Home » Technology » 5 Steps to Paradise: It’s Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8

The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

5 Steps to Paradise: It’s Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8

Hard to believe it's been almost six months since we introduced The Incredible PBX, but that makes today even more special. With the release of Asterisk® 1.8, the PBX in a Flash Development Team headed up by Tom King burned the midnight oil to introduce the latest PBX in a Flash Purple Edition with Asterisk 1.8 in less than 24 hours.

News Flash: Incredible PBX 4.0 is now available with FreePBX 2.10 support!

Coming January 19: Incredible PBX 11 & Incredible Fax for Asterisk 11 and FreePBX 2.11

So we had all the tools necessary to reengineer, design and build the all-new Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8. What used to be a somewhat kludgey, dual-call, dual-provider Google Voice implementation to take advantage of Google's free PSTN calling in the U.S. and Canada with Asterisk 1.4 and 1.6 is now a zippy-quick, Gtalk-based calling platform that rivals the best SIP-to-SIP calls on the planet and provides virtually instantaneous PSTN connections to almost anybody, anywhere. Trust us! Except for the price which is now free, you'll never know you weren't connected via Ma Bell's overpriced long-distance lines and neither will the Little Mrs. And, yes, our recommended $50 Nortel SIP videophone is plug-and-play on extensions 701 and 702.

Just download the latest PBX in a Flash ISO, burn to then boot from the PIAF CD, choose the Purple Edition to load Asterisk 1.8 and FreePBX 2.8, and then install the new Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8. In about an hour, you'll have a turnkey PBX with a local phone number and free calling in the U.S. and Canada via your own Google Voice account plus dozens and dozens of terrific Asterisk applications to keep your head spinning for months.

Thanks to its Zero Internet Footprintβ„’ design, The Incredible PBX remains the most secure Asterisk-based PBX around. What this means is The Incredible PBXβ„’ has been engineered to sit safely behind a NAT-based, hardware firewall with minimal port exposure to your actual server. And you won't find a more full-featured Personal Branch Exchangeβ„’ at any price.

Did we mention that all of this telephone goodness is still absolutely FREE!

The Incredible PBX Inventory. For those that have never heard of The Incredible PBX, here's a feature list of components you get in addition to the base install of PBX in a Flash the latest CentOS 5.x, Asterisk 1.8, FreePBX 2.8, and Apache, SendMail, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, IPtables Linux firewall, Fail2Ban, and WebMin. Cepstral TTS, Hamachi VPN, and Mondo Backups are just one command away and may be installed using some of the PBX in a Flash-provided scripts.

Prerequisites. Here's what we recommend to get started properly:

Installing The Incredible PBX. The installation process is simple and straight-forward. Here are the 5 Easy Steps to Free Calling, and The Incredible PBX will be ready to receive and make free U.S./Canada calls immediately:

1. Install PBX in a Flash Purple Edition
2. Download & run The Incredible PBX 1.8 installer
3. Run passwd-master on your PIAF server
4. Map UDP 5222 on firewall to PIAF server
5. Configure a softphone or SIP telephone

Installing PBX in a Flash. Here's a quick tutorial to get PBX in a Flash installed. To use Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8, you must install the latest 32-bit version of PBX in a Flash.3 Unlike other Asterisk aggregations, PBX in a Flash utilizes a two-step install process. The ISO only installs the CentOS operating system. That hasn't changed. But, once CentOS is installed, the server reboots and downloads a payload file that includes Asterisk, FreePBX, and many other VoIP and Linux utilities including all of the new Google Voice components. Just choose the new Purple Payload to get the latest Asterisk 1.8 release and all of the Google Voice goodies!

You can download the 32-bit PIAF from SourceForge or one of our download mirrors. Burn the ISO to a CD. Then boot from the installation CD and press the Enter key to begin.

WARNING: This install will completely erase, repartition, and reformat EVERY DISK (including USB flash drives) connected to your system so disable any disk you wish to preserve! Press Ctrl-C to cancel the install.

On some systems you may get a notice that CentOS can't find the kickstart file. Just tab to OK and press Enter. Don't change the name or location of the kickstart file! This will get you going. Think of it as a CentOS 'feature'. πŸ™‚ If your system still won't boot, then you have an incompatible drive controller.

