FreePBX Distro Annoucement

We mentioned coming out with a full install ISO for the FreePBX Distro in the [url=http://www.freepbx.org/news/2012-04-18/update-on-2-11-and-full-iso-distro]last blog[/url] so as promised here we are with the details! We’ll discuss that and some core changes that many of you have been asking for.

Over a year ago we set out to provide a clean and stable ISO after years of requests from all of you in the community for us to do so. The easiest way to do this at that time was to take the proven and stable build environment that Schmooze uses on the commercial products and modify them for the FreePBX ISO.

This process, using a netinstall, worked well. In fact, it worked so well in conjunction with the huge success of the FreePBX Distro to the point of over taxing our systems with many thousands of downloads each month! We have been super excited about this success but at the same time, it has become more and more painful for some of you to get access to the Distro especially outside of the US because the success is putting a big stain on the datacenter bandwidth!

I am excited to announce we spent the past few months refactoring everything on how the ISO is built and managed from the ground up and can now offer a Full ISO with 99% of the packages on the Disk in addition to the Net Installer just like we had before. The only difference in the new Net Installer is it includes the kickstart on the disk instead of pulling it from the website to keep things inline with how the Full ISO is built.

One of the other neat things we always did before and worked great for Schmooze as all of our hardware was identical and certified, was we would auto detect if you had more than 1 hard drive with no Hardware Raid Controller and we would auto setup software raid. Well this too would cause issues with some people since it would detect things like USB stick as a Hard Drive and try to add them to the raid array. In the new Net Installer we still do this but in the Full ISO you now get 3 options.

– Auto-detected raid arrays. This is the same way we have always done the Net Installer and will attempt to detect all the hard drives that you have and setup software raid.
– Simple partitions- This will just take the first hard drive it detects and set that drive up with standard linux partitions and install the ISO. This is the default behavior with text mode install in Centos
– Advanced mode- This will allow you to go into Centos Graphical Mode and setup your hard drives and drivers anyway you want just like you can in standard Centos Graphical Mode

Lastly there are a few items that the Full ISO has to do after install in the firstboot area. This is installing RPMs that can not be installed at the Installer time and updating all your modules in FreePBX to the latest version of the same release such as 2.10.

When this firstboot runs it detects if you have internet and if not it will exit and inform you that you need to get internet configured on the box and then a command to type to have it finish running through the firstboot installer stuff. This should solve the issue where network drivers are not supported in the default install but allow you to get 99% of everything installed resolve your network drivers and then run the firstboot scripts to finish it.

And for all the users who would would rather not be bothered or consumed with installing the software and making sure the hardware works well you can always visit the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]FreePBX Store[/url] and purchase a certified Hardware Appliance with the latest version of the Distro pre-installed for you.

A big thanks goes out to GamerGamer43 and all his hard work of helping track down issues with the RPMs and get everything playing nicely and to Jared Smith formerly Fedora Project Leader helping track down weird issues with the Andaconda Installer not setting up the loopback during install and causing the FreePBX RPM not to install in some scenarios

Please visit the Distro Page [url=http://www.freepbx.org/freepbx-distro/]Here[/url] to download the version of the Distro that suites your needs

Tony – On behalf of the FreePBX Team

[url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]Get details on the FreePBX Appliance Here[/url] [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=support]FreePBX Support Services including Great POMP Offerings[/url] [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar]Training Opportunities with OTTS[/url]

Update on 2.11 and Full ISO Distro

I’ve been back from Spring break for a week so time for an update. I’ll go over some of the CEL (Call Event Log) work, talk a bit about some security “auditing” additions I’ve been adding to Module Admin, and give you a preview on some great work towards a full FreePBX Distro ISO (vs. netinstall) that Tony has been working on! We also have a great [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]FreePBX Appliance[/url] that has been added to the store and some new [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss-contracts.php]Support Peace of Mind (POMPS)[/url] service offerings to compliment the existing paid services. Lastly, if you are procrastinating registering for the next [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar]Open Telephony Training Seminar[/url] time is running out so [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar-register]go register now[/url] to assure your spot!

