Home » Incredible PBX » Ubuntu/Debian (Page 2)

Category Archives: Ubuntu/Debian

The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

Meet the $500 Multi-Purpose Powerhouse: The Acer Aspire 5



We review lots of hardware and numerous operating systems, but none come close to this steal from Amazon for under $500. The Acer Aspire 5 comes in many flavors at many price points. But, if loads of RAM (20GB) and a huge storage capacity (1TB NVMe SSD) top your list of must-haves, nothing we’ve found can touch this deal. The rest of its pedigree is equally impressive: a Ryzen 3 3350U 4-core processor (up to 3.5GHz), backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader for one-touch logins, Amazon Alexa, and Windows 11. As most of you know, our Amazon referral links provide funding to keep the lights on at Nerd Vittles, but none of our recommendations are based upon referral revenue. We eat our own dog food so these are products that we not only test but actually use.

The surprises don’t stop with this hardware discovery. Despite having read a number of articles decrying the lack of Linux support with Acer’s Aspire 5, we found quite the opposite. By setting up a dual-boot configuration, we were able to easily load our absolute favorite desktop Linux distribution, Zorin OS 16. Zorin comes in several flavors: a free offering, a School edition, and a $39 Pro version that can be installed on as many non-business computers as you own. For businesses, you can afford a license for each machine. For schools, there is no charge for the super-charged education edition. We opted for Zorin Pro whose desktop can emulate eight different desktop favorites including Ubuntu, Windows, and Mac. Here are our favorites:


Our project today is to walk you through setting up a dual-boot machine where you can elect to run Windows 11 or Zorin 16 when you startup your machine. Why have two operating systems? The primary reason is you get the best of both worlds. All of the traditional Windows 11 applications will run without a hiccup. And Zorin Pro provides an incredible assortment of apps including the full LibreOffice suite, VirtualBox, music apps including Clementine, video streaming with VLC Media Player, Gnome’s Gmail, Firefox, and a number of free photo editing tools. In short, all apps that will run under Ubuntu will run under Zorin. If you’re a diehard OpenVPN fan like us, it works swimmingly under both operating systems.

Configuring Acer Aspire 5 for Dual-Boot

We won’t bore you with a tutorial on setting up Windows 11 on the Acer Aspire 5. It works much the same way as it does on any other modern computer. Once you get Windows 11 installed, the only change we need to make is to shrink the main Windows partition so that there is some room to install and use Zorin. From the Windows desktop, tap the Windows key and Search for “Create and format hard disk partitions”. Highlight your main Windows drive, usually called “OS (C:)”. Control-tap on the Touchpad in that partition and select “Shrink Volume”. Choose the amount of space to shrink the Windows partition and allocate to Zorin. We chose 250GB, but that’s your call. Reboot your machine for the changes to take effect. When the boot logo appears, press F2 repeatedly to enter the BIOS setup. Click on the Security tab and set a Supervisor Password. No other changes are necessary. Move to the Exit tab and choose Exit and Save Changes to initiate a reboot.

Preparing Zorin 16 Installation Media

Prepare a USB stick after downloading the Zorin 16 ISO of your choice. The easiest method is to download and install balenaEtcher on your desktop machine. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Insert your USB stick into your desktop computer and then run the balenaEtcher app. Choose your Zorin ISO after clicking Flash from File. Choose your USB stick from Select Target. Be sure you don’t accidentally choose your desktop’s main drive! Click the Flash button to begin. Once the ISO is transferred, gracefully eject your USB stick from your desktop machine.

Installing Zorin 16 on Acer Aspire 5

Now we’re ready to install Zorin on your Aspire 5. Insert the USB stick and turn on or reboot the computer. The machine will boot Zorin from the USB stick. Choose the LIVE Session option to make sure Zorin will start. Also make sure you can configure WiFi in the Settings -> Network tab. If all goes well, click the Install Zorin link on the desktop to install Zorin onto your empty partition when prompted. Upon reboot, be sure to register Zorin in the UEFI whitelist when prompted.

Enabling VirtualBox in Zorin 16

UEFI machines are temperamental about which non-Windows apps can run. If you wish to enable VirtualBox, here are the steps. First, run the Terminal app and reinstall VirtualBox:

apt remove virtualbox-dkms
apt install virtualbox-dkms

You’ll be prompted to set up a password for your new VirtualBox UEFI key (8 characters). Then reboot and register the new key when prompted. Enter the password when prompted. Now run VirtualBox from the Applications menu, and you should be good to go.

Installing Incredible PBX 2027-U for VirtualBox

Once you have VirtualBox running successfully, you can install Incredible PBX 2027-U. Using the Firefox browser, download the IncrediblePBX2027-U.ova image from here. Double-click on the .ova image to install it into VirtualBox. Then click RUN to start up Incredible PBX.

Read more about Linux Containers.

Originally published: Monday, August 21, 2023



Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


 

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.
 



Adding Incredible PBX Goodies & More to VitalPBX 4



As continued use of FreePBX® becomes more and more precarious because of deprecated components and looming incompatibility with Asterisk® 21, the appeal of 3CX and VitalPBX as a VoIP platform becomes increasingly compelling. Whether you’re a home user, a small business, or a call center, VitalPBX provides a solution to meet your requirements. To make the transition a bit less painful, today we introduce a number of popular Incredible PBX applications for VitalPBX 4. And, as always, all of the Incredible PBX additions are free, open source, and GPL code.


If you’re unfamiliar with the VitalPBX VoIP platform, here are some features that may be of interest. First, it runs on the latest Debian 11 platform and is Asterisk-based freeware with optional commercial components. Most GPL applications designed for FreePBX will run equally well under VitalPBX without modification. Second, VitalPBX provides multi-tenant functionality with the purchase of a commercial module. Third, VitalPBX supports Asterisk High Availability (HA) failover at no cost using an open source script provided by the VitalPBX developers. Complete tutorial here. Compare this to the FreePBX HA offering which retails for $1,500. Commercial modules offer Microsoft Teams integration as well as the full complement of Sonata Suite Call Center offerings: Billing, Switchboard, Stats, Dialer, and Recordings. Faxing, Paging, Queues Callback, and Phone Provisioning modules are also available at modest cost. Keep reading if any of these are of interest to you.


Getting Started with VitalPBX

Before you can install VitalPBX applications, you’ll obviously need a VitalPBX server. You can build the platform with on-premise hardware, or in the cloud using one of our recommended providers, or on a Raspberry Pi. We recommend at least 4GB of RAM and at least a 30GB disk. Two gigs of RAM will suffice with a 2GB swap file. VitalPBX can be deployed using the VitalPBX ISO, or you can start with a fresh Debian 11 platform and then run the VitalPBX install script:

wget https://repo.vitalpbx.com/vitalpbx/v4/apt/debian_vpbx_installer.sh
chmod +x debian_vpbx_installer.sh
apt install sudo
./debian_vpbx_installer.sh

For Raspberry Pi deployments, here are the steps using a 32GB microSD card:

Begin by downloading Raspberry Pi Imager for PC, MAC, or Ubuntu desktop. Run the Imager from your desktop computer with the following settings after inserting your 32GB microSD card into your desktop machine (see the sidebar for an inexpensive microSD/USB device):

OS: Raspberry Pi OS (other) -> Raspberry Pi OS Lite (64-bit)
Storage: Select your microSD card (32GB Type 10 recommended)
Click WRITE

Remove the microSD card from your desktop computer. Insert it into your Raspberry Pi and power on the device. The initial Raspberry Pi OS setup for the United States follows. For users elsewhere, follow your nose.

Choose keyboard layout: (Other, English (US) for USA users)
Keyboard Layout: English (US)
username: nerd
password: make it secure, type it twice
login: nerd with new password
sudo passwd root
create new secure root password
logout: exit
login: root with new root password
userdel nerd
nano -w /etc/ssh/sshd_config
  edit and uncomment: PermitRootLogin yes
  uncomment PasswordAuthentication yes
  save: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER key
run: raspi-config
  Settings Apply to: pi
  Localization: WLAN Country: US
  System Options: Wireless LAN: Enter your SSID and SSID passphrase
  System Options: Hostname: debian
  System Options: Power LED: YES
  Interface Options: SSH: YES
  Localization: Locale: Disable en_GB.UTF-8 and Enable en_US.UTF-8
  Localization: TimeZone: America, NewYork
  FINISH and Reboot

Once your Raspberry Pi has restarted, login as root with your root password and run the debian_vpbx_installer.sh script from above.

Adding a Whitelist & Hardening Your Firewall

We’ve built firewall whitelist rules for some of our favorite providers: Skyetel, BulkVS, VoIP.ms, Acrobits, SignalWire, Nexmo, Callcentric, and Anveo Direct. Also included are all private LAN, non-routable IP addresses and the default OpenVPN addresses. Issuing the following commands will install this whitelist and overwrite your existing firewall whitelist, if any. WARNING: The existing VitalPBX Firewall exposes all of your SIP ports as well as SSH, HTTP, and HTTPS so deploy VitalPBX behind a hardware-based firewall unless you significantly harden the VitalPBX Firewall ports. If you’re sure you’ve whitelisted the IP addresses of all your remote PCs, extensions, and trunk providers in Admin -> Firewall -> Access Control, then you can harden your firewall and protect your server by deleting the following entries in Admin -> Firewall -> Rules: HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, PJSIP, SIP, and IAX2. Then test all your connections to make certain they still are accessible. For future additions, we strongly recommend using OpenVPN addresses which require no new Firewall additions.

cd /root
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/whitelist.sql
mysql -u root ombutel < whitelist.sql
vitalpbx apply-firewall
iptables -nL

gTTS Text-to-Speech Engine for VitalPBX

We've tested and implemented at least a half dozen text-to-speech engines to support Asterisk applications including Festival, FLITE, Amazon's Polly, IBM's Bluemix TTS, Pico TTS, and more. None are better than Google's free gTTS engine. Here's how to deploy it with VitalPBX to support all of your applications requiring TTS support. Login to your server as root and issue the following commands:

apt-get update
apt-get -y install jq libsox-fmt-all
apt-get -y install python3-pip
pip install --upgrade pip
pip3 install --upgrade pip
ln -s /usr/bin/pip3 /usr/bin/pip
pip install gTTS

Adding Custom Contexts Support to VitalPBX

In addition to the commercial modules, there are a number of free VitalPBX add-ons, one of which is Custom Contexts. We would recommend adding all of the free ones to get started. After logging into the web interface as admin, navigate to Admin -> Add-ons -> Add-ons. Click the Check Online button to load the latest available add-ons. Then click the Install icon for the following add-ons: System API, Authentication Codes, Bulk Extensions, Custom Contexts, Phone Books, and Task Manager. Once these add-ons are installed, you can install the following components.


