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Introducing Incredible PBX with XiVO Snapshots

If you’ve been following along in our XiVO adventure with Incredible PBX, you already know that there were a significant number of configuration hoops to jump through once the base install was finished. While these steps are well documented in the original Incredible PBX for XiVO tutorial, there still were plenty of opportunities for typos and skipping steps. Any misstep could spell the difference in a perfectly functioning PBX and one that couldn’t make or receive calls. Today we’re pleased to report that approach is now going the way of cars with a stick shift. If you want to continue to manually configure your XiVO PBX, you still have that option. Just jump to the original tutorial and run the installer choosing the options you wish to activate. But if you prefer a self-driving Tesla, that’s now an option as well. Continue reading, and we’ll walk you through using XiVO Snapshots.

A XiVO Snapshot is just what the name implies. It’s a snapshot of a working XiVO PBX that has virtually everything already configured: SIP settings to work with Asterisk®, a SIP extension to work with a SIP phone, or softphone, or WebRTC plus your cellphone, SIP and Google Voice trunk setups for most of the major commercial providers, and default inbound and outbound routes to ease the task of routing calls into and out of your PBX. Basically, you plug in your credentials from your favorite provider after running the Incredible PBX for XiVO installer with all Incredible PBX options enabled. Then you tell XiVO how to route the calls, and you’re done. You can have a stable and functional PBX making calls to anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes. Then you can review our numerous tutorials to add additional bells and whistles while you’re already enjoying a fully functional PBX.

Incredible PBX for XiVO Installation Overview

Before we roll up our sleeves and walk you through the installation process, we wanted to provide a quick summary of the 10 Basic Steps in setting up Incredible PBX for XiVO. By the way, the whole process takes less than an hour!

  1. Set Up Desired PBX Platform: Stand-alone PC, Virtual Machine, or Cloud-Based Server
  2. Run the Incredible PBX for XiVO installer and Activate All Options
  3. Set Up One or More SIP or Google Voice Trunks for Your PBX
  4. Tell XiVO Where to Direct Incoming Calls from Each Trunk
  5. Tell XiVO Which Trunk to Use for Every Outbound Calling Digit Sequence
  6. Set Up a SoftPhone or WebRTC Phone (or both)
  7. Decide Whether to Activate Simultaneous Ringing on your Cellphone
  8. Add Google Speech Recognition Key (if desired)
  9. Activating DISA with Incredible PBX for XiVO (if desired)
  10. Test Drive Incredible PBX for XiVO

1. Incredible PBX for XiVO Hardware Platform Setup

The first step is to choose your hardware platform and decide whether you want to babysit a server and network or leave those tasks to others. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the setups documented below. The last four options are cloud providers, each of whom provides a generous discount to let you kick the tires. So click on the links below to review the terms and our walkthrough of the setup process on each platform.

If your situation falls somewhere in between all of these, here’s a quick summary. For stand-alone systems and virtual machine platforms that you own (such as VirtualBox and VMware ESXi), download and install the 64-bit version of XiVO using the XiVO ISO. For most other virtual machine platforms in the Cloud, you’ll start by creating a 64-bit Debian 8 virtual machine with at least 1GB of RAM and a 20GB drive.

2. Running the Incredible PBX for XiVO Installer

Once you have your hardware platform up and running, the rest of the initial setup process is easy. Simply download and run the Incredible PBX for XiVO installer. On some platforms, it first updates Debian 8 to current specs and reboots. Then log back in and rerun the installer a second time. You will be prompted whether to activate about a dozen applications for Incredible PBX. Choose Y for each option if you want to take advantage of the XiVO Snapshot with all components preconfigured. Otherwise, you’ll need to jump over to the original tutorial and manually configure all of the XiVO components.

cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/IncrediblePBX13-XiVO.sh
chmod +x IncrediblePBX13-XiVO.sh

3. Setting Up SIP and Google Voice Trunks with XiVO

There are two steps in setting up trunks to use with Incredible PBX. First, you have to sign up with the provider of your choice and obtain trunk credentials. These typically include the FQDN of the provider’s server as well as your username and password to use for access to that server. Second, you have to configure a trunk on the Incredible PBX for XiVO server so that you can make or receive calls outside of your PBX. As with the platform tutorials, we have taken the guesswork out of the trunk setup procedure for roughly a dozen respected providers around the globe. In addition, XiVO Snapshots goes a step further and actually creates the trunks for you, minus credentials, as part of the initial Incredible PBX install.

For Google Voice trunks, log into your server as root and run ./add-gvtrunk. When prompted, insert your 10-digit Google Voice number, your Google Voice email address and OAuth 2 token. The native Google Voice OAuth tutorial explains how to obtain it.

For the other providers, review the setup procedure below and then edit the preconfigured trunk for that provider by logging into the XiVO web GUI and choosing IPX → Trunk Management → SIP Protocol. Edit the setup for your provider (as shown above) and fill in your credentials and CallerID number in the General tab. Activate the trunk in the Register tab after again filling in your credentials. Save your settings when finished. No additional configuration for these providers is required when using the XiVO Snapshot.

