We’re delighted to introduce the bells and whistles for Incredible PBX® 13-13. We’ve taken a slightly different approach with this release. Instead of getting the Whole Enchilada out of the box, you now have a choice. You start with Incredible PBX 13-13 LEAN on the recommended CentOS® 6.10 platform. This gets you a fully-functioning PBX with the latest Asterisk® 13 and most of the FreePBX® 13 GPL modules. This release includes support for Skyetel SIP trunking from our Platinum Sponsor together with $50 in free service to get you started. You still can customize your PBX in any way you like. Or just upgrade to the Whole Enchilada and take advantage of the entire feature set that Incredible PBX has traditionally offered. Last but not least, you can add Incredible Fax for flawless faxing with HylaFax® and AvantFax® including fax detection on specified inbound routes. So the choice is totally up to you. We have a lot to cover. For today, we’ll get all the Incredible PBX pieces installed.
Just Released: Incredible PBX 16-15 for CentOS 7. Take it for a test drive.
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s included in Incredible PBX 13-13 Whole Enchilada: dozens of preconfigured SIP Trunks from our favorite providers, Voice Dialing (411) with IBM STT or Google, Headline News (951), Weather by ZIP Code (947), Today in History (86329), IBM TTS, ODBC Lookups (222), ODBC Calling with AsteriDex (223), Telephone Reminders (123), AsteriDex (Web GUI), Reminders (Web GUI), PortKnocker, Travelin’ Man 4, Time of Day (*61), SMS Dictator (767), Wolfram Alpha (4747), Hotel-Style Wakeup Calls (*68), Allison’s Demo IVR (3366), Lenny (53669), Call Parking (**70), Call Pickup (71), Blacklist Add (*30), Blacklist Remove (*31), Blacklist Last Caller (*32), Call Forward Activate (*72), Call Forward DeActivate (*73), Conferencing (C-O-N-F), Call Pickup (*8), Dictation (*34), Email Dictation (*35), DND Activate (*78), DND DeActivate (*79), SpeedDial with AsteriDex (000NNN), Email Delivery of Voicemails, NeoRouter VPN, and more. With a little luck, this will light a fire under some of you to roll up your sleeves and participate in the open source development community.
Installing a Base CentOS Operating System
You can install Incredible PBX 13-13 Lean on a dedicated server, on a virtual machine platform such as VirtualBox, or a Cloud-based server. We recommend a minimum 1GB of RAM with a swapfile unless installing on OpenVZ platforms. We’ve provided a script to do it for you. Depending upon the number of users your server will be supporting, we recommend a disk capacity of 10-30 GB. Last but not least, you need a reliable Internet connection.
Before you can install Incredible PBX 13-13 Lean, you’ll need a basic Linux platform. For this build, you can start by deploying a minimal install of CentOS 6. The Incredible PBX installer will load all of the necessary components to support Asterisk and FreePBX as well as upgrading CentOS to 6.10. Better yet, use the new Incredible PBX 13-13 ISO which bundles both the operating system packages and all of the Incredible PBX goodies. Complete Incredible PBX 13-13 ISO tutorial available here.
Begin by installing 64-bit CentOS 6 on your favorite hardware or Desktop. Or you may prefer to use a Cloud provider1 that already offers a preconfigured CentOS or Incredible PBX 13-13 image in the case of HiFormance. If you’re using a Cloud platform, you can skip the rest of this section. Just choose CentOS 6 or Incredible PBX 13-13 on HiFormance as the default operating system for your cloud-based server.
For those using a dedicated hardware platform or wishing to install CentOS as a virtual machine, the drill is the same. Start by downloading the 64-bit CentOS 6.10 minimal ISO. Burn the ISO to a DVD unless you’ll be booting from the ISO on a virtual machine platform such as VirtualBox. On virtual platforms, we recommend at least 1GB RAM and a 20GB dedicated drive. For VirtualBox, we’ve provided a one-minute installer. Here are the settings:
Version: RedHat 64-bit
Default Drive Options with 20GB space
Settings->System: Enable IO APIC and Disable HW Clock (leave rest alone)
Settings->Network: Enable, Bridged
Settings->Storage: Far right CD icon (choose your ISO)
If you’re booting your server with the CentOS ISO to start the CentOS install, here are the simplest installation steps:
Choose Language and Click Continue
Click: Install Destination (do not change anything!)
