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The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

Introducing OSS Endpoint Manager for FreePBX 16 & Incredible PBX 2027


If you’ve been searching for a free, open source provisioning system for your SIP telephones and you’re using Incredible PBX 2027 or other FreePBX® 16 platforms, your prayers have been answered thanks to the hard work of Bill Simon. What this buys you (for free) is a quick way to configure SIP devices from most of the major players shown above including Aastra, AudioCodes, Cisco, Linksys, CloudTC, Digium, Grandstream, Intelbras, Mitel, Norphonic, Patton, Polycom, Snom, Thomson, Unidata, Xorcom, and Yealink.

To get started, log into FreePBX on your PBX platform and click on the Settings tab. If you see OSS Endpoint Manager as you will on most Incredible PBX 2027 installations, you can skip installing OSS Endpoint Manager and move on to the next step. Otherwise, here are the steps to install OSS EPM 16. Using SSH, log into your PBX as root and issue the following commands:

cd /var/www/html/admin/modules
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/OSS-EPM/ossepm16.tgz
tar zxvf ossepm16.tgz
fwconsole ma install endpointman
rm -f /tmp/*
fwconsole reload 

Once you have OSS Endpoint Manager installed, return to the FreePBX GUI and open the application under the Settings tab. Read the reminder that you’re not using Sangoma’s commercial endpoint management product. Then click on the pull-down box in the right margin. Now let’s get the templates for the various SIP devices loaded onto your server.

  1. On the right pull-down, choose EndPoint Manager Settings.
  2. Adjust the entries as desired to set up your server as the host.
  3. For Package Server, enter: https://ossepm.incrediblepbx.com/
  4. Click in any other field to save your entries.
  5. On the right pull-down, choose Template Manager.
  6. Click the displayed link to download the latest templates from GitHub.
  7. On the right pull-down, choose Package Manager.
  8. Click Check for Updates.
  9. Click Install button beside each desired Brand.


The rest is a walk in the park. Plug in your SIP devices and perform the manufacturer’s steps to place the device in configuration mode. Insert the credentials to access OSS EPM on your PBX. Then sit back and enjoy the show.

Originally published: Thursday, February 1, 2024



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.
 



5 Minute PBX With Any Virtual Machine

For those with an existing virtual machine platform either at home or at the office, today is your lucky day. We have an Incredible PBX image for VirtualBox, VMware, Proxmox, Windows WSL, Mac UTM, and Linux Containers LXC that will have an Asterisk® PBX with FreePBX® up and running in less than 5 minutes. If you’ve ever wanted to kick the tires on a fully-loaded, secure PBX that offers virtually every telephony feature on the planet, now’s your chance. And it’s FREE!

If you’d prefer to let someone else worry about hardware maintenance, networking, and power outages, we’ve even got an Incredible PBX offering in the Cloud that will only set you back $25 a year in your choice of locations: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Germany, or The Netherlands. And that includes a free backup for a rainy day. Start here.

For those that are new to the open source community, finding free software is pretty easy. Finding good documentation to accompany it is more of a challenge. With Incredible PBX, you get both. My previous employer spent well over $150,000 for a PBX with less than half the features you’ll find in Incredible PBX out of the box. And you’ll never have to worry about upcharges every time you add a feature or an additional user or extension. Pick your free virtual machine platform below and enjoy the ride.

Incredible PBX 2027 for VirtualBox

For VirtualBox platforms, start by downloading the latest Incredible PBX 2027 .ova image from the Incredible PBX repository. You have a choice of operating systems: Ubuntu 22.04 or Debian 11. Then read our VirtualBox tutorial for setup and usage tips.

Incredible PBX 2027 for VMware

For VMware, start by downloading the latest VMware image for Incredible PBX 2027 and Ubuntu 22.04. Then read our VMware tutorial for setup and usage tips.

Incredible PBX 2027 for Proxmox 7

Our Incredible PBX 2027-U for Proxmox 7 tutorial 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.

Incredible PBX 2027 for Windows 11 WSL

If you’re strapped for cash and simply want to use an existing Windows 11 computer as the virtual machine host for Incredible PBX, you have a couple of options. First, you can install VirtualBox on your machine and follow the VirtualBox tutorial above. Another options is to deploy Microsoft’s own virtual machine platform for Windows 11. It’s called Windows 11 Subsystem for Linux (WSL). You’ll find step-by-step install instructions in this Nerd Vittles tutorial.

Incredible PBX 2027 for Mac UTM

With Apple’s new, proprietary processors, the days of using VirtualBox on a Mac are over. But, fear not. Apple has introduced their own virtualization platform: Mac UTM. You’ll find step-by-step instructions to deploy both UTM and Incredible PBX in this Nerd Vittles tutorial. For older Intel-based Macs, you still can deploy Incredible PBX with VirtualBox.

Incredible PBX 2027 for Linux Containers LXC

For those of you that have kissed Windows and Mac desktops goodbye, there’s now a virtualization platform for Linux desktop computers as well. You’ll find our tutorial for Linux LXC Containers here. You won’t be disappointed.

Adding a $1 a Month Phone Number with Free Incoming Calls

Last, but not least, let us point you to two of the best deals on the planet when it comes to acquiring a telephone number for your PBX with free incoming calls. CallCentric offers $1 a month residential DID with free incoming SIP calls. And a similar deal is available from LocalPhone with up to 100 free incoming calls of unlimited duration every day. We use both services and have never experienced an outage in over 10 years.

Originally published: Wednesday, January 24, 2024



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 Cloud-Based Asterisk PBX: 0 to $5/Mo.

