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BYOB: Easy Peasy PIAF-Green with Asterisk 11.8.1 and ‘Genuine’ CentOS 6.5

Let’s put aside the debate over Red Hat CentOS licensing and the GPL for a moment and talk about everyone’s favorite party. And we confess up front to being big fans of Patrón tequila. But let’s suppose for a moment that the Patrón family added some fine print to the label on their tequila bottles that said you cannot distribute margaritas with Patrón tequila and claim they are made with genuine Patrón tequila because the drink is no longer pure Patrón. In other words, for your Margaritaville invitations, you now have to state that each invitee BYOB, and you’ll provide the mixers and ice. WOW! What a party!

So that’s where we find ourselves in the current CentOS standoff with Red Hat. To demonstrate just how silly this entire trademark gimmick is, today we’re going to show you how to Bring Your Own CentOS platform and build a genuine PBX in a Flash server with Asterisk and FreePBX in about the same time as in the good ol’ days. When you’re finished you’ll have exactly the same PBX in a Flash server running on a genuine CentOS platform. Have we diluted CentOS or the CentOS brand? Not at all. In fact, we’ve made the exact same margarita! What this little experiment demonstrates is the real motivation behind the Red Hat licensing restrictions which have little or nothing to do with brand dilution.

Creating the Base CentOS Platform for PBX in a Flash

We’re not doing anything special here. In fact, you can build your base CentOS platform for PBX in a Flash on a standalone server, on a virtual machine of your choice, or in the cloud using a provider such as Amazon or RentPBX.

Start by downloading the 32-bit or 64-bit CentOS 6.5 minimal install ISO. You can do exactly the same thing using Scientific Linux if you prefer. Go through the usual drill of preparing an installer from the ISO. Burn the ISO to a USB Thumb Drive or a CD/DVD using a Mac or Windows machine. Then create your CentOS 6.5 platform on the hardware of your choice.

By default, neither CentOS nor Scientific Linux installs with network connectivity enabled. This is one of the primary reasons that we always have customized CentOS for use with PBX in a Flash. After performing a minimal OS install, log in as root and issue the following commands to prepare your server for PBX in a Flash:

sed -i 's|no|yes|' /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0
ifup eth0
yum -y install wget nano

Creating a PBX in a Flash Server

Now you’re ready to make a margarita. Just download the PIAF3 Installer and run it. It works exactly as it always has. The installer is plain text so feel free to customize it to meet your own requirements. If you need the complete PIAF installation tutorial, jump to this link. Party on!

cd /root
wget http://pbxinaflash.com/piaf3-install.tar.gz
tar zxvf piaf3-install.tar.gz

Originally published: Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.


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1 Comment

  1. Ward,

    I have been following your project for some time now, since the beginning of PIAF 2.x, and I must say that out of all the articles I have read here- this is my favorite! LOL. Two reasons why:

    (1) It is the most professional manner I have ever seen one entity tell another to f**k off, a HUGE round of applause and bravo for that- I can take many lessons from you there LOL

    (2) The use of this fictional Patron and margarita making scenario as a euphemism for this CentOS debacle is absolutely priceless.

    Thank you for the work that you and your team do, it has saved my (very) small business a lot of (very) important dollars!

    Cheers and Best Regards,


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