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Moving from Incredible PBX 2020 (CentOS) to 2021 (Debian)

If you’re still shackled to CentOS 7 with Incredible PBX 2020, the time has come to put the horse and buggy out to pasture. RedHat has become an unreliable partner upon whom your entire PBX depends. When RedHat abruptly reneged on LTS support for CentOS 8, the writing was on the wall. They could do much the same thing with CentOS 7. Rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop, we introduced Incredible PBX 2021 and migrated to Debian 10. Now it’s your turn, and today we’ll guide you to a much more stable platform moving forward.

Step 1. To get started, you’ll want to bring up a new Incredible PBX 2021 server on a platform of your choice. We recommend using one of the virtual machine platforms, all of which are documented on the Incredible PBX Wiki. The Vultr platform is especially well suited for Incredible PBX 2021 because a snapshot image is available which lets you bring up a functioning server in a couple of minutes.

Make note of your server’s public IP address ( in example).

Step 2. The next step is to bring the FreePBX modules on your existing Incredible PBX 2020 up to the latest releases. After logging into your Incredible PBX 2020 server as root, issue the following commands:

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

Verify that everything is functioning properly by logging into the FreePBX GUI as admin using your favorite web browser.

Make note of your Incredible PBX 2020 server’s public IP address ( in example).

Whitelist 2021 server on 2020 server: /root/add-ip 2021pbx then option 0

Step 3. Next, we need a good FreePBX backup of your Incredible PBX 2020 setup. While still logged into your Incredible PBX 2020 server as root, issue the following commands:

fwconsole stop
mysqldump -u root -ppassw0rd asterisk > /root/asteriskDB.sql
mysqldump -u root -ppassw0rd asteriskcdrdb > /root/asteriskCDR.sql
tar -zcf /root/snapshot.tar.gz /var/www/html/admin/modules \
 /var/spool/asterisk /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin \
 /etc/asterisk/*custom.conf /var/lib/asterisk/astdb.sqlite3 \
 /root/asteriskDB.sql /root/asteriskCDR.sql

Step 4. Log into your 2021 server as root and issue the following commands substituting your Incredible PBX 2020’s actual IP address for below:

cd /
scp root@ .
fwconsole stop
tar zxvf snapshot.tar.gz
rm snapshot.tar.gz
cd /root
mysql -u root -ppassw0rd asterisk < asteriskDB.sql
mysql -u root -ppassw0rd asteriskcdrdb < asteriskCDR.sql
mysql -u root -ppassw0rd asterisk -e "UPDATE freepbx_settings \
 SET value = 'Incredible PBX 2021' WHERE \
 freepbx_settings.keyword = 'DASHBOARD_FREEPBX_BRAND';"
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/lib/asterisk
chmod -R 755 /var/lib/asterisk
fwconsole start
fwconsole reload
fwconsole ma delete clearlytrunking
fwconsole ma delete sms
fwconsole ma delete webrtc
fwconsole ma delete ucp
fwconsole ma downloadinstall ucp
fwconsole ma downloadinstall webrtc
fwconsole ma downloadinstall sms
fwconsole ma downloadinstall clearlytrunking
fwconsole reload

That completes the migration to Debian 10 and Incredible PBX 2021. Keep in mind that you may need to tweak the directories in the tarball step above if you've made custom changes in your Incredible PBX 2020 setup. If you're also migrating Incredible Fax from your 2020 platform, see the Incredible PBX Wiki for step-by-step instructions. Enjoy!

Originally published: Tuesday, June 2, 2021

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  1. So, Ward. What’s the default root password on the Incredible PBX 2021 image in Vultr Marketplace?

    [WM: You’ll find it in Settings -> Server Details. It’s different for every VM. Should also appear in Item #1 of the application instructions when you set up the VM.]

  2. Super helpful. Migrated without difficulty. One final note to finish: change the a record for the 2020 instance to a CNAME pointing to the 2121 .. and all extensions will log in property. A little.speed bump with Clearly Anywhere .. but it should be fine.

  3. Awesome to see that this migration/upgrade is possible. Is there an upgrade path for instances that are PUBLIC and have the OpenVPN server scripts installed?

    [WM: Best approach would be to get PUBLIC and OpenVPN working on your new 2021 platform BEFORE you do the migration.]

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