In our last post, we catalogued the various ways to deploy an Asterisk® PBX using existing Windows, Mac, or Linux desktop hardware. But that solution isn’t ideal for everyone especially if you’re looking for a cloud-based platform that provides redundancy and backups. So today we’ll introduce some cloud platform Asterisk solutions, at least one of which can be deployed in under five minutes.

Let’s begin with our personal favorite, CrownCloud. For $25 a year, you get a 5-minute install from an Incredible PBX snapshot in your choice of locations: Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Germany, or The Netherlands. You also get a free backup image. And, of course, you get the full complement of Incredible PBX utilities which set this deployment apart from all the other FreePBX® offerings.

It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to deploy an Incredible PBX® server on a cloud platform as robust as the one offered by Oracle®. And the fact that it won’t cost you a dime EVER makes this all the more appealing. This isn’t some bargain basement, crippled cloud platform with barely enough horsepower to get your server booted. Quite the contrary, this is an ARM-based Ubuntu 20.04 platform with 6GB of RAM, 45+ GB of storage, and a 1GB network pipe. The CPU capacity is equivalent to multiple physical cores of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled. Read our step-by-step installation tutorial for deployment instructions. This install is best suited for those with some networking experience.

If you want a low cost Cloud solution that’s easy to deploy, you can’t beat RackNerd’s KVM Cloud platform for $12.98 a year which works out to just over $1 a month. The Incredible PBX 2027 tutorial for Ubuntu 22.04 will have you up and running in under an hour with the latest releases of Asterisk 20 and FreePBX 16.

Let’s finish with the elephants in the room: Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle. They all have cloud offerings, and our recommendation is don’t go there. Their services are EXPENSIVE. And they offer less functionality at significantly higher cost than some of the smaller, well-established companies such as Vultr and Digital Ocean. If $5 to $6 (with backups) a month for a cloud platform is not too rich for your blood, you can’t go wrong with either of these. And just like with RackNerd, the Incredible PBX 2027 tutorial for Ubuntu 22.04 will have you up and running in under an hour.

Originally published: Wednesday, January 17, 2024



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.
 



Deploying a Free Turnkey Phone System



To say the New Year is ushering in a scaled back constituency for self-managed telephony systems would be an understatement. Much of this migration from Asterisk® can be traced directly to the proliferation of cell phones coupled with the expansion of Zoom and Microsoft Teams deployments thanks to the COVID nightmare.

Despite Sangoma’s best efforts to commercialize Asterisk and FreePBX®, we think there’s still a place for free systems especially turnkey Asterisk PBX deployments that can coexist on Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. For today, we’ll point you to tutorials that will let you download and then install a turnkey platform of your choice in just a couple minutes.

For Windows 11 and Zorin desktops, you can deploy Incredible PBX 2027 for Debian 11 and run it under VirtualBox. If you prefer an Ubuntu platform for Incredible PBX 2027, a tutorial is available here as well. If you’re using a Zorin desktop, keep in mind that VirtualBox must be reinstalled before use:

apt remove virtualbox-dkms
apt install virtualbox-dkms

Another turnkey Asterisk PBX option for Windows 11 desktops is WSL. Complete instructions for deployment and use are available here.

For Mac users, the available turnkey option of Incredible PBX depends upon whether you’re using an older Intel-based machine or a newer machine with Apple silicon.For Intel platforms, VirtualBox is an ideal platform for Incredible PBX 2027. For newer Macs with M1, M2, or M3 processors, simply deploy Incredible PBX with the UTM application.

Finally, for Linux desktops (and we prefer Zorin), you have two options. As noted above, you can deploy Incredible PBX with VirtualBox. For real-time performance, we prefer deployments using LXC Containers.

We’ll close with a few tips for the new year as you begin your new journey into the world of free Asterisk PBX telephony. Unlike some of the commercial offerings, the Incredible PBX platform offers a variety of support options. You can get first-hand support and hand-holding on the VoIP-Info.org Forum. Second, the Incredible PBX Wiki offers literally hundreds of tutorials and recommendations on every subject imaginable. Finally, the Incredible PBX Repository has download links for every platform and every script that has ever been produced.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Originally published: Sunday, December 31, 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.
 



VoIP Messaging and The Golden Rule with Incredible PBX



If you want to continue to use SMS and MMS messaging on your VoIP platform, then today’s navigation guide is worth a careful read. Suffice it to say, this is what happens when the feds shirk their responsibilities and leave it to the foxes to guard the chicken coop.

The Golden Rule with all oligopolies is that he who has the gold makes the rules. And, make no mistake, there are stringent new rules for VoIP messaging. Not surprisingly, the FCC has jumped on the cellphone provider bandwagon. You can read all about the new FCC rules here. And the cellphone oligopoly has implemented additional requirements of its own that are enforced through a new organization called The Campaign Registry (TCR).

Any business that sends text messages to U.S. or Canadian mobile phone numbers is now required to register with TCR and obtain a 10-digit long code (10DLC) number. This number is used to identify the sender of each text message and to help the mobile carriers filter out spam (according to the carriers). To register with TCR, businesses must provide information about their company, including their legal name, EIN, and contact information. They must also submit a sample text message and identify the purpose for which they will be using SMS messaging.

What are TCR’s messaging guidelines?

  • Obtaining permission from recipients before sending them text messages
  • Clearly identifying the sender in each text message
  • Providing a way for recipients to opt out of receiving future text messages
  • Avoiding sending spam or unsolicited text messages

Carriers have imposed additional restrictions for certain types of messages so-called SHAFT content: sex, hate, alcohol, firearms, and tobacco (CBD is included). And, unlike email messages, SMS traffic cannot be encrypted so the providers can and do scan the contents of every message that hits their networks. If a business fails to comply with TCR’s requirements, the sender may face penalties including fines and suspension from sending text messages through the cellphone carriers.