At the keyboard prompt, tab to OK and press Enter. At the time zone prompt, tab once, highlight your time zone, tab to OK and press Enter. At the password prompt, make up a VERY secure root password. Type it twice. Tab to OK, press Enter. Get a cup of coffee. Come back in about 5 minutes. When the system has installed CentOS, it will reboot. Remove the CD promptly. After the reboot, choose PIAF-Purple option. Have a 15-minute cup of coffee. After installation is complete, the machine will reboot a second time. 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. Write down the IP address of your new PIAF server. You'll need it to configure your hardware-based firewall in a minute.

NOTE: For previous users of PBX in a Flash, be aware that this new version automatically runs update-programs and update-fixes for you. You still should set your FreePBX passwords by running passwd-master after The Incredible PBX installer finishes!

Configuring Google Voice. You'll need a dedicated Google Voice account to support The Incredible PBX. The more obscure the username (with some embedded numbers), the better off you will be. This will keep folks from bombarding you with unsolicited Gtalk chat messages, and who knows what nefarious scheme will be discovered using Google messaging six months from now. So why take the chance. Keep this account a secret!

We've tested this extensively using an existing Gmail account, and inbound calling is just not reliable. The reason seems to be that Google always chooses Gmail chat as the inbound call destination if there are multiple registrations from the same IP address. So, be reasonable. Do it our way! Set up a dedicated Gmail and Google Voice account, and use it exclusively with The Incredible PBX. Google Voice no longer is by invitation only so, if you're in the U.S. or have a friend that is, head over to the Google Voice site and register. If you're living on another continent, see MisterQ's posting for some tips on getting set up.

You must choose a telephone number (aka DID) for your new account, or Google Voice calling will not work... in either direction. Google used to permit outbound Gtalk calls using a fake CallerID, but that obviously led to abuse so it's over! You also have to tie your Google Voice account to at least one working phone number as part of the initial setup process. Your cellphone number will work just fine. Don't skip this step either. Just enter the provided 2-digit confirmation code when you tell Google to place the test call to the phone number you entered. Once the number is registered, you can disable it if you'd like in Settings, Voice Setting, Phones. But...

IMPORTANT: Be sure to enable the Google Chat option as one of your phone destinations in Settings, Voice Setting, Phones. That's the destination we need for The Incredible PBX to work its magic! Otherwise, all inbound and outbound calls will fail. If you don't see this option, you may need to call up Gmail and enable Google Chat there first. Then go back to the Google Voice Settings.

While you're still in Google Voice Settings, click on the Calls tab. Make sure your settings match these:

  • Call Screening - OFF
  • Call Presentation - OFF
  • Caller ID (In) - Display Caller's Number
  • Caller ID (Out) - Don't Change Anything
  • Do Not Disturb - OFF

Click Save Changes once you adjust your settings. Under the Voicemail tab, plug in your email address so you get notified of new voicemails. Down the road, receipt of a Google Voice voicemail will be a big hint that something has come unglued on your PBX.

Running The Incredible PBX Installer. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands to download and run The Incredible PBX installer:

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/incrediblepbx18.x
chmod +x incrediblepbx18.x

If you've installed the previous version of The Incredible PBX, you'll recall that there was a two-step install process after configuring another trunk with either SIPgate or IPkall. That's now a thing of the past. All you need to do after The Incredible PBX script completes is run passwd-master to set up your master password for FreePBX.

When The Incredible PBX install begins, you'll be prompted for the following:

Google Voice Account Name
Google Voice Password
Gmail Notification Address
FreePBX maint Password

The Google Voice Account Name is the Gmail address for your new dedicated account, e.g. joeschmo@gmail.com. Don't forget @gmail.com! The Google Voice Password is the password for this dedicated account. The Gmail Notification Address is the email address where you wish to receive alerts when incoming and outgoing Google Voice calls are placed using The Incredible PBX. And your FreePBX maint Password is the password you'll use to access FreePBX. You'll actually set it by running passwd-master after The Incredible PBX completes. We need this password to properly configure the CallerID Superfecta for you. By the way, none of this confidential information ever leaves your machine... just in case you were wondering. πŸ™„

Now have another 15-minute cup of coffee, and consider a modest donation to Nerd Vittles... for all of our hard work. πŸ˜‰ You'll find a link at the top of the page. While you're waiting (and so you don't forget), go ahead and configure your hardware-based firewall to support Google Voice. See the next section for what's required. Without completing this firewall configuration step, no calls will work! When the installer finishes, READ THE SCREEN just for grins.

