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A New Incredible PBX 2027 Image for the Raspberry Pi



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

Assembling the Required Raspberry Pi Components

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

    After your Raspberry Pi boots, do the following:

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Continuing Your Incredible PBX 2027 Journey

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    Configuring Skyetel for Incredible PBX 2027

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

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

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

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

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

    Configuring VoIP.ms for Incredible PBX 2027

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

    Adding a Bootable SSD to Raspberry Pi

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




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

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

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

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

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



    Configuring a Softphone for Incredible PBX 2027



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

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



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

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

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

    Audio Issues with Incredible PBX 2027

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

    Configuring Gmail as Smart Relay Host

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

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

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

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

    Almost-Free SMS Messaging Returns

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

    On the VoIP.ms portal, do the following:

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

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

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

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

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

    Incredible PBX 2027 Administration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Keeping FreePBX 16 Modules Current

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

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

    Resolving an Expired Certificate Alert

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

    Introducing Adminer: The Ultimate MySQL Editor

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


    What About Fax Support?

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

    Where Can I Buy a Raspberry Pi?

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

    Originally published: Monday, June 26, 2023



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


     

    Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors


    FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

    BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

    The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

    VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!
     

    Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.
     



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

    Interconnecting Incredible PBX Servers with PJsip


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

    PJsip Interconnection Design

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

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

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

    Configuring PJsip Trunks For Each Location

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


    Configuring Outbound Routes For Each Location

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


    Repeating the Setup Process in Other Cities

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

    Originally published: Tuesday, May 16, 2023



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


     

    Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors


    FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

    BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

    The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

    VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!
     

    Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.
     



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


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

    Hardware Options for the Proxmox Server Platform

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


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

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

    Installing the Proxmox 7 Server Platform

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

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

    Interacting with the Proxmox Server

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

    Installing Linux ISOs on Proxmox Server

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

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

    Installing Linux Containers on Proxmox Server

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

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

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

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-U on Proxmox Server

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

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

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

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-D on Proxmox Server

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

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

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

    Installing Incredible PBX 2027-R on Proxmox Server

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

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

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

    Installing Incredible PBX 2021-D on Proxmox Server

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

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

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

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

    Incredible PBX Startup Steps with Proxmox

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

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


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

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

    Creating Incredible PBX Containers on Proxmox

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

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



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

    Originally published: Monday, May 8, 2023



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


     

    Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors


    FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

    BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

    The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

    VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!
     

    Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.
     



    The 5-Minute PBX in the Cloud Platform for $2 a Month

    If $2.10 a month for a state-of-the-art VoIP PBX isn’t too rich for your blood, then today’s your lucky day. What that buys you is a turnkey, cloud-based PBX platform that is fully installed and configured IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES! Did we mention the feature set? The Incredible PBX 2027-U image at CrownCloud has an unequaled feature set: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Asterisk® 20, and FreePBX® 16 with preconfigured extensions and trunks for dozens of VoIP providers plus voicemail with transcription and email delivery, IVRs, DISA, SMS messaging, conferencing, call queues, paging, intercom, and lots of text-to-speech features to whet your developer appetite: news headlines, weather reports by zip code, today in history, and sample ODBC apps for customer and accounting lookups using MySQL/MariaDB databases. The web server offerings include the latest FreePBX GUI with all of its GPL modules plus WebMin, AsteriDex, and Telephone Reminders. It’s taken us more than a decade to develop this free platform. You get to take advantage of it in less than 5 minutes.

    So what’s the difference in today’s $2 a month offering from CrownCloud and the previous offering from RackNerd for $1 a month. The major difference is Incredible PBX 2027-U is an actual image offering at CrownCloud while, at RackNerd, you had to first install the operating system and then go through the entire setup procedure for the Incredible PBX platform of your choice. The CrownCloud scenario takes five minutes while the RackNerd procedure consumes more than an hour assuming all of the repositories upon which Incredible PBX relies are on line and functioning as advertised. What you’ll quickly learn with open source software is this. We rely upon the work product of over 1,000 different individuals and companies, any one of whom can seriously break things either because their software is off-line or because they’ve "improved" something in a way that quickly cascades into a disaster for those of us that relied upon their old way of doing things. If patience and time are your strong suits, then the $1 a month alternative may be a perfect fit. Otherwise, our new CrownCloud image of Incredible PBX 2027-U is a godsend. So let’s get started.

    Getting Started at CrownCloud

    These 5-minute turnkey installs of Incredible PBX 2027-U for Ubuntu 22.04 are offered at the jaw-dropping price of $25 a year. The monthly cost is cheaper than a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and you’ll have a fully-functioning, production-ready KVM platform including a free snapshot with 1GB RAM, 20GB SSD storage, and 1TB of monthly bandwidth in your choice of server locations including Los Angeles, Miami, and Atlanta in the United States as well as Germany and the Netherlands in Europe. And, unlike all of the other Asterisk® aggregations, Incredible PBX still provides a source code-based platform that can be tailored to meet any special requirements your organization may need.

    It’s worth mentioning that we don’t make a nickel on these cloud offerings so consider this our special thanks to all of our loyal fans.

