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Next on Slashdot (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862632)

Become a Millionaire with only $20, and another $999,980 laying around.

Re:Next on Slashdot (-1, Flamebait)

Triv (181010) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862775)

Oh damn. I like macs. You linux people are stupid. I hope you all get hacked when your market-share increases. Macs will forever remain 5% and thus be impervious to all hack attacks. Ha.
Did I mention that I am a douche bag? Well I am. Send me email at .
PS: I am sending this from a Dell PC because I can't figure out how to make my Mac work, but I think I am cool because I own one at least. Something has to keep my paper held down in this extreme wind.

Re:Next on Slashdot (-1, Troll)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862824)

Here are some good asterisk resources.

The Offical Asterisk IRC channel!

Note: you must be registered and identified with NickServ to join the channel as we've had a lot of problems with spambots.
To do so simply

/msg nickserv register mypassword

/msg nickserv identify mypassword
then /join #asterisk

Come on in and say hi!
Some links

The Wiki [] [] bar none the best resource.

The Asterisk Documentation Project [] []

more links [] [] (look at the "Unnoficial Links")

Mod me up! :)...

Re:Next on Slashdot (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862942)

Mod me up! :)...

Um, no. I have mod points, but I'm not modding you up. Rather than modding you down, however, I'd like to point out a couple things that have been bugging me about a lot of Slashdot comments recently.

1) You felt the need to ASK to be modded up instead of letting the content of your comment stand on its own.

2) Your reply has sweet fuck all to do with the comment that you replied to and you did this solely to give your post higher placement in the comments. A sad tactic, and the one that I most often give out negative mod points for. Next time, start a new thread. If you feel that what you have to say is so important that it must reach the largest audience possible, take out a few banner ads. Don't further wreck the continually derailing train that is Slashdot commentry.

Re:Next on Slashdot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862992)


bad grammar (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862636)

some old hardware laying WHAT around the house?

Re:bad grammar (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862667)

There are plenty of sites on the web where you can find various machines doing some "laying."

bad grammar-Do the Locomotion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862749)

"There are plenty of sites on the web where you can find various machines doing some "laying."

Now that's just sad when the machines see more action than you do.

Re:bad grammar-Do the Locomotion. (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862768)

You become used to it after a while.

Re:bad grammar-Do the Locomotion. (1)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862772)

What are you talking about? I see plenty of action. I just finished playing a twelve hour marathon of Counter-strike!*

* I'm married.

Re:bad grammar-Do the Locomotion. (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862989)

Oh, you're married huh? At the end of my wife and I's counterstrike marathons, all I hear is Terrorists Win. Is that supposed to happen?

zonk (-1, Offtopic)

rh2600 (530311) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862640)

strikes again!

Re:zonk (1)

gamepro (859021) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862660)

The guy has been posting here since december... 1537246&tid=97&tid=10 [] sheesh

Re:zonk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862671)

But now it's like he's the only one posting! Did timothy quit over michael's firing?

So... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862646)

... Assuming you have the mose expensive part of the setup laying around, it's merley $20.

And what's neat... (3, Interesting)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862647)

And what's neat is that it's ready to go VOIP at the same time.

Hmmmm. How about making a Linux distro that gives out a PBX/bastion host/firewall???

Re:And what's neat... (5, Funny)

darnok (650458) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862996)

I've already got a highly effective PBX firewall in place. It's called "leaving the phone off the hook", and it's very effective around dinner time to ensure we don't get snowed by phone calls to our teenage daughters.

Even better, it comes with a highly effective content filter. Callers with truly important news will, upon finding the house phone is engaged, call one of our mobile phones. However, teenagers, with their inherent lack of cash and memories of past confrontations with parents over mobile phone call costs, will instead retry the home phone approximately every 60 seconds. I can guarantee that, from the instant I replace the phone after dinner, it's never more than 60 seconds till it starts ringing again.

Kerry's Blog is kinda interesting too ... (5, Informative)

xmas2003 (739875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862651)

Here is Kerry's Blog [] which is kinda interesting reading too.

For those with extra hardware to run Astrerix@Home, consider running Folding@Home! ;-) []

Re:Kerry's Blog is kinda interesting too ... (0, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862967)

Now that he lost the election Kerry's blogging?

Sheesh. Oh well, someone's got to make up news for Clinton '08 (shudder).

Confusion (2, Interesting)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862658)

I may be incredibly dense (drunk), and I have never messed about with my home phones. Essentially, I would like all my phones to go through Vonage, but act exactly like normal phones. Is this a way of doing this? The article goes into detail about Soft Phones, but I have no interest in that.