Here's a short video demonstration of the original Incredible PBX installer process. It still works just about the same way except there's no longer a second step to get things working.

One final word of caution is in order regardless of your choice of providers: Do NOT use special characters in any provider passwords, or nothing will work!

Firewall Configuration. We hope you've taken our advice and installed a hardware-based firewall in front of The Incredible PBX. It's your phone bill. You'll need to make one adjustment on the firewall. Map UDP 5222 traffic to the internal IP address of The Incredible PBX. This is the port that Google Voice uses for phone calls and Google chat. You can decipher the IP address of your server by logging into the server as root and typing status.

Logging in to FreePBX. Using a web browser, you access the FreePBX GUI by pointing your browser to the IP address of your Incredible PBX. Click on the Admin tab and choose FreePBX. When prompted for a username, it's maint. When prompted for the password, it's whatever you set up as your maint password when you installed Incredible PBX. If you forget it, you can always reset it by logging into your server as root and running passwd-master.

Extension Password Discovery. If you're too lazy to look up your extension 701 password using the FreePBX GUI, you can log into your server as root and issue the following command to obtain the password for extension 701 which we'll need to configure your softphone or color videophone in the next step:

mysql -uroot -ppassw0rd -e"select id,data from asterisk.sip where id='701' and keyword='secret'"

The result will look something like the following where 701 is the extension and 18016 is the randomly-generated extension password exclusively for your Incredible PBX:

id         data
701      18016

Configuring a SIP Phone. There are hundreds of terrific SIP telephones and softphones for Asterisk-based systems. Once you get things humming along, you'll want a real SIP telephone such as the $50 Nortel color videophone we've recommended above. You'll also find lots of additional recommendations on Nerd Vittles and in the PBX in a Flash Forum. If you're like us, we want to make damn sure this stuff works before you shell out any money. So, for today, let's download a terrific (free) softphone to get you started. We recommend X-Lite because there are versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux. So download your favorite from this link. Install and run X-Lite on your Desktop. At the top of the phone, click on the Down Arrow and choose SIP Account Settings, Add. Enter the following information using your actual password for extension 701 and the actual IP address of your Incredible PBX server instead of Click OK when finished. Your softphone should now show: Available.

Incredible PBX Test Flight. The proof is in the pudding as they say. So let's try two simple tests. First, let's place an outbound call. Using the softphone, dial your 10-digit cellphone number. Google Voice should transparently connect you. Answer the call and make sure you can send and receive voice on both phones. Second, from another phone, call the Google Voice number that you've dedicated to The Incredible PBX. Your softphone should begin ringing shortly. Answer the call, press 1 to accept the call, and then make sure you can send and receive voice on both phones. Hang up. If everything is working, congratulations!

Here's a brief video demonstration showing how to set up a softphone to use with your Incredible PBX, and it also walks you through several of the dozens of Asterisk applications included in your system.

Solving One-Way Audio Problems. If you experience one-way audio on some of your phone calls, you may need to adjust the settings in /etc/asterisk/sip_custom.conf. Just uncomment the first two lines by removing the semicolons. Then replace with your public IP address, and replace with the subnet address of your private network. There are similar settings in gtalk.conf that can be activated although we've never had to use them. In fact, we've never had to use any of these settings. After making these changes, save the file(s) and restart Asterisk with the command: amportal restart.

Learn First. Explore Second. Even though the installation process has been completed, we strongly recommend you do some reading before you begin your VoIP adventure. 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 time learning where the minefields are in today's VoIP world. Start by reading our Primer on Asterisk Security. We've secured all of your passwords except your root password and your passwd-master password, and we're assuming you've put very secure passwords on those accounts as if your phone bill depended upon it. It does! Also 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.

Adding Multiple Google Voice Trunks. Thanks to rentpbx on our forums, adding support for multiple Google Voice trunks is now a five-minute operation. Once you have your initial setup running smoothly, hop on over to the forums and check out this Incredible solution.