    Here are the links to sign up for the service and take advantage of the Incredible PBX 2027 deal:

    After you sign up for the service, open the CrownPanel application and choose Incredible PBX 2027-U under Application Images for your base install. Take a 5-minute coffee break while your server image is installed. Once your server comes on line, login as root from a desktop machine using the password that was provided. Be sure to use SSH and NOT the VNC utility included in CrownPanel. This will assure that your desktop machine’s IP address gets whitelisted in the Incredible PBX firewall. Otherwise, you won’t be able to SSH into your server from your desktop. Once you login, the Incredible PBX configurator will prompt you to set passwords for root login, admin login to FreePBX, and admin login credentials for Apache to access AsteriDex and Reminders. Add a trunk provider (Skyetel is preconfigured and enabled by default) and a softphone or Incredible PBX SIP phone, and your PBX is ready to go.

    Planning Ahead for That Rainy Day

    One of our favorite features of Crown Cloud is the free snapshot (a.k.a. backup) that’s provided at no additional charge. We recommend you take snapshots regularly as you make major changes in your server’s configuration. In this way, if something comes unglued, you can easily restore the snapshot and never miss a beat. You’ll find the Remote Snapshot option in your CrownPanel menu.

    Next Steps with Incredible PBX 2027

    Before you can manage your PBX through a web browser, you first will need to set the root password for Ubuntu as well as the admin passwords for FreePBX and Apache web apps such as Reminders and AsteriDex. These all can be set by logging into your server as root and issuing the following commands: passwd, admin-pw-change, and apache-pw-change.

    Outbound mail functionality needs to be working so that you can receive voicemail messages and faxes by email. To prevent SPAM, most ISPs and ITSPs block messages from downstream mail servers. That would be you. The easiest way to resolve this is to configure SendMail using Gmail as an SMTP Smarthost. You obviously need a Gmail account to implement this and you also will need to obtain an App password for your Gmail account, and use that in lieu of your regular Gmail password when configuring SendMail. With your Gmail username and App password in hand, log into your server as root and run: /root/enable-gmail-smarthost-for-sendmail.

    If your Incredible PBX 2027 is hosted with a cloud provider, be advised that many providers do not include a swap file as part of their offering. FreePBX requires a swap file. To see if you have one, issue the command: free -h. To add one, issue this command after logging into your server as root: /root/create-swapfile-DO.

    To correctly set the time on your PBX, run: /root/timezone-setup.

    By default, the voicemail password for each of the configured extensions (701-705) is set to the extension number. This means the user will be prompted to set a voicemail password on the first login to voicemail for each extension. A phone must be registered to the actual extension to access its voicemail account. For example, once a phone is registered to extension 701, the voicemail setup can be accessed by dialing *98701.

    Overview of the Initial Asterisk Setup Process

    For those new to PBXs, here’s a two paragraph summary of how Voice over IP (VoIP) works. Phones connected to your PBX are registered with Extensions so that they can make and receive calls. When a PBX user picks up a phone and dials a number, an Outbound Route tells the PBX which Trunk to use to place the call based upon established dialing rules. Unless the dialed number is a local extension, a Trunk registered with some service provider accepts the call, and the PBX sends the call to that provider. The provider then routes the call to its destination where the recipient’s phone rings to announce the incoming call. When the recipient picks up the phone, the conversation begins.

    Looking at things from the other end, when a caller somewhere in the world wishes to reach you, the caller picks up a telephone and dials a number known as a DID that is assigned to you by a provider with whom you have established service. When the provider receives the call to your DID, it routes the call to your PBX based upon destination information you established with the provider. Your PBX receives the call with information identifying the DID of the call as well as the CallerID name and number of the caller. An Inbound Route on your PBX then determines where to send the call based upon that DID and CallerID information. Typically, a call is routed to an Extension, a group of Extensions known as a Ring Group, or an IVR or AutoAttendant giving the caller choices on routing the call to the desired destination. Once the call is routed to an Extension, the PBX rings the phone registered to that Extension. When you pick up the phone, the conversation begins.

    Configuring Trunks with Incredible PBX GUI

    Perhaps the most difficult component to configure in the PBX is the Trunk. Almost every provider has a different way of doing things. We’ve taken some of the torture out of the exercise by providing a script which will configure settings for dozens of providers in seconds. Once installed, all you need to do is edit the desired Trunk (Connectivity:Trunks), change the Disable Trunk entry to No, and insert your credentials in both the PEER Details and Registration string of the SIP Settings Outgoing and Incoming tabs. Skyetel is enabled by default and needs no setup on the PBX side.

    Configuring Skyetel for Incredible PBX 2027

    If you’ve decided to go with Skyetel, here’s the drill. Sign up for Skyetel service and take advantage of the Nerd Vittles specials. First, complete the Prequalification Form here. You then will be provided a link to the Skyetel site to complete your registration. Once you have registered on the Skyetel site and your account has been activated, open a support ticket and request the $10 credit for your account by referencing the Nerd Vittles special offer. Once you are satisfied with the service, fund your account as desired, and Skyetel will match your deposit of up to $250 simply by opening another ticket. That gets you up to $500 of half-price calling. Credit is limited to one per person/company/address/location. Effective 10/1/2023, $25/month minimum spend required.