Any points for a beginner looking for information?

Re:Confusion (2, Interesting)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862866)


order vonage service

receive vonage ata (analog telephone adapter)

disconnect ILEC telephone lines from inside house telephone lines at your dmarc on the side of your home

plug vonage ata into phone jack inside


Article Text (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862661)

Building Your Own PBX with Asterisk
Kerry Garrison

What would it mean to you to have your own full-featured PBX system at your home or small office? What would it mean to you if you could build an entire PBX system (minus the phones) on hardware you probably have laying around, AND that it can probably also save you money on your phone bill? Sounds too hard to believe doesn't it, but using old hardware and some open source software, you really can build a commercial quality phone system that would normally cost thousands of dollars.
The Hardware
As I mentioned in the opening, we are going to build our PBX system from equipment that we have laying around the house. After cannibalizing three spare systems, what was left was a PII 450, 386mb RAM, 12gb HD, 48x CDROM drive, and an Intel Pro 10/100 network card. This is all you "need" to get going as long as you are going to get VOIP dial tone service from a company like BroadVoice (more on this later). If you want to use regular analog phone lines you will need modem card. Not every card will work properly, however, the most recommended card is the Digium Wildcard X100P FXO card which can be purchased brand new on eBay for $6.95 each. So far, total out of pocket expense for the card plus shipping: $12.90.

The Software
The software for our PBX system is the open source package called Asterisk. When I said that this was a full-featured PBX system, I wasn't kidding. The following is NOT a complete list of features:

ADSI On-Screen Menu System
Automated Attendant
Blind Transfer
Call Forward on Busy
Call Forward on No Answer
Call Monitoring
Call Parking
Call Recording
Call Retrieval
Call Routing (DID & ANI)
Call Transfer
Call Waiting
Caller ID
Conference Bridging
Distinctive Ring
Do Not Disturb
Interactive Directory Listing
Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
Music On Hold
Music On Transfer
Predictive Dialer
Overhead Paging
Remote Call Pickup
Remote Office Support
Roaming Extensions
Route by Caller ID
Spell / Say
Supervised Transfer
Talk Detection
Text-to-Speech (via Festival)
Three-way Calling
VoIP Gateways

While Asterisk can run on numerous systems from Linux to even flash ROM for some LinkSys routers, we will focus on installing Asterisk on our salvaged equipment as simply as possible. To aid in our install, Asterisk@Home is a pre-package ISO image that automates the installation of Asterisk and adds a usable web interface to monitor and configure your system.

With a VOIP PBX system you have three basic means of providing access to the users (the phones).

SIP Compliant Handsets ($70 - $500)
PC Based SoftPhones (Free)
ATA (Analog Telecommunications Adaptor) ($50 - $500)
Without having to spend any money on our technogeek special PBX system, we will set it up for the time being with X-Lite softphones.

With Asterisk@Home, you simply need to download the disk image, burn it to a CD, and boot off of it.

Burn Asterisk@Home iso to a blank CD
Boot your Asterisk PC with the CD and press enter
NOTE: This will erase all data on the hard drive of the PC!!!
After the Linux is loaded the CD will eject. Take out the CD and wait for the system to reboot
During the reboot Asterisk will be built from source for your hardware. This will take some time. Do not cancel the boot!
Log in to your new Asterisk box (user:root, password:password)
When you login, you will be given the URL to the web interface. You will also be told that you can use the help-aah command to get a list of quick commands. You can get into the Asterisk system for advanced settings by using asterisk -r command. We won't go into all of the advanced features of Asterisk in this article, that topic could consume an entire book.

If this machine is going to have any internet access, you should immediately change the root password with the passwd command. If you want to assign a static IP to the box, run the netconfig command. A simple interface will allow you to manually enter IP information. To configure the Wildcard X100P, simply run the setup script genzaptelconf script. This will set everything up for you.

The main menu presents you with the following choices:

Web-access to Voicemail
Web Address Book
Flash Operator Panel
Web MeetMe Control
Asterisk Management Portal

To get things working, we only need to use the Asterisk Management Portal (AMP). To log in, use maint as the login and password as the password. At this point you will get the version number and links to Maintenance, Setup, and Reports.

Selecting Setup starts you off with the Incoming Calls setup screen. Before configuring this screen, you should start by adding at least one extension.

Click on the Extensions link, you should assign an extension number, extension password, and voicemail password.