4. Directing Incoming Calls from XiVO Trunks

Registered XiVO trunks typically include a DID number. With the exception of CallCentric, this is the number that callers would dial to reach your PBX. With CallCentric, it’s the 11-digit account number of your account, e.g. 17771234567. In the XiVO web GUI, we use IPX → Call Management → Incoming Calls to create inbound routes for every DID and trunk associated with your PBX. Two sample DIDs have been preconfigured to show you how to route calls to an extension or to an IVR. To use these, simply edit their settings and change the DID to match your trunk. Or you can create new incoming routes to send calls to dozens of other destinations on your PBX.

5. Routing Outgoing Calls from XiVO to Providers

Outgoing calls from extensions on your XiVO PBX must be routed to a trunk provider to reach call destinations outside your PBX. Outgoing call routing is managed in IPX → Call Management → Outgoing Calls. You tell XiVO which trunk provider to use in the General tab. Then you assign a Calling Digit Sequence to this provider in the Exten tab. For example, if NXXNXXXXXX were assigned to Vitelity, this would tell XiVO to send calls to Vitelity if the caller dialed a 10-digit number. XiVO has the flexibility to add and remove digits from a dialed number as part of the outbound call routing process. For example, you might want callers to dial 48NXXNXXXXXX to send calls to a Google Voice trunk where 48 spells "GV" on the phone keypad. We obviously don’t want to send the entire dial string to Google Voice so we tell XiVO to strip the first 2 digits (48) from the number before routing the call out your Google Voice trunk. We’ve included two examples in the XiVO Snapshot to get you started. Skype Connect (shown below) is an example showing how to strip digits and also add digits before sending a call on its way:

6. Setting Up Softphone & WebRTC to Connect to XiVO

If you’re a Mac user, you’re lucky (and smart). Download and install Telephone from the Mac App Store. Start up the application and choose Telephone:Preference:Accounts. Click on the + icon to add a new account. To set up your softphone, you need 3 pieces of information: the IP address of your server (Domain), and your Username and Password. In the World of XiVO, you’ll find these under IPBX → Services → Lines. Just click on the Pencil icon beside the extension to which you want to connect. Now copy or cut-and-paste your Username and Password into the Accounts dialog of the Telephone app. Click Done when you’re finished, and your new softphone will come to life and should show Available. Dial the IVR (4871) to try things out. With Telephone, you can use over two dozen soft phones simultaneously on your desktop.

For everyone else, we recommend the YateClient softphone which is free. Download it from here. Run YateClient once you’ve installed it and enter the credentials for the XiVO Line. You’ll need the IP address of your server plus your Line username and password associated with the 701 extension. On the XiVO platform, do NOT use an actual extension number for your username with XiVO. Go to IPBX Settings → Lines to decipher the appropriate username and password for the desired extension. Click OK to save your entries.

WebRTC allows you to use your Chrome or Firefox browser as a softphone. Extension 701 comes preconfigured for WebRTC access with Incredible PBX for XiVO. It shares the same password as the Line associated with extension 701, but the username is 701 rather than the username associated with the Line. You can decipher the password by accessing the XiVO Web GUI and then IPBX → Services → Users → Incredible PBX → XiVO Client Password.

To use WebRTC, you first need to accept the different SSL certificates associated with the WebRTC app. From your browser, go to the following site and click on each link to accept the certificates. Once you’ve completed this process, visit the XiVO WebRTC site. The Username is 701. The Password is the one you obtained above. The IP Address is the address of your XiVO PBX.

7. Setting Up a CellPhone Extension with XiVO

In addition to ringing your SIP extension when incoming calls arrive, XiVO can also ring your cellphone simultaneously. This obviously requires at least one outbound trunk. If that trunk provider also supports CallerID spoofing, then XiVO will pass the CallerID number of the caller rather than the DID associated with the trunk. Incredible PBX for XiVO comes preconfigured with cellphone support for extension 701. To enable it, access the XiVO Web GUI and go to IPBX → Services → Users → Incredible PBX and insert your Mobile Phone Number using the same dial string format associated with the trunk you wish to use to place the calls to your cellphone. You can answer the incoming calls on either your cellphone or the phone registered to extension 701.

8. Activating Voice Recognition for XiVO

Google has changed the licensing of their speech recognition engine about as many times as you change diapers on a newborn baby. Today’s rule restricts use to “personal and development use.” Assuming you qualify, the very first order of business is to enable speech recognition for your XiVO PBX. Once enabled, the Incredible PBX feature set grows exponentially. You’ll ultimately have access to the Voice Dialer for AsteriDex, Worldwide Weather Reports where you can say the name of a city and state or province to get a weather forecast for almost anywhere, Wolfram Alpha for a Siri-like encyclopedia for your PBX, and Lefteris Zafiris’ speech recognition software to build additional Asterisk apps limited only by your imagination. And, rumor has it, Google is about to announce new licensing terms, but we’re not there yet. To try out the Voice Dialer in today’s demo IVR, you’ll need to obtain a license key from Google. This Nerd Vittles tutorial will walk you through that process. Don’t forget to add your key to /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin/speech-recog.agi on line 72.