    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. Here’s a typical setup for Incredible PBX 2027:

    • Name: MyPBX
    • Priority: 1
    • IP Address: PBX-Public-IP-Address
    • Port: 5060
    • Protocol: UDP
    • Description: my.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 VoIP.ms for Incredible PBX 2027

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

    Configuring V1VoIP for Incredible PBX 2027

    To sign up for V1VoIP service, sign up on their web site. Then login to your account and order a DID under the DIDs tab. Once the DID has been assigned, choose View DIDs and click on the Forwarding button beside your DID. For Option #1, choose Forward to IP Address/PBX. For the Forwarding Address, enter the public IP address of your server. For the T/O (timeout) value, set it to 2o seconds. Then click the Update button. Under the Termination tab, create a new Endpoint with the public IP address of your server so that you can place outbound calls through V1VoIP. In the Incredible PBX GUI, be sure to enable all of the V1VoIP trunks.

    Configuring Anveo Direct for Incredible PBX 2027

    To sign up for Anveo Direct service, sign up on their web site and then login. After adding funds to your account, purchase a DID under Inbound Service -> Order DID. Next, choose Configure Destination SIP Trunk. Give the Trunk a name. For the Primary SIP URI, enter $[E164]$@server-IP-address. For Call Options, select your new DID from the list. You also must whitelist your public IP address under Outbound Service -> Configure. Create a new Call Termination Trunk and name it to match your server. For Dialing Prefix, choose six alphanumeric characters beginning with a zero. In Authorized IP Addresses, enter the public IP address of your server. Set an appropriate rate cap. We like $0.01 per minute to be safe. Set a concurrent calls limit. We like 2. For the Call Routing Method, choose Least Cost unless you’re feeling extravagant. For Routes/Carriers, choose Standard Routes. Write down your Dialing Prefix and then click the Save button.

    Before you can make outbound calls through Anveo Direct from your PBX, you first must configure the Dialing Prefix that you wrote down in the previous step. Log into the GUI as admin using a web browser and edit the Anveo-Out trunk in Connectivity -> Trunks. Enable the Trunk. Then click on the custom-Settings tab and replace anveo-pin with your actual Dialing Prefix. Click Submit and Apply Config to complete the setup. In the Incredible PBX GUI, be sure to enable all of the remaining Anveo trunks.

    By default, incoming Anveo Direct calls will be processed by the Default inbound route on your PBX. If you wish to redirect incoming Anveo Direct calls using DID-specific inbound routes, then you’ve got a bit more work to do. In addition to creating the inbound route using the 11-digit Anveo Direct DID, enter the following commands after logging into your server as root using SSH/Putty:

    cd /etc/asterisk
    echo "[from-anveo]" >> extensions_custom.conf
    echo "exten => _.,1,Ringing" >> extensions_custom.conf
    echo "exten => _.,n,Goto(from-trunk,\\${SIP_HEADER(X-anveo-e164)},1)" >> extensions_custom.conf
    asterisk -rx "dialplan reload"
    

    Configuring Extensions with Incredible PBX GUI

    Extensions are created using the Incredible PBX GUI: Applications:Extensions. Many SIP phones expect extensions to communicate on UDP port 5060. If this is the case with your SIP phone or softphone, then always create Chan_SIP extensions which communicate on UDP 5060. If your SIP phone or softphone provide port flexibility, then you have a choice in the type of SIP extension to create: Chan_SIP or the more versatile PJSIP (UDP 5061). Just remember to always configure SIP extensions with NAT Mode=YES in the Advanced tab. If your VoIP phones or softphones support IAX connectivity, you may wish to consider IAX extensions which avoid NAT problems.

    When you create a new Extension, a new entry is automatically created in the PBX Internal Directory. If you wish to allow individual users to manage their extensions or use the WebRTC softphone, then you will also have to create a (very) secure password for User Control Panel (UCP) access. Choose Admin:User Management and click on the key icon of the desired extension to assign a password for UCP and WebRTC access.

    Configuring a Desktop Softphone for Incredible PBX

    We’re in the home stretch now. You can connect virtually any kind of telephone to your new PBX. Plain Old Phones require an analog telephone adapter (ATA) which can be a separate board in your computer from a company such as Digium. Or it can be a standalone SIP device such as ObiHai’s OBi100 or OBi110 (if you have a phone line from Ma Bell to hook up as well). SIP phones can be connected directly so long as they have an IP address. These could be hardware devices or software devices such as a softphone. We’ll start with a free one today so you can begin making calls. You can find dozens of recommendations for hardware-based SIP phones both on Nerd Vittles and the PIAF Forum when you’re ready to get serious about VoIP telephony.


    The easiest way to get started is to download a free softphone onto your desktop. We recommend Zoiper 5 for personal use. You can download and install it from here. Once installed, you’ll first need to decipher your extension password for an extension you wish to use to connect to Zoiper. Log into your Linux CLI and switch to the root user as documented above. Then run: /root/show-passwords. Specify 701 and 705 as the starting and ending extensions. Make note of the 701 extension password. Run pbxstatus and make note of your LAN IP address, e.g. 179.xx.yy.zz. Next, start up Zoiper from your desktop and choose the free version. For the desired account enter: 701@179.xx.yy.zz:5061 where 179.xx.yy.zz is the local IP address of your virtual machine. For the password, enter the 701 extension password you deciphered above. Press ENTER twice to complete the connection. When the dialer appears, try out some of the free Incredible PBX applications below.

    NOTE: You must use the Keypad option shown in the right window of Zoiper after your call is connected for any app that prompts for keyboard input.

