Four Linux distribution with Asterisk and FreePBX to set up a VoIP PBX

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Technology - General
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:34

asterisk I like the command line, you know. But I can not drop the rings to say that there are two types of settings that I avoid "bareback" whenever I can by complicated and tedious: the iptables and Asterisk. For either of the two I prefer to use some kind of tool that automates and simplifies the task using a graphical interface driven. In the case of Asterisk, the landscape has changed dramatically over the past four years. At that time was Queen Trixbox absolute and indisputable and AsteriskNOW was a promising candidate but, in my opinion, too green to carry a production installation.

When present today for convenient installation with Asterisk there are four very interesting options to consider and Trixbox is, despite his seniority, the last one I would choose. All are based in the 5.x branch CentOS and use FreePBX (or a fork of this, in the case of Trixbox) as interface for configuration. Let's take a quick look at each:

Linux kernel CentOS version FreePBX version (2.10) Asterisk version (1.8.11) DAHDI version (2.6.1) libpri version (1.4.12)
Trixbox 2.8.0.4 2.6.18 5.8 --- 1.6.0 2.3.0.1 1.4.10
AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 2.6.18 5.8 2.10 1.8.11 2.6.0 1.4.11
Distro FreePBX 1811 2.6.18 5.7 2.10 1.8.11 2.6.1 1.4.12
Elastix 2.3.0 2.6.18 5.8 2.8.1 1.8.11 2.4.1.2 1.4.12

Trixbox
Consola inicial de Trixbox
As we progressed, the once highly valued Trixbox is now a shadow of what it was. Almost two years ago that the community version is not updated (it has a Pro version that does not seem to pay so much better attended) and print after installation is ominous: dependency problems when updating about 199 Mbytes of obsolete packages, no clear indication of the user / password for initial administration (maint / admin, if anyone here google search brings this ;-) ) And versions very, very outdated and Dahdi Asterisk (library card drivers for Digium VoIP that replaced a few years ago Zaptel). As well ahead, for years no longer uses as freePBX Asterisk Configuration GUI, but a fork is that, I suspect, will take at least the same two years without updating their latest distro. I said: do not let good taste to use in a production system.

AsteriskNOW
Consola inicial de AsteriskNOW
AsteriskNOW is much improved over the years. And input has abandoned its initial approach based on the package management system rpath + conary and now is now a much more affordable distro based on CentOS. During the initial installation performs an automatic update so that after the first start there is no package outdated. On the downside, the main menu does not seem right javascirpt resolved as you can see in the screenshot up here and has all the earmarks of someone you've forgotten to put some style sheets in the latest build of the distro, since this is the normal appearance and without any customization of FreePBX (as discussed below). The right, as seen in your tutorials, you should be:
Detalle del menú principal de AsteriskNOW tal y como deberíad de verse
Surprisingly, moreover, the distribution being "official" Digium is not the one with the most current versions of Dahdi and libpri, the two pillars of Asterisk.

FreePBX Distro
Consola inicial de FreePBX
The distribution of FreePBX itself looks excellent: clean and easy installation after which only needs to be updated 138kbytes and what appears to be a great support behind it: it comes with the most current versions of libpri Dahdi and (of course also Asterisk and FreePBX), and the two weeks I've been testing it has released a new stable version (the 1812) and beta (the 1.1004). To say anything negative about her, he misses the operator panel that comes with Trixbox. His proposal is to use iSymphony , an external module for FreePBX with an abridged version free but must be installed additionally.

Elastix
Consola inicial de Elastix
If you like things minimal, certainly this is not your choice. Now if you have a boss for the first appearances impressionable and want to earn it, or hesitate. Elastix goes beyond being a mere servant VoIP PBX designed to do: is a complete communications center with imap mail server, webmail service, fax server, instant messaging, etc.. His problem, in my view, is that at no time of the basic installation allows you to choose which services you want and what not and either loads all or touches you then stop services, uninstall packages, etc.. The latest version, 2.3.0, is just a month ago but after the initial installation is necessary to make an update that "weighs" about 250Mbytes.

NOTE: To view the versions you have installed asterisk, libpri and dahdi can use the following commands (the latter only works in a Linux-based packages such as CentOS rpm):

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 asterisk-v
dahdi_cfg-vv
rpm-qa | grep libpri 
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