Adding Incredible PBX Starter Kit to VitalPBX

We've put together a collection of some of our favorite Incredible PBX applications to enhance the VitalPBX platform. These include telephone apps like Yahoo News Headlines (dial 951), NWS Weather Reports by ZIP Code (947), Today in History (86329), and Telephone Reminders (123). In addition, we've reworked the pbxstatus utility (above) which will display whenever you log into your server as root from the Linux command line.

Many of these applications rely upon the gTTS text-to-speech engine so be sure you install it before proceeding.

To install the Incredible PBX collection, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx
cp extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf /root/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf.bak
cd /
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/incrediblepbx.tar.gz
tar zxvf incrediblepbx.tar.gz
rm -f incrediblepbx.tar.gz
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"
echo "0 0 * * * root /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin/run_recurring >/dev/null 2>&1" >> /etc/crontab
echo "3 0 * * * root /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin/run_reminders >/dev/null 2>&1" >> /etc/crontab

Using Telephone Reminders with VitalPBX

Nerd Vittles Telephone Reminder System has been reworked for VitalPBX 4 and PHP 8.1. It lets you schedule reminders for future events (at least 4 minutes in the future) by telephone by dialing 123. When the appointed date and time arrives, Asterisk swings into action and places a call to the number you designate to deliver a customized reminder message. Recurring reminders also are supported. You can set up reminders that place calls daily or on weekdays as well as weekly, monthly, and annually. This means it can be used to wake you up in the morning, or to remind Granny to take her medicine every day, or to remind your Little League team of practice times and locations, or to remind you and your customers of scheduled and recurring events. External reminder calls are supported using your default outbound route's dial string, e.g. NXX-NXX-XXXX.

The complete tutorial for Telephone Reminders 4 is available here. The web interface is not yet supported on the VitalPBX platform; however, this Telephone Reminders app adds features that are not available in the *38 offering included in the VitalPBX Feature Code listing. Among these are optional recurring reminders as well as the ability to revise your reminder message before actually scheduling it.

Headline News & Weather Forecasts & Today in History

These three applications are self-explanatory. The best way to learn about them is to dial the three extensions from any phone registered on your VitalPBX server: Headline News (dial 951), Weather Forecasts by ZIP Code (dial 947), and Today in History (dial T-O-D-A-Y)

Adding OpenVPN to VitalPBX

The most secure method for accessing VitalPBX is to place your server behind a hardware-based firewall and use OpenVPN from the client PCs and phones to access the server. VitalPBX includes an OpenVPN add-on that includes both a server and a free 2-client license. For unlimited clients, you can purchase the commercial module for $120. In the alternative, you can deploy your own OpenVPN server and clients using this Nerd Vittles tutorial for Debian.

If you already have an OpenVPN server in operation, create an OpenVPN client for VitalPBX and name it incrediblepbx.ovpn. Copy it into the /etc directory of your VitalPBX server. Then issue the following commands and reboot to activate OpenVPN on your VitalPBX server:

apt-get update
apt-get -y install openvpn unzip
cd /
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/openvpn-vitalpbx.tar.gz
tar zxvf openvpn-vitalpbx.tar.gz
rm -f openvpn-vitalpbx.tar.gz
shutdown -r now

Getting Started with Faxing

If your deployment is for a home or home office, then VitalPBX offers a free faxing component for a single trunk. We've tested this with VoIP.ms, and it works flawlessly. Begin by enabling the Virtual Faxes module. For your Trunk, enable FAX Detection and T.38, if desired. For your Fax Device, provide a Description, Destination Email, and CallerID Name and Number. For your Inbound Route, enable Fax Detection and Fax Destination of Fax Devices selecting the Destination Description you assigned to your Fax Device. Now place a test call to your DID from FaxZero.com. The Fax Sending module worked equally well.

Adding CallerID Names for Incoming Calls

Legal Disclaimer: Most CNAM providers have restrictions regarding caching of CNAM data. The courts consistently have ruled that phonebook data is not copyrightable. And every PBX caches CNAM data. After all, that's what CDR logs are all about. Consult with your own attorney if you have concerns, or simply stop reading here. 🙂

Some providers of DIDs also offer CallerID Name (CNAM) service for incoming calls. With VoIP.ms, it's optional and costs $0.008 per call. With BulkVS, it's mandatory and costs $0.003 per call. With many DID providers, you will only receive the CallerID Number on incoming calls. Thus was born our CallerID Trifecta and later Superfecta add-ons many years ago. Most of the free sources from yesteryear have disappeared, and we've only found two commercial sources that are reasonably priced at $0.003 per call: BulkCNAM (from the BulkVS folks) and EZCNAM at same price with a 25¢ credit to let you try out their service. Both work well.

Once you have installed Custom Context module for VitalPBX as well as the Incredible PBX Starter Kit from above, here are the steps to implement CNAM lookups on your incoming calls. First, sign up for an account with one or both of the providers and obtain a SOAP API Key from BulkCNAM or a traditional API key from EZcnam. Then login to your server as root and create an executable install script using the following template for BulkCNAM:

cd /root
rm -f superfecta-bulkcnam
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/superfecta-bulkcnam
sed -i 's|SOAP-API-KEY|actual-key|' superfecta-bulkcnam
sed -i '\:// BEGIN CallerID Superfecta:,\:// END CallerID Superfecta:d' /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf
cat superfecta-bulkcnam >> /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"


Or create an executable install script using the following template for EZCNAM:

cd /root
rm -f superfecta-ezcnam
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/superfecta-ezcnam
sed -i 's|=API-KEY|=actual-key|' superfecta-ezcnam
sed -i '\:// BEGIN CallerID Superfecta:,\:// END CallerID Superfecta:d' /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf
cat superfecta-ezcnam >> /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"


In your install script of choice, replace actual-key with the SOAP API key or API key you obtained from the provider. Make the script executable (chmod +x) and then run it to install the new script in your dialplan. Then reload dialplan: asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"

As deployed, the [superfecta] context assumes you want incoming calls routed to extension 501. You can modify this in /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/extensions__80-IncrediblePBX.conf and reload your dialplan.

In the VitalPBX GUI, login as admin and navigate to PBX -> Applications -> Custom Contexts and create a new Custom Context and reload the dialplan:

Description: CallerID Superfecta
Context: superfecta
Extension: s
Priority: 1

Destination:

Custom Contexts -> Incredible PBX

In PBX -> Calls Routing -> Inbound Routes, edit your existing Inbound Route for your incoming DID and set the Inbound Destination to: Custom Contexts -> CallerID Superfecta. Then reload your dialplan.

How It Works: When an incoming call from a new caller is detected, the Superfecta script will greet the caller and ask the caller to press 7. Once the caller presses 7, the Superfecta script will look up the CNAM entry matching the CallerID Number and then route the call to extension 501. Successful callers are whitelisted and logged in the Asterisk database: database show cidname. When the same caller calls again, the call will be routed to extension 501 without prompting to press 7. Additional routing options are available by editing the [superfecta] context.

Configuring Gmail as SMTP Relay Host

The VitalPBX Portal includes the option to configure either a self-hosted email server (which may or may not work depending upon your upstream provider) as well as an SMTP relay host such as Gmail. You'll find it under Admin -> System Settings. In the alternative, you may prefer to do it yourself. Here's how.

1. Log into your server as root and issue the following command:

dpkg-reconfigure postfix

Click OK on the first dialog. Choose Internet Site as your Type of Mail Configuration. Accept the defaults for the System Mail Name, Root and Postmaster Recipient, and Other Destinations. Choose Yes for Forced Synchronous updates. Accept the defaults for the Local Networks, Default Mailbox Size, and Local Address Extension Character. Choose IPv4 for the Internet Protocol.

2. Once Postfix is reconfigured, edit /etc/postfix/main.cf. In the second section of code beginning with relayhost =, replace the relayhost= line with the following block of commands:

relayhost = [smtp.gmail.com]:587
smtp_use_tls = yes
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtp_sasl_security_options = noanonymous
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
smtp_tls_CAfile = /etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt
smtp_fallback_relay =

3. Create the following new file using your Gmail account name and password.

nano -w /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd:

[smtp.gmail.com]:587 yourname@gmail.com:yourpassword

5. Change the permissions on the sasl_passwd file:

chmod 600 /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

6. Use postmap to compile and hash the sasl_passwd file:

postmap /etc/postfix/sasl_passwd

7. Restart Postfix: systemctl restart postfix

8. apt -y install mailutils

9. Send yourself a test email: echo "test" | mail -s "Test Mail" somebody@gmail.com

Free Voicemail Transcription of Messages

For many years, Incredible PBX has included documentation to deploy IBM's Speech-to-Text (STT) engine to transcribe voicemail messages and deliver them by email for missed calls. Today we are pleased to bring that same functionality to VitalPBX 4. To get started, make certain that you have outbound email functioning on your server using the steps in the previous section. Then open an account with IBM and sign up for their LITE Speech-to-Text service. This provides you with 500 minutes a month of free STT transcription; however, you must use it at least once every 30 days or risk having your STT account terminated. So you may wish to setup up a recurring weekly reminder at a time when your extension will not otherwise be answered. Set up a short message to assure that voicemail transcription will be triggered. This will keep your LITE plan active without using many of your allocated minutes.

Once you have signed up for the STT-LITE service, navigate to Resources:AI/Machine Learning:STT in the LITE Tier and obtain or create an API Key and URL. Copy both the API Key and URL to your desktop. You'll need them as part of the VitalPBX component install below.