Optionally you can enable email attachments and the email address to send them to. Once you have created an extension, there is a plethora of advanced options that are available by clicking on the name in the extension list. In most cases you will never need to touch any of the advanced extension options.

Before being able to record any messages, you will need to setup a handset or a PC-Based SoftPhone. One of the easiest to setup is X-Lite. X-Lite is available for free from

Another good SoftPhone is SJPhone from SJ Labs ( but for simplicity, we will focus on the setup of X-Lite.

If X-Lite cannot connect, the setup screen should open, if not, click on the "drop down" icon just to the left of the green Off-Hook icon.

Under System Settings, select the SIP Proxy settings, then double-click on the first entry. You will see the SIP Proxy settings as shown here. The settings I changed are as follows:

Username: 200 (my extension)
Authentication User: 200 (my extension again)
Password: 1111 (my extension password)
DomainRelm: (PBX IP address)
SIP Proxy: (PBX IP address)

Finally, you should record at least one message in the Digital Receptionist system.

Whenever you make a change, there will be a red bar on the screen that instructs you to click on it to apply the settings. Failure to apply the settings is an easy mistake to make and will keep your system from working properly.

With a extension created, an opening message in the Digital Assistant, you are now ready to configure your incoming calls. For testing, I suggest not using different day/night modes (see image for example), make sure the radio button is selected for your opening message. You should now be setup and ready to go for you first calls.

To make sure things are setup, go back to the main menu and launch the Flash Operator Panel. This will display your trunk line status, extension status, and conference room status.

Our screen shot here shows that extension 200 is off the hook but nothing else is active so you can deduce that the person on that extension is probably checking voicemail. You can also see that extension 300 currently has an existing voicemail that is waiting to be read. In a business environment, I would setup the receptionist with a second monitor that had only this screen running on it so she could easily see the status of every line.

Common Commands
Below is a list of command Asterisk commands that will need to share with all of your users:

*72 Call Forwarding System
*73 Disable Call Forwarding
*77 IVR Recording
*78 Enable Do-Not-Disturb
*79 Disable Do-Not-Disturb
*90 Call Forward on Busy
*91 Disable Call Forward on Busy
*98 Enter Message Center
*99 Playback IVR Recording
7777 Simulate incoming call
1234 System will tell you your extension

With this information, you should be able to get your own PBX system up and running in less than an hour. While there are numerous functions and features built into Asterisk, covering more of them is not possible in the scope of an article like this.

Lousy Submissions (1, Insightful)

ilyagordon (822695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862670)

One of the major problems with Slashdot articles is that they provide absolutely NO background information to what the hell they're referencing. We may all be geeks and nerds, but that doesn't mean we know what a PBX box is. I'm not going to click on your damn link just to find out what the hell you're trying to say with your stinking news submission.

If a standard, everyday IT geek can read your submission without clicking on any links and be able to understand what's in store within those links, you've done a good job. This particular submission is not an example of this.

Look Mr. 800,000+ (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862681)

If you don't know what a PBX is, you're not a geek.

Re:Look Mr. 800,000+ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862746)

Indeed. I don't know any "geeks" that do not know what a PBX is.

Re:Lousy Submissions (3, Insightful)

Kerbo (835934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862692)

If you don't know what a PBX is, then this probably isn't of interest to you in the first place. I have no idea what "Elliptic Curve Diffie-Hellman (ECDH) and Elliptic Curve Menezes-Qu-Vanstone (ECMQV) for key agreement, and Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) for signature generation/verification" means, but that didnt stop me from reading about it.

Re:Lousy Submissions (1)

ilyagordon (822695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862721)

How do I know if I'm interested in it or not if I have no idea what it is? A simple sentence at the end of the submission saying something like, "Incase you don't know, a PBX is _____" would have told me just what I'm reading about. And if it suddenly peaks my interest, then I'll start clicking the links to learn more. I'm not asking for a full essay describing everything there is to know about a PBX, just one short sentence is plenty.

Re:Lousy Submissions (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862810)

Or you could spend two seconds googling PBX and learn all you need to know.

If you ever plan to be a resource to a company it may be worth your time to learn the basics of PBX installations, IP telephony, and the proper pronouncation of the word "telephony".

Re:Lousy Submissions (2, Insightful)

Fjornir (516960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862953)

Sir, the thing is that slashdot is targetted at people who can read the front page. PBX is by no means obscure, at least as far as the slashdot readership is concerned. This is not a problem with the slashdot submission process as you had said in a previous post, the problem is the fact that you are ignorant of things which are just assumed to be known. I'm not saying this to trash on you in any way -- maybe twice a month I'll hit google and ask it to "define: tla".