Click: Network & Hostname
Click: Begin Installation
Click: Root Password: password, password, Click Done twice
Wait for Minimal Software Install and Setup to finish
Installing Incredible PBX 13-13 LEAN
Unless you’re using a virtual machine Incredible PBX image or the Incredible PBX 13-13 image on HiFormance, you’ll need to run the Incredible PBX installer. Once you have CentOS up and running, log into your server as root and issue the following commands to kick off the Incredible PBX install.
passwd yum -y update yum -y install net-tools nano wget tar wget http://incrediblepbx.com/incrediblepbx-13-13-LEAN.tar.gz tar zxvf incrediblepbx-13-13-LEAN.tar.gz rm -f incrediblepbx-13-13-LEAN.tar.gz # to add swap file on non-OpenVZ cloud platforms ./create-swapfile-DO # kick off Phase I install ./IncrediblePBX-13-13.sh # after reboot, kick off Phase II install ./IncrediblePBX-13-13.sh # add Full Enchilada apps, if desired ./Enchilada-upgrade.sh # add HylaFax/AvantFax, if desired ./incrediblefax13.sh # set passwords ./update-passwords # set desired timezone ./timezone-setup # remember to enable TUN/TAP if using VPS Control Panel # reconfigure PortKnocker if installing on an OpenVZ platform echo 'OPTIONS="-i venet0:0"' >> /etc/sysconfig/knockd service knockd restart # fix pbxstatus for NeoRouter VPN support, if desired cd /usr/local/sbin sed -i "s|cat /etc/hostip|cat /etc/hostip \\| cut -f 3 -d ' ' |" pbxstatus # set up NeoRouter client, if desired nrclientcmd
WebMin is also installed and configured as part of the base install. The root password for access is the same as your Linux root password. We strongly recommend that you not use WebMin to make configuration changes to your server. You may inadvertently damage the operation of your PBX beyond repair. WebMin is an excellent tool to LOOK at how your server is configured. When used for that purpose, we highly recommend WebMin as a way to become familiar with your Linux configuration.
Using the Incredible PBX 13-13 Web GUI
NOTE: If you plan to upgrade to the Whole Enchilada, you can skip this section. It’s for those that wish to roll their own PBX from the ground up.
Most of the configuration of your PBX will be performed using the web-based Incredible PBX GUI with its FreePBX 13 GPL modules. Use a browser pointed to the IP address of your server and choose Incredible PBX Admin. Log in as admin with the password you configured in the previous step. HINT: You can always change it if you happen to forget it.
To get a basic system set up so that you can make and receive calls, you’ll need to add a VoIP trunk, create one or more extensions, set up an inbound route to send incoming calls to an extension, and set up an outbound route to send calls placed from your extension to a VoIP trunk that connects to telephones in the real world. You’ll also need a SIP phone or softphone to use as an extension on your PBX. Our previous tutorial will walk you through this setup procedure. Over the years, we’ve built a number of command line utilities including a script to preconfigure SIP trunks for more than a dozen providers in seconds. You’ll find links to all of them here.
Continue Reading: Configuring Extensions, Trunks & Routes
Upgrading to Incredible PBX Whole Enchilada
There now are two more pieces to put in place. The sequence matters! Be sure to upgrade to the Whole Enchilada before you install Incredible Fax. If you perform the steps backwards, you may irreparably damage your fax setup by overwriting parts of it.