Choosing a VoIP Provider for Redundancy. Nothing beats free when it comes to long distance calls. But nothing lasts forever. And, in the VoIP World, redundancy is dirt cheap. So we strongly recommend you set up another account with Vitelity using our special link below. This gives your PBX a secondary way to communicate with every telephone in the world, and it also gets you a second 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 trunks for Vitelity already are preconfigured with The Incredible PBX. Just insert your credentials using FreePBX. Then add the Vitelity trunk as the third destination for your default outbound route. That's it. Congratulations! You now have a totally redundant phone system.

Using ENUMPlus. Another terrific money-saving tool is ENUM. Your system comes with ENUMPlus installed. The advantage of ENUM is that numbers registered with any of the ENUM services such as e164.org can be called via SIP for free. You can read all about it in this Nerd Vittles' article. To activate ENUMPlus, you'll need to register and obtain an API Key at enumplus.org. It's free! Sign up, log in, and click on the Account tab to get your API key. Once you have your key, copy it to your clipboard and open FreePBX with your browser. Then choose SetUp, ENUMPlus and paste in your API Key. Save your entry, and you're all set. After entering your key, all outbound calls will be checked for a free ENUM calling path first before using other outbound trunks.

Stealth AutoAttendant. When incoming calls arrive, the caller is greeted with a welcoming message from Allison which says something like "Thanks for calling. Please hold a moment while I locate someone to take your call." To the caller, it's merely a greeting. To those "in the know," it's actually an autoattendant (aka IVR system) that gives you the opportunity to press a button during the message to trigger the running of some application on your Incredible PBX. As configured, the only option that works is 0 which fires up the Nerd Vittles Apps IVR. It's quite easy to add additional features such as voicemail retrieval or DISA for outbound calling. Just edit the MainIVR option in FreePBX under Setup, IVR. Keep in mind that anyone (anywhere in the world) can choose these options. So be extremely careful not to expose your system to security vulnerabilities by making certain that any options you add have very secure passwords! It's your phone bill. πŸ˜‰

Configuring Email. You're going to want to be notified when updates are available for FreePBX, and you may also want notifications when new voicemails arrive. Everything already is set up for you except actually entering your email notification address. Using a web browser, open the FreePBX GUI by pointing your browser to the IP address of your Incredible PBX. Then click Administration and choose FreePBX. To set your email address for FreePBX updates, go to Setup, General Settings and scroll to the bottom of the screen. To configure emails to notify you of incoming voicemails, go to Setup, Extensions, 701 and scroll to the bottom of the screen. Then follow your nose. Be sure to reload FreePBX when prompted after saving your changes.

A Word About Security. Security matters to us, and it should matter to you. Not only is the safety of your system at stake but also your wallet and the safety of other folks' systems. Our only means of contacting you with security updates is through the RSS Feed that we maintain for the PBX in a Flash project. This feed is prominently displayed in the web GUI which you can access with any browser pointed to the IP address of your server. Check It Daily! Or add our RSS Feed to your favorite RSS Reader. We also recommend you follow @NerdUno on Twitter. We'll keep you entertained and provide immediate notification of security problems that we hear about. Be safe!

Enabling Google Voicemail. Some have requested a way to retain Google's voicemail system for unanswered calls in lieu of using Asterisk voicemail. The advantage is that Google offers a free transcription service for voicemail messages. To activate this, you'll need to edit the [googlein] context in extensions_custom.conf in /etc/asterisk. Just modify the last four lines in the context so that they look like this and then restart Asterisk: amportal restart

;exten => s,n(regcall),Answer
;exten => s,n,SendDTMF(1)
exten => s,n(regcall),Set(DIAL_OPTIONS=${DIAL_OPTIONS}aD(:1))
exten => s,n,Goto(from-trunk,gv-incoming,1)

Kicking the Tires. OK. That's enough tutorial for today. Let's play. Using your new softphone, begin your adventure by dialing these extensions:

  • D-E-M-O - Incredible PBX Demo (running on your PBX)
  • 1234*1061 - Nerd Vittles Demo via ISN FreeNum connection to NV
  • 17476009082*1089 - Nerd Vittles Demo via ISN to Google/Gizmo5
  • 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 regular/recurring reminder (PW: 12345678)
  • 2-2-2 - ODBC/Timeclock Lookup Demo (Empl No: 12345)
  • 2-2-3 - ODBC/AsteriDex Lookup Demo (Code: AME)
  • Dial *68 - Schedule a hotel-style wakeup call from any extension
  • 1061*1061 - PIAF Support Conference Bridge (Conf#: 1061)
  • 882*1061 - VoIP Users Conference every Friday at Noon (EST)

PBX in a Flash SQLite Registry. Last, but not least, we want to introduce you to the new PBX in a Flash Registry which uses SQLite, a zero-configuration SQL-compatible database engine. After logging into your server as root, just type show-registry for a listing of all of the applications, versions, and install dates of everything on your new server. Choosing the A option will generate registry.txt in the /root folder while the other options will let you review the applications by category on the screen. For example, the G option displays all of The Incredible PBX add-ons that have been installed. Here's the complete list of options:

  • A - Write the contents of the registry to registry.txt
  • B - PBX in a Flash install details
  • C - Extra programs install details
  • D - Update-fixes status and details
  • E - RPM install details
  • F - FreePBX modules install details
  • G - Incredible PBX install details
  • Q - Quit this program

And here's a sample from an install we just completed. We'll have more details and additional utilities for your use in coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Click above. Enter your name and phone number. Press Connect to begin the call.

Special Thanks. It's hard to know where to start in expressing our gratitude for all of the participants that made today's incredibly simple-to-use product possible. Please bear with us. To Mark Spencer, Malcolm Davenport, and the rest of the Asterisk development team, thanks for a much improved Asterisk. To Philippe Sultan and his co-developers, thank you for finally making Jabber jabber with Asterisk. To Leif Madsen, our special thanks for your early pioneering work with Gtalk and Jabber which got this ball rolling. To Philippe Lindheimer & Co., thanks for FreePBX 2.8 which really makes Asterisk shine. To Lefteris Zafiris, thank you for making Flite work with Asterisk 1.8 thereby preserving all of the Nerd Vittles text-to-speech applications. To Darren Sessions, thanks for whipping app_swift into shape and restoring Cepstral and commercial TTS applications to the land of the living with Asterisk 1.8. And to our pal, Tom King, we couldn't have done it without you. You rolled up your sleeves and really made Asterisk 1.8.0 sit up and bark. No one will quite understand what an endeavor that was until they try it themselves. You've made it look so easy. And, finally, to our dozens of beta testers, THANK YOU! We've implemented almost all of your suggestions.

Additional Goodies. Be sure to 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. The 32-bit install-cepstral script does just what it says. With Allison's Cepstral voice, you'll have the best TTS implementation for Asterisk available. ipscan is a little shell script that will tell you every working IP device on your LAN. trunks.sh tells you all of the Asterisk trunks configured on your system. purgeCIDcache.sh will clean out the CallerID cache in the Asterisk database. convert2gsm.sh shows you how to convert a .wav file to .gsm. munin.pbx will install Munin on your system while awstats.pbx installs AWstats. s3cmd.faq tells you how to quickly activate the Amazon S3 Cloud Computing service. All the other scripts and apps in /root/nv already have been installed for you so don't install them again.

If you've heeded our advice and purchased a PogoPlug, you can link to your home-grown cloud as well. Just add your credentials to /root/pogo-start.sh. Then run the script to enable the PogoPlug Cloud on your server. All of your cloud resources are instantly accessible in /mnt/pogoplug. It's perfect for off-site backups and is included as one of the backup options in the PBX in a Flash backup utilities.

Don't forget to List Yourself in Directory Assistance so everyone can find you by dialing 411. And add your new number to the Do Not Call Registry to block telemarketing calls. Or just call 888-382-1222 from your new number. Enjoy!

Originally published: Monday, November 1, 2010

VoIP Virtualization with Incredible PBX: OpenVZ and Cloud Solutions

Safely Interconnecting Asterisk Servers for Free Calling

Adding Skype to The Incredible PBX

Adding Incredible Backup... and Restore to The Incredible PBX

Adding Remotes, Preserving Security with The Incredible PBX

Remote Phone Meets Travelin' Man with The Incredible PBX

Continue reading Part II.

