Home » Technology » Week #2: PBX in a Flash … The Lean, Mean Asterisk Machine

The Most Versatile VoIP Provider: FREE PORTING

Week #2: PBX in a Flash … The Lean, Mean Asterisk Machine

Doesn’t seem like only two weeks ago today that we introduced PBX in a Flash to the world. And there’s already been one reported bug. Not to worry. It was trivial. I do know that our development elves have been hard at it ever since the release date. Joe Roper, who is responsible for much of the initial offering, has fielded close to 1,000 questions on the forums while already developing content for the next ISO release. But it’s not as if there is any big hurry. As promised, the first release has been rock-solid reliable. Compare that to the other options out there in Telephony Land, and you’ll come to appreciate why PBX in a Flash has become a big hit for experimenters and Asterisk® consultants looking to rapidly deploy a stable, all-purpose telephony server. There already have been close to 10,000 downloads of PBX in a Flash from our download sites. And over half of those were using torrents with download times of under 15 minutes for the 628MB ISO. Finally, we have enough free bandwidth to support the worldwide demand. And our special thanks go to all the great Nerd Vittles supporters who have made that happen. The huge initial demand gave us an opportunity to test DreamHost’s Files Forever service where you pay $5 per download for unlimited bandwidth. It, too, worked like a champ. Once you’ve coughed up your five bucks and downloaded the ISO image, you can email the download link to one additional friend at a time. And each friend then can download the ISO without paying another nickel. No, we did not make enough on the downloads to fund free cruises for Joe and Tom. Sorry about that. In fact, the "profits" barely covered the costs of my weekly supply of Krispy Kremes.

Meanwhile, Tom King has been incredibly busy building our bricks-and-mortar scripts repository that is going to make PBX in a Flash the all-purpose solution for any telephony requirement. He also wrote a step-by-step tutorial for installing PBX in a Flash that includes screen shots of every single step in the process. If you haven’t visited pbxinaflash.org, you’re missing a treat.

Finally: A Real Backup Solution for Asterisk. If we had to tally the votes for the single-most requested feature addition for Asterisk systems, it would be an easy-to-use backup and restore system that makes recovery from a serious disk failure painless. Today’s your day. Tom King has just released his Whole Disk Backup System for PBX in a Flash that takes ISO-style snapshots of your entire PBX in a Flash system. And, when the dreaded day for a system restore arrives, it’s as simple as inserting your backup CD or DVD and rebooting on any new PC of your choice. How much simpler can it get? If you have been one of the hundreds of thousands of Asterisk users who never has had a reliable, full backup of your telephony system, sleep easy tonight. Those days are officially over!

Developer’s Corner. There’s also a new PBX in a Flash Development Environment that brings every development tool to your Asterisk desktop including X Windows with KDE, Anaconda for creating your own custom ISO’s, and, of course, tons of binaries to handle any development task you can imagine. It also downloads, installs, and recompiles the lastest and greatest version of Asterisk whenever you decide you want it. For those new to Linux that just want to add a graphical interface with X Windows-KDE, there’s a script to install that as well. There’s even a tutorial that will show you how to control your PBX in a Flash system remotely using the VNC graphical user interface.

If you happen to just want the latest, greatest version of Asterisk installed, there’s a simple script to handle that for you, too. It’ll even figure out what the latest version is so you don’t have to worry about mixing and matching components. Using this script, you also can add Asterisk 1.2 sound file support as well as Digium®’s High Performance Echo Cancellation (HPEC) System. You’ll need to acquire a license for HPEC from Digium.

First Steps. If you’re just getting started with PBX in a Flash, here’s our recommended approach. Download and read the initial Nerd Vittles tutorial and Tom’s Installation Guide. Then download and install the system either on a dedicated PC or on a Windows or Mac desktop using the VMware option. Once you finish configuring your system in accordance with our tutorials, go to the Nerd Vittles Forums and read the postings in the Open Discussion, Help, and Bug Fixes forums. Then take a look at the Providers forum and our Best of Nerd Vittles Providers and make your selections. Now you should be ready to go. Visit pbxinaflash.org and download your favorite scripts, and you’ll be off to the races.

Asterisk 1.4.15 Security Fixes. The two security issues that were patched today in Asterisk 1.4.15 are not required in the default install of PBX in a Flash. Unless you’re using the Postgres modules, there’s nothing to fear.

Coming Attractions. For those interested in monitored or hosted service for your PBX in a Flash system, we plan to tackle those options shortly. In the meantime, keep a sharp lookout on pbxinaflash.org. New content is added almost every day. Happy Birthday to Us! Two weeks and counting!! Yippee!!!

Some Recent Nerd Vittles Articles of Interest…


  1. Great work Ward. I just loaded it up on my former Trixbox system last night. I do have a few questions though:

    1. Why did it not come with the TFTP server?
    2. Any plans for an endpoint manager similar to the Trixbox one? (I don’t know how to write the correct config files for my Polycom IP330)
    3. How can I bring back the *62 wake-up call feature? I found an AGI add-on on voip-info.org but I’m having trouble setting it up on my PBX-in-a-flash box

    Thanks and keep up the great work.

    [WM: George, I think all of your questions already have been addressed on the forums. Have a look.]

  2. Just wanted to say great work, I’ve been running it since the first day, tried to migrate from old trixbox to new PBXIAF and didn’t take well. With a fresh install and 2 hours after setup I’m VERY pleased! Can’t wait to see what scripts get thrown in.
    Thanks again!

  3. Great work. I would like to know if you’re in mind to put RPM for iaxmodem, hylafax and Avantfax in PBX in a Flash; I think this would be wonderful.

    [WM: Not sure whether it will be an RPM, but it’s definitely in the works.]

  4. This is all really good! I was anxious to try Tom’s Whole Disk Backup script, which I did last night. It’s fabulous! Thanks to everyone that helped make it happen!

  5. There is a known issue with vmware complaining about a missing memory file if you are running linux and the vm is on an NTFS filesystem. I know it’s a bit obscure but in case anyone else runs into it just add the following to your .vmx file:

    mainmem.UseNamedFile = "false"

    Keep up the great work! You guys rock.

Comments are closed.