Added extension, set up VM, but after no answer, call hangs up. where to begin?

I added a new extension in our office today and configured VM through FreePBX. Calling to/from the new phone works fine, but VM never “catches” if the call isn’t answered. The call simply terminates unexpectedly after 3 rings. Even if I forward a VM to that extension from my own and then *98 to check it, there are no new messages (but at least I am able to login and hear “No new messages”).

This is the first extension I added on my own, so I probably missed something along the way. (From what I can tell, though, I’m using the same params as other functional extensions.)

Where should I begin troubleshooting this? Where can I look to see what might be going wrong? Not looking for the “quick fix” here but the best practice to figure out what’s amiss.



after triple checking that it claims the extension should have voicemail in the GUI, you can take a look in extensions_additional.conf to see if it is being created properly. In ext-local, here is an extension with no voicemail configured:

exten => 202,1,Macro(exten-vm,novm,202)
exten => 202,n,Hangup

and here is one with voicemail:

exten => 210,1,Macro(exten-vm,210,210)                                                                                                                  
exten => 210,n,Hangup                                                                                                                                   
exten => ${VM_PREFIX}210,1,Macro(vm,210,DIRECTDIAL)                                                                                                     
exten => ${VM_PREFIX}210,n,Hangup                                                                                                                       
exten => vmb210,1,Macro(vm,210,BUSY)                                                                                                                    
exten => vmb210,n,Hangup                                                                                                                                
exten => vmu210,1,Macro(vm,210,NOANSWER)                                                                                                                
exten => vmu210,n,Hangup                                                                                                                                
exten => vms210,1,Macro(vm,210,NOMESSAGE)                                                                                                               
exten => vms210,n,Hangup                                                                                                                                

If you confirm that it is being properly created, then next thing is to make the call at the CLI, verbosity turned up to at least 5, and watch the call to see what it is doing and try to determine why it is not going to voicemail. That should tell a lot.

Thanks, Philippe. James and I tracked down the problem to the structure of the VM directory. The dir for the extension in question (206) was linked to itself, like this:

lrwxrwxrwx  1 asterisk asterisk   42 Mar 11 13:06 206 -> /var/spool/asterisk/voicemail/default/206/

(Nobody did that manually.)

After rm’ing it and leaving a VM at 206, Asterisk recreated the directory (as below) and things worked as they should.

drwx------  8 asterisk asterisk 4096 Mar 12 13:41 206

If I have time later I’ll try to recreate the issue and post again, but it may have happened because 206’s original ‘mailbox’ in FreePBX was ‘[email protected]’, whereas now it’s ‘[email protected]’, like all the rest. We are running FreePBX

  • Bobby