Continue reading Part III.

Continue reading Part IV.

Support Issues. With any application as sophisticated as this one, you're bound to have questions. Blog comments are a terrible place to handle support issues although we welcome general comments about our articles and software. If you have particular support issues, we encourage you to get actively involved in the PBX in a Flash Forums. It's the best Asterisk tech support site in the business, and it's all free! We maintain a thread with the latest Patches and Bug Fixes for Incredible PBX. Please have a look. Unlike some forums, ours is extremely friendly and is supported by literally hundreds of Asterisk gurus and thousands of ordinary users just like you. So you won't have to wait long for an answer to your questions.

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.
Or Try the New, Free PBX in a Flash Conference Bridge.

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.


Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors

FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!

Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.

Some Recent Nerd Vittles Articles of Interest...

  1. For 64-bit systems with Asterisk 1.8, use the Cepstral install procedures outlined in this Nerd Vittles article. []
  2. If you use the recommended Acer Aspire Revo, be advised that it does NOT include a CD/DVD drive. You will need an external USB drive to load the software. Some of these work with CentOS, and some don't. Most HP and Sony drives work; however, we strongly recommend you purchase an external DVD drive from a merchant that will accept returns, e.g. Best Buy, WalMart, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples. You also can run The Incredible PBX on a virtual machine such as the free Proxmox server. Another less costly (but untested) option might be this Shuttle from NewEgg: $185 with free shipping. Use Promo Code: EMCYTZT220 []
  3. HINT: Version recommended, but ISOs also work just fine. []


  1. There seems to be an issue installing PIAF on a vmware system. Is anyone having issues with the IVR? Calling out works great, however calling in causes all sorts of problems. The system usually doesn’t route the call properly, and the ivr cant be understood at all. It seems that the problem might have to do with the way vmware handles timing, but I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions?

    [WM: Visit the forums and search for vmware. You might also review the Virtual Machine section of the PBX in a Flash home page.]

  2. Regarding sheevaplug, it is arm based not x86 so direct install I-PBX is not possible. If you want to make it work, you will need to recompile it from source code. I have tried to install Asterisk 1.8 with gtalk on sheevaplug and Dockstar, a variant of it. Unfortunately, even such a bare-bone implementation have issues and have not worked yet. Hope someone can report some success in the future.

    [WM: See this thread on the forums.]

  3. VMware Update from Richard in the U.K.:

    Just a quick note about the latest PIAF running on vmware. Using the current kernel its worth modifying boot.conf to append: divider=10

    This has the effect of changing the kernel to 100Hz update which improves audio and drops cpu utilization. As recommended


    Also means that the custom vm kernels as shown on your site shouldnt be needed.

  4. I would be very interested in learning what it takes to get this working with a legit DID provider. Google doesn’t work for us…

    I keep spending money on hardware and cards, and it seems like there is always a catch. I *so* want to get a business phone solution up and going…

    [WM: Takes less than a minute. Sign up for a Vitelity account as covered in our articles, fill in your Vitelity credentials in the two preconfigured trunks for Vitelity, change the outbound and inbound routes to point to your Vitelity trunks, and boom. You’re done.]

  5. Just though I’d let you know – if you click up above where it says "Just download the latest PBX in a Flash ISO", it takes you to the Download Center. If while there you click "The Incredible PBX for Asterisk 1.8″ (which would seem the logical choice), you get sent back to this page, and round and round and round we go. And there’s no mention of a version How about a more direct link for those of us among the confused?

    [WM: Nothing beats actually reading the article. The SourceForge, Google, and Vitelity links on our download page all include the ISO. πŸ™„ ]

  6. what is the command to show what asterisk is doing in the command window? You have it in the video demonstration. I have tried different ones but don’t get the detail that yours has.

    [WM: rasterisk -vvvvvvvvvv ]

  7. Is there a way to get my local answering machine to get the voicemail instead of using PBX’s voicemail? Every time my answering machine starts to kick in, the caller will still go to PBX’s voicemail and the answering machine will get an empty message…

    [WM: Just disable the voicemail option for extensions 701 and 702.]