The Whole Enchilada upgrade script now is included in the Incredible PBX LEAN tarball. If you have an earlier release, you may need to download the Whole Enchilada tarball as documented below. Upgrading to the Whole Enchilada is simple. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands. Try issuing just the last command first to see if the enchilada upgrade script already is in place. Otherwise, execute all of the commands below. Be advised that the upgrade will overwrite all of your existing Incredible PBX setup including any extensions, trunks, and routes you may have created previously. You also will be prompted to reset all of your passwords as part of the upgrade.
cd /root ./Enchilada*
If you accidentally installed Incredible Fax before upgrading to the Whole Enchilada, you may be able to recover your Incredible Fax setup by executing the following commands. It’s worth a try anyway.
amportal a ma install avantfax amportal a r
Installing Incredible Fax with HylaFax/AvantFax
You don’t need to upgrade to the Whole Enchilada in order to use Incredible Fax; however, you may forfeit the opportunity to later upgrade to the Whole Enchilada if you install Incredible Fax first. But the choice is completely up to you. To install Incredible Fax, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:
cd /root ./incrediblefax13.sh
After entering your email address to receive incoming faxes, you’ll be prompted about two dozen times to choose options as part of the install. Simple press the ENTER key at each prompt and accept all of the defaults. When the install finishes, make certain that you reboot your server to bring Incredible Fax on line. There will be a new AvantFax option in the Incredible PBX GUI. The default credentials for AvantFax GUI are admin:password; however, you first will be prompted for your Apache admin credentials which were set when you installed Incredible PBX 13-13 LEAN or the Whole Enchilada. Then you’ll be asked to change your AvantFax password.
Upgrading to IBM Speech Engines
If you’ve endured Google’s Death by a Thousand Cuts with text-to-speech (TTS) and voice recognition (STT) over the years, then we don’t have to tell you what a welcome addition IBM’s new speech utilities are. We can’t say enough good things about the new IBM Watson TTS and STT offerings. With IBM’s services, you have a choice of free or commercial tiers. Let’s put the pieces in place so you’ll be ready to play with the Whole Enchilada.
Getting Started with IBM Watson TTS Service
We’ve created a separate tutorial to walk you through obtaining and configuring your IBM Watson credentials. Start there.
Next, login to your Incredible PBX server and issue these commands to update your Asterisk dialplan and edit ibmtts.php:
cd /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin ./install-ibmtts-dialplan.sh nano -w ibmtts.php
Insert your credentials in $IBM_username and $IBM_password. For new users, your $IBM_username will be apikey. Your $IBM_password will be the TTS APIkey you obtained from IBM. Next, verify that $IBM_url matches the entry provided when you registered with IBM. Then save the file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER. Now reload the Asterisk dialplan:
asterisk -rx "dialplan reload". Try things out by dialing 951 (news) or 947 (Weather) from an extension registered on your PBX.
Getting Started with IBM Watson STT Service
Now let’s get IBM’s Speech to Text service activated. Log back in to the IBM Cloud. Click on the Speech to Text app. Choose a Region to deploy in, choose your Organization from the pull-down menu, and select STT as your Space. Choose the Standard Pricing Plan. Then click Create. When Speech to Text Portal opens, click the Service Credentials tab. In the Actions column, click View Credentials and copy down your STT username and password.
Finally, login to your Incredible PBX server and issue these commands to edit getnumber.sh:
cd /var/lib/asterisk/agi-bin nano -w getnumber.sh
Insert apikey as your API_USERNAME and your actual STT APIkey API_PASSWORD in the fields provided. Then save the file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER. Update your Voice Dialer (411) to use the new IBM STT service:
sed -i '\\:// BEGIN Call by Name:,\\:// END Call by Name:d' /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf sed -i '/\\[from-internal-custom\]/r ibm-411.txt' /etc/asterisk/extensions_custom.conf asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"
Now try out the Incredible PBX Voice Dialer with AsteriDex by dialing 411 and saying "Delta Airlines." Check back next week for the Whole Enchilada apps tutorial.