But the fact is that I'd rather slashdot erred on the terse side, instead of excessive verbosity. If I started seeing a lot of "In case you don't know, a CPU is a Central Processing Unit...", "In case you don't know an LED is a light emitting diode", "In case you don't know a ...." garbage in the submissions, I'd stop reading. If there's something that's too obscure I can always look it up.

Re:Lousy Submissions (3, Informative)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862701)

Thank you. I was going to post, too, but given my already "Bad" Karma, I thought better of it. Glad to see someone agrees.

In any case, here [] is an explanation of PBX -- it certainly helped me.

Re:Lousy Submissions (3, Informative)

mustangsal66 (580843) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862729)

PBX = Private Branch Exchange

(Your work phone system)

Just in case it's not clear yet

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862730)

I'm barely in university (non-tech-related program), and I don't consider myself a nerd (have a girlfriend), but I do know what a PBX is.

Really, if you're too lazy to to do less than 5 seconds of googling [] to quench your thirst for knowledge, you are what's wrong with the world today. Please just end your life now. We don't need you cluttering up our gene pool.

Re:Lousy Submissions (3, Insightful)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862736)

Standard, everyday IT geeks know what PBX systems are.

HINT: When the article provides absolutely NO background information, it can safely be said that everyone but you knows what we're talking about.

Re:Lousy Submissions (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862762)

I suppose you were born with an innate knowledge of all acronyms appearing on the Slashdot front page?

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862798)


Re:Lousy Submissions (4, Funny)

prichardson (603676) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862840)

It's too bad that there isn't some sort of online database of acronyms.

Perhaps we could call it Acronym Search [] .

Or perhaps some sort of search engine [] .

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862903)

To be more specific search for "define: PBX" with Google. Works great.

Re:Lousy Submissions (1)

littlerubberfeet (453565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862954)

Or, we could even go to our web browser and type in [] ....

Re:Lousy Submissions (1)

finkployd (12902) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862871)

I suppose you were born with an innate knowledge of all acronyms appearing on the Slashdot front page?

I was actually born with an ability to google things I didn't already know.

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862985)

So 10,000 unclued slashdotters hitting google, vs the poster adding a one sentence description of what it actually is. I think the sentence is more efficient.

Personally I already knew what a PBX is, but this type of crappy write up happens all too often on slashdot.

Re:Lousy Submissions (1, Funny)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862743)

PBX = Poor Box.

You know, like alms. The key is the appearence of security, without ostentation.

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862792)

If you don't know what a PBX is you need to crawl out from your dorm room and work in an office building for a few months.

Re:Lousy Submissions (2, Informative)

jerkychew (80913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862829)

The parent submission is a serious troll. I mean, I started working the lowest level helpdesk in 97, and when I got my first tour of the server room, I was shown the PBX. Now, I had no idea what PBX stood for, or how it worked (and to be honest, I still don't), but I was told that its primary purpose was to handle all the phone switching.

I mean, come on. It's almost all but impossible to work in the IT field and not at least see a PBX.

Slashdot isn't supposed to spell out every single technology that it features. It's assuming that you either have an idea what the article is about, or you know how to at least use google. Go google for "what is a PBX". There, done.

Re:Lousy Submissions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862963)

you're assuming all geeks were able to snatch up a cozy office job prior to the economic shithole we are in today.

Re:Lousy Submissions (4, Funny)

BobPaul (710574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862974)

Heh.. yeah. I knew what PBX was way back in the 80s before I was even in Middle School... Thank you Anarchist Cookbook!

The Jig is Up (4, Funny)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862981)

Hey Folks,

We've got to be more careful - he's starting to ask questions. It's pretty important that he doesn't find out what else we've been keeping from him.


Using IP Phones with this (3, Informative)

Kerbo (835934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862679)

While I ddid focus on using softphones, you can use either SIP phones or normal phones using an ATA adapter. SIP phones range in price from $69 - $500.

Re:Using IP Phones with this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862705)

Indeed. I don't know any geeks who actually work with Computers for a living and do not know what a PBX is.

What about IAX2 (1)

Burz (138833) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862958)

I have a VOIP provider ( that only allows connection via IAX2 protocol. While I understand it is a better protocol than SIP, the only IAX2 softphone I can find on Linux is IaxComm (which often crashes).