    Here are some numbers to try:

    123 - Reminders
    222 - Timeclock for Employees (try 12345)
    223 - AsteriDex Lookup & Dialer (try 335 for Delta Airlines)
    947 - Weather by ZIP Code (requires keyboard entry of ZIP code)
    951 - Yahoo News
    TODAY - Today in History
    LENNY - The Telemarketer's Worst Nightmare
    

    If you are a Mac user, another great no-frills softphone is Telephone. Just download and install it from the Mac App Store. For Android users, check out the terrific new VitalPBX Communicator. Works flawlessly with Incredible PBX.

    Configuring a Softphone Extension on a Smartphone

    Adding an Incredible PBX extension to your smartphone gets a little trickier. Whether you’re an iPhone or Android lover, all smartphones use batteries, and you don’t want to drain your battery by running a softphone as a foreground app all the time. Fortunately, you now have some choices in softphones engineered to work without draining your battery. While they all cost money, it’s not much money. We’ve written about all the choices, and you’ll find the links in our Softphone Provider Recommendations on the new Incredible PBX Wiki.

    With PJsip extensions, you’re not limited to a single phone connection at a time, and we’ve preconfigured extension 701 to support ten simultaneous connections. The setup on the softphone side is simple. For the server, enter the actual IP address of your PBX in the following format: 22.33.44.55:5061. Then enter 701 for the username and enter the password assigned to the 701 extension on your PBX. When an incoming call arrives, all the phones registered to extension 701 will ring simultaneously. Simply answer the call on the phone that is most convenient. For extension 702, you can change the number of simultaneous connections by clicking the Advanced tab and setting the number in Max Contacts.

    Configuring Outbound Routes in Incredible PBX GUI

    Outbound Routes serve a couple of purposes. First, they assure that calls placed by users of your PBX are routed out through an appropriate trunk to reach their destination in the least costly manner. Second, they serve as a security mechanism by either blocking or restricting certain calls by requiring a PIN to complete the calls. Never authorize recurring charges on credit cards registered with your VoIP providers and, if possible, place pricing limits on calls with your providers. If a bad guy were to break into your PBX, you don’t want to give the intruder a blank check to make unauthorized calls. And you certainly don’t want to join the $100,000 Phone Bill Club.

    To create outbound routes in the Incredible PBX GUI, navigate to Connectivity:Outbound Routes and click Add Outbound Route. In the Route Settings tab, give the Outbound Route a name and choose one or more trunks to use for the outbound calls. In the Dial Patterns tab, specify the dial strings that must be matched to use this Outbound Route. NXXNXXXXXX would require only 10-digit numbers with the first and fourth digits being a number between 2 and 9. Note that Outbound Routes are searched from the top entry to the bottom until there is a match. Make certain that you order your routes correctly and then place test calls watching the Asterisk CLI to make sure the calls are routed as you intended.

    Configuring Inbound Routes in Incredible PBX GUI

    Inbound Routes, as the name implies, are used to direct incoming calls to a specific destination. That destination could be an extension, a ring group, an IVR or AutoAttendant, or even a conference or DISA extension to place outbound calls (hopefully with a very secure password). Inbound Routes can be identified by DID, CallerID number, or both. To create Inbound Routes, choose Connectivity:Inbound Routes and then click Add Inbound Route. Provide at least a Description for the route, a DID to be matched, and the Destination for the incoming calls that match. If you only want certain callers to be able to reach certain extensions, add a CallerID number to your matching criteria. You can add Call Recording and CallerID CNAM Lookups under the Other tab.

    Audio Issues with Incredible PBX 2027

    While it is always a good idea anyway, if you experience one-way or no audio on some calls, be sure to add your external IP address and LAN subnet in the GUI by navigating to Settings -> Asterisk SIP Settings. In the NAT Settings section, click Detect Network Settings. Click Submit and Apply Settings to save your changes.

    Adding Fax Support to Incredible PBX 2027

    We’ve had to live without faxing on the new Incredible PBX 2027 platforms since the beginning of the year. But those days are over. If you’d like to add fax support to your virtual machine, head over to our new Fax Tutorial to install the components. It only takes a couple minutes.

    Adding Incredible PBX 2027 to an OpenVPN Network

    We previously have documented the procedure for creating an OpenVPN server as well as OpenVPN client templates (.ovpn). If you need a refresher, the tutorial is here. To add your Incredible PBX 2027 server to an existing OpenVPN network, begin by creating an incrediblepbx2027.ovpn template on your OpenVPN server. Be sure to comment out or delete the setenv line in the template. Then copy this template to /etc on your Incredible PBX 2027 server. The following commands are already in place:

    echo "[Unit]
    Description=openvpn2027
    ConditionPathExists=/etc/openvpn-start
    After=rclocal.service
    [Service]
    Type=forking
    ExecStart=/etc/openvpn-start /etc/incrediblepbx2027.ovpn
    TimeoutSec=0
    StandardOutput=tty
    RemainAfterExit=yes
    PermissionsStartOnly=true
    SysVStartPriority=99
    [Install]
    WantedBy=multi-user.target" > /etc/systemd/system/openvpn2027.service
    

    We’ve also enabled this openvpn2027.service which will start when you reboot your server. The OpenVPN IP address should now appear on the LAN line in pbxstatus:

    systemctl enable openvpn2027.service
    reboot
    

    Deploying ODBC Apps with Incredible PBX 2027

    Appreciating that many use a PBX to perform actual tasks for your business, we have included two sample ODBC apps to give you a head start. The code for these ODBC apps is stored in odbc.conf in the /etc/asterisk folder. Dialing 222 from any Asterisk extension calls up the TimeClock application which provides access to an employee database. You can enter 12345 as an employee number to see how it works. Dialing 223 from any Asterisk extension connects to the AsteriDex MySQL database and performs a lookup based upon the 3-digit code corresponding to the first three letters of the company name. For example, entering 335 (D-E-L) will call up the entry for Delta Airlines and connect you to their reservations desk once you have an outbound trunk enabled. You could build something similar to look up real-time inventory information from a MySQL database. These are just examples of the thousands of applications that could be quickly developed using ODBC and the Incredible PBX 2027 platform.