Adding Skyetel Trunks to Incredible PBX
Now that you have your Incredible PBX platform in place, it’s time to set up your Skyetel trunks to take advantage of the BOGO calling credit (up to $250). The trunks themselves are added by logging into your server with SSH/Putty as root and issuing the following commands if the trunks aren’t already installed on your server. HINT: Check first!
cd /root wget http://incrediblepbx.com/add-skyetel chmod +x add-skyetel # uncomment next line if your incoming calls all have 10-digit numbers # sed -i 's|from-trunk|from-pstn-e164-us|' add-skyetel ./add-skyetel chmod -x add-skyetel
Next, sign up for Skyetel service and take advantage of the exclusive Nerd Vittles BOGO offer. First, complete the Prequalification Form here. You then will be provided a link to the Skyetel site to complete your registration. Skyetel will match your original deposit up to $250 which means you could enjoy as much as $500 of SIP trunking service for half price. Effective 10/1/2023, $25/month minimum spend required. Once you have registered on the Skyetel site and your account has been activated, open a support ticket and request your BOGO credit by referencing this Nerd Vittles special offer. Greed will get you nowhere. Credit is limited to one per person/company/address/location. If you want to take advantage of the 10% discount on your current service, open another ticket and attach a copy of your last month’s bill. See footnote 1 for the fine print.2 If you have high call volume requirements, document these in your Prequalification Form, and we will be in touch. Easy Peasy!
Unlike many VoIP providers, Skyetel does not use 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. A typical setup for use with Incredible PBX®, Asterisk®, or FreePBX® would look like the following:
- Name: MyPBX
- Priority: 1
- IP Address: PBX-Public-IP-Address
- Port: 5060
- Protocol: UDP
- Description: server1.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 sign up for service) 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 a Skyetel Inbound Route
Because there is no SIP registration with Skyetel, incoming calls to Skyetel trunks will NOT be sent to the Default Inbound Route configured on your PBX because FreePBX treats the calls as blocked anonymous calls without an Inbound Route pointing to the 11-digit number of each Skyetel DID. From the GUI, choose Connectivity -> Inbound Routes -> Add Inbound Route. For both the Description and DID fields, enter the 11-digit phone number beginning with a 1. Set the Destination for the incoming DID as desired and click Submit. Reload the Dialplan when prompted. Place a test call to each of your DIDs after configuring the Inbound Routes.
If you have installed the Incredible Fax add-on, you can enable Fax Detection under the Fax tab. And, if you’d like CallerID Name lookups using CallerID Superfecta, you can enable it under the Other tab before saving your setup and reloading your dialplan.
Configuring a Skyetel Outbound Route
If Skyetel will be your primary provider, you can use both 10-digit and 11-digit dialing to process outbound calls through your Skyetel account. From the GUI, choose Connectivity -> Outbound Routes -> Add Outbound Route. For the setup, we recommend the following using the CallerID Number you wish to associate with your outbound calls through Skyetel:
Enter the Dial Patterns under the Dial Patterns tab before saving your outbound route. Here’s what you would enter for 10-digit and 11-digit dialing. If you want to require a dialing prefix to use the Skyetel Outbound Route, enter it in the Prefix field for both dial strings.
There are a million ways to design outbound calling schemes on PBXs with multiple trunks. One of the simplest ways is to use no dial prefix for the primary trunk and then use dialing prefixes for the remaining trunks.
Another outbound calling scheme would be to assign specific DIDs to individual extensions on your PBX. Here you could use NXXNXXXXXX with the 1 Prepend as the Dial Pattern with every Outbound Route and change the Extension Number in the CallerID field of the Dial Pattern. With this setup, you’d need a separate Outbound Route for each group of extensions using a specific trunk on your PBX. Additional dial patterns can be added for each extension designated for a particular trunk. A lower priority Outbound Route then could be added without a CallerID entry to cover extensions that weren’t restricted or specified.
HINT: Keep in mind that Outbound Routes are processed by FreePBX in top-down order. The first route with a matching dial pattern is the trunk that is selected to place the outbound call. No other outbound routes are ever used even if the call fails or the trunk is unavailable. To avoid failed calls, consider adding additional trunks to the Trunk Sequence in every outbound route. In summary, if you have multiple routes with the exact same dial pattern, then the match nearest to the top of the Outbound Route list wins. You can rearrange the order of the outbound routes by dragging them into any sequence desired.
Audio Issues with Skyetel
If you experience one-way or no audio on some calls, make sure you have filled in the NAT Settings section in the GUI under Settings -> Asterisk SIP Settings -> General. In addition to adding your external and internal IP addresses there, be sure to add your external IP address in /etc/asterisk/sip_general_custom.conf like the following example and restart Asterisk:
If you’re using PJSIP trunks or extensions on your PBX, implement this fix as well.