You might wonder how these new rules came about. The short answer is that politicians flooded the cell providers’ networks with text messages during the last election cycle. And, of course, the politicians conveniently exempted themselves from all the spam rules including SMS messaging. So the new rules, while appearing admirable to the public, have little if anything to do with the root cause of the problem, the politicians.

CAUTION: What follows is NOT legal advice. It is simply our reading of available literature pertaining to TCR and VoIP.ms rules and regulations. Do NOT rely upon this interpretation of the rules in making decisions regarding SMS deployments. Do your own research. Better yet, consult an attorney.

Keep in mind that the current exception to TCR verification will probably disappear within the next several months. A word to the wise: Go ahead and get registered and verified unless you plan to use your cellphone exclusively for messaging or your usage is clearly non-business. The upfront costs are minimal. Here is an excellent summary of the various 10DLC registration categories.

Assuming your VoIP messages don’t include SHAFT content and otherwise comply with the guidelines above, there remains an exception for messaging without TCR verification… at least for now. The current limits on 10DLC SMS traffic without verification are as follows:

  • Daily limit: 500 message segments
  • Monthly limit: 5,000 message segments
  • Per-recipient limit: 10 messages per day

A message segment is equal to 158 characters. So, a single text message can be composed of one or more segments, depending on its length.

There’s one additional gotcha. For traditional 10-digit numbers, only one SMS segment per second can be sent, and it cannot be increased. So be brief. For toll-free numbers, three SMS segments per second can be sent, and the restriction can be relaxed under certain circumstances. For short code messaging (initial cost is usually $1,500 or more per month to obtain a short code), 100 SMS message segments per second are permitted, and this limit can also be increased.

Now let’s return to our Navigation Guide for those that simply want to use VoIP messaging in the traditional ways that used to work, i.e. for a coach to schedule a little league practice or for you to tell your kid you’re going to be late picking them up from school.

Rule #1: If you have enabled SMS messaging on all of your VoIP phone numbers, do not use numbers on which you depend for critical input for outbound SMS traffic. The risk you run is that breaking one of the rules or limits above may get your number blacklisted from ALL future SMS message traffic.

Rule #2: Don’t break the daily, monthly, and per-recipient messaging limits EVER.

Rule #3: Don’t send SHAFT content over SMS even if you’re joking. Big Brother does not have a sense of humor.

Rule #4: Keep messages under 158 characters in length unless you’re using a toll-free number (158×3 message size limit).

Rule #5: Don’t send more than one message per second. For example, if you’re using a script to send a team notice of a little league practice, be sure to insert a one or two-second pause between each outbound message.

Rule #6: Only use a throw-away number to send outbound SMS messages. If the number gets blacklisted, discard the number.

The Safest VoIP Messaging Platform


As you might expect, the safest way to send and receive SMS messages is through a cellphone or something that looks like a cellphone to the carrier networks. Our review of the Cudy Router spotlights a device that fits the bill perfectly if you have an extra SIM card lying around. Using the web interface on this device, you can send and receive SMS messages using the SMS link on the System Status page because the SMS messages appear to originate from a device on the cell provider’s own network where there are limited restrictions.

Using VoIP.ms for SMS Messaging

Assuming you can comply with all of the restrictions above, here’s our recommendation for a VoIP provider that lets you continue sending messages at minimal cost. That provider is one of our old favorites, VoIP.ms. Using our signup link helps keep the Nerd Vittles lights on so thank you in advance.

So long as you have an SMS-enabled DID with VoIP.ms, SMS messaging costs $0.0075 per message with no additional fees. Below we’ll walk you through getting everything set up with Incredible PBX to take advantage of VoIP.ms SMS services.

Configuring VoIP.ms for SMS Messaging

As noted, you’ll need to order a DID from VoIP.ms that supports SMS. Then enable SMS messaging in the DID setup and specify either an email address or cellphone number for delivery of incoming SMS messages addressed to that DID. 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 if you also enable "Link the SMS received to this DID to a SIP Account" and register the phone to a PJsip extension with the additions which follow. 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. If you’re a clever programmer, you also can retrieve incoming messages from the Asterisk log by searching for "Inbound SMS dialplan invoked." The message will be in the following From and Body lines. Or tail /var/log/asterisk/full will look something like this:


To support sending SMS messages, enable the SOAP and REST/JSON API in the VoIP.ms Main Menu, set a very secure API password, and whitelist the IP addresses of each server from which you wish to send SMS messages.

Configuring Incredible PBX to Send SMS Messages

1. Login to your Incredible PBX 2027 server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /root/sms-voip.ms
rm -f /root/sms-voip.ms/*
pip install python-dotenv
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sendsms-voipms.tar.gz
tar zxvf sendsms-voipms.tar.gz
rm sendsms-voipms.tar.gz
nano -w sendsms

2. When the editor opens, scroll down and replace 8431234567 with your SMS-enabled DID

3. Replace yourname@gmail.com with your VoIP.ms login email address

4. Replace your-API-key with your VoIP.ms API password

5. Save the file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER

6. Send an SMS test message to your cell phone using the following syntax:

/root/sms-voip.ms/sendsms 10-digit-SMS-recipient "Your SMS message"

Configuring Incredible PBX to Receive SMS Messages

To receive SMS messages through FreePBX® using a compatible SIP phone or through the Asterisk CLI, you first must use a PJsip trunk to connect to VoIP.ms. Sample General Settings for the trunk are shown below. In the Advanced tab, set Message Context to sms-in.