    Incredible PBX 2027 Administration

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

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

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

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

    admin-pw-change is used to set the admin password for access to the FreePBX/Incredible PBX web GUI using a browser pointed to the local IP address of your server.

    apache-pw-change is used to set the admin password for access to Apache/Incredible PBX apps including AsteriDex and Reminders. This provides a password layer of protection for access to these applications.

    incrediblebackup2021 makes a backup of critical components on your PBX to a tarball saved in /backup. This should be copied to safe location off-site for a rainy day.

    incrediblerestore2021 restores a backup file which has been copied to the /backup folder.

    ipchecker is a script which deciphers the public IP addresses associated with whitelisted FQDNs created with add-fqdn on your server. If any of the addresses have changed, the firewall is restarted after updating the IP addresses. By default, it is executed every 10 minutes by /etc/crontab.

    licenses.sh displays the license associated with each of the FreePBX modules on your server.

    logos-b-gone removes proprietary artwork from your PBX and is no longer necessary with the included IncrediblePBX FreePBX module.

    mime-construct is a command-line utility to send emails with attachments.

    neorouter-login is a script to add your PBX to a NeoRouter VPN. Tutorial here.

    odbc-gen.sh is a script that was run to generate the ODBC settings for Asterisk. Do NOT use it.

    openvpn-start is a script to add your PBX to an existing OpenVPN network using an .ovpn config file. Tutorial here.

    pbxstatus displays status of all major components of Incredible PBX 2027.

    pptp-install is a script to create a PPTP network connection for your PBX. Tutorial here.

    purge-cdr-cel-records removes all CDR and CEL records from the MySQL database.

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

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

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

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

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

    sig-fix disables Module Signature Checking in the FreePBX GUI. This should not be necessary unless you have added or edited FreePBX Modules with missing module signatures.

    sms-skyetel is a script to send SMS messages using a Skyetel trunk.

    sms-voip.ms is a script to send SMS messages using a VoIP.ms trunk.

    sms-blast, sms-blaster, and sms-dictator are scripts for message blasting. Tutorial here.

    timezone-setup is a script to set the timezone for your PBX.

    update-IncrediblePBX is a script that runs the Automatic Update Utility whenever you login to your server as root. These updates typically resolve bugs and security issues with your PBX. Do NOT remove it.

    wolfram is a script to deploy Wolfram Alpha on your PBX. Tutorial here.

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

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

    Implementing Call By Name with 411

    Once you have an Outbound Trunk and Route configured, deploying Call by Name by dialing 411 is simple. The way it works is to pick up any phone connected to your PBX and dial 411. When prompted for the name of the person or company to call, say the name as you entered it in the AsteriDex directory, e.g. Delta Air Lines. The name will then be looked up to decipher the number of the person or company to call. Then the call will be placed using your default outbound route. To deploy Call By Name, simply follow the setup instructions in this Nerd Vittles tutorial.

    Introducing Adminer: The Ultimate MySQL Editor

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


    Keeping FreePBX 16 Modules Current

    We strongly recommend that you periodically update all of your FreePBX modules to eliminate bugs and to reduce security vulnerabilities. From the Linux CLI, log into your server as root and issue the following commands:

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

    Help If You Can

    Many of you know Tony Lewis and especially his tireless efforts over the years in support of the open source community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to Tony and his extended family upon the death of his brother, Dan, last week. In the midst of renovating their home, Dan leaves behind his wife and four young children to pick up the pieces. If you’re able, they could use your financial help. A Go Fund Me campaign was launched in Dan’s honor here.

    Originally published: Tuesday, April 25, 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.
     



    The Beauty of Incredible PBX: ClearlyIP Module Management



    When Incredible PBX was released, you may recall that we jettisoned reliance on FreePBX® repositories and adopted Clearly IP’s far superior repository setup for FreePBX module management. Most of you have never noticed… until today. As lady luck would have it, Sangoma recently released a buggy version of the User Control Panel (UCP) module which literally blows up when you next attempt to access UCP.

    One of the hidden beauties of Incredible PBX is that we now have version control over FreePBX modules thanks to Clearly IP’s Mirror Administration application. What this means is we can restrict which versions of every FreePBX module get installed on every Incredible PBX server. So when a problem such as the UCP bug causes a serious operational issue for our users, we can simply use Mirror Admin to back rev the UCP module to a working release, version 16.0.36 in this case.

    The other hidden advantage of Incredible PBX is we maintain dozens of honeypot servers around the world running many different versions of Linux, Asterisk, and FreePBX. So, when this issue popped up, it was a simple matter to visit various sites until we found one using a functional version of the User Control Panel. Then a simple tweak of the default UCP version in Mirror Admin meant administrators could quickly restore UCP functionality. Here’s how.