Receiving SMS Messages Through Skyetel
Most Skyetel DIDs support SMS messaging. Once you have purchased one or more DIDs, you can edit each number and, under the SMS & MMS tab, you can redirect incoming SMS messages to an email or SMS destination of your choice using the following example:
Sending SMS Messages Through Skyetel
We’ve created a simple script that will let you send SMS messages from the Linux CLI using your Skyetel DIDs. In order to send SMS messages, you first will need to create an SID key and password in the Skyetel portal. From the Settings icon, choose API Keys -> Create. Once the credentials appear, copy both your SID and Password. Then click SAVE.
Next, from the Linux CLI, issue the following commands to download the sms-skyetel script into your /root folder. Then edit the file and insert your SID, secret, and DID credentials in the fields at the top of the script. Save the file, and you’re all set.
cd /root wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sms-skyetel chmod +x sms-skyetel nano -w sms-skyetel
To send an SMS message, use the following syntax where 18005551212 is the 11-digit SMS destination:
sms-skyetel 18005551212 "Some message"
Using Gmail as a SmartHost for SendMail
Many Internet service providers block email transmissions from downstream servers (that’s you) to reduce spam. The simple solution is to use your Gmail account as a smarthost for SendMail. Here’s how. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands:
yum -y install sendmail-cf cd /etc/mail hostname -f > genericsdomain touch genericstable makemap -r hash genericstable.db < genericstable mv sendmail.mc sendmail.mc.original wget http://incrediblepbx.com/sendmail.mc.gmail cp sendmail.mc.gmail sendmail.mc mkdir -p auth chmod 700 auth cd auth echo AuthInfo:smtp.gmail.com \\"U:smmsp\\" \\"I:user_id\\" \\"P:password\\" \\"M:PLAIN\\" > client-info echo AuthInfo:smtp.gmail.com:587 \\"U:smmsp\\" \\"I:user_id\\" \\"P:password\\" \\"M:PLAIN\\" >> client-info echo AuthInfo:smtp.gmail.com:465 \\"U:smmsp\\" \\"I:user_id\\" \\"P:password\\" \\"M:PLAIN\\" >> client-info nano -w client-info
When the nano editor opens the client-info file, change the 3 user_id entries to your Gmail account name without @gmail.com and change the 3 password entries to your actual Gmail password. Save the file: Ctrl-X, Y, then ENTER.
Now issue the following commands:
chmod 600 client-info makemap -r hash client-info.db < client-info cd .. make service sendmail restart
Finally, send yourself a test message. Be sure to check your spam folder!
echo "test" | mail -s testmessage firstname.lastname@example.org
Check mail success with:
tail /var/log/maillog. If you have trouble getting a successful Gmail registration (especially if you have previously used this Google account from a different IP address), try this Google Voice Reset Procedure. It usually fixes connectivity problems. If it still doesn’t work, enable Less Secure Apps using this Google tool.
Continue Reading: Configuring Extensions, Trunks & Routes
Don't Miss: Incredible PBX Application User's Guide covering the 31 Whole Enchilada apps
Check out the new Incredible PBX 13-13 ISO. Complete tutorial available here.
Support Issues. With any application as sophisticated as this one, you're bound to have questions. Blog comments are a difficult place to address support issues although we welcome general comments about our articles and software. If you have particular support issues, we encourage you to get actively involved in the PBX in a Flash Forum. It's the best Asterisk tech support site in the business, and it's all free! Please have a look and post your support questions there. Unlike some forums, the PIAF Forum is extremely friendly and is supported by literally hundreds of Asterisk gurus and thousands of users just like you. You won't have to wait long for an answer to your question.
Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.
Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors
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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.
- Some of our links refer users to Amazon or other service providers when we find their prices are competitive for the recommended products. Nerd Vittles receives a small referral fee from these providers 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. [↩]
- In the unlikely event that Skyetel cannot provide a 10% reduction in your current origination rate and/or DID costs, Skyetel will give you an additional $50 credit to use with the Skyetel service. [↩]