You also must create a PJsip extension or use the preconfigured 701 PJsip extension. In the Advanced tab, set Message Context to sms-out.

Finally, edit extensions_custom.conf in /etc/asterisk and add the following code to the bottom of the file:

[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"

Introducing the FreePBX SMS Connector Module

Bill Simon recently released another messaging alternative with his SMS Connector Module for FreePBX. The beauty of his new approach is it lets you use Sangoma’s User Control Panel (UCP) to send and receive messages with Incredible PBX 2027. It also supports messaging on both Sangoma’s and ClearlyIP’s SIP phones including the Incredible PBX SIP phones. Here’s the setup process with Incredible PBX 2027 for non-business messaging using VoIP.ms.

At VoIP.ms…
1. Create a Subaccount and DID/Trunk
2. Enable SMS on the trunk and Link SMS Messages received on this Trunk to your SubAccount
3. Enable VoIP.ms API, create an API Password, and Whitelist the public IP address of your server
4. Copy your VoIP.ms email address and API Password for use on your server’s SMS setup

On Your Incredible PBX server…
1. Login to the FreePBX GUI as admin
2. Create a PJsip Trunk for VoIP.ms
3. In Advanced Settings, set Message Context to voipms-sms-in
4. In Admin -> User Management, create a password for extension 701
5. Add the following context to the end of /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf:

[voipms-sms-in]
exten => _.,1,NoOp(Inbound Voip.ms SMS dialplan invoked)
same => n,Set(TO=${MESSAGE_DATA(X-SMS-To)})
same => n,Set(FROM=${CUT(MESSAGE(from),\",2)})
same => n,Set(ENV(QUERY_STRING)=provider=voipms\;to=${TO}\;from=${FROM}\;message=${URIENCODE(${MESSAGE(body)})})
same => n,Set(ENV(REQUEST_METHOD)=GET)
same => n,System(php /var/www/html/smsconn/provider.php)
same => n,Set(ENV(QUERY_STRING)=)
same => n,Hangup()
;-------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Reload your dialplan: rm /tmp/* ; fwconsole reload

Install and Configure SMS Connector Module…
1. Login to your server as root and issue the following commands:

fwconsole ma downloadinstall https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/SMSconnector/smsconnector-16.0.11.tar.gz
fwconsole reload

2. In the FreePBX GUI, navigate to Connectivity -> SMS Connector
3. Click Provider Settings and enter your email address for Username and API Secret for VoIP.ms. Click Submit.
4. In SMS Connector menu, click Add Number and enter your DID and PJsip extension 701 to associate with it.
5. Enter VoIP.ms as Provider and click Save Changes.

Using User Control Panel (UCP)…
1. If you have not already done so, apply these UCP patches for Incredible PBX:

mysql -u root -ppassw0rd asterisk -e "update freepbx_settings set value = 'Latest-16' where keyword = 'MIRROR_BRAND_VERSION'; "
mysql -u root -ppassw0rd asterisk -e "update admin set value = 'true' where variable = 'need_reload'; "
rm -f /tmp/*
fwconsole reload
fwconsole ma downloadinstall ucp
rm -f /tmp/*
fwconsole reload

2. Open UCP from FreePBX GUI
3. Login as 701 with your new password
4. Click + in Upper Left of display and add SMS Module for 701.
5. When SMS Module appears on UCP console, click Start Conversation
6. Send a test message to your cellphone
7. Reply to the SMS message from your cellphone
8. Reply should appear in UCP within 20-30 seconds

Let’s close today with a final cautionary note. The Bell Sisters define non-business usage as conversational messaging much like what most already do using their cellphones. If you push the envelope, you risk $100 fines for every message sent. Unless you are a lawyer or have deep pockets to hire one and fight The Oligopoly, you are well advised to obtain a 10DLC number and avoid any potential issues going forward.

Originally published: Monday, November 6, 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.
 



Incredible ChatGPT: Artificial Intelligence For Your Phone



Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock, you already know that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform every aspect of our lives. The reasons are fairly obvious. AI can process and analyze massive amounts of data in seconds that humans could spend months and years collecting. AI is being used to develop new drugs and treatments, diagnose diseases, and provide personalized care to patients. It’s being used to develop self-driving cars and trucks, optimize traffic flows, and improve public transportation. It can be used in manufacturing to automate tasks, improve quality control, and reduce costs. And AI can be used in the financial world to detect fraud, assess risk, and make investment decisions. Because of AI’s encyclopedic prowess, it can also write a mean term paper with human-like prose. That’s the good news. The bad news is that not everything AI regurgitates is accurate so be extremely careful relying upon AI exclusively to make decisions. See if you can spot the problem in this ChatGPT response:
 


ChatGPT is a large language model chatbot developed by OpenAI, a company backed by Microsoft®. Within two months after launch, ChatGPT had over 100 million subscribers. It is trained on a massive dataset of text and code and is able to generate human-like text, translate languages, write different kinds of creative content, and answer your questions in an informative way. The knowledge cutoff date for the gpt-3.5-turbo version of ChatGPT is September 2021. For users of Incredible PBX, today we’re pleased to bring that ChatGPT model to a telephone near you.

To get started, you’ll need three components. First, you’ll need an Incredible PBX 2027 platform with Debian 11 or Ubuntu 22.04 running on Windows, a Mac, or Linux. Turnkey versions are available for dozens of virtual machine and cloud-based platforms. If you’re using Incredible PBX 2027 on the Rocky 8 platform, you will also need to install the gTTS text-to-speech engine from here. Second, you’ll need to obtain a free OpenAI_KEY here using your Google, Apple, or Microsoft email account. And, third, you’ll need to obtain a free Speech-to-Text API_KEY and API_URL from IBM. Once you have the three pieces in hand, you’re ready to proceed with the installation for your Incredible PBX platform. After installation, you can make ChatGPT queries using any telephone connected to your PBX. Simply dial 2428 (C-H-A-T) and speak your query.