Re:What about IAX2 (1)

Afrosheen (42464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862994)

That's no problem at all. You first setup a working Asterisk box which your phone connects to and registers with. Next you setup an IAX2 trunk between your Asterisk box and voipjet. Done.

Voicemail hell (5, Funny)

jsimon12 (207119) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862680)

So now when people call me they can go through auto attendent hell just like the big companies.

Asterisk has good WAF... (5, Interesting)

mutterc (828335) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862683)

(Wife Acceptance Factor)

Ours (done in a modern machine, so it would have PCI 2.2 for the cards to drive Plain Old Phones) has a (not hard to do once the basics are working) callpath that's a caller-ID whitelist.

Calls from numbers "on the list" ring the phones, then go to voicemail, like "normal" calls would. Calls from one of our cellphones tell the caller how many new voicemails are waiting, then distinctive-ring the phones, then go to voicemail. Calls from unknown, private, or not-on-the-list numbers go straight to voicemail without ringing the phones.

You'll pry it out of my wife's cold dead hands...

Re:Asterisk has good WAF... (5, Funny)

phil4 (666912) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862795)

> You'll pry it out of my wife's cold dead hands...

Dude, that's just sick. Bury her already.

Re:Asterisk has good WAF... (2, Funny)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862895)

(she's inflatable... shh, he doesnt know. he's still mourning.. hehehehe)

Re:Asterisk has good WAF... (2, Insightful)

blackbear (587044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862919)

Another tactic for call screening that I use is to require the caller to press a number in order to leave a message. For me, this stops a lot of telemarketing calls. It seems they either can't or don't want to press 1 before leaving me a message. Which makes me VERY happy.

Re:Asterisk has good WAF... (1)

TelJanin (784836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862986)

Most telemarketers don't seem to want to leave a message at all.

You are the man, here's why: (4, Interesting)

hot_Karls_bad_cavern (759797) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862941)

Fucking THANK YOU!!

Once my SO figured out she could have this too if, and only if, daddy gets to buy a new machine. i said it'd probably needs a good amount of horsepower and needed a lot of ram - she was still stunned by the idea of having such a phone system, she didn't even question it.

Hot damn, new server AND a new phone system to play with - i looked at the gui screenshots of the astGUI client - holy shit, this is going to be fun.

Another option (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862686)

If you want to avoid the hardware costs of a PBX, consider a virtual PBX system, which often offers many more features than you can get even in a professional PBX setup. For as low as $9.99 a month you can get a system at

I admit, I do work for this company, but it definately is a relevant option.

Re:Another option (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862706) [] for the lazy

For those of you that don't know what PBX is (5, Informative)

ballsanya (596519) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862688)

For those that don't know...Private Branch Exchange [] []

Triple 9's. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862698)

"Kerbo writes "Kerry Garrison has written up a complete guide to building your own PBX with Asterisk@Home to create your own working PBX system. In the article, he shows how you can build a complete, working system for under $20 (assuming you have some old hardware laying around the house)."

And it will be just as reliable as a real PBX too.

* like Linux is dead (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862704)

Yet another sickening blow has struck what's left of the Linux community, as a soon-to-be-released report by the independent Commision for Technology Management (CTM) after a year-long study has concluded: Linux is already dead. Here are some of the commission's findings:

Fact: Linux has balkanized yet again. There are now no less than 120 separate, competing Linux distros, each of which has introduced fundamental incompatibilities with the other distros, and frequently with Unix standards. Average number of developers in each project (except for Redhat and Novell/Suse): fewer than five. Average number of users per project: there are no definitive numbers, but reports show that all projects are on the decline.

Fact: Trivial issues such as names continue to plague Linux. At a recent Linux conference in San Francisco, a fight broke out between RMS (Richard M. Stallman) who says Linux should be called GNU/Linux and Linus Torvalds who created Linux and says that Linux should be called Linux. This led to a massive barroom style brawl involving at least 150 Linux geeks. The SFPD was called out to break up the melee, and arrested 150 people. It was estimated that at least 2 to 3 times that many were involved in the brawl, but there wasn't enough police on hand to arrest all of them. Thirty one people were hospitalized as a result of this brawl, and one person is still in a coma.

Fact: There are almost no Connectiva developers left, and its use, according to Netcraft, is down to a sadly crippled .005% of internet servers. This led to Mandrakesoft, makers of another troubled distro, to purchase Connectiva. However, industry anaylists say that this will not help since Mandrakesoft is already a shell of its former self.

