: Be sure to check out the latest Orgasmatron V Installer at this link.

For those that are wondering what’s included in this new Orgasmatron build, here’s a feature list of the components you get in addition to the base PBX in a Flash build with Asterisk 1.4 or 1.6, FreePBX 2.5, and Apache, SendMail, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, IPtables Linux firewall, Fail2Ban, and WebMin:

Getting Started. Even though the installation process is now a No-Brainer, you are well-advised to do some reading before you begin. VoIP PBX systems have become a favorite target of the hackers and crackers around the world and, unless you have an unlimited bank account, you need to take some precautions to protect your phone bill. Start by reading our Primer on Asterisk Security. Then read our PBX in a Flash and VPN in a Flash knols. If you’re still not asleep, there’s loads of additional documentation on the PBX in a Flash documentation web site.

Installation. Here’s a quick tutorial to get you started. First, install the 32-bit version of PBX in a Flash with Asterisk 1.4. Boot your system from the installation CD and type ksalt to begin. When your machine reboots, remove the CD and choose option A to load the most stable payload. When the install completes, reboot your system once again and login as root with the password you chose when you built your system. Now issue the following commands to bring your system current and protect your system passwords: update-scripts, update-fixes, passwd-master. You now have a PBX in a Flash base install. On a stand-alone machine, it takes about 30 minutes. On a virtual machine, it takes about half that time.

Now you’re ready to run the Orgasmatron Installer. While still logged into your new server as root, issue the following commands:

cd /root
wget http://pbxinaflash.net/orgasmatron/orgasmatron.x
chmod +x orgasmatron.x
./orgasmatron.x
reboot

Stick around while the install script is running. Parts of it are interactive. For now, choose the Flite option when you’re prompted for text-to-speech preferences. That way you’ll have a working system when you’re finished. Once the installer script is finished, type status and write down the IP address of your server. You’ll need it in the next step to log into FreePBX.

Using a web browser, open FreePBX on your new server with a command like this (substituting the IP address you wrote down above). When prompted for your account name, type maint and use the password you assigned when running passwd-master above:

http://192.168.0.123/admin/

You’re NOT done yet!

These next four steps are important. They get all of the FreePBX modules installed and then restore the FreePBX backup set that’s at the heart of the Orgasmatron build. Just follow along here, and don’t skip any steps. It’s easy.

1. Choose Module Admin, Check for Updates online, Upgrade All, Process, Confirm, Return, Apply Config Changes, Continue.

2. Choose Module Admin, Check for Updates online, Download All, Process, Confirm, Return, Apply Config Changes, Continue.

3. Repeat the above #2 commands a second time.

4. Click on the Tools tab and choose Backup & Restore, Restore, RightNow, and select the .tar.gz file that is displayed. Then choose Restore Entire Backup Set, OK, Apply Config Changes, and Continue.

Securing Your System. You’re almost done. We always like to reboot the server just to make sure nothing got lost in the shuffle. When the reboot is finished, log into FreePBX with a browser again. Before you do anything else, choose each of the 16 preconfigured extensions on your new server and change the extension AND voicemail passwords. Here’s the drill: Setup, Extensions, 501, Submit after changing secret and Voicemail Password. Repeat with the next extension number instead of 501. Then Apply Config Changes, Continue when you’ve finished with all of them.

Now let’s change the default DISA password: Setup, DISA, DISAmain, PIN, Submit Changes, Apply Config Changes, Continue. Whew! Your system now is relatively secure. Follow the steps in the tutorials we recommended, and you’re ready to experiment. Plug in a SIP phone or softphone and configure it using one of the available extensions together with the secret for that extension.

Finally, be sure to change the credentials on all of your trunks to match those assigned by your providers. And, in the case of the remote-peer trunk, change the secret and IP address to match the identity on your host Asterisk server. If you don’t have another Asterisk server, change the password anyway so no one can break into your system. Better yet, just delete the trunk unless you plan to use it down the road. We’ll have more to say about this next week. For now, just make up your own, secure password to protect this trunk from outside access by unwanted visitors.

Choosing a VoIP Provider. For this week, we’ll point you to some things to play with on your new server. Then next week, we’ll cover in detail how to customize every application that’s been loaded. For openers, we recommend you set up an account with Vitelity using our special link below. This gives your PBX a way to communicate with every telephone in the world, and it also gets you a real phone number for your new system… so that people can call you. Here’s how it works. You pay Vitelity a deposit for phone service. They then will bill you $3.99 a month for your new phone number. This $3.99 also covers the cost of unlimited inbound calls (two at a time) delivered to your PBX for the month. For outbound calls, you pay by the minute and the cost is determined by where you’re calling. If you’re in the U.S., outbound calls to anywhere in the U.S. are a little over a penny a minute. If you change your mind about Vitelity and want a refund of the balance in your account, all you have to do is ask.