Installing the ChatGPT Telephone Interface

Not every ChatGPT response is suitable for use with a telephone. You wouldn’t want ChatGPT reading you a term paper or spouting out some Asterisk® dialplan code. Nor can most telephones display photos. So our deployment for Incredible PBX today provides two ChatGPT solutions: (1) a command-line interface that is accessible from a terminal or via SSH: chatgpt -p "your query". (2) The telephone interface is accessible by dialing 2428. For the telephone interface, be careful what you ask. You don’t want a 10,000-word response. For example, a good query might be "What are the five best Atlantic coast beaches in the United States." A not-so-good query would be "What are the best restaurants in the world."

To get started after installing Incredible PBX using one of the numerous tutorials available here, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

cd /
wget https://filedn.com/lBgbGypMOdDm8PWOoOiBR7j/ChatGPT/incredible-chat.tar.gz
tar zxvf incredible-chat.tar.gz
cd /root

Once the components have been downloaded and installed, navigate to the /root folder.
Enter your ChatGPT and IBM STT credentials in the following files:

  • Edit chat and insert your OPENAI_KEY in line 6
  • Edit chatgpt and insert your OPENAI_KEY in line 15
  • Edit chatgpt.sh and insert your OPENAI_KEY in line 12
  •  Also insert your IBM STT API_KEY in line 16 of chatgpt.sh
  •  Also insert your IBM STT API_URL in line 17 of chatgpt.sh

Complete the install by issuing the following commands:

cd /root
sed -i '/\[from-internal-custom\]/r chat.code' /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf
chmod +x chat*
mv chat /usr/local/sbin
mv chatgpt /usr/local/bin
mv chatgpt.sh /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"

NOTE: The chatgpt command-line tool does not work on the Rocky 8 platform because of a bug in their fold implementation. However, both our chat command-line tool and the 2428 telephony interface work fine once the gTTS text-to-speech engine is installed for Rocky 8.

Making a Test Call with ChatGPT

Now that all the pieces are in place, let’s make a test call. From a phone connected to your Incredible PBX server, dial 2428. At the prompt, enter the following query: What Are the Five Best Gulf Coast Beach Resorts in the United States? Within a minute or so, ChatGPT will provide the answer using the gTTS text-to-speech engine included in Incredible PBX. Enjoy!

A Cautionary Note About ChatGPT

We’ll close today with this cautionary note about ChatGPT… from ChatGPT:

Originally published: Friday, October 20, 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.
 



Virtualization Trifecta: $500 Buys a Perfect Hosting Platform



We’ve been raving about Zorin OS 16 last month as the best desktop operating system available. And today we combine it with a $500 MiniPC to provide not one, but three, virtualization platforms with a single machine. You get LXC Linux Containers, VirtualBox, and the Windows 11 WSL platform all rolled into one dual-boot desktop PC. On the Linux side with Zorin OS 16, you can run multiple LXC containers (shown above) and VirtualBox virtual machines simultaneously. And on the Windows 11 platform, you get the Windows Subsystem for Linux in addition to VirtualBox. For those clamoring for a multi-tenant Asterisk®, our question is why when you can securely run standalone platforms for each tenant on one PC.

Because UEFI protections have complicated deployment of Linux on Windows 11 platforms, the secret sauce to make this magic happen is finding a hardware supplier who has elected not to cripple Linux deployment. There may be others and feel free to post a comment sharing your successes, but our favorite supplier is MINISFORUM with their Venus Series of MiniPCs. We obviously haven’t tested all of their offerings, but we are actively using the NAB6 Mini PC featuring a 12th Gen Core i7-12650H processor, 32GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 1TB PCIe4.0 SSD. It’s available on Amazon today for $440. If you’re in the market for a gaming platform as well, the UM690 has gotten rave reviews and looks like a good fit for under $600.

As frequent visitors to our site know, referral revenue from Amazon helps keep the lights on at Nerd Vittles, but we also eat our own dog food. We recommend products we actually use.

Installing Incredible PBX 2027 with Windows 11 WSL

Let’s start with an easy virtualization platform, the Windows 11 Subsystem for Linux. To save you having to jump around behind tutorials, here’s a quick refresher on the process.

To get started, you’ll need Windows 11 (build 22000.*) or Windows 11 Insider Preview (builds 21362+) using any hardware platform that supports Windows 11. To begin, from the Windows 11 Start Menu, Search for powershell. Right click on the app and choose Run As Administrator.

Here are some wsl commands you’ll want to keep handy:

List Available Linux Offerings  : wsl --list --online
Show Installed Linux Platforms  : wsl -l -v
Install a Linux Virtual Machine : wsl --install -d {distro}
Startup a Linux Virtual Machine : wsl -d {distro}
Shutdown Running Virtual Machine: wsl --terminate {distro}
Remove any Linux Virtual Machine: wsl --unregister {distro}
Backup any Linux Virtual Machine: wsl --export {distro} {filename.tar}
Restore a Linux Virtual Machine : wsl --import {distro} {filename.tar}

Let’s begin by installing an Ubuntu Virtual Machine: wsl --install -d Ubuntu-22.04. You’ll be prompted to create a user account and password, e.g. nerd and password. If you’re not prompted to create a user account, reboot your Windows machine and reopen the Ubuntu-22.04 app from the Start menu. That will straighten things out. Once the Ubuntu CLI window appears, enter the following commands to set up the root user account and begin your Incredible PBX install. Then go have a very long cup of coffee.

sudo passwd root
su root
# enter password you created for root
cd ~
apt install wget -y
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/IncrediblePBX2027-U-Win11.sh
chmod +x IncrediblePBX2027-U-Win11.sh
./IncrediblePBX2027-U-Win11.sh

While you’re waiting, notice that the Windows Start Menu now includes a new Ubuntu app which you will use to launch the Incredible PBX 2027-U virtual machine down the road.