Next, login to your VitalPBX server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /root
apt -y install dos2unix lame
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/VitalPBX-4/sendmailibm.tar.gz
tar zxvf sendmailibm.tar.gz
rm -f sendmailibm.tar.gz
nano -w sendmailibm
# insert your API Key and URL and Save file: Ctrl-X, Y, ENTER
cp -p sendmailibm /usr/local/sbin/.
cp -p voicemail__60-1-transcript.conf /etc/asterisk/vitalpbx/.
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"

When the nano editor opens in step 6 above, insert your API Key and URL in the spaces provided. Then save the file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER. Continue with the remaining steps above to complete the install.

By default, this setup assumes that incoming calls are delivered to an extension on your PBX. Assuming that is extension 501, open the VitalPBX GUI and edit your Extension's settings by adding your email address in General Settings and in the Voicemail tab specify Enable Voicemail and Attach Voicemail YES. If you wish to delete the messages from your server after sending the email, specify Delete YES. Then save your settings and reload your dialplan.


Finally, make a test call to that extension and don't answer. Leave a brief message and hang up. The transcribed voicemail together with an MP3 recording of the message should arrive within a minute or two.

You Snooze, You Lose

Sorry to say our supply of free licenses to one of our favorite add-ons, the $100 Starter Kit, has been exhausted. If we get additional ones to hand out, we'll post an update here. Here's what's included in the VitalPBX Starter Kit:


Originally published: Monday, August 7, 2023    Updated: September 13, 2023



Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


 

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.
 



Summer Break: Catching Up on Nerd Vittles Happenings



Nerd Vittles has been churning out technology articles for well over a decade. And, while you’re enjoying your time off this summer, we thought you might enjoy catching up on some of our most-read articles. According to Google Analytics, these were the most recent top picks from the 1.2+ million visitors who have dropped in to Nerd Vittles these past 10 years.
 

Our Favorite All-You-Can-Eat Deals in Cyberspace is self-explanatory covering a free cloud offering, domains at cost, VPN offerings for life, unlimited music streaming services, unlimited home internet service, lifetime cloud storage services, lifetime email hosting together with a few services to avoid.

Incredible PBX 2027-U for Proxmox 7 will walk you through setting up a Proxmox server and building Incredible PBX 2027 virtual machines with Ubuntu® 22.04, Asterisk® 20, and FreePBX® 16 in minutes using a powerful little MiniPC.

The 5-Minute PBX in the Cloud Platform for $2 a Month introduces the same Incredible PBX 2027-U platform from one of our favorite cloud services, CrownCloud. It’s $25 a year and includes a free backup image with your choice of locations: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Germany, or The Netherlands.

gTTS: The Ultimate (free) Text-to-Speech Engine for Asterisk introduces our favorite text-to-speech engine for Asterisk which also happens to be free. It’s now included with all Incredible PBX 2027 platforms.

For those that prefer to build your own server platforms, we’ve introduced Incredible PBX install scripts and tutorials for the following operating systems:

$1 a Month Buys a Cloud Powerhouse for Incredible PBX, an alternative for those that find $2 a month cost prohibitive for cloud hosting. You get an equally powerful platform from RackNerd but no backup option is included. Installation of Incredible PBX is a two-step process: installing an operating system image and then running the matching Incredible PBX 2027 installer.

$0 a Month Buys an Oracle Cloud Powerhouse, an alternative that’s free if you’re lucky enough to snag an instance.

Finally, a few of our favorite SIP providers with our reasons why:

  • Skyetel – Half-price calls with your first $250 purchase. $25/mo. minimum spend.
  • Clearly Anywhere – The ultimate mobile user VoIP companion
  • Linphone – Free SIP Calling to Anybody, Anywhere
  • CallCentric – $1 a month residential DID with free incoming SIP calls
  • FreeVoipDeal – €10.00 for 300 min./week of free calls to 33 countries for 120 days

Enjoy your summer break!

Originally published: Monday, July 24, 2023



Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


 

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.
 



Building a Dirt-Cheap Communications Platform with VoIP



There are literally thousands of options when you finally ditch your landline and stagger into the VoIP world. We’re often asked, "What would you recommend if price was the major criteria?" Our response goes something like this. You get what you pay for and our recommended providers continue to be ClearlyIP and Skyetel in no particular order. Having said that, if price is your primary consideration, here’s our Plan B which we use regularly.

First, a word of explanation. This is not the Ma Bell days any longer so you’re not limited by cost to a single provider. It costs little more to have several VoIP providers than to have one since most VoIP services are pay-as-you-go. So, in our least costly category, we actually recommend two providers, BulkVS for VoIP calling and VoIP.ms for VoIP messaging. Faxing also works incredibly well with both of these providers. Just follow our fax tutorial to get started. In terms of deployment, it means you will have one primary phone number for making and receiving calls and a second number for sending and receiving SMS messages. Incoming SMS messages can optionally be delivered to either your primary email account and/or a third phone number such as your cellphone.

Obtaining a phone number to make and receive phone calls through BulkVS will set you back 6¢ a month with a 25¢ initial setup fee. Incoming calls are $0.0023 per minute. Optional 911 support is 49¢/month. Outbound calls to North America are $0.004 per minute. SMS messaging at BulkVS is cost-prohibitive. A phone number (DID) at VoIP.ms to send and receive both calls and messages runs $0.85 per month. Incoming calls run $0.009 per minute. Outbound U.S. calls are a penny a minute while calls to Canada are $0.0052 per minute. SMS messages are $0.0075 per message while MMS messages are 2¢.

We’ll be using Incredible PBX 2027 and PJsip with Asterisk® 20 and FreePBX® 16 to set the trunks up today. We’ll configure the default route for outbound calling to be BulkVS with VoIP.ms as an outage failover. All incoming calls from both DIDs can be directed to a phone, ring group, or IVR of your choice. For SMS messaging, we’ll use the FreePBX GUI to set things up. Scripts also are provided in /root/sms-voip.ms to send messages. We’ll configure the VoIP.ms messaging defaults to also relay incoming messages to both an email address and a cellphone. For additional alternatives, check out our VoIP.ms tutorial.

Getting Started with BulkVS

To get started, click the sign up link on the main BulkVS page. Then fund your account with $25 using PayPal. Or you can sign up for Net 15 billing and pay by check or credit card if you’re not in a rush to get started.

BulkVS offers two ways to set up your BulkVS trunking: IP-based authentication and SIP registration. If you don’t have a firewall which means you’re not using Incredible PBX, the first method is a little safer because nobody can spoof the IP address of your Asterisk® PBX. But it’s not for everyone. For example, if you’re behind a NAT-based firewall or if your server has a dynamic IP address, then IP-based authentication really isn’t an option. Similarly, if you don’t have control of the router that your PBX is sitting behind, then IP-based authentication won’t work since you have to forward both the SIP port (UDP 5060) and the RTP ports (10000-20000) to your PBX. The beauty of SIP registrations is they work from almost anywhere including double-NAT environments. We’ll cover the SIP registration approach below which will work for everyone. See our BulkVS tutorial for additional options.

BulkVS Setup with PJsip Registration

Step 1: Go to Inbound -> DIDs – Purchase and buy one or more DIDs for your PBX.

Step 2: Go to Interconnection -> Host – Add and add your PBX’s public IP address. Leave the port as 5060 for both chan_sip and chan_pjsip setups.

Step 3: Go to Interconnection -> Trunk Group – Add and create a Trunk Group.

Step 4: Go to Interconnection -> Trunk Group – Manage and add the Primary IP Address for your new Trunk Group. Set Delivery Type to 11DIGITS.

Step 5: Go to Interconnection -> SIP Registration and write down the credentials for one of the SIP credentials you wish to use to register your new trunks.

Step 6: Go to Inbound -> DIDs – Manage and select each telephone number. Then set the Trunk Group to the SIPREG Trunk Group you chose in the previous step. Click Update button.

Step 7: Wait 15 minutes for the new IP and Trunk Group settings to propagate to SBC nodes.

FreePBX PJsip Setup with BulkVS Registration

On your Incredible PBX server, navigate to Connectivity -> Trunks after logging into the FreePBX GUI as admin. Choose Add a PJsip trunk. Name the trunk BulkVS and then click on the pjsip Settings tab. Fill out the form as shown below substituting the BulkVS registration account name you chose above. Any of the three SIP registrations offered for your account under Interconnection -> SIP Registration in the BulkVS portal will work as long as you use the matching password.

Next, click on the Advanced tab and enter the following in the Match (Permit) field.

162.249.171.198,76.8.29.198,69.12.88.198,192.9.236.42,52.206.134.245

In the Codecs tab, enable ULAW and ALAW. Then click Submit and reload your dialplan.

With PJsip registrations, you may also need to add the following lines to the end of extensions_custom.conf in /etc/asterisk using your actual DID. Then reload your dialplan: asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"

[from-sip-external]
; BulkVS
exten => 18005551212,3,Goto(from-trunk,${DID},1)

VoIP.ms Messaging Services

One of our favorite VoIP.ms features is the variety of SMS and MMS messaging options they provide AT LOW COST. Virtually all of their DIDs now support messaging. With incoming messages, you have the choice of routing the messages to an email address, another SMS destination, the VoIP.ms Message Portal, an SMS URL callback destination, and now an SMS SIP account. The steps below set up SMS SIP messaging with Incredible PBX 2027. You also can send quick messages in response to incoming calls using your Clearly Anywhere softphone.

Configuring VoIP.ms for SMS SIP Messaging

Prerequisites: DID supports messaging, SMS SIP messaging enabled on the DID

First, use our VoIP.ms signup link to create a VoIP.ms account. Next, create an Asterisk SubAccount using the SIP protocol with User/Password Authentication. In the Security section, enter the public IP address of your PBX, and Save your Settings. Next, acquire a DID in the VoIP.ms portal. Then choose the Manage DIDs option and edit your DID configuration. For Call Routing, select the SIP/IAX option and pick your SubAccount. Choose a DID POP location near your PBX. In the Message Service section, enable SMS SIP Account and pick your SubAccount. Then Apply Changes.