    Begin by logging into the FreePBX GUI with your admin credentials. Navigate to Module Administration and choose the Check Online option. Scroll down to the User Control Panel module and choose Force Download and Downgrade. Click the Process button to migrate back to UCP 16.0.36, and you’re back in business. Enjoy… and tell your friends!

    Originally published: Monday, April 17, 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.
     



    The Ambidextrous Laptop: A Perfect Fit for Asterisk and VoIP



    Until we bought a 15-inch Windows laptop with 20 gigs of RAM and a 1 terabyte NVMe SSD for under $500, we never would have considered such a computer an ideal virtual machine platform. And, to our surprise, with Windows 11 and a 4-core Ryzen 3 processor, it not only ran VirtualBox flawlessly, but Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSLg) also performed admirably.
     


    And then we tried out the UTM virtual machine platform on one of Apple’s new MacBook Air machines with an M1 processor and 16 gigs of RAM. Wow! How the world has changed. The MacBook Air 1TB offering buys you triple the performance of the Ryzen machine. But it’s more than triple the cost. So our message for today is don’t underestimate the benefits of running Asterisk® in a virtual machine environment where flawless backups are only the click of a button away. And, yes, it can travel with you without missing a beat. Add a free softphone such as Zoiper 5, and you have an instant mobile office. Of course, if your primary use is commercial, you’ll need to pay for Zoiper 5 Pro. The $50 price tag won’t break the bank.

    What’s our favorite platform? You can probably guess. But, to be honest, the Ryzen-based Windows 11 machine is a steal and performs more than adequately as a virtual machine platform. And, if you’re more comfortable in the Windows ecosystem, it’s a smart choice. LibreOffice is available at no cost on both the Windows and Mac platforms as is Zoiper. So, functionally, as a travel companion and as a robust virtual machine host, you can’t lose.

    While we’re on the mobile computing topic, we would be remiss in not addressing the topic of security. If you travel and are away from the protections of your home or office firewall, we will restate the obvious. You still need firewall protection for your computer. This is especially true if you’re also using the machine to host a PBX capable of making worldwide VoIP calls. While Windows and Mac platforms as well as Incredible PBX® all offer software-based firewalls, we still consider a hardware-based firewall a prudent addition. It’s your phone bill.



    So here’s our tip of the week for a gadget to slip into your travel bag. Never leave home without it! It’s the GL.iNet Mini Travel Wireless Pocket Router currently available on Amazon for $32. You can plug it into your PC or a USB power source and set up a private WiFi network in minutes whether you’re in a hotel or any other location with public WiFi access. For those that always rely upon virtual private networks for communications as we do, this little router has OpenVPN support built in.

    Full Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, Nerd Vittles earns commissions from qualifying Amazon purchases to keep the Nerd Vittles lights burning brightly. And, as has always been the case, Nerd Vittles eats its own dog food. Simply stated, we always use and test products before recommending them to others.

    Originally published: Monday, April 10, 2023



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


     

    Special Thanks to Our Generous Sponsors


    FULL DISCLOSURE: ClearlyIP, Skyetel, Vitelity, DigitalOcean, Vultr, VoIP.ms, 3CX, Sangoma, TelecomsXchange and VitalPBX have provided financial support to Nerd Vittles and our open source projects through advertising, referral revenue, and/or merchandise. As an Amazon Associate and Best Buy Affiliate, we also earn from qualifying purchases. We’ve chosen these providers not the other way around. Our decisions are based upon their corporate reputation and the quality of their offerings and pricing. Our recommendations regarding technology are reached without regard to financial compensation except in situations in which comparable products at comparable pricing are available from multiple sources. In this limited case, we support our sponsors because our sponsors support us.

    BOGO Bonaza: Enjoy state-of-the-art VoIP service with a $10 credit and half-price SIP service on up to $500 of Skyetel trunking with free number porting when you fund your Skyetel account. No limits on number of simultaneous calls. Quadruple data center redundancy. $25 monthly minimum spend required. Tutorial and sign up details are here.

    The lynchpin of Incredible PBX 2020 and beyond is ClearlyIP components which bring management of FreePBX modules and SIP phone integration to a level never before available with any other Asterisk distribution. And now you can configure and reconfigure your new Incredible PBX phones from the convenience of the Incredible PBX GUI.

    VitalPBX is perhaps the fastest-growing PBX offering based upon Asterisk with an installed presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. VitalPBX has generously provided a customized White Label version of Incredible PBX tailored for use with all Incredible PBX and VitalPBX custom applications. Follow this link for a free test drive!
     

    Special Thanks to Vitelity. Vitelity is now Voyant Communications and has halted new registrations for the time being. Our special thanks to Vitelity for their unwavering financial support over many years and to the many Nerd Vittles readers who continue to enjoy the benefits of their service offerings. We will keep everyone posted on further developments.
     



    Deploying Incredible PBX 2027 with Apple M1 and M2 Silicon


    In the old days, virtual machine choices were limited to VMware, Proxmox, and VirtualBox with the first two requiring a dedicated hardware platform before you ever got started. So it looked like VirtualBox solved the problem of being able to use existing hardware for other functions as well as being able to host virtual machines. And all was well in the Intel world until Apple created its M1 chip integrating the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, I/O, and more into a single system on a chip (SoC). Because it was based on the ARM architecture, VirtualBox no longer worked. And, despite a new beta claiming ARM compatibility, it still fails at least as a platform for Debian 11, Ubuntu 22.04, and Incredible PBX 2027.