When the install finishes, reboot.

Keep in mind that Incredible PBX will be running as an Ubuntu-22.04 virtual machine under Windows 11. So it’s important to know how to start things up and shut things down. As with any operating system, you don’t want to simply pull the plug and risk damaging both the file system and your MySQL databases.


To start the Ubuntu-22.04 virtual machine, you can do it in either of two ways. From the Windows Start Menu, double-click on the Ubuntu-22.04 app. Or from the PowerShell running as Administrator, type: wsl -d Ubuntu-22.04. Verify it’s running like this: wsl -l -v

Once the Ubuntu CLI appears, issue the following commands to activate all of the Linux components upon which Incredible PBX depends:

su root
# enter root password
cd ~
./update-IncrediblePBX
pbxstatus
# if pbxstatus shows non-fax apps down 
# then run startup below
./startup
pbxstatus

The LAN IP address is only accessible from your Windows machine. To run the Automatic Update Utility, you’ll need to SSH into this LAN address from the PowerShell running as Administrator where 172.19.180.143 is the LAN address shown in pbxstatus:

ssh root@172.19.180.143

To shutdown the Ubuntu-22.04 virtual machine, first open the Ubuntu-22.04 app and switch to the root user. Issue the halt command. This gracefully shuts down Asterisk, MySQL, and Apache. When the script completes, return to the PowerShell and issue this command to halt the virtual machine: wsl --terminate Ubuntu-22.04

Deploying OpenVPN with Incredible PBX. We strongly recommend deploying an OpenVPN client as part of your WSLg install and also on the Windows 11 desktop. It will simplify access to the server both from within Windows and also from any external source without having to wrestle with your firewall settings. This Incredible PBX Wiki article will walk you through creation of an OpenVPN Server platform, and this Incredible PBX Wiki article will walk you through the OpenVPN Client setup process. Simply name your Ubuntu .ovpn config file incrediblepbx.ovpn and save it in the /etc directory for automatic startup.

CAUTION: Be sure to create and use a separate .ovpn configuration file for your Windows desktop including these additional settings documented in the Wiki:

pull-filter ignore redirect-gateway
route-nopull
route 10.8.0.0 255.255.255.0

Installing Incredible PBX with VirtualBox & Windows 11

Oracle’s virtual machine platform inherited from Sun is amazing. It’s not only free, but it’s pure GPL2 code. VirtualBox gives you a virtual machine platform that runs on top of many desktop operating systems including Linux, Windows, and Intel-based Macs. In terms of limitations, we haven’t found any. We even tested this on an Atom-based Windows 7 machine with 2GB of RAM, and it worked without a hiccup. So step #1 today is to download one or more of the VirtualBox 6.1 installers. Our recommendation is to put all of these 100MB installers on a USB thumb drive.1 Then you’ll have everything in one place whenever and wherever you happen to need it. Once you’ve downloaded the software, install it onto your Windows 11 desktop. Accept all of the default settings, and you’ll be good to go. For more details, here’s a link to the Oracle VM VirtualBox User Manual.

NOTE: A VirtualBox 6.1 platform is required with Windows 11. Adjust screen size in View -> Virtual Screen.

To install Incredible PBX, download the Incredible PBX 2027-D image with Debian 11 (3.7 GB) or the Incredible PBX 2027-U image with Ubuntu 22.04 onto your desktop.

Next, double-click on the Incredible PBX .ova image on your desktop. Be sure to check the box to initialize the MAC address of the image if you’re using an older version of VirtualBox. Then click Import. Once the import is finished, you’ll see a new Incredible PBX 2027 virtual machine in the VM List of the VirtualBox Manager Window. Let’s make a couple of one-time adjustments to the Incredible PBX configuration to account for possible differences in sound and network cards on different host machines.

(1) Click once on the Incredible PBX 2027 virtual machine in the VM List. Then (2) click the Settings button. In System tab, check Hardware Clock in UTC Time. In the Audio tab, check the Enable Audio option and choose your sound card. In the Network tab for Adapter 1, check the Enable Network Adapter option. From the Attached to pull-down menu, choose Bridged Adapter. Then select your network card from the Name list. Then click OK. That’s all the configuration that is necessary for Incredible PBX.

Once you’ve imported and configured the Incredible PBX Virtual Machine, you’re ready to go. Highlight the Incredible PBX 2027 virtual machine in the VM List on the VirtualBox Manager Window and click the Start button. The standard Linux boot procedure will begin and, within a few seconds, you’ll get the familiar Linux login prompt. During the bootstrap procedure, you may see a couple of dialogue boxes pop up that explain the keystrokes to move back and forth between your host operating system desktop and your virtual machine. Remember, you still have full access to your desktop computer. Incredible PBX 2027 is merely running as a task in a VM window. Always gracefully halt Incredible PBX just as you would on any computer.

Here’s what you need to know. To work in the Incredible PBX virtual machine, just left-click your mouse while it is positioned inside the VM window. To return to your host operating system desktop, press the right Option key on Windows machines or the left Command key on any Mac. On Linux desktops, press the right Ctrl key. For other operating systems, read the dialogue boxes for instructions on moving around. To access the Linux CLI, login as root with the default password: password.