Configuring Incredible PBX for SIP Messaging

Prerequisites: PJsip VoIP.ms Trunk, PJsip Extension for SMS, sms-in and sms-out Contexts

Both PJsip Trunks and PJsip Extensions in FreePBX now support a Messages Context option in the Advanced tab of the setup GUI. Using the sms-in and sms-out contexts documented below, FreePBX now can process incoming and outgoing SMS messages. A typical use case in the Incredible PBX 2027 would be to quickly respond to an incoming call to the Clearly Anywhere app on your smartphone to indicate that you were in the midst of another call and would return the caller’s call. It is anything but a robust SMS messaging application for your smartphone, but it is a welcome addition for many mobile users that have to juggle both cellphone calls and office calls forwarded from a PBX to your smartphone. VoIP.ms has developed an excellent SMS Management Portal that is included in the VoIP.ms Dashboard. It allows you to read, respond, and manage SMS messages sent to your VoIP.ms DIDs.

Once you have completed the necessary setup steps on the VoIP.ms side, there are three steps to activate SMS SIP messaging with Incredible PBX 2027: (1) create and register your VoIP.ms PJsip Trunk, (2) create and configure a PJsip extension to receive incoming calls and SMS messages, (3) add the sms-in and sms-out contexts to extensions_custom.conf dialplan.

(1) Create a PJsip Trunk for VoIP.ms in the FreePBX GUI to process calls and SMS messages:


In the PJsip Settings tab, fill out the General tab. The Username will be your VoIP.ms account number followed by an underscore and then the name of the SubAccount you created above, e.g. 12345_mypbx. The Password will be the password you assigned to your VoIP.ms SubAccount. For SIP Server, enter VoIP.ms POP assigned to your DID, e.g. atlanta1.voip.ms. Accept the remaining defaults in the General tab. Click on the Advanced tab and scroll down to Message Context and enter sms-in. Click Submit and Reload your Dialplan.

(2) Next create a PJsip Extension in the FreePBX portal. This will be used to process calls and send SIP messages. NOTE: Incredible PBX 2027 ships with a number of extensions preconfigured. Only extension 701 is a PJsip extension. Do NOT use the others. If needed, create an additional PJsip extension for messaging. The General tab should look something like this:



Click on the Advanced tab and scroll down to Max Contacts and enter a number that is one more than twice the number of phones that will be connected simultaneously to this extension. For example, if you have 3 smartphones connecting to this extension, enter 7. Scroll down to Message Context and enter sms-out. Click Submit and Reload your Dialplan.

(3) Finally, cut-and-paste the following code into the bottom of extensions_custom.conf in the /etc/asterisk directory:

[sms-out]
exten => _.,1,NoOp(Outbound Message dialplan invoked)
exten => _.,n,NoOp(To ${MESSAGE(to)})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(From ${MESSAGE(from)})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(Body ${MESSAGE(body)})
;
; add your VoIPms info in the next 3 lines
exten => _.,n,Set(VOIPMS_ACCOUNT="123456_subacct")
exten => _.,n,Set(VOIPMS_POP="atlanta.voip.ms")
exten => _.,n,Set(VOIPMS_TRUNK="VoIPms-PJsip") ; actual VoIP.ms trunk in FreePBX
;
exten => _.,n,Set(NUMBER_TO=${CUT(CUT(MESSAGE(to),@,1),:,2)})
exten => _.,n,Set(EXTENSION_FROM=${CUT(CUT(MESSAGE(from),@,1),:,2)})
;
; Now map your sending extensions EXTENSION_FROM to corresponding DIDs NUMBER_FROM
exten => _.,n,Set(CASE_701=6005550101) ; ext 701 msgs originate from 6005550101
exten => _.,n,Set(CASE_702=6005550102) ; ext 702 msgs originate from 6005550102
exten => _.,n,Set(CASE_703=6005550101) ; ext 703 msgs originate from 6005550101
;
exten => _.,n,Set(NUMBER_FROM=${CASE_${EXTENSION_FROM}})
exten => _.,n,Set(ACTUAL_FROM="${NUMBER_FROM}" )
exten => _.,n,Set(ACTUAL_TO=pjsip:${VOIPMS_TRUNK}/sip:${NUMBER_TO}@${VOIPMS_POP})
exten => _.,n,MessageSend(${ACTUAL_TO},${ACTUAL_FROM})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(Send status is ${MESSAGE_SEND_STATUS})
exten => _.,n,Hangup()
;-------------------------------------------------------------------------

[sms-in]
exten => _.,1,NoOp(Inbound SMS dialplan invoked)
exten => _.,n,NoOp(To ${MESSAGE(to)})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(From ${MESSAGE(from)})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(Body ${MESSAGE(body)})
;
; enter your default incoming SMS extension below
; if you want SMS messages delivered to multiple extensions,
; clone additional MessageSend lines below with extension numbers
exten => _.,n,Set(EXTENSION=701)
;
exten => _.,n,Set(ACTUAL_FROM=${MESSAGE(from)})
exten => _.,n,Set(HOST_TO=${CUT(MESSAGE(to),@,2)})
exten => _.,n,Set(NUMBER_TO=${MESSAGE_DATA(X-SMS-To)})
exten => _.,n,MessageSend(pjsip:${EXTENSION}@${HOST_TO},${ACTUAL_FROM})
exten => _.,n,NoOp(Send status is ${MESSAGE_SEND_STATUS})
exten => _.,n,Hangup()
;-------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the pasted [sms-out] context, insert your actual VOIPMS_ACCOUNT, VOIPMS_POP, and VOIPMS_TRUNK name in the lines provided. Then map each extension from which you wish to send SMS messages to a VoIP.ms DID on your PBX in the lines provided. In the pasted [sms-in] context, enter the EXTENSION number which should receive incoming messages from the PJsip trunk in which you designated [sms-in] as the Message Context. There is no magic to the [sms-in] context name. If you have more than one PJsip trunk, simply create additional incoming contexts (such as [sms-in-2]) for each additional trunk and clone the [sms-in] code designating the desired extension to receive incoming messages from each DID. For the [sms-out] context, it can be used as the Message Context for multiple extensions that should be enabled to send outbound SMS messages.

Save the file, and reload the Asterisk dialplan: asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"

Once all the pieces are in place, SMS messages sent to your VoIP.ms DID will be delivered to the FreePBX trunk registered to the SMS SIP destination specified in your VoIP.ms DID setup. And here’s one more tip. If you happen to have a Yealink T46G (not T48G) or a Grandstream GXV phone that is also registered to that extension, the messages will also pop up on your desktop phone with an alert tone. On Grandstream GXV Android phones, we recommend dragging the SMS app to the main screen so that the incoming message count appears beside the SMS icon when new messages are received.

FreePBX Inbound & Outbound Route Configuration

Finally, we need to tell FreePBX how to route calls and messages into and out of your PBX. In the FreePBX GUI under Connectivty -> Inbound Routes, add a new route for BulkVS specifying the 11-digit DID you purchased from BulkVS. Choose a Destination for the incoming calls, save your settings, and reload the dialplan. Repeat this process for your VoIP.ms DID making sure to enable faxing if you’ve completed the fax tutorial.

Next, navigate to Connectivity -> Outbound Routes and modify the default Outbound Route for all outgoing calls. Assign the BulkVS trunk as the first entry in the call sequence and the VoIP.ms trunk as the second entry. In the Dial Patterns tab, you would want match patterns for 1NXXNXXXXXX and NXXNXXXXXX. For the latter entry, be sure to add a Prepend entry of 1. Then save your settings and reload the dialplan.

Originally published: Monday, July 10, 2023



Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


 

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.
 



A New Incredible PBX 2027 Image for the Raspberry Pi



Are you looking for a powerful and affordable VoIP phone system for your home or small business? Incredible PBX 2027 is the perfect solution especially when tied to an inexpensive platform such as the Raspberry Pi. Earlier this year we introduced a new Incredible PBX 2027 installer for the Raspberry Pi. But we heard from many of you that it was simply too time-consuming to go through both the installation of the Raspberry Pi OS and then the Incredible PBX 2027 setup. This is particularly important to those that use the Raspberry Pi as a teaching platform because of the lengthy install process. So today we are pleased to introduce a Raspberry Pi image for the Raspberry Pi 4 and 400 that installs almost instantaneously after burning the image to a microSD card.

Assembling the Required Raspberry Pi Components

Before you can deploy Incredible PBX 2027, you’ll first need the necessary Raspberry Pi hardware. To support the enhanced Incredible PBX 2027 platform, we strongly recommend either the Raspberry Pi 400 or the Raspberry Pi 4B with at least 2GB RAM. You can choose a reseller below for quicker delivery. Assuming you already own an HDMI-compatible monitor and a USB keyboard (only required if you don’t buy a RasPi 400)…

  • Raspberry Pi 4B or Raspberry Pi 400
  • $10 USB-C RasPi 4 (only) Power Supply
  • $9 32GB microSDHC Class 10 card (strongly recommended!)
  • $5 Official RasPi 4B Case or go here for our favorite
  • Getting Started with Incredible PBX 2027

    Unlike the previous setup process, you cannot use the Raspberry Pi Imager to create your microSD card. Instead, we recommend the free Balena Etcher application which is available for all desktops. So begin by installing the Balena Etcher software here.

    Next, download and unzip the Incredible PBX 2027 image from the Incredible PBX Repo.

    If you don’t already have one, we recommend you purchase the $9.99 SD Card Reader using our referral link. Then insert a 32GB microSD card into the reader and plug the reader into your desktop machine. Using our referral links helps fund our open source projects.


    Now run the Balena Etcher app. Choose Flash from File and select the unzipped Incredible PBX 2027 image from your desktop: incrediblepbx2027-raspi.img. Next, choose Select Target and choose the microSD card you plugged into your PC. Finally, click Flash to transfer the Incredible PBX 2027 image to your microSD card. When the process completes, eject the microSD card and insert it into and boot your Raspberry Pi.


    If flashing fails, try formatting the microSD card on a Linux machine first. Format: mkfs.vfat /dev/sda. Or Reformat: mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1 Then repeat the Etcher flashing.

    After your Raspberry Pi boots, do the following:

    1. Press ENTER to display Login prompt. Login as root with password: password
    2. Agree to license terms by pressing ENTER
    3. When initial setup completes, press ENTER
    4. When raspi-config begins:
    5. What user should use these settings? Press ENTER
    6. System Options -> Wireless LAN: Configure SSID and Password, if desired
    7. Localization Settings: Set Locale, Timezone & WiFi Country
    8. Advanced Options: Resize image to match SD card size
    9. Finish -> Reboot Now: YES
    10. If rc.local fails to start after rebooting, press Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot again
    11. Wait for Asterisk to finish starting up. Then switch to your Desktop PC
    12. Make note of the Private IP address above RasPi login prompt before you go

    To assure that your desktop computer is whitelisted in the Incredible PBX firewall, we recommend completing the rest of the install using SSH or Putty on your desktop machine. The ip a command above will tell you the local IP address of your RasPi. So login using this command and default password of password: ssh root@ip-address.