  8. I installed everything along with my Gvoice account and number and everything is working properly, the only problem I am having is accessing the FreePBX admin page, I have tried admin|admin and all the password I have configured along the way, am I missing something? Thanks.

    [WM: The username for the FreePBX GUI is maint. Before attempting to log in, set the password by logging into your server as root and issuing the command: passwd-master. ]

  9. If you have problems with outbound calls failing after a day or two, try this. Edit /etc/crontab and adjust the /root/jab script to only run during the time you actually make outbound calls each day…

    */9 07-21 * * * root /root/jab > /dev/null

  10. I have been able to get everything up and running until yesterday that I realized that everytime I make outgoing calls, it rings infinitely like no one is answering the phone while in fact its actually not calling the phone… Do you know what could be causing this?

    [WM: See this thread on the PIAF Forums for the latest news.]

  11. Hi Ward,
    I followed and everything worked like charm first time and after a week or so…today I started having issues with outgoing calls…just rings and other party don’t receive the call and keeps ringing on my side…rasterisk shows that it did initiate the call and ringing…tried ur last tip about crontab with no luck…rebooted several times and no luck…anything changed on google side? or am I doing something wrong? Appreciate any help on this.

    [WM: See this thread on the PIAF Forums for the latest news.]

  12. Just a quick note to say that Asterisk 1.8 has some annoying issues that were fixed on 1.8.1-RC1, including never ending ringing extensions even if the call was answered, and a bug that prevented any channel redirection via AMI or CLI to work (making fop or fop2 unusable). If you have these problems you might need to upgrade asterisk to 1.8.1

  13. When I try doing the wget for incrediblepbx18.x I get 403 Forbidden. I can get incrediblepbx.x, but that comes down with a 11/1 date.

  14. Oh, and if i run the incrediblepbx.x it tries to go get the incrediblepbx18.x file, again with the result being 403 Forbidden

    [WM: We were loading a new version that fixes the outbound calling problem introduced by Google on December 1. Hope you’ll find it was worth the wait. πŸ˜‰ ]

  15. The riddle with outbound calls failing with Asterisk 1.8 has been solved. It turns out that Asterisk 1.8 now requires the Python gvoice script to be run as root. To permanently fix existing systems, here’s the answer.

  16. Is something wrong with incrediblepbx.net? I am getting errors, and its not going to the other site, its skipping over parts because it cant access the site its trying to get, and im wondering if I can have it go back and download what it missed, or do i have to install the incredible PBX all over again from scratch.

    [WM: We don’t have an incrediblepbx.net site. Did you mean pbxinaflash.net? If so, what errors are you getting??]

  17. Is anyone else having problems with one way audio. I’m only having this problem with incoming calls to googlevoice. Outgoing calls work fine with 2way audio from google voice. When someone calls into googlevoice, I say hello. They can hear me just fine. However I cannot hear anything that the caller says. I am forwarding port 5222 to my server, I am really at a loss here. Can someone point me in the right direction Any ideas?

  18. I tried to use the new ISO but kept having problem like the asterisk didn’t get installed properly … in turn made incrediblepbx18.x failed … tried on 2 different computer with the same result.

    [WM: Third time’s a charm. There were some issues earlier today that now have been addressed. Sorry.]

  19. Is there an updated guide on how to setup the 57i on The Incredible PBX/PBX in a Flash. Some of the links in the older one do not seem to work any longer.

  20. If you’re a pioneer, the latest build of Incredible PBX incorporates all of the patches, fixes, mods, and updates covered in this article. Just follow the installation instructions here.

  21. you guys rock thank you ward.

    onward i will chug as did many pioneers

    got second hdd with older install gonna put new wad on diff hdd so got backup plan, which is best plan when t he phone is free.

  22. Hi,
    Used PIAF in previous versions and then got away from it. I am doing a new install with Incredible PBX, but I have run into a snag. Just created a dedicated GV account by I don’t have the option to add Google Chat as a destination. The screen says "Forwards to:" and the only destination there is Home. If I add another phone, the only options for that phone are mobile, home, work, Gizmo. I don’t seem to add Google Chat. Help ! What am I doing wrong ?