Deploying Incredible PBX with VirtualBox on Zorin

Now let’s reboot your machine and choose Zorin as the platform to load. The Incredible PBX setup is similar to the process used with Windows 11, but UEFI machines are temperamental about which non-Windows apps can run. To enable VirtualBox on the Zorin platform, 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.

Once you have VirtualBox running successfully, you can install Incredible PBX 2027. Using the Firefox browser, download the IncrediblePBX2027-U with Ubuntu 22.04 image or the IncrediblePBX2027-D with Debian 11 image to your Downloads folder. From the File Manager, double-click on the .ova image to install it into VirtualBox. Click RUN to start up Incredible PBX 2027. The rest of the setup process is the same as what we described for Windows 11.

Deploying Linux Containers Using Static Routes

The beauty of Linux Containers is they run natively sharing the Linux kernel. So performance is outstanding. But, unlike VirtualBox, there is no simple way to create a Linux Container that obtains a DHCP address from the LAN’s DHCP server, so called bridge mode. This is especially true if your Zorin host is connected wirelessly. Read both of those sentences again to make sure you understand the network limitation of Linux Containers. Simply stated, networking with Linux Containers functions much like the NAT (as opposed to Bridge) option in VirtualBox. Here’s what that means.

Linux Containers are created on their own private subnet. If you wish to access them from a different device on the same LAN shared with your Zorin desktop hosting your Linux Containers, the simplest method is to create a static route to the private LXC subnet either on your LAN’s router or ON EVERY LAN DEVICE that needs to connect to your Linux Containers.

Here are the Mac and Linux commands to create, delete, and list static routes on the other LAN devices where 10.0.3.0 is the LXC subnet hosting the Linux Containers and 192.168.0.167 is the LAN address of the Zorin host PC:

sudo route add -net 10.0.3.0/24 192.168.0.167
sudo route -n delete 10.0.3.0
netstat -rn

Here are the Windows commands to create, delete, and list the same:

route add 10.0.3.0 MASK 255.255.255.0 192.168.0.167
route delete 10.0.3.0
route print

Deploying Linux Containers on the Primary LAN

If you are dead set in wanting to configure your Linux Containers to use IP addresses on the same subnet as your primary LAN, keep in mind that DHCP will not work for Linux Containers on a secured wireless network. For a tutorial on setting this up using static IP addresses, go here. It’s the only alternative that works.

Deploying Linux Containers with OpenVPN

A less painful way to accomplish the same thing is to install OpenVPN clients in your Linux Containers. To do this, you first must enable tun for Linux Containers. On your Zorin host machine, create a new 00-openvpn.conf file in /usr/share/lxc/config/common.conf.d:

lxc.cgroup.devices.allow = c 10:200 rwm
lxc.mount.entry = /dev/net dev/net none bind,create=dir 0 0
lxc.mount.entry = /dev/net/tun dev/net/tun none bind,create=file

Next, create an OpenVPN client config file for your Linux Container on your OpenVPN server. Now start up the Linux Container, switch to the root user, and copy the new config file (.ovpn) into the /etc folder naming it openvpn2027.ovpn. Then restart the Linux Container and wait for about 10 seconds for the OpenVPN client to load. Running pbxstatus now will show the OpenVPN IP address in your LAN listing, and the Linux Container is accessible from any device on your OpenVPN virtual private network.


Originally published: Monday, October 2, 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 Amazon when we find their prices are competitive for the recommended products. Nerd Vittles receives a small referral fee from Amazon to help cover the costs of our blog. We never recommend particular products solely to generate Amazon commissions. However, when pricing is comparable or availability is favorable, we support Amazon because Amazon supports us. []

Faxing Returns for Incredible PBX 2027 Platforms



As you may know, the introduction of Rocky 8, Debian 11, Ubuntu 22.04, and PHP 7.4 blew our HylaFax/AvantFax/IAXmodem faxing solution out of the water leaving all of the Incredible PBX 2027 builds with no fax capabilities. With some tips from our long-time contributor, Bill Simon, we are happy to report that an alternative solution is now available. It now provides BOTH incoming and outgoing fax support with email PDF delivery of all received faxes. While there are numerous free and paid options that support Outbound Faxing, we now have added an easy-to-use script that provides this functionality on Incredible PBX 2027 platforms.

Inbound Faxing Solution with Incredible PBX 2027

The new inbound faxing solution works much like it did with HylaFax and IAXmodem. You configure your Inbound Routes in FreePBX® to listen for fax tones. When an incoming fax is detected, the call is transferred to a SpanDSP fax context in Asterisk®. The incoming fax is then recorded as a .tiff image. When the recording is finished, we use the TIFF2PDF application to convert the image to a PDF file which is then emailed to a designated email address which you configure as part of this fax setup procedure. The prerequisite, of course, is to assure that Incredible PBX 2027 can send emails. This was covered in the initial setup tutorials, but we will repeat it below for slow learners.

Let’s first get your Incredible PBX 2027 platform configured to detect and process incoming fax calls. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands.