    1. Set secure root password with command: passwd
    2. Set secure FreePBX password: /root/admin-pw-change
    3. Set secure Apache password: /root/apache-pw-change
    4. /root/reset-extension-passwords (701 to 705)
    5. /root/reset-conference-pins
    6. /root/reset-reminders-pin
    7. Make note of your PortKnocker codes: cat knock.FAQ
    8. DONE!

    When the install finishes, reboot your Raspberry Pi and log back in as root. Let the Automatic Update Utility bring your system up to current specs after which the pbxstatus display should show something like the following.


    NOTE: To activate an OpenVPN client connection, create and copy a client configuration named incrediblepbx2027.ovpn from your OpenVPN server into the /etc folder & reboot.

    What’s Included? Incredible PBX 2027 serves up a never before available VoIP powerhouse featuring Asterisk 20 and all FreePBX 16 GPL modules, an Apache web server, the latest MariaDB SQL server (formerly MySQL), SendMail mail server, Webmin, and most of the Incredible PBX feature set including SIP, PJSIP, SMS, voice recognition, AsteriDex, gTTS Text-to-Speech VoIP applications, Call-By-Name Dialing, News, Weather, Telephone Reminders, and hundreds of features that typically are found in commercial PBXs: Conferencing, IVRs and Email Delivery of transcribed voicemails, AutoAttendants, Voicemail Blasting, and more. We’ve also incorporated the Zero Trunk Configuration feature from the LITE build which lets you sign up with one of our VoIP providers and start making and receiving calls instantly. Or you can use the new ClearlyIP trunking module included in the GUI for seamless integration of SMS messaging into FreePBX® and its User Control Panel.

    Choosing a SIP Provider. As we mentioned, Incredible PBX 2027 comes preconfigured to support many of the major SIP providers including those that financially support Nerd Vittles and our open source projects: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, and VoIP.ms. As the old saying goes, they may not be the cheapest, but you get what you pay for. With all our providers, you only pay for minutes you use so signing up with more than one provider is a smart idea. For the full list of supported VoIP providers, visit the Incredible PBX Wiki.

    Continuing Your Incredible PBX 2027 Journey

    If you entered WiFi credentials when running raspi-config above and your Raspberry Pi does not have a wired network connection, it should automatically enable the Wi-Fi connection on reboot. Issuing the command ip a will tell you the local IP addresses of wlan0 and eth0. With the Raspberry Pi 3B, 4B and 400, WiFi is built into the hardware. But you still have to provide your SSID name and SSID password to make a connection to your WiFi network. If pbxstatus does not show a network connection, here’s how to enable Wi-Fi:

    If your WiFi network requires a password, insert the following into /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf:

    ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev
    update_config=1
    country=US
    
    network={
     ssid="YourSSID"
     psk="YourSSIDpassword"
     key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
     scan_ssid=1
     priority=7
    }
    

     

    Now restart your server: reboot. When the reboot finishes, you now should have network connectivity.

    You may also need to change the default PortKnocker setting to your wireless LAN connection:

    sed -i 's|eth0|wlan0|' /etc/default/knockd
    service knockd restart
    

     

    Finally, if your PBX is sitting behind a NAT-based router, you’ll need to redirect incoming UDP 5060-5061 and UDP 10000-20000 traffic to the private IP address of your RasPi. This is required for all of the SIP providers included in the Incredible PBX 2027 build. Otherwise, all inbound calls will fail.

    Configuring Skyetel for Incredible PBX 2027

    If you’ve decided to go with Skyetel, here’s the drill. Sign up for Skyetel service and take advantage of the Nerd Vittles Free $10 credit and BOGO special. First, complete the Prequalification Form here. You then will be provided a link to the Skyetel site to complete your registration. Once you have registered on the Skyetel site and your account has been activated, open a support ticket and request the $10 credit for your account by referencing the Nerd Vittles special offer. Once you are happy with the service, open another ticket after funding your account and request that Skyetel match your deposit of up to $250. That gets you up to $500 of helf-price calling. Credit is limited to one per person/company/address/location. If you have numbers to port in, you can do it at no cost after funding your account. Effective 10/1/2023, $25/month minimum spend required.

    Skyetel typically does not require SIP registrations to make connections to your PBX. Instead, Skyetel utilizes Endpoint Groups to identify which servers can communicate with the Skyetel service. An Endpoint Group consists of a Name, an IP address, a UDP or TCP port for the connection, and a numerical Priority for the group. For incoming calls destined to your PBX, DIDs are associated with an Endpoint Group to route the calls to your PBX. For outgoing calls from your PBX, a matching Endpoint Group is required to authorize outbound calls through the Skyetel network. Thus, the first step in configuring the Skyetel side for use with your PBX is to set up an Endpoint Group. Here’s a typical setup for Incredible PBX 2027:

    • Name: MyPBX
    • Priority: 1
    • IP Address: PBX-Public-IP-Address
    • Port: 5061
    • Protocol: UDP
    • Description: 2027.incrediblepbx.com

    To receive incoming PSTN calls, you’ll need at least one DID. On the Skyetel site, you acquire DIDs under the Phone Numbers tab. You have the option of Porting in Existing Numbers (free for the first 60 days after you fund your account) or purchasing new ones under the Buy Phone Numbers menu option.

    Once you have acquired one or more DIDs, navigate to the Local Numbers or Toll Free Numbers tab and specify the desired SIP Format and Endpoint Group for each DID. Add SMS/MMS and E911 support, if desired. Call Forwarding and Failover are also supported. That completes the VoIP setup on the Skyetel side. System Status is always available here.

    Configuring VoIP.ms for Incredible PBX 2027

    To sign up for VoIP.ms service, may we suggest you use our signup link so that Nerd Vittles gets a referral credit for your signup. Once your account is set up, you’ll need to set up a SIP SubAccount and, for Authentication Type, choose Static IP Authentication and enter your Incredible PBX 2027 server’s public IP address. For Transport, choose UDP. For Device Type, choose Asterisk, IP PBX, Gateway or VoIP Switch. Order a DID in their web panel, and then point the DID to the SubAccount you just created. Be sure to specify atlanta1.voip.ms as the POP from which to receive incoming calls. On the Incredible PBX side, simply Enable the VoIPms trunk and save your update.

    Adding a Bootable SSD to Raspberry Pi

    Shown below are the two components that make up the 256GB storage solution for the Raspberry Pi. These include the M.2 SSD SATA drive and the M.2 enclosure which provides a USB connector that’s compatible with your RasPi. Assembly of the components takes less than a minute as shown in the steps below:




    You can order the M.2 SSD SATA drive and the M.2 enclosure using our Amazon referral links which help support Nerd Vittles and the Incredible PBX open source project.

    Once you have assembled your SSD in the sleeve, log back in as root using SSH or Putty. For best performance, insert the SSD drive into one of the blue USB 3.0 ports and verify that /dev/sda device is shown when you issue the command: fdisk -l

    Now proceed with the following steps to copy the image from your microSD card to the new SSD SATA drive:

    rpi-clone -l -e sda -f sda
    # answer prompts with yes and incred2027
    # once the image is copied, dismount the drive when prompted
    mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/clone
    cd /mnt/clone/boot
    cp -p -r /boot/* .
    sed -i 's|sda2|mmcblk0p2|' /boot/cmdline.txt
    cd /
    umount /mnt/clone
    halt
    

     
    Now you’re ready to restart your Raspberry Pi from the SSD SATA drive. Remove the microSD card and reboot your server.



    Configuring a Softphone for Incredible PBX 2027



    We’re in the home stretch now. You can connect virtually any kind of telephone to your new PBX. Plain Old Phones require an analog telephone adapter (ATA) which can be a separate board in your computer from a company such as Digium. This really is not an option with a Raspberry Pi. SIP phones can be connected directly so long as they have an IP address. These could be hardware devices or software devices such as the Zoiper5 softphone. We’ll start with a free one today so you can begin making calls. You can find dozens of recommendations for hardware-based SIP phones both on Nerd Vittles and the VoIP-Info.org Forum when you’re ready to get serious about VoIP telephony.

    We recommend the Zoiper5 softphone which has a free option. Download it from here for your desktop of choice. Once installed, run it and ignore the nag screen for the commercial version. There are four screens (shown above) to navigate through to connect your softphone to your PBX. You’ll need the credentials for the 701 extension on Incredible PBX. You can find them by running /root/show-passwords or you can decipher the password in the FreePBX GUI by navigating to Applications -> Extensions -> 701 once you log in with your admin password which you set up above. You’ll also need the IP address of your server which you can decipher by running pbxstatus. In the first screen shown above, fill in your 701 SIP address making sure to add the 5061 port since this is a PJsip extension. Enter your Password and click the Login button. On the second and third screens, leave the defaults and click Next then Skip. On the final screen, Zoiper5 will check for connections SIP TLS, SIP TCP, SIP UDP, and IAX UDP. You should see a green Found indicator for SIP UDP which means your connection was successfully established. Press Next and you’ll have a working softphone.



    Now test things out by dialing 947 for a weather report using the Zoiper5 dialpad. You’ll be prompted to enter a 5-digit zip code. Note that this must be entered using the dialpad in the right window, NOT the original dialpad. You can try a few more calls to test things out:

    DEMO - Apps Demo
    123 - Reminders
    947 - Weather by ZIP Code
    951 - Yahoo News
    TODAY - Today in History
    LENNY - The Telemarketer's Worst Nightmare
    

    If you are a Mac user, another great no-frills softphone is Telephone. Just download and install it from the Mac App Store.

    Audio Issues with Incredible PBX 2027

    If you experience one-way or no audio on some calls, add your external IP address and LAN subnet in the GUI by navigating to Settings -> Asterisk SIP Settings. In the NAT Settings section, click Detect Network Settings. Click Submit and Apply Settings to save your changes. Equally important, check your Router settings and verify that SIP ALG is Disabled.