    [WM: Using your new account credentials, log into Gmail and activate Chat. Then return to Google Voice and the Google Chat option will be there.]

  23. Just installed the latest Incredible PBX, was reading the settings that the script setup for the gvoice, it is not clear how to best adapt them setting to multi-tenant setup, looks like the code in custom extensions.conf has been modded from what it was. what would be best way to make it setup along lines of rentpbx,with new mods ?

    [WM: See this thread on the forums.]

  24. I install the latest version from SourceForge and installed it on a esx4 host. Install of PIAF went according to plan. Problem is that when i try to download incrediblepbx18.x I never get a solid connection to the to the download server. As of right now the download has reset about 6 times without success. Farthest I got was about 51%. I know my connection here is good (speeds 4up 3down)…any suggestions??

    [WM: The file is only 36K. Sounds like the network driver is incompatible with your network card. Head to the forums if you need additional support.]

  25. Great site! I did the vm install on my laptop and was able to make and receive calls. Lots of echo on the outbound, but I’ll work on that.
    The Nortel phone you guys show above, man, those turds on Ebay really up’ed the price. Guess I’ll try something else.

  26. For unanswered calls, if you’d prefer to use Google Voice voicemail (with transcription) rather than Asterisk voicemail, here’s a thread on the PIAF Forums that will show you how to make this simple change.

  27. Is there a way to support multiple Google Voice numbers through the same PIAF PBX? I would like to give the kids their own phone numbers even if there are tied to specific extensions.

    [WM: See this thread on the PIAF Forums.]

  28. A major SIP security vulnerability was discovered in all versions of Asterisk today. You can read all about it here.

    We have developed a script which will quickly patch your system and eliminate the problem. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

    cd /root
    wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sipfix
    chmod +x sipfix

    Please apply this patch immediately to protect your server!

  29. Hello Ward,
    This is probably a stupid/repetitive question, but I have PIAF v1.2.9 with Asterisk but the FreePBX is fully up-to-date to v Is it possible for me to just upgrade the asterisk to v1.8 and assume that FreePBX 2.8 knows how to configure Asterisk 1.8? What about the config files? If I just backup/restore or just not touch them…would that upgrade just Asterisk to 1.8 without changing anything else? Not really concerned so much about the Incredible PBX at this point.

    [WM: Even though you’re not using Incredible PBX, the Incredible Backup should do exactly what you want to do. Take a look at the article.]

  30. I think all of this Google voice Asterisk 1.8 stuff needs clean up! IT IS NOT CONCISE AT ALL.

    Is the Google Voice trunk part already included in PIAF or not?

    I did a clean install of PIAF, made an extension then installed the bloatware here only to find that after restarting, I lost my web interface.

    [WM: If you had read the article first, you would have noted that it advises you to install Incredible PBX on a clean install of PBX in a Flash because it replaces your FreePBX setup. πŸ™„ And, no, Google Voice is not configured in the initial PIAF install.]

  31. Crappy script even changes the ssh host key!

    [WM: You’re, of course, entitled to your opinion, however, the SSH keys are changed because a number of users install PBX in a Flash from an OpenVZ template. As a security precaution, the keys are changed to assure that your keys are unique. Not sure what the concern is other than having to acknowledge the change.]

  32. Incredible PBX is really amazing! Superb GV, Skype, and backup integration.
    Q1 Really now looking on how to get A2Billing or similar to keep track of costs.
    Q2 Does skype video work?

  33. Guys…. I would like to install this, but my current CentOS Environment with 1.8 is my main server (heavily modified).

    Not sure what to do – sounds like I need to completed trash my server, and start fresh (ugly) – is there anything I am missing something?

    Aside from all the other servers (joomla, forum, wordpress, misterhouse…..) what to do what to do???

    [WM: Install it on a separate server. πŸ™‚ ]

  34. Ok, fresh install of PIAF then IPBX. Set up everything for google voice. I can make outgoing calls with no problems, but incoming calls do not. (Callers side, it rings 5 times then goes to google’s voicemail).

    [WM: Recheck all of the steps, especially the Google Voice configuration. Did you enable the Google Chat destination as one of your Phones? Can you complete an inbound call to the Google Chat client in Gmail? If this doesn’t fix it, head to the forums.]

Comments are closed.