The VoIP world is new territory for some of you. Unlike the Ma Bell days, there’s really no reason not to have multiple VoIP providers especially for outbound calls. Depending upon where you are calling, calls may be cheaper using different providers for calls to different locations. So we recommend having at least two providers. Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum to get some ideas on choosing alternative providers.

Kicking the Tires. OK. That’s enough tutorial for today. Let’s play. After you’ve connected a phone to your new system, begin your adventure by dialing these 10 numbers:

  • D-E-M-O – Check out the Nerd Vittles Orgasmatron Demo
  • Z-I-P – Enter a five digit zip code for any U.S. weather report
  • 6-1-1 – Enter a 3-character airport code for any U.S. weather report
  • 5-1-1 – Get the latest news and sports headlines from Yahoo News
  • T-I-D-E – Get today’s tides and lunar schedule for any U.S. port
  • F-A-X – Send a fax to an email address of your choice
  • 4-1-2 – 3-character phonebook lookup/dialer with AsteriDex
  • M-A-I-L – Record a message and deliver it to any email address
  • C-O-N-F – Set up a MeetMe Conference on the fly
  • 1-2-3 – Schedule a regular or recurring phone reminder
  • Dial *68 – Schedule a hotel-style wakeup call on any extension

Homework. Your homework for this week is to do some exploring. FreePBX is a treasure trove of functionality, and the Orgasmatron build adds a bunch of additional options. See if you can find all of them. Then log into your server as root and look through the scripts added in the /root/nv folder. You’ll find all sorts of goodies to keep you busy. Enjoy!

Continue reading Part II.

Continue reading Part III.

Continue reading Part IV (Monday, May 25).


whos.amung.us If you’re wondering what your fellow man is reading on Nerd Vittles these days, wonder no more. Visit our new whos.amung.us statistical web site and check out what’s happening. It’s a terrific resource both for us and for you.


 
New Vitelity Special. Vitelity has generously offered a new discount for PBX in a Flash users. You now can get an almost half-price DID and 60 free minutes from our special Vitelity sign-up link. If you’re seeking the best flexibility in choosing an area code and phone number plus the lowest entry level pricing plus high quality calls, then Vitelity is the hands-down winner. Vitelity provides Tier A DID inbound service in over 3,000 rate centers throughout the US and Canada. And, when you use our special link to sign up, the Nerd Vittles and PBX in a Flash projects get a few shekels down the road while you get an incredible signup deal as well. The going rate for Vitelity’s DID service is $7.95 a month which includes up to 4,000 incoming minutes on two simultaneous channels with terminations priced at 1.45¢ per minute. Not any more! For PBX in a Flash users, here’s a deal you can’t (and shouldn’t) refuse! Sign up now, and you can purchase a Tier A DID with unlimited incoming calls for just $3.99 a month and you get a free hour of outbound calling to test out their call quality. To check availability of local numbers and tiers of service from Vitelity, click here. Do not use this link to order your DIDs, or you won’t get the special pricing! After the free hour of outbound calling, Vitelity’s rate is just 1.44¢ per minute for outbound calls in the U.S. There is a $35 prepay when you sign up. This covers future usage and any balance is fully refundable if you decide to discontinue service with Vitelity.
 


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15 Responses to “Asterisk on Steroids: Introducing the Orgasmatron Installer”

  1. Skavoovie says:

    After testing this out on a virtual machine, I found the following inconsistency:

    The Backup & Restore Module was not installed.

    After applying the module updates via FreePBX’s Module Admin, install the Backup & Restore Module, also using the Module Admin page. Once installed, apply configuration changes, reload.

    “Backup & Restore” now appears on the “Tools” tab as indicated.

    [WM: Sounds like you didn’t go through the first three steps in the FreePBX setup process that we outlined in the tutorial. The Backup and Restore module gets installed during that procedure.]

  2. Phonez says:

    Will MONDO work with this? Will I be able to backup to a USB stick with this? I just purchased a “wal mart special” and I am wondering if I should download the ISO’s for the Everex Orgasmatron 2 or do this new method with the latest bells and whistles.