    Configuring Gmail as Smart Relay Host

    Most Raspberry Pi implementations will be on networks managed by companies like Comcast, Spectrum, and AT&T that block downstream mail servers (that’s you) from sending email. The solution is to use Gmail or your local ISP as a smart relay host to send mail from your server. You’ll need this to deliver voicemails via email. Here’s how to set it up using a Gmail account. IMPORTANT: You MUST use a Gmail App Password instead of your Gmail account password.

    /root/enable-gmail-smarthost-for-sendmail
    

    Now send yourself a test email message to make sure things are working properly:

    echo "test" | mail -s testmessage yourname@yourmailprovider.com
    

    Almost-Free SMS Messaging Returns

    As you probably know, new Application To Person, 10 Digit Long Code (A2P 10DLC) SMS rules have gone into effect to lessen the chances of SPAM inundating the cellphone providers. As a result, SMS pricing from many VoIP providers has become prohibitively expensive. One provider that has not changed their pricing structure is VoIP.ms where SMS messages remain $0.0075 per message. While VoIP.ms provides a web interface to send and receive SMS messages, Incredible PBX also includes a command-line interface to their service. The recommended setup is to use the VoIP.ms side to forward incoming SMS messages to either your email account and/or cellphone. Then you can send SMS messages from both the VoIP.ms web portal AND the command line interface of Incredible PBX. To get started…

    On the VoIP.ms portal, do the following:

    1. Sign up for a VoIP.ms account using our referral link1
    2. Purchase a DID
    3. In the Message Service DID section, enable SMS/MMS and…
    4. Also provide email and/or cellphone forwarding numbers
    5. In Main Menu/SOAP/RestAPI, enable API and…
    6. Also create a very secure API password and…
    7. Provide IP address whitelist for receiving API messages

    On your Incredible PBX platform, login using SSH root and do the following:

    1. apt install php-soap -y
    2. cd /root/sms-voip.ms
    3. nano -w class.voipms.php
    4. Insert VoIP.ms username (email address) and API password
    5. Save file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER
    6. nano -w voipms-sms.php
    7. Insert 10-digit DID in $SMSsender
    8. Save file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER

    Now you’re ready to try things out. Simply enter the recipient’s 10-digit phone number and the desired message using the syntax below. The script should confirm transmission of the the message.

    /root/sms-voip.ms/voipms-sms.php smsnumber "sms message"
    

    Incredible PBX 2027 Administration

    We’ve eased the pain of administering your new PBX with a collection of scripts which you will find in the /root folder after logging in with SSH or Putty. Here’s a quick summary of what each of the scripts does.

    admin-pw-change lets you update the admin password for web browser access to the Incredible PBX GUI.

    apache-pw-change lets you update the admin password for Apache applications such as AsteriDex and Reminders.

    add-fqdn is used to whitelist a fully-qualified domain name in the firewall. Because Incredible PBX 2027 blocks all traffic from IP addresses that are not whitelisted, this is what you use to authorize an external user for your PBX. The advantage of an FQDN is that you can use a dynamic DNS service to automatically update the IP address associated with an FQDN so that you never lose connectivity.

    add-ip is used to whitelist a public IP address in the firewall. See the add-fqdn explanation as to why this matters.

    del-acct is used to remove an IP address or FQDN from the firewall’s whitelist.

    iptables-restart is the ONLY command you should ever use to restart the IPtables firewall and Fail2Ban.

    knock.FAQ contains your PortKnocker credentials for emergency access to your server if the firewall locks you out. Tutorial here.

    reset-conference-pins is a script that automatically and randomly resets the user and admin pins for access to the preconfigured conferencing application. Dial C-O-N-F from any registered SIP phone to connect to the conference.

    reset-extension-passwords is a script that automatically and randomly resets ALL of the SIP passwords for extensions 701-705. Be careful using this one, or you may disable existing registered phones and cause Fail2Ban to blacklist the IP addresses of those users. HINT: You can place a call to the Ring Group associated with all five extensions by dialing 777.

    reset-reminders-pin is a script that automatically and randomly resets the pin required to access the Telephone Reminders application by dialing 123. It’s important to protect this application because a nefarious user could set up a reminder to call a number anywhere in the world assuming your SIP provider’s account was configured to allow such calls.


    rpi-clone is a utility that makes it easy to make a bootable image of the microSD card used to start your Raspberry Pi. You’ll need a USB-to-microSD adapter to begin. Insert a backup microSD card large enough to hold all of the data on the primary microSD card (df -h). Insert the USB stick with the card. Identify the backup microSD card, usually sda (fdisk -l). Format the backup microSD card: mkfs.vfat /dev/sda. Or reformat: mkfs.vfat /dev/sda1. Then issue the following command to clone the main microSD card: rpi-clone -f sda. Tutorial here.

    show-feature-codes is a cheat sheet for all of the feature codes which can be dialed from any registered SIP phone. It documents how powerful a platform Incredible PBX 2027 actually is. A similar listing is available in the GUI at Admin -> Feature Codes.

    show-passwords is a script that displays ALL of the passwords associated with Incredible PBX 2027. This includes SIP extension passwords, voicemail pins, conference pins, telephone reminders pin, and your Anveo Direct outbound calling pin (if configured). Note that voicemail pins are configured by the user of a SIP extension the first time the user accesses the voicemail system by dialing *97.

    timezone-setup lets you reconfigure the correct time zone for your server.

    purge-cdr-cel-records cleans out all existing entries in both the CDR and CEL tables of the Asterisk CDR database.

    sig-fix disables module signature checking in FreePBX. It is automatically disabled upon installation.

    update-IncrediblePBX is the Automatic Update Utility which checks for server updates from incrediblepbx.com every time you log into your server as root using SSH or Putty. Do NOT disable it as it is used to load important fixes and security updates when necessary. We recommend logging into your server at least once a week.

    upgrade-asterisk20 is self-explanatory and can be used to upgrade to the latest release of Asterisk 20.

    pbxstatus (shown above) displays status of all major components of Incredible PBX 2027.

    Forwarding Calls to Your Cellphone. Keep in mind that inbound calls to your DIDs automatically ring all five SIP extensions, 701-705. The easiest way to also ring your cellphone is to set one of these five extensions to forward incoming calls to your cellphone. You must have a working trunk for calls to your cellphone to complete successfully. After logging into your PBX as root, issue the following command to forward calls from extension 705 to your cellphone: asterisk -rx "database put CF 705 6781234567" where 6781234567 is your cellphone number.

    To remove call forwarding: asterisk -rx "database del CF 705"

    Keeping FreePBX 16 Modules Current

    We strongly recommend that you periodically update all of your FreePBX modules to eliminate bugs and to reduce security vulnerabilities. Make a backup image with rpi-clone first! From the Linux CLI, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

    rm -f /tmp/*
    fwconsole ma upgradeall
    fwconsole reload
    /root/sig-fix
    systemctl restart apache2
    /root/sig-fix
    

    Resolving an Expired Certificate Alert

    1. Navigate to Admin -> Certificate Management in the FreePBX GUI
    2. Click the Trashcan to delete the Self-Signed Certificate
    3. Click New Certificate -> Generate Self-Signed Certificate
    4. In the Description field, type: Default
    5. Click Generate Certificate button

    Introducing Adminer: The Ultimate MySQL Editor

    If you’re as sick of phpMyAdmin as we are, you’ll be happy to know there’s a new kid on the block, Adminer. Better yet, the install procedure is a painless, one-minute exercise. The setup procedure for Incredible PBX 2027 is documented here. Once installed, you can connect to Adminer at http://server-ip-address/adminer. You should be prompted for your Apache admin credentials which were configured when you first installed Incredible PBX. Next, enter your MySQL root credentials and Adminer will display in all its glory. DO NOT OPEN PORT 80 FOR PUBLIC ACCESS, OR YOUR ENTIRE PBX WILL BE AT A HACKER’S MERCY!


    What About Fax Support?

    Incredible PBX 2027 no longer includes fax support out of the box. To add it, follow this tutorial.

    Where Can I Buy a Raspberry Pi?

    Search for Raspberry Pi inventory here or RasPi 400 keyboard here.

    Originally published: Monday, June 26, 2023



    Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


     

    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.
     



    1. Many of our purchase links refer users to various sites when we find their prices are competitive for the recommended products. Nerd Vittles receives a small referral fee from the provider to help cover the costs of our blog. We never recommend particular products solely to generate commissions. However, when pricing is comparable or availability is favorable, we support these providers because they support us. []

    Interconnecting Incredible PBX Servers with PJsip


    Much has been made of the lack of multi-tenant functionality with Asterisk® and FreePBX®. Today we’ll show you how to interconnect as many Asterisk servers as you like and make transparent calls between all of them at zero cost. Setup time is under 5 minutes per server. When you couple PBXs with distributed infrastructure and inexpensive cloud servers costing $25 or less a year and on-premise virtual machine platforms including Proxmox, VMware ESXi, VirtualBox, Windows 11 WSL, and Mac UTM, it makes little sense in terms of reliability and redundancy to put all your eggs in one basket with a MultiTenant telephony solution.

    PJsip Interconnection Design

    Our basic design goes like this. Create as many decentralized Incredible PBX platforms as you need to cover the various locations of your business. Whether that’s two cities or eighty-nine, the design is the same. Next, use the same extension design at every site. For example, in each location choose 3-digit extensions in the 100 range for management offices and the receptionist, in the 200 range for human resources, in the 300 range for IT services, and so on. Next, number your locations. For nine or fewer cities, use single digits. For up to 89, use two digits beginning with 10. We actually use the last octet of our server’s OpenVPN IP address for the dialing prefix. For our example, we’ll use 1 for the Atlanta office, 2 for Dallas, and 3 for Boston. When someone in Atlanta wishes to call the main human resources number in Dallas, the user would dial 2200. For Boston, they’d dial 3200. And, when someone in Dallas or Boston wishes to reach the main HR number in Atlanta, they’d dial 1200. Assuming the receptionist in each location has extension 100, callers in Dallas would dial 1100 for Atlanta and 3100 for Boston. Hopefully, you get the idea now. Sketch these out on a piece a paper until it all makes sense to you.