Fact: will not include support for Redhat's Fedora project. The newly formed group believes that Fedora has strayed too far from Unix standards and have become too difficult to support along with other Linux distros and Solaris x86. "It's too much trouble," said one anonymous developer. "If they want to make their own standards, let them doing the porting for us."

Fact: Ubuntu Linux, yet another offshoot of the beleaguered Debian "distro", is already collapsing under the weight of internal power struggles and in-fighting. "They haven't done a single decent release," notes Mark Baron, an industry watcher and columnist. "Their mailing lists read like an online version of a Jerry Springer episode, complete with food fights, swearing, name-calling, and chair-throwing." Netcraft reports that Ubuntu Linux is run on exactly 0% of internet servers.

Fact: Debian Linux, which claims to focus on "being free" (whatever that is supposed to mean), is slow, and cannot take advantage of multiple CPUs. "That about drove the last nail in the coffin for Linux use here," said Michael Curry, CTO of "We took our Debian boxes out to the backyard and shot them in the head. We're much happier running FreeBSD."

Fact: The Slackware Distro is now dead. The Slackware team could never get their distro to function on hardware other than Intel and S/390. Had they not been slacking off, Slackware would still be around.

Fact: Servers running SELinux, which claims to focus on security, are frequently compromised. According to Jim Markham, editor of the online security forum SecurityWatch, the few SELinux servers that exist on the internet have become a joke among the hacker community. "They make a game out of it," he says. "The SELinux team will scramble to make a new patch to fix one problem, and they've already compromised a bunch of boxes with a different exploit."

With these incontroverible facts staring (what's left of) the Linux community in the face, they can only draw one conclusion: Linux is already dead.

SOHO (5, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862709)

It you just opened your own cottage industry style consulting business out of your home, something like this could make you look like a bigger business. I could see the advantage to that. The features of the system would be handy too for a new and very small business.

Could someone please explain the last mile? (4, Interesting)

Sark666 (756464) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862713)

With all this talk of voip here and there, I've never understood how the actual conversion from ip to pots actually takes place.

Basically I want to know how these companies do it. How do the perform this termination service? How small a scale could one do this himself?

Re:Could someone please explain the last mile? (3, Informative)

Kerbo (835934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862758)

In a PURE VOIP scenerio, you could get PSTN/POTS termination from a company like Vonage, Broadvoice, VoicePulse, or a number or other companies. This basically gives you Dialtone-over-internet. What you need on your side is either a single softphone, ATA adapter, or something like an Asterisk box communicate with the provider. VOIP is suitable for everything from 1 user to any number of business class users.

Re:Could someone please explain the last mile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862858)

Vonage will *NOT* make things easy for you if you try to connect to them from asterisk. I suggest you use a asterisk friendly provider that uses IAX2 instead.

NuFone []
VoiceConduits []

Re:Could someone please explain the last mile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862956)

basicly VoIP is just like any POTS line. The difference is only where your voice is changed from analog to digital.

All major switches (lucent, nortel. ericson etc etc) are digital switches. So they are handling DATA and not voice.

So now on a voip phone, instead of the signal being analog from your home/biz to the switch, OR to muck things up even more, at a line concentration unit (old slk96) the signal is being turned digital at the modem in your home.

It will still go to a switch someplace, it'll still be routed the same way once it's at the switch. There will still be trunks to get it to the called party and so on. It's really the same.

The tricky part was being able to get the packets to assemble in order, even if they don't arrive that way. That part i'm not smart enough to explain :P

Re:Could someone please explain the last mile? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862969)

With just one FXO card (like the Wildcard X100P mentioned in the article), you could technically terminate calls for someone anywhere. Their ATA or Software client would connect to your Asterisk Box as the host and use that line for calls.

But would this be worth it? Probably not. Who would want to pay you for this service (pull out your phone bill and see how much it costs) when they can pay a million and a half commerical people on the internet pennies to do it for them?

The bare minimum (I would think) for doing this as a "commerical" setup would be a T1 which gives you 23 or 24 channels (it's late, I forget). Depending on what you buy and who you buy it from, you'll still have to worry about integration to the phone network and how much that costs you. T1's ain't cheap.

It only becomes economical to offer termination service when you're talking about hundreds of lines and can negotiate a good rate.

I know of a few people that have several T1 banks on site and "rent" the excess channel capacity to a termination provider. When there's extra room, the provider can use the channels to terminate calls and pays a very small amount to the company for this service. Frankly for what they're getting paid, it's not worth messing with it.

Request (1)

syynnapse (781681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862781)

Could we have a combo trunk building/blue box building article posted? I was born too late to ever get to successfully use a bluebox, and i think it would be cool. ya know, if its not too much trouble.