    Last week we introduced WSL, the new kid on the virtual machine block for Windows 11. And today we turn our attention to the Mac platform with Apple’s UTM offering. In a word, it’s fantastic: machine-speed virtual platforms that coexist with other Mac apps, relatively easy to install, and simple to backup and restore. So… farewell VirtualBox and hello UTM.

    While UTM will run on AMD64 Macs, our focus today is the new generation of M1 and M2 Macs. There are many to choose from including multi-colored iMacs as well as MacBook Air and Pro notebooks. You won’t be disappointed by the migration. And UTM is unique in that it can reliably run both ARM applications and x86_64 apps. So let’s get started. This is a three-step process today. First, we’ll install Apple’s UTM app on your M1 or M2 machine. Second, we’ll build an Ubuntu 22.04 x86_64 platform running as a virtual machine under UTM. Third, we’ll install Incredible PBX 2027-U on the Ubuntu platform.

    Before we get started, here are a couple of tips. Creating the Ubuntu 22.04 platform is a little tedious. So, once you go through the 30-minute setup process, your very next step should be to shut it down and clone it. In that way, you never have to spend time setting up the Ubuntu virtual machine platform again. You can simply reuse what you’ve already built. Our second tip is to make backups of both your original Ubuntu virtual machine AND your Incredible PBX 2027-U machine. Then store those backups off site. We’ll document the procedure below.

    Installing Apple’s UTM Application


    UTM requires macOS 11.3 or later. You have two ways to install Turing Software’s UTM app. You can download and install it through Apple’s App Store for $9.99 in which case you get automatic updates and also fund future development of the platform. Or you can download and install the application from GitHub at no cost and handle the installation and updates yourself. You get exactly the same software from either location. If you elect to use the free version, download the UTM.dmg file to your desktop. Then double-click on the file and drag the UTM app to your Applications folder. From there, you can run it as you would any other Mac application. To update the UTM app, you simply replace the existing installation and all your virtual machines will be retained.

    Installing Ubuntu 22.04 (x86_64) VM

    This is not a difficult procedure, but it has a lot of steps and takes about half an hour so hang in there and don’t skip any steps. If you’re lazy and would prefer the quick-and-dirty method to install the Ubuntu 22.04 UTM image, skip to the next section of this tutorial… but you won’t learn how to do it yourself.

    1. Download the Ubuntu 22.04 Server ISO to your Desktop.

    2. Open the UTM app from your Applications folder.

    3. Click "Create a New Virtual Machine" icon.

    4. On the Start menu, choose Emulate to emulate the AMD64 platform on your Mac M1 or M2.

    5. In the Operating System menu, choose Linux. Click Browse. Select Ubuntu 22.04 ISO on your desktop. Click Continue.

    6. Change the Memory setting to 2048 MB. Change CPU Cores to 2. Click Continue.

    7. For the Virtual Machine Size, we recommend 20GB but the choice is yours. Click Continue.

    8. On the Shared Directory menu, just click Continue.

    9. On the Summary menu, check Open VM Settings. Click Save.

    10. In the VM Settings, enter Incredible PBX 2027 for Name.

    11. Click Network tab. Change the Network Mode to Bridged (Advanced). Click Save.

    12. Start your virtual machine app by clicking on it in the Start menu.

    NOTE: DO NOT MINIMIZE THE UTM APP! You’ll need to return to it and remove the ISO before reboot.

    13. Click "Try to Install Ubuntu Server" to kick off the Ubuntu install.

    14. After about 3 minutes of setup, the install prompts will appear.

    15. Choose your Language (default English) and press ENTER.

    16. Choose your Keyboard (default English US) and press ENTER.

    17. In the Type Install, tab down to Ubuntu Server (minimized) and press Space Bar.
    Tab down to Done and press ENTER.

    18. On the Network menu, your default DHCPv4 IP address should be shown. Press ENTER.

    19. On the Proxy menu, press ENTER.

    20. For the Ubuntu mirror, press ENTER.

    21. On the Storage Layout menu, tab to LVM option and press Space Bar.
    Tab down to Done and press ENTER.

    22. Review File System Summary. If all OK, press ENTER.

    23. On the Confirm menu, tab to Continue and press ENTER to continue.

    24. Set up your profile. We recommend:

       Your name: nerd (we’re going to destroy this account later)
       Your server name: ubuntu
       Username: nerd (we’re going to destroy this user account later)
       Password: password (type it twice)

       Tab to Done and press ENTER.

    25. If you want to pay for Ubuntu Pro, you can do it on the next screen.
    Otherwise, press ENTER.

    26. On the SSH Setup menu, press space bar to enable SSH. Tab to Done. Press ENTER.

    27. On Server Snaps menu, use the Down cursor to scroll to Done and press ENTER.

    28. You’re now at the 15-minute mark and the screen will say Install complete! It’s not.
    The Ubuntu install will now continue in unattended mode. Have a cup of coffee.
    Return in about 7 minutes and await the Reboot Now prompt at the bottom of the screen.

    29. Press ENTER and immediately switch back to the UTM app’s Main Menu.

    30. Scroll down to CD/DVD line and click the Option bar and choose Clear.

    31. UTM will now reboot into your new Ubuntu server.

       If it redisplays the initial Ubuntu install menu, verify Step #30 completed.
       Then kill the virtual machine and restart it.