    You’ll need static IP addresses for each of your Incredible PBX servers. But, if one or more of your servers are sitting behind a corporate firewall, that’s not a deal breaker. Simply set up an OpenVPN network and assign a private OpenVPN IP address to each server. Then use these OpenVPN IP addresses in interconnecting your servers rather than static, public IP addresses. OpenVPN addresses are automatically whitelisted in the Incredible PBX firewall. For other IP addresses, you’ll need to whitelist them using the add-ip utility in the /root folder of each of your PBXs. Be sure to also add the IP addresses of the servers to the ignoreip list in /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf. Note in our design that, for security reasons, PJsip trunks must be created on BOTH the sending and receiving PBXs before interconnected calls between the servers will successfully complete. You wouldn’t want strangers making PJsip calls through your servers. In the alternative, if you only want to enable outbound calls from one PBX to another, you can avoid creating a PJsip trunk on the destination server and instead enable Outbound Authentication on the originating server. In this case, you also will need to enter extension credentials from the destination server in the PJsip Username and Secret fields. But let’s continue on assuming you want calls to flow in both directions.

    Using our 3-city example, let’s begin by configuring the Atlanta PBX using the FreePBX GUI. Login to the web interface as admin and navigate to Connectivity -> Trunks. We want to create two PJsip trunks, one to connect to Dallas and another to connect to Boston. Similarly, in Dallas, we’ll create PJsip trunks for Atlanta and Boston. And, in Boston, we’ll create PJsip trunks for Atlanta and Dallas.

    Configuring PJsip Trunks For Each Location

    On the Atlanta PBX, click the Add Trunk button and choose Add SIP (chan_pjsip) Trunk. For the first PJsip trunk, in the General tab, let’s keep it simple and enter Trunk Name as Dallas. Leave the remaining default settings and click the pjSIP Settings tab. Leave all of the default settings as they are in both the Advanced and Codecs tabs. In the General tab, change the Authentication and Registration settings to None. For the SIP Server IP address, enter the IP address (or OpenVPN address) of the Dallas server. For the SIP Server Port, enter 5061. Finally, change the Context entry to from-internal. That’s all the settings you’ll need. So click Submit and Apply Config when prompted. Repeat the drill for Boston.


    Configuring Outbound Routes For Each Location

    Next, we need to create two Outbound Routes for calls to Dallas and Boston. Navigate to Connectivity -> Outbound Routes. For each city, click Add Outbound Route. Name the Outbound Route using the city name, e.g. Dallas. Change the Time Zone, if required. For the Trunk Sequence, choose the Trunk with the matching City name from the pull-down menu. Next, click the Dial Patterns tab. Here you’ll need to decide which calls you want to permit between the Headquarters office and Dallas. For the Dallas extensions, you would enter 2 in the Prefix field and NXX in the Match Pattern field. If there are 4-digit numbers on the Dallas PBX that you want to enable for callers from Atlanta, you add another Dial Pattern with the 2 Prefix and NXXX for the Match Pattern. If you want callers from Atlanta to be able to use Outbound Routes on the Dallas PBX to make PSTN calls, you would add another Dial Pattern with the 2 Prefix and NXXNXXXXXX for the Match Pattern. Similar additions could be made for international calls assuming you allow them on your Dallas PBX. Once you’ve added the desired Match Patterns, click Submit and Apply Config when prompted. Repeat these steps to add an Outbound Route for Boston, and you’re finished on the Atlanta PBX.


    Repeating the Setup Process in Other Cities

    Now simply repeat the steps above on each of your PBXs. For PJsip trunks, you’ll need to create one for every other city in your operation. And, for Outbound Routes, do the same. Once all of your PJsip trunks are activated, you can verify functionality in the Asterisk CLI with this command: pjsip show aors. Once the Status for each city displays as Avail, you can begin making test calls between the servers using a phone connected to each PBX.

    Originally published: Tuesday, May 16, 2023



    Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


     

    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.
     



    Our Favorite All-You-Can-Eat Deals in Cyberspace



    Let’s begin with a mea culpa. We’ve been wrong on a few all-you-can-eat deals over the years including the CloudAtCost switcheroo, the Google Voice fiasco, and a few other cloud provider implosions. But our overall track record has been pretty good over the past decade, and today we have some fresh deals that are worth a careful look. We, of course, would encourage everyone to perform their own due diligence and at least acknowledge the cautionary note: "If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is." Having said that, these are all deals that we continue to use and to rely upon as this is written.

    Free Oracle Cloud Hosting for Life


    We’ve previously written about the free Oracle Cloud hosting deal so we won’t dwell on it here other than to provide a link that will show you how to sign up and use the Oracle Cloud to host your Incredible PBX servers for life at no cost, up to four of them. Here’s the link.

    Domain Names at Cost


    There are lots of sources to acquire domain names whether you need one or dozens. But nobody comes close to matching Spaceship pricing across the board. Here are some examples: .com for $8.80/year, .org and .net for $9.80, .us for $6.48, and .uk for $5.23.

    VPN Unlimited for Life


    Whether you use a VPN for anonymous protection while surfing the web or for access to premium movie services while visiting countries that block some services, a lifetime VPN subscription is a worthy investment. In this case, waiting for the deal to come along is worth a little patience. Our favorite lifetime service is VPN Unlimited which, as recently as November 2021 was selling for $18. Today it’s $199.99. Two weeks ago it was $99. There are numerous VPN for Life services but, if you stray from VPN Unlimited, we would encourage you to sign up for a one month plan to be sure it meets your needs in terms of performance and reliability with services such as Netflix. In the alternative, make frequent visits to LowEndTalk, LowEndSpirit, and StackSocial and await the next deal. It won’t be very long.

    Unlimited Music Streaming Services


    Perhaps the greatest blessing for parents was the arrival of unlimited streaming music services which all but eliminated the risk of being sued or prosecuted for music piracy. If you have a kid in college, the best deal on the planet is Spotify’s 4-year, $4.99 a month plan which provides access to their entire music catalog as well as a Hulu subscription. While you only get one stream at a time, lucky parents will soon discover that their listening hours rarely conflict with the waking hours of college students.

    For Amazon Prime subscribers, Amazon has recently sweetened their music deal with Amazon Music Prime which provides free streaming access to 100 million songs. You can build playlists and so long as you stream them in Shuffle mode, Amazon will play all of your playlist selections before injecting any other content. Quite a deal.

    Unlimited Home Internet Service



    If you’ve grown weary of Comcast, Spectrum, and WOW regularly moving their pricing goalposts, you’ll be pleased to learn that both T-Mobile and Verizon now offer Home Internet Service with no data caps. We actually use T-Mobile’s offering in two locations so the first costs $30 a month with a Magenta Max cell plan and the second costs $50 a month, still a deal compared to the cable companies. Even in remote areas, we’ve found the download speeds to be quite reasonable at 200+ Mbps. And, with T-Mobile, the price is guaranteed for life. With Verizon and a qualifying cell plan, the monthly cost is $25 a month with a 2-year price guarantee. Both will partially cover early termination fees from your previous cable provider.

    Lifetime Cloud Storage Services


    We would be the first to warn you that lifetime cloud offerings can be a slippery slope simply because the provider’s monthly costs never go down. So long as their subscription model provides more revenue than their cost of doing business, they will probably stay around. Once the math changes, your investment AND your data goes down the toilet along with the provider. Having said that, we’ve signed up with pCloud which has been in business for a decade and boasts a subscriber base of 16 million users. Their lifetime 2TB Individual Plan provides 2TB of storage and 2TB of monthly download bandwidth for $399. Their 500GB Individual Plan provides 500GB of storage with 500GB of monthly download bandwidth for $199. Both plans include a PUBLIC folder (ours is here) in which you can store files with download links that are accessible anonymously using web browsers, wget, and curl. All of their monthly and lifetime plans include a 10-day money-back guarantee. Rave reviews are available from numerous sources using a Google search for pcloud reviews.

    On the other end of the usability spectrum is the first provider we tried, Internxt. We bought their 1TB lifetime offering for €99.00, and it’s no longer available. Instead, they now offer a 2TB lifetime plan for $299 or a 5TB plan for $499. The gotcha with Internxt is their crippled download service. It only supports downloads using a web browser. Wget and curl downloads all fail with their support staff professing surprise or ignoring support requests. Steer clear!

    Lifetime Email Hosting for BYO Domains


    Email hosting is something that most of us take for granted, either because we have a free service from Google or Microsoft or because our Internet provider provides "free" email accounts. The old adage that you’re being penny-wise and pound-foolish seems particularly appropriate here. Your email service is a key critical component particularly if you’re in business. Our solution and the one we recommend is the MXroute Lifetime Plan for $199. With it, you can host unlimited domains and unlimited email accounts with a storage limit of 10GB and 300 outbound emails per hour. They have awesome tutorials to help you get started.

    Originally published: Tuesday, May 23, 2023



    Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


     

    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.
     



    One Minute Wonder: It’s Incredible PBX for Proxmox 7


    What a difference a decade makes! We haven’t spent much time with Proxmox for well over a decade so we decided to experiment with a new server and the latest Proxmox 7.4 release to see how things have changed. And it was quite a surprise. Not only has the hardware footprint changed dramatically, but the Proxmox software itself is like a new animal. If you haven’t explored Proxmox lately, we would encourage you to give it a careful look before deciding on a virtual machine platform. In this tutorial we’ll cover everything you need to get started both with Proxmox and with Incredible PBX 2027.

    Hardware Options for the Proxmox Server Platform

    We do most of our shopping on Amazon not only because it’s cheap and easy but also because they financially support our projects through referral revenue. If those considerations bother you, feel free to do your own research. For this review, in terms of requirements, we were looking for a small-footprint, quiet machine with a robust processor, lots of RAM, and ample disk space. Our office has about a foot of remaining space in a bookshelf that already houses a UPS, two Internet routers, three notebook PCs (Windows 11, MacBook, and System76), a VMware ESXi server, a combination WEBDAV/SAMBA server, and a Raspberry Pi 400.