Re:Request (1)

CammieCrookston (865194) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862853)

If you want the full blueboxing backstory as well, go here:

eBay (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862793)

The most recommended card is the Digium Wildcard X100P FXO card which can be purchased brand new on eBay for $6.95 each.

Not for long...

Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (4, Interesting)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862819)

So, this is a PBX. So, I can hook this hardware up to the telco and take incoming calls from clients anywhere in the world over IP and make a call for them to a telco phone number, and let them talk over my PBX, correct?

OK, but what I do not know is what kind of connection to the telco do I need to do this? Can I do it using my standard phone connection? I would think you need multiple lines outgoing to the telco POTS (plain old telephone system), correct? So, if I have N lines to the telco, I can handle a max of N calls from clients on my IP to Telco PBX, correct?

So, would this be cost effective as a business model? Is a certain number of lines required, etc?


Re:Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (2, Informative)

bahwi (43111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862880)

Way off. There's no need to have POTS lines if you want to be a telecom, you need end termination.

Check out and good luck! =) It's a fun, crazy learning curve.

Re:Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (4, Informative)

Kerbo (835934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862881)

You can use any of the following: Regular phone lines (multiple modems or multi-line modems) ISDN Trunk lines T1 Trunk lines Internet-based carriers If you have 2 regular phone lines, you can handle 2 concurrent calls, a T1 can handle up to 23. It is a very effective cost point considering the alternative standard PBX costs.

Re:Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (2, Informative)

Sly-Guy (2100) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862993)

FYI: T1 can handle calls on all 24 channels without extra digital info, Caller ID, ANI/DNIS, etc.

You are referring to a PRI (Primary Rate ISDN) that uses 23 channels for voice and 1 for call setup/teardown. This provides all modern phone convieniences.

Re:Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862900)


I'm debating seriously replying or just leaving it at the above.

Let's start at the bottom. A cost effective business model? Absolutely not. Period.


POTS is a standard analog FXS connection. PSTN is the Public Switching Telephone Network.


Billing. How are you going to handle billing your customers? You'll have to a. write something, or b. pay somebody to write something for you.


And the best for last...RELIABILITY! How do you plan to provide it? Certainly you'll need at least a data T1 and a PRI, and what about redundant hardware.

Obviously you gave about 3 seconds of thought to this before you posted.

Re:Is it cost effective to become a mini-Vonage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862991)

i think you're talking about this: readid=262579

lot of basic info there...have fun.

Silly question about Asterisk@home (4, Interesting)

mikeage (119105) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862822)

I'm considering setting up Asterisk at home, however, the WAF (wife acceptance factor) is going to be very important here, so I'd like to make sure I know what I'm doing before I start. How hard is it to deploy an Asterisk@home with the following configuration:
Two outgoing lines (one for local calls via local telecom, one for US calls via VoIP (packet8 -- using their DTA-310), and three local extensions (only one will be a "real" telephone.
As I understand it, this means I need two FXOs, and one FXS. Can I use three separate cards for this, instead of buying a 2 or 4 port FXO, which seem to be more than 2* the cost of a single?

Re:Silly question about Asterisk@home (2, Informative)

cfoster611 (219409) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862897)

You can have 2 FXO cards (Wildcards ) in one computer, though sometimes it gives people problems. The *best* solution to what you want is a full fledged TDM400P with 2 FXO and 1 FXS modules. But thats expensive.

You can get 2 Clone FXO cards for cheap, and then use a Sipura 1000 or 2000 for your FXS. I use a similar setup (1 Clone FXO, Sipura, some Grandstreams), which works well.

Thanks Asterisk! (2, Insightful)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862825)

This is great. When I get another free day off I'm going to try this out. If it makes me a lot in consulting and hence improves my CV, then all the better for me.

Thanks Asterisk!

Then what? (4, Interesting)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862860)

Once I have the PBX running, how do I get my phone number routed to it? Do I have to sign a lease agreement with a CLEC for them to host and forward my number? What paperwork do I fill out to get my number released from the ILEC and to whom do I send it?

I could probably swing running the software and equipment, but I am lost with the administrative and telephony portion of having my own PBX.

Re:Then what? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862905)

You either use something like the Wildcard X100P Generic (mentioned in the article as available on eBay for $6.95) to connect your standard analog line to the Linux box.

Or, you use a VoIP provider that does DID/Termination and will port your number. I believe Broadvoice does this. Then it's purely a VoIP line -- you use it by setting up the Asterisk box to use SIP to connect to Broadvoice. i.e. once you port into Broadvoice you'll no longer have a real landline.