    [WM: Mondo will work to store ISOs to a USB stick, but the bootable flash drive is not sufficiently reliable to use yet. We received some updated Mondo software this week that hopefully will fix the problem. Once we’ve tested it, we will integrate it into the installer and provide an update through SUSHI.]

  3. Cino says:

    Nice write up. First time using the Orgasmatron Installer and it worked out pretty well. Was able to do a full backup to a smb share right away. I didn’t like the range of 7xx for the ext so i went ahead and removed all of them but left 701. I’m anal, like starting with 1xx for some reason.

    [WM: Whatever best meets your needs is the way to go. That’s one of the beauties of PBX in a Flash.]

  4. rmclaren says:

    What is the minimum configuration for the box running this PBX in a Flash version? I am looking to experiment – with one call at a time. I don’t need to run a full blown PBX and wouldn’t mind if some of the applications are a bit slow.

    [WM: The Atlanta Asterisk Users Group has done some work on this. Here is their recommendation]

    * CPU = Pentium III 863 MHz or greater
    * RAM = 512 MB or greater
    * HD = 10 GB or greater
    * NIC = Ethernet 10Base
    * CDROM or DVD reader

  5. TechOne says:

    Simple, but brilliant way to do this. Well done!

  6. Peter Q says:

    Point of Clarification – early in the writeup it says V1.4 or V1.6, but then around “Installation” it talks about V1.4 only. Will this work with V1.6?

    [WM: Not yet tested with 1.6, but we’ll get there. Feel free to experiment and report back problems.]

  7. adorah says:

    Great job Ward,Thx. Will it work with previous PIAF versions like 1.2 1.3?

    [WM: Probably. But you need a clean install without customization to use the Orgasmatron Installer. If you’re starting fresh, you might just as well use a current version. :-) ]

  8. ski says:

    Wondering how to install Orgasmatron on Amazon EC2? :)

    [WM: Maybe someday. It’s a fairly complex undertaking. Perhaps we should write a book. :roll: ]

  9. JC says:

    It was great to meet you at the Atlanta Asterisk Users Group Conference. This sounds like it will be useful and I will be testing it out this week. Thanks, JC

  10. Scott says:

    The instructions say to start with the 32-bit version. Will it work with 64-bit version or is it better to install 32-bit version even on 64-bit machine?

    (I want to do a new VM install on a Dell PowerEdge Server 840)

    [WM: 64-bit isn’t supported by Digium or the developers so stick with the 32-bit version. Runs fine on a 64-bit machine.]

  11. ward says:

    BUG: Some versions of the Orgasmatron Installer incorrectly set up Telephone Reminders for use with Cepstral instead of Flite. Unless you have installed Cepstral, this means your reminder message won’t be heard. To fix it, log in as root. Edit index.php in /var/www/html/reminders. At about line 24, change $ttspick = 1 to $ttspick = 0 and save the file.

  12. Carlos says:

    When trying to restore the full backup set I get:

    Potential Security Breach
    You are attempting to modify settings from a URL that does not appear to have come from a FreePBX page link or button. This can occur if you manually typed in the URL below. This action has been blocked because the HTTP_REFERER does not match your current SERVER. If you require this access, you can set CHECKREFERER=false in amportal.conf to disable this security check

    The suspect URL is listed below. If this action is intended, you can click this link and your action will be processed. Do not proceed with this if you did not intended to execute this command as it may result in changes to your configuraiton.

    SUSPECT LINK: http://192.168.2.110/admin/config.php?type=tool&display=backup&action=restored&dir=/var/lib/asterisk/backups/RightNow/20090524.20.30.41.tar.gz&filetype=ALL&file=20090524.20.30.41.tar.gz

    [WM: FreePBX has implemented some new security measures. Assuming you got the Orgasmatron Installer from our download site, it’s safe. It obviously was produced with a different IP address than your system which explains the warning.]

  13. ward says:

    BUG: Wrong version of install-cepstral loads on 32-bit systems. Here’s the fix:

    cd /root/nv
    rm install-cepstral
    wget http://pbxinaflash.net/source/cepstral/install-cepstral
    chmod +x install-cepstral

  14. re: “Orgasmatron on Amazon EC2″

    http://voxilla.com/2009/10/15/asterisk-on-the-cloud-with-a-click-1405

    Seems like the PiaF NV people should one-up them with an Orgasmatron Amazon Machine Image

    😀

  15. SIPsorcery seems to be already playing that game 😉

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