    We narrowed the search down to Beelink’s SER5 Pro (shown above) with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 8 Core CPU(Up to 4.4GHz) with 32GB DDR4 RAM, and a 500GB NVME M.2 SSD for $429 and the ASUS PN52 Mini PC, AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX(8C/16T, Up to 4.6GHz) with 32GB DDR4 RAM, and a 512GB PCIe SSD for $699. Both are shipped with Windows 11 which was the major issue since we wanted to run Proxmox natively. From reading everything we could find on the web, it sounded as if the Beelink stumbled if you attempted to run any Linux flavor other than Ubuntu 20.04. So we gambled and ordered both machines knowing we could return either or both of them at no cost if Proxmox wouldn’t install. Gotta love Amazon!

    Because the Beelink machine was $270 cheaper, we decided to start our testing there. To our surprise, pressing DEL on bootup to access the BIOS let us reconfigure the boot mode from UEFI to LEGACY with one click and reorder the boot order to first boot from a USB stick, neither of which we were able to do on our recently purchased Acer Aspire 5 notebook PC.

    Installing the Proxmox 7 Server Platform

    We began by downloading the Proxmox 7.4 ISO. Then we burned it to a USB flash drive using Balena Etcher. When we powered on the Beelink machine after inserting the USB stick and plugging in a network cable, keyboard, mouse, and monitor, presto! The Proxmox installer appeared, and Proxmox installed without a hitch. We quickly logged in as root via SSH and ran: apt update | apt dist-upgrade. We added Proxmox free repo to /etc/apt/sources.list: deb http://download.proxmox.com/debian/pve bullseye pve-no-subscription. Next, we deleted the commercial repo from /etc/apt/sources.list.d. And reissued: apt update. Finally, we removed the subscription nag by following this tutorial. That got everything squared away. And we were ready to log into the web portal at https://server-ip:8006 using the root password we set up as part of the install.

    A Word to the Wise: Keep your Proxmox server behind a hardware firewall unless you’re a savvy network administrator.

    Interacting with the Proxmox Server

    There are two basic ways to administer your Proxmox server, either through the Linux command line interface (CLI) or using the Proxmox GUI. With the CLI, you will probably want to enable root logins using SSH. With the GUI, you will access it using a browser pointed to the IP address of your server at port 8006: https://server-ip:8006. With both CLI and GUI access, login as root with the password you set up when you installed Proxmox.

    Installing Linux ISOs on Proxmox Server

    We always like to begin our setup of virtual machine platforms by installing the ISOs for Debian 11, Ubuntu 22.04, and Rocky 8. CAUTION: Even though Ubuntu 22.04.2 is now available, the Ubuntu 22.04.1 ISO was necessary to install earlier releases of Incredible PBX 2027-U. To be on the safe side, install both flavors so they will be available for other tasks.

    In the Proxmox portal, navigate to Folder View -> Storage -> local -> ISO Images. You can begin by either downloading the desired ISO images to your desktop and then clicking Upload. Or you can download the ISO images directly from the web by clicking Download from URL. Here are the direct ISO links for Debian 11.7.0, Ubuntu 22.04.1, Ubuntu 22.04.2, and Rocky 8.8. Please note that new ISO images are released regularly which means these links will fail at some point in the future. Please let us know if you discover it first by sending a kind note to support [at] incrediblepbx.com. If you’re in a hurry, try bumping up the value in the point release of the download link. Or download these versions from the new Incredible PBX Repo.

    Installing Linux Containers on Proxmox Server

    For slightly better performance by sharing the kernel instance with the physical server, you may wish to use Containers instead of Virtual Machines. If you’re familiar with OpenVZ templates, Proxmox Containers are nearly identical. The downside is you cannot migrate LXC Containers. Play with both and choose for yourself. To install Debian 10 and 11, Ubuntu 22.04, and Incredible PBX 2027-U Container templates, here’s how. Log into your Proxmox CLI as root and issue these commands:

    pveam update
    pveam available
    pveam download local debian-10-standard_10.7-1_amd64.tar.gz
    pveam download local debian-11-standard_11.6-1_amd64.tar.zst
    pveam download local ubuntu-22.04-standard_22.04-1_amd64.tar.zst
    cd /var/lib/vz/template/cache
    wget -O incrediblepbx2027U.tar.zst https://bit.ly/3nxswhc
    

    We’ll cover how to create an Incredible PBX 2027-U Container from a template below.

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-U on Proxmox Server

    Now for the fun part. Once you deploy the latest Incredible PBX 2027-U image on your Proxmox server, your VMs will be up and running in less than a minute. Here are the steps. Begin by logging into the command line interface (CLI) as root. Then issue the following commands using a unique number for the virtual machine image you wish to create, e.g. 777:

    cd /var/lib/vz/dump
    wget -O vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027u.vma.zst https://bit.ly/42v7RcB
    # verify MD5 checksum: 8f86465e88ce3dfcf7b510bdc3b60393
    md5sum vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027u.vma.zst
    # create virtual machine with unique VM number, e.g. 777
    qmrestore vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027u.vma.zst 777
    

    To create additional VMs, you can either issue the qmrestore command above with a different VM number while positioned in the CLI at /var/lib/vz/dump, or you can create them in the GUI by navigating to Server View -> proxmox -> local and choosing Backups. Then highlight the vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027u.vma.zst backup image and click Restore. Now give the new VM a unique number and then click Restore to build the virtual machine.

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-D on Proxmox Server

    To deploy the latest Incredible PBX 2027-D image with Debian 11 on your Proxmox server, issue the following commands from the CLI:

    cd /var/lib/vz/dump
    wget -O vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027d.vma.zst https://tinyurl.com/y8uucckd
    # create virtual machine with unique VM number, e.g. 777
    qmrestore vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027d.vma.zst 777
    

    Create additional VMs using the steps documented in the previous section.

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-R on Proxmox Server

    To deploy the latest Incredible PBX 2027-R image with Rocky 8 on your Proxmox server, issue the following commands from the CLI:

    cd /var/lib/vz/dump
    wget -O vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027r.vma.zst https://tinyurl.com/5n6u2ecw
    # create virtual machine with unique VM number, e.g. 777
    qmrestore vzdump-qemu-ipbx2027r.vma.zst 777
    

    Create additional VMs using the steps documented in the previous section.

    Installing Incredible PBX 2021-D on Proxmox Server

    Believe it or not, there still are folks that depend upon faxing in their daily lives. While a somewhat kludgy fax solution exists for Incredible PBX 2027, it’s not the same as the slick Incredible Fax application using HylaFax and Avantfax. If you really need faxing, the problem is easily solved by deploying Incredible PBX 2021-D with Debian 10, Asterisk 18, FreePBX 15, and Incredible Fax. We’ve even freshened up the 2021-D Proxmox image to current specs. Here’s how to deploy it. Once you deploy the latest Incredible PBX 2021-D image on your Proxmox server, your VMs will be up and running in less than a minute. Here are the steps. Begin by logging into the Proxmox CLI as root. Then issue the following commands using a unique number for the 2021-D virtual machine you wish to create, e.g. 555:

    cd /var/lib/vz/dump
    wget -O vzdump-qemu-ipbx2021d.vma.zst https://bit.ly/3M3Xo2v
    # verify MD5 checksum: b37e6fba28fd03fbcf99760e0bdbf866
    md5sum vzdump-qemu-ipbx2021d.vma.zst
    # create virtual machine with unique VM number, e.g. 555
    qmrestore vzdump-qemu-ipbx2021d.vma.zst 555
    

    To create additional VMs, you can either issue the qmrestore command above with a different VM number while positioned in the CLI at /var/lib/vz/dump, or you can create them in the GUI by navigating to Server View -> proxmox -> local and choosing Backups. Then highlight the vzdump-qemu-ipbx2021d.vma.zst backup image and click Restore. Now give the new VM a unique number and then click Restore to build the virtual machine.

    We would encourage you to try both the Incredible PBX 2027-U image and the Incredible PBX 2021-D image. Both are absolutely free so you have nothing to lose by experimenting a bit.

    Incredible PBX Startup Steps with Proxmox

    When the upload finishes, log into your Proxmox web portal: https://server-ip:8006

    Then navigate to Folder View -> Virtual Machine -> 555 or 777 -> Start. Choose the Console option and wait for your virtual machine to boot up. Then log in as root with the default password: password. Press ENTER to kick off the brief setup procedure. Create a very secure root password as well as an admin password for the FreePBX GUI and Apache web apps. Press ENTER to keep your local version of sshd_config. Carefully read the configuration messages when the setup completes. Press ENTER to reboot.


    After the server reboots, log back in as root using the Console option and your new root password. The Automatic Update Utility will load any late-breaking security fixes and then the pbxstatus screen will display. Make note of your private IP address. All private IP addresses are whitelisted in the firewall; however, if you will be accessing your Proxmox VM from a public IP address, then there’s one additional step. Run /root/add-ip and whitelist the IP address of your desktop machine replacing mypc and 12.34.56.78 in this example with a label for the PC and its actual public IP address: /root/add-ip mypc 12.34.56.78.

    You now can log into the VM’s Linux CLI as root at the IP address you deciphered above. And you can log into the FreePBX Web GUI as admin by pointing a browser to that same IP address and entering the FreePBX password you assigned during setup.

    Creating Incredible PBX Containers on Proxmox

    If you wish to compare performance with Containers, here’s how to set up an Incredible PBX 2027-U Container from the Incredible PBX 2027-U template you installed previously. We don’t recommend containers for production use.

    Log into your Proxmox web portal: https://server-ip:8006. Navigate to Server View -> proxmox. Click Create CT. Assign a CT ID (the next available number is the default). Enter a root password twice for the Container. Click Next. Choose incrediblepbx2027U.tar.zst from the Template pulldown menu. Click Next. For disk size, we recommend 20GB but you can set any size above 15GB. Click Next. Assign the number of Cores desired for your Container. 1 is ample. Click Next. For Memory, we recommend 2048. For Swap, we recommend 1024. Click Next. For Network settings, we recommend DHCP for both IPv4 and IPv6. Click Next. Leave the default DNS settings. Click Next. Review your Settings and then click Finish. Once the Container is created, close the window and start the new Container. Then follow the Incredible PBX Startup Steps outlined above.



     
    Continue your journey by hopping over to our tutorials for Incredible PBX 2027-U and Incredible PBX 2021-D. Enjoy!

    Originally published: Monday, May 8, 2023



    Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


     

    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.