Broadvoice is $5.95/mth for DID (unlimited incoming, pay per minute outgoing) or starts at $19.95 for their unlimited package (includes North America and quite a few European locations).

I have two Broadvoice DID's, one Broadvoice line that has the unlimited World that I use for outgoing calls, 1 Nu-Fone IAX outgoing line, 2 Unlimitel DID's (one of the only places to get Canadian numbers), 1 POTS line.

One of my favorite side tricks after getting the basic PBX features running is to setup one of the DID lines to give me DISA (direct-inward-system-access) when I call from my Cell Phone (based on Caller ID) so I can then dial out one of the outgoing accounts to anywhere in the world and only have to pay for a local call on my cell phone. (Here in Canada long distance is rarely included on cell phones like it is in the states)

Don't get into the things you were talking about. You only go there if you're running a business and want things like 24 flexpath lines on a T1.

Re:Then what? (1)

TheMysteriousFuture (707972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862926)


Host and forward your number? I have no idea what you are thinking here.

If you want to port your current phone number to a VoIP provider you'll have to find one that is willing to deal with the incredible headache that is LNP paperwork, and you simply provide them a copy of your current bill and pray.

Or you can use a hardware interface card from to connect a t1 or pots line directly to your server.

Re:Then what? (2, Informative)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862952)

if you currently have a single, POTS line from your local telco then you'll need one of them modem cards. And that's it. Plug the phone into the card, tell Asterisx about it, and you're done - you have a 1 line PBX. Good for call screening and voicemail.

You don't need to tell your telco anything - this isn't the same as getting a block of DID numbers and a T1. :)

Just so you appreciate what you are doing, (4, Interesting)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862863)

Here's a REAL PBX that is my personal property [] .
It's a Rolm CBX II 9000 that is configured to handle 10,000 lines. (Yes, it's operational) It was purchased for $3,000,000 when it was brand new. It's had additional upgrades installed, it's net value was over $5,000,000 at one point in the very recent past.

It fills an entire building. So, compare that with this new tech and you'll all the more appreciate what you have in front of you...

Re:Just so you appreciate what you are doing, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862915)

Hey dumbshit, Asterisk IS a "REAL PBX. Also known as a soft switch. I've used it for large deployments with more then 400 users across 6 locations.

Re:Just so you appreciate what you are doing, (1, Troll)

putaro (235078) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862972)

That was his point RETARD.

NOTE: This will erase all data... (4, Funny)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862870)

From the article:
  • With Asterisk@Home, you simply need to download the disk image, burn it to a CD, and boot off of it.
    • * Burn Asterisk@Home iso to a blank CD
      * Boot your Asterisk PC with the CD and press enter
      NOTE: This will erase all data on the hard drive of the PC!!!
Just a "minor technical detail", that last note. The way people don't RT*A around here, I'll bet in a day or two we'll see some late posts whining about their loss of data. (is that Darwin I hear?)

Aw, com'on, don't tell me you've never just hit enter without REALLY reading the dialog box, right?

Totally offtopic: Is Slashdot dying? (0, Offtopic)

humberthumbert (104950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862875)

I might be insane or something, but it seems like there are fewer and fewer posts being made to most articles lately.

Hope this place doesn't turn into a ghost town like K5.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862937)

Zonk has managed to do what michael could not.

Re:Totally offtopic: Is Slashdot dying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862938)

Not until Netcraft confims it...

Re:Totally offtopic: Is Slashdot dying? (2, Informative)

djplurvert (737910) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862949)

That's because the articles haven't been very good. I know that I go through phases of interest and when the articles are as bad as they have been slashdot gets replaced with other activities.

I thank you* foR your time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862890)

it transforms into There are going to continue, BSD culminated in where it wa5 when BEEN MANY, NOT THE that *BSD 0wned. [],

I for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862911)

welcome our new $20 PBX overlords!

WAF will be low when your box crashes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862922)

just let the VOIP provider take care of this stuff, eh.

"lying around" actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862930)

It's "lying around", not "laying around", you insensitive clod!

Linux ISO for PBX (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11862940)

Linux PBX based ISO, Asterisk@Home []
You still need some hardware though!

Too bad.... (1)

wpiman (739077) | more than 9 years ago | (#11862970)

Well- I got rid of my land line and rely on my cell phone.

As cell service gets cheaper and cheaper- I wonder how long until businesses do the same?

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