1. For Rocky 8 platforms: yum install libtiff && yum install libtiff-tools
    For Debian, Ubuntu, and Raspberry Pi platforms: apt install libtiff-tools -y

2. Issue the following commands to put the inbound fax context in place:

sed -i '/^\[custom-fax/,/^$/d' /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf
echo '
[ext-group](+)
exten => fax,1,Noop(Fax detected)
exten -> fax,2,Goto(custom-fax-iaxmodem,s,1)

[custom-fax-iaxmodem]
exten => s,1,Answer
exten => s,n,Wait(1)
exten => s,n,Verbose(3,Incoming Fax)
exten => s,n,Set(FAXEMAIL=)     ; fax email address of recipient
exten => s,n,Set(FAXDEST=/tmp)  ; folder where faxes will be stored
exten => s,n,Set(tempfax=${STRFTIME(,,%C%y%m%d%H%M)})
exten => s,n,ReceiveFax(${FAXDEST}/${tempfax}.tif)
exten => s,n,System(/usr/bin/tiff2pdf -o "${FAXDEST}/${tempfax}.pdf" "${FAXDEST}/${tempfax}.tif")
exten => s,n,System(/usr/bin/echo "Incoming fax is attached." | /usr/bin/mail -s "Incoming FAX  Received" -A "${FAXDEST}/${tempfax}.pdf" "${FAXEMAIL}")
exten => s,n,Hangup

' >> /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf

3. Update the fax context to include your email address for delivery of inbound faxes. Insert your email address in the code below replacing yourname@gmail.com:

sed -i 's|FAXEMAIL=|FAXEMAIL=yourname@gmail.com|' /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf

4. Download and install the Fax module for FreePBX:

fwconsole ma downloadinstall fax
rm /tmp/*
fwconsole reload

5. Open the FreePBX GUI and check to be sure you still have a Custom Destination called Fax (HylaFax). If not, create it:

Target: custom-fax-iaxmodem,s,1
Description: Fax (HylaFax)
Return: No

6. In the FreePBX GUI, modify each of your Inbound Routes to support incoming faxes from the DIDs you’ll be using for inbound faxes. In the new Fax tab, edit the settings as shown below, save the settings, and reload your dialplan.

 Yes
 SIP
 No
 5
 Custom Destinations
  Fax (HylaFax)

7. Be sure you have configured Outbound Email with SendMail using the instructions below before continuing.

8. Send a test fax from FaxZero to one of your fax-enabled DID’s while watching the Linux CLI for issues.


Configuring Gmail as Smart Relay Host

Most Incredible PBX 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 and faxes via email. Here’s how to set it up using a Gmail account.

IMPORTANT: You MUST obtain and use a Gmail App Password instead of your Gmail account password when running the script below. If you’re a Google hater, here’s an alternative.

/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

Outbound Faxing Solutions with Incredible PBX 2027

We’ve now developed a sendfax.sh script for use on Incredible PBX 2027 platforms. It lets you send any PDF document as a fax by simply copying the file to the /tmp directory and running the sendfax.sh script. You’ll be prompted for the name of the PDF file to send, the trunk to use for the call, and the phone number of the destination fax in the format required by your designated trunk. Make certain that you have provided the appropriate CallerID number in your Trunk setup, or the outbound calls may fail. After you complete the steps above to enable Inbound Faxing, issue the following commands to install this new Outbound Faxing addition:

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sendfax2027.tar.gz
tar zxvf sendfax2027.tar.gz
rm -f sendfax2027.tar.gz

Now let’s be sure your platform has the necessary components to support Outbound Faxing.

On Rocky 8 platforms, issue the following commands:

yum install libtiff
yum install libtiff-tools
yum install ghostscript

On Debian, Ubuntu and Raspberry Pi platforms, issue the following commands:

 apt update
 apt install libtiff-tools -y
 apt install ghostscript -y
 

Next edit /root/sendfax.sh and enter the callerid, faxheader, and faxstationid for your new Outbound Faxing Engine.

Disable the messages prompting for these components by issuing the command:
touch /etc/pbx/.sendfax

Finally, for installs before 9/27/2023, if you will be using a PJsip trunk to send outbound faxes, issue the following command to adjust the syntax in the sendfax.sh script. This is automatic for new installs.

sed -i 's|SIP/$mytrunk/$faxnumber|PJSIP/$faxnumber@$mytrunk|' /root/sendfax.sh

Now you’re ready to take Outbound Faxing for a test drive. Deposit a PDF file in the /tmp directory of your server. Then issue the following command to begin the Outbound Faxing process: /root/sendfax.sh. When prompted, enter the file name of your PDF file, the trunk name which will be used to make the call, and the phone number for the fax destination. That’s all the setup that’s required.

When you run the script, it will stay active until the fax has been delivered in order to alert you as to whether the fax transmission was successful. If, for some reason, the fax transmission fails, you can resend it with the following commands:

cp -ap /root/sendfax.call /tmp/cf
rm -f /var/spool/asterisk/outgoing_done/cf
mv /tmp/cf /var/spool/asterisk/outgoing/

You can verify receipt of the new fax attempt by waiting a reasonable time and then issuing these commands:

cd /var/spool/asterisk/outgoing_done
date -d @`cat cf | grep StartRetry | cut -f 2 -d "(" | cut -f 1 -d ")"`
cat cf | grep Status


While it is no longer possible to send faxes directly using AvantFax, there are some additional alternatives. A free one is faxzero.com, which lets you send 5 free faxes a day with up to 3 pages of text plus a cover sheet. A second alternative for infrequent use is to pay FaxZero $2.09 per fax to send up to 25 pages with an optional cover page. Another option is to send and receive faxes from your computer or mobile phone using a dedicated fax number from a service such as FaxDeck. Outbound faxing works almost identically to AvantFax. FaxDeck lets you send and receive up to 300 pages to the U.S. and Canada for $5 a month. Or, for $10 a month, you can send and receive up to 1,000 pages. That’s a penny per page which is less than the cost of most VoIP calls. Many of our recommended providers including Skyetel, ClearlyIP, VoIP.ms, and Vitelity also offer dedicated fax numbers as well as email-to-fax solutions.

Originally published: Monday, January 30, 2023    Updated: September 27, 2023



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