FreePBX 2.11

Version 2.11 is still very much in an “alpha” phase with no tarball available yet. We’ll work on branching trunk to 2.11 shortly and make it a bit easier to start reviewing. Some work has started with the Asterisk CEL technology and I made some checkins yesterday into the 2.11 branch of the CDR reporting module. Unix ODBC, Asterisk ODBC, CEL and CEL ODBC support are all required in order to get the module working the way it has been initially implemented. All the required RPMs are available through [i]yum[/i] on the Distro though no configuration work has yet been done. Much of this is at the Distro level which we have not attacked at this time, but we’ve included a zipped file with instructions in the 2.11 CDR module that makes it pretty easy to configure if you want to start playing with it. We would like early adopters who are very interested in CEL to get their hands dirty and provide feedback and suggestions before we move forward heavily on an implementation path.

Once you’ve configured CEL, the current CDR Reports module will allow you to click on any CDR record resulting in a full list of CEL events associated with that record, as well as a display of all the CDR records that are part of the same call. You can now have fun with call pickups, transfers, parking, etc. and see all the events that make up that single call, as well as all the CDR records which are in fact the same call.

The CELs are ultimately designed around getting more accurate billing data but our initial goal is to simply get the technology out and into FreePBX hoping this results in creative ideas or third party modules taking advantage of this and delivering some very useful functionality.

Security is always a critical area that gets people’s attention. We [url=/news/2012-03-26/security-concerns-2-11-updates-and-expiring-early-bird-specials]patched a serious security vulnerability[/url] several weeks ago but despite that, we continued to see reports of people being hacked well after the fixes were available for easy detection and installation from the online repository. We decided to embark on some ideas that may help highlight vulnerable modules installed on a system that are known to contain security vulnerabilities. When this work is finished, Module Admin will highlight known vulnerable modules so they are very obvious and add security notifications into the notification panel. If you are setup to receive emails from Module Admin, then these security issues will also be emailed to you. We’ll blog more details about this in the coming weeks since there’s a lot more to talk about and this blog is already getting pretty long!

FreePBX Distro and Appliance

The FreePBX Distro has been a great success and the endless work from Tony and the Schmooze Com, Inc team has been awesome! Up until now loading the Distro requires a [i]netInstall[/i] which works fine for most situations but has resulted in a lot of requests for a full ISO download. Tony has tackled this problem and will tell you a lot more about this in the next blog so stay tuned. As always, he’s gone the extra mile to deliver you more then just a basic ISO!

[float=left] FreePBX Appliance
[/float] We’ll take a moment to point you at the absolute and simplest way to load up your system, which would be with the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]FreePBX Appliance[/url] that has been sitting in the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=fpbx-applaiance]FreePBX Store[/url] for some time with a lot of happy customers. The [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]FreePBX Classic[/url] is a great solution for most installations including standard features such as dual mirrored (RAID1) drives, a fantastic form factor with minimal moving parts and even [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=support]FreePBX Support Credits[/url] to get you started. For a really beefy and/or rack mountable solution that won’t run you much more there’s the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]FreePBX Xtreme[/url] which packs higher CPU, memory, expandability and more. You can get much more details on these great appliance [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=fpbx-applaiance]in the store[/url] and they all come pre configured with the FreePBX Distro on top of high quality hardware components!

If a fully supported appliance from the world class team that brings you this great project doesn’t give you all the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss-contracts.php]Peace of Mind[/url] you require, have a look at the new [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss-contracts.php]POMPS[/url] support contracts now available from the [url=/freepbx-official-paid-support]FreePBX Support and Services[/url] team! With these offerings SLA levels up to 24×7 support are now available whether running your own hardware or one of these great appliances! Check the [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=support]Store[/url] to get all the details.

Open Telephony Training Seminar

The next [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar]OTTS[/url] event is coming up in less than 4 weeks and the last two seminars completely sold out! If you are thinking of joining us in the Twin Cities next month then make sure to [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar-register]register now![/url] We look forward to seeing some of you there!

Back to coding for now, we’ll be back shortly with more details on the ISO and the Security Notification work that is being worked on!

Philippe – On behalf of the FreePBX Team

[url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/freepbx-appliance.php]Get details on the FreePBX Appliance Here[/url] [url=http://www.schmoozecom.com/oss.php?tab=support]FreePBX Support Services including Great POMP Offerings[/url] [url=/open-telephony-training-seminar]Training Opportunities with OTTS[/url]