    32. Log in as nerd with the password you set up above.

    33. Now set up a password for the root user:

       sudo passwd root

    34. Log out as user nerd: exit

    35. Login as root.

    36. Remove the nerd user account:

       userdel -r nerd

    37. Install the nano editor:

       apt install nano -y

    38. Edit the sshd_config file to allow remote root SSH access:

       nano -w /etc/ssh/sshd_config

    39. Adjust and uncomment the following settings:

       PermitRootLogin yes
       PasswordAuthentication yes

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

    40. Restart SSH: systemctl restart ssh

    Now you’re ready to install Incredible PBX 2027-U. But, before you do anything else, shutdown the VM. Then right-click on the VM and choose Clone to make a duplicate. Now fire up the duplicate and install Incredible PBX 2027-U by following the steps in our current tutorial.

    Installing Ubuntu 22.04 UTM Tarball

    If you completed the steps above, you can skip this section. But, if Lazy is your middle name, here’s an alternate method that saves you some time. Begin by downloading the ubuntu2204utm.tar.gz file from our Incredible PBX repo to your Desktop. Then run the Terminal app and issue the following commands:

    cd ~/Library/Containers/com.utmapp.UTM/Data/Documents
    tar zxvf ~/Desktop/ubuntu2204utm.tar.gz
    

    Now run the UTM app. Then start the Ubuntu 22.04 virtual machine. Login as root with default password of password. Now begin the Incredible PBX 2027-U install procedure as documented in our tutorial here.

    Installing Debian 11.6.0 UTM Tarball

    If you would prefer to build your Incredible PBX 2027 server on the Debian 11 platform, begin by downloading the debian116utm.tar.gz file from our Incredible PBX repo to your Desktop. Then run the Terminal app and issue the following commands:

    cd ~/Library/Containers/com.utmapp.UTM/Data/Documents
    tar zxvf ~/Desktop/debian116utm.tar.gz
    

    Now run the UTM app. Then start the Debian 11.6 virtual machine. Login as root with default password of password. Now begin the Incredible PBX 2027-D install procedure as documented in our tutorial here.

    Making Backups of UTM Applications

    The trick to backing up and transferring an existing UTM image is to create a tarball of the desired .utm directory in ~/Library/Containers/com.utmapp.UTM/Data/Documents. The ubuntu2204.tar.gz file is about 2 gigabytes in size. Then untar it on the target platform in the same directory after installing the UTM app on that platform. It’s quite difficult to navigate to this directory with Finder so you’re better off using Terminal. The only other wrinkle after transferring a backup image to an Intel Mac is you’ll have to edit the UTM’s Network setting (right-click on .utm app in UTM GUI). Adjust the setting to match your new platform. So, on your target machine, run ifconfig and decipher the name of the adapter that actually shows your machine’s LAN IP address. It was en0 on our MacBook Air M1 and en1 on our old iMac Intel machine. YMMV.

    TIPS: If you want LAN access to the virtual machine from devices other than the Mac on which the VM is installed, you’ll need to edit the UTM, click +New in the Devices section of the Edit menu and choose Network. Click Save to update settings. This will enable Shared Network Mode in addition to Bridged Mode, and a LAN IP address will be assigned on VM restart. When first logging into virtual machine, do NOT issue the unminimize command.

    A snapshot of this tutorial in PDF format is available here.

    Originally published: Monday, March 27, 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 a Month Buys a Cloud Powerhouse for Incredible PBX 2027

    We lied. Sorry. This cloud-based solution for Incredible PBX 2027 will set you back $12.98 a year which works out to just under $1.10 a month. If you’ve never used a cloud platform, now’s your chance at a truly unbelievable price. You can barely cover the electric bill for on-premise hardware at this price, and that’s before you buy the hardware. We cover a number of cloud-based solutions over the course of a year, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a comparable offering that’s as easy to install and maintain as this one.

    RackNerd’s New Year’s Special1 provides KVM platform with a gig of RAM and 25 gigs of SSD storage and 4 terabytes of monthly bandwidth in your choice of locations: New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas, or Seattle. You can double your bandwidth allocation by posting a comment with your order number here. With over 700 pages of comments, you can rest assured this is not a fly-by-night operation. And it’s not as if you’re mortgaging your house to kick the tires.

    Setup is a breeze. Choose your location, specify Debian 11 as the Operating System, plunk down your $12.98 and wait about 5-10 minutes for the VPS to spin up. Log in as the root user with SSH using the password specified in your email deployment message. Immediately change the password by issuing the command: passwd

    Next, issue the following commands to download the Incredible PBX 2027 for Debian 11 installer and begin the install:

    wget http://incrediblepbx.com/IncrediblePBX2027-D.sh
    chmod +x IncrediblePBX2027-D.sh
    ./IncrediblePBX2027-D.sh
    

    Hang around for a couple minutes and respond to the SSH config prompt by accepting the default. Then go have a nice, long cup of coffee. When you return, restart your virtual machine when prompted. Wait a couple minutes and log back in as root. Let the Automatic Update Utility bring your server up to current specs, and then issue the following commands to set your time zone, and create admin credentials for FreePBX® and our Apache Reminder and AsteriDex applications:

    /root/timezone-setup
    /root/admin-pw-change
    /root/apache-pw-change
    

    Now head over to the Incredible PBX 2027 tutorial and set up your phones and trunks. Enjoy!

    Originally published: Monday, March 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.
     



    1. Follow this thread for the latest developments in the pending criminal case against the owner of RackNerd. []