AsteriskNow vs FreePBX Distro? which one to use?

Hi everyone,

I am new to FreePBX. Like to check on this one.

2 questions:-

a) I heard from someone in the industry that AsteriskNow is obsolete, and he recommended me to install FreePBX Distro as it consists the latest Asterisk engine? Is that true?

b) If I don’t choose the FreePBX distro, can I install on ubuntu 10.04 LTS 64 bits?

Any help?

thanks so much :slight_smile: i will give it a try then :slight_smile: cheers

I would recommend FreePBX. It is a lot less work to install and later upgrade if you use the distro.

FreePBX Distro is by far the best option, its simple to install and regularly maintained. Upgrades are by simple scripts which include Asterisk and Centos upgrades. All upgrades are fully tested by the development team who react quickly to any bugs in the odd cases when bugs are reported by users. There is a continuous dialogue between users and the developers through the Distro Forum.

Thanks everyone :slight_smile:

3 more questions.

a)I will give the freepbx distro a try. So the distro comes with centos only? coz i am more used with ubuntu 10.04 LTS, is there a distro on ubuntu?

b)Is there any loopback adapter which I can use to test out freepbx + asterisk functionality out of the box? Coz it takes time to apply for ISDN PRI line over here. Or could I plug into a normal telephone line?

c) last question, can i install and configure with freepbx? coz i need to have a receptionist interface so she can monitor the calls and direct to the right person in an easier way. Or is there any open source alternative which is good and nice web interface?

any help? thanks.

The distro is a full system install so it is only Centos. If you want to use Ubuntu you will have to build the system by hand. This is a lot more work because you have to install the OS, Asterisk, dependencies, etc. and then install FreePBX. That is the nice part of the distro, just pop in the CD and install.

If you have an FXO card or ATA you can plug in a phone line and connect to your system.

You can install FOP2. You can also try iSymphony.

I just tried the FreePBX Distro and it sucks big time. I had so much issues with it. I went right back to AsteriskNOW because it far the best one to use. Also they are the creators of the Asterisk system in the first place and I will be sticking with these guys for now on. I learn my lesson about the crappy FreePBX Distro. Plus they will say their products is better than the next person.

Ghostdog35, if you have legitimate gripes about the distro please share them so they can be publicly addressed, saying something is crappy and sucks big time without expanding on your reasons for feeling this way will not help the OP with their decisions to use one Distro over another, being that you have been registered on the forum for less than 20 minutes also make you appear to be a bit of a troll. The development team is very quick to respond to bugs and issues that are brought to their attention.

There isn’t that much difference between the 2 other than more bells and whistles (and therefore more potential problems) with Freepbx distro. All the core stuff is basically exactly the same. Also FreePBX Distro is trying to sell you a bunch of commercial modules.

However, I don’t think there is as much focus on getting AsteriskNOW right by Digium as there is getting FreePBX Distro right.

I apologizes for my actions. I was just so annoyed with the configuration of the Cisco 7940 VOIP phone. My anger clouded my mind.

I was trying to connect a Cisco 7940 pone to the free PBX OS and then connect it to Google voice, so I can make out going calls and receive out going calls as well. For some reason I could not get the phone truly connected to the OSS Endpoint manager nor could I get google voice connected to the phone. Please advise.

Again sorry for my last actions, I was up for 48 hours working on this home project for fun and I just so into it and could not stop.

I have to NIC cards connected to my FreePBX computer and I;m trying to get them to play nice with the dhcpd and the tftp servers. eth-0 will be connected to the internet and eth-1 will be connected to my cisco phone via a cross over cable. I have the dhcp and tftp server configured correctly, but for some reason they just do not want to play nice with one another.

I’m willing to try the the FreePBX OS again, I do owe every body that much for my out bust on this form. Also the Linux Distro you are using CentOS is one of the best Linux OS in my eyes. I use it for my customers all of the time.

Cisco 79xx phones can be a bit of a bear, if you do a search on the forums you can probably find some instructions on converting them to SIP if you have not already done so. Before you start playing with the Cisoc, set up a softphone and get your FreePBX configured to make and receive calls, then tackle the Cisco. Using Asterisk 11 and Motif google voice should be pretty easy to configure, just take that cisco out of the equation for a bit and get your call paths set up first.

(I kinda wish this forum would maintain Subject: lines across posts to a thread rather than changing the Subject: line every time, but that’s just me…)

I am currently using AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 for a pro bono PBX project for a non-profit. So far I haven’t found anything that I need that it won’t do, and the help I have received, mainly here but also on the AsteriskNOW forum, has been phenomenal.

If I had it to do over again I would probably have gone with the FreePBX distro, only so that I could consolidate all Q&A traffic on one forum (this one) rather than having to determine first whether it’s a FreePBX problem or an Asterisk (or AsteriskNOW) problem.

I do recommend, though, that you put a lot of thought into which version to use because you may well end up having to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I have found that the migration path from, say, AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 to AsteriskNOW 3.0.0 or from AsteriskNOW (any version) to FreePBX Distro (any version) is very difficult indeed. I have done things that people here and on other forums recommend, and they do not work. So I’m still looking for a way to do the migration reliably, and until I can find one I’m sticking with AsteriskNOW 2.0.2.

One problem with upgrading from, say, AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 to AsteriskNOW 3.0.0 is that the former is based on CentOS 5.8 and the latter on CentOS 6.x. That creates its own set up upgrade problems that don’t appear to be addressed by the Asterisk distros.

All else being equal, the latest stable version of the FreePBX distro is probably a good bet.

Eric /

As long as the FreePBX version is the same between the two you can migrate from one to the other using the backup/restore module. I haven’t tried but I’m pretty sure it will still work even if the major version of CentOS is not the same.

As long as the FreePBX version is the same
between the two you can migrate from one
to the other using the backup/restore module.

No, you can’t, not necessarily anyway. I tried migrating from