Elastix is a Linux distro based on CentOS (at the time of this writing is Elastix 1.2 based on CentOS 5). Elastix is a total solution of Asterisk – a telephony software. Elastix allows you to set up a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) server at home or office. The entry point is not expensive and it is very easy to set up. The is another very famous distro namely Trixbox. I have tried it yet and it is not suitable for me as the update speed is slow and with no other features that Elastix comes with.
You will need an iso of Elastix that you can download it at here. It is a CD image. Burn it and ready for install. The installation is in text mode but it is straight forward and simple.
The minimum requirement for Elastix is 500MHz CPU with 258M RAM. You also need another heart of the system is X100P. You can buy it at here. It is inexpensive, about $300-HK and I bought it in Hong Kong. (exchange rate – $1-US equals to $8-HK). X100P can co-exist more than one card.
You may heard someone in the net complaining about this card or its clone. This is also a clone card from the Digium which is discontinued very long time ago. The card is simple to set up. Yes, it is very easy to set up if you make it work.
I spent a whole day to make this card to work and later I find out that it is very easy to overcome it. The main problem is that the card is very easy to be uninitialized. The manual (you should find it yourself over the net as the it will not comes with the package) stated that you can change slot or not to insert the card too firmly to the slot, leave 1 to 2mm above. I found out that it is not the interrupts problem at all too.
Once the card can be initialized under Elastix, you SHOULD not unplug the power cord from the wall (It is because if the power cord is connected to the power supply, there will some electricity to the supply.); otherwise, you may encounter the card cannot be initialized again when the system is booted up. If you encountered this, you simply re-insert the card to the slot again with the power cord connected (crazy!). Or simply leave it be powered on for 24/7/365 – it is your aim at least – a telephony server.
Updated on 2008-SEP-10 :
The captioned problem only happened to my old Pentium III and Althon XP computers. I install the X100P on a brand new VIA C7-D PC-2500E motherboard with no such problem.
The first thing is to get the “Elastix without tears” in hand at here. Read it carefully to get some information and concept. Once you had read it all. You can configure the system.
Install Elastix as is. Once you logged in, the system will prompt you the IP address of the server. Use browser to open it. The username is “admin” and the password is “palosanto” (you can change it later when you had set the system up). My tutorial is targeted to just make it work.
Run zttool to see if the card is initialized or not. You may not see the “OK Wildcard X100P Board 1” on the result. You can type the following to make it as (if you cannot see “Wildcard X100P”, your card does not initialized correctly, re-insert your card) :
genzaptelconf -c us
where "us" stands for United State. It is okay in Hong Kong.
Then edit the file zapata.conf at /etc/asterisk/zapata.conf with vi. Or you can install the nano by the following command :
yum install nano
Comment out the following line to make it look like this :
Uncomment the following lines :
These changing is to solve the problem of echo and hangup problems of X100P. Elastix is equipped with echo cancellation software to overcome this. The Asterisk solved the hangup problem. Perfect match!
Follow the “Elastix without tears” to set up at least one extension. It is very straight forward and easy. The only problem is to make the X100P to be initialized when the system is booted up.
For the softphone (X-Lite or Zoiper), you may consider to mute the mic on the screen as it may produce “buzzy” noise that interfere with your conversation.
If you will access to the Elastix box remotely by softphone, I recommend you to use Zoiper at the laptop and create an IAX2 extension for that purpose. Remember to open the port 4569 if you have a firewall. The /etc/asterisk/iax.conf should be added the following lines just under [general] :
bindport = 4569
externhost = your Elastix box domain name
localnet = 192.168.0.0/255.255.255.0
bindaddr = 0.0.0.0
delayreject = yes
jitterbuffer = yes
mailboxdetail = yes
(**those setting are copied from “Elastix without tears”)
Enjoy the wonderful Telephony with Linux!!!!
(Next time I will show you how to set up Linksys SPA3102 on Elastix)
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