9. Adding DISA Support to Your XiVO PBX

If you’re new to PBX lingo, DISA stands for Direct Inward System Access. As the name implies, it lets you make calls from outside your PBX using the call resources inside your PBX. This gives anybody with your DISA credentials the ability to make calls through your PBX on your nickel. It probably ranks up there as the most abused and one of the most loved features of the modern PBX.

There are three ways to implement DISA with Incredible PBX for XiVO. You can continue reading this section for our custom implementation with two-step authentication. There also are two native XiVO methods for implementing DISA using a PIN for security. First, you can dedicate a DID to incoming DISA calls. Or you can add a DISA option to an existing IVR. Both methods are documented in our tutorial on the PIAF Forum.

We prefer two-step authentication with DISA to make it harder for the bad guys. First, the outside phone number has to match the whitelist of numbers authorized to use your DISA service. And, second, you have to supply the DISA password for your server before you get dialtone to place an outbound call. Ultimately, of course, the monkey is on your back to create a very secure DISA password and to change it regularly. If all this sounds too scary, don’t install DISA on your PBX.

1. To get started, edit /root/disa-xivo.txt. When the editor opens the dialplan code, move the cursor down to the following line:

exten => 3472,n,GotoIf($["${CALLERID(number)}"="701"]?disago1)  ; Good guy

2. Clone the line by pressing Ctrl-K and then Ctrl-U. Add copies of the line by pressing Ctrl-U again for each phone number you’d like to whitelist so that the caller can access DISA on your server. Now edit each line and replace 701 with the 10-digit number to be whitelisted.

3. Move the cursor down to the following line and replace 12341234 with the 8-digit numeric password that callers will have to enter to access DISA on your server:

exten => 3472,n,GotoIf($["${MYCODE}" = "12341234"]?disago2:bad,1)

4. Save the dialplan changes by pressing Ctrl-X, then Y, then ENTER.

5. Now copy the dialplan code into your XiVO setup, remove any previous copies of the code, and restart Asterisk:

cd /root
sed -i '\:// BEGIN DISA:,\:// END DISA:d' /etc/asterisk/extensions_extra.d/xivo-extrafeatures.conf
cat disa-xivo.txt >> /etc/asterisk/extensions_extra.d/xivo-extrafeatures.conf
/etc/init.d/asterisk reload

6. The traditional way to access DISA is to add it as an undisclosed option in an IVR that is assigned to one of your inbound trunks (DIDs). For the demo IVR that is installed, edit the ivr-1.conf configuration file and change the "option 0″ line so that it looks like this. Then SAVE your changes.

exten => 0,1(ivrsel-0),Dial(Local/3472@default)

7. Adjust the inbound calls route of one of your DIDs to point to the demo IVR by changing the destination to Customized with the following Command:


A sample is included in the XiVO Snapshot. Here’s how ours looks for the Nerd Vittles XiVO Demo IVR:

8. Now you should be able to call your DID and choose option 0 to access DISA assuming you have whitelisted the number from which you are calling. When prompted, enter the DISA password you assigned and press #. You then should be able to dial a 10-digit number to make an outside call from within your PBX.

SECURITY HINT: Whenever you implement a new IVR on your PBX, it’s always a good idea to call in from an outside number 13 TIMES and try every key from your phone to make sure there is no unanticipated hole in your setup. Be sure to also let the IVR timeout to see what result you get.

10. Test Drive Incredible PBX for XiVO

To give you a good idea of what to expect with Incredible PBX for XiVO, we’ve set up a sample IVR using voice prompts from Allison. Give it a call and try out some of the features including voice recognition. Dial 1-843-606-0555.

Nerd Vittles Demo IVR Options
1 – Call by Name (say "Delta Airlines" or "American Airlines" to try it out)
2 – MeetMe Conference
3 – Wolfram Alpha (Coming Soon!)
4 – Lenny (The Telemarketer’s Worst Nightmare)
5 – Today’s News Headlines
6 – Weather Forecast (enter a 5-digit ZIP code)
7 – Today in History (Coming Soon!)
8 – Speak to a Real Person (or maybe just Lenny if we’re out)

What To Do and Where to Go Next?

Here are a Baker’s Dozen projects to get you started exploring XiVO on your own. Just plug the keywords into the search bar at the top of Nerd Vittles to find numerous tutorials covering the topics or simply follow our links. Note that all of these components already are in place so do NOT reinstall them. Just read the previous tutorials to learn how to configure each component. Be sure to also join the PIAF Forum to keep track of the latest tips and tricks with XiVO. There’s a treasure trove of information that awaits.

XiVO and Incredible PBX Dial Code Cheat Sheets

Complete XiVO documentation is available here. But here are two cheat sheets in PDF format for XiVO Star Codes and Incredible PBX Dial Codes.

Published: Monday, October 10, 2016

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


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1 Comment

  1. So, no mentioned of a Raspberry Pi 3 – is this "in the pipes" or can it be adapted from something else?

    [WM: The RasPi images for XiVO already are snapshots so it really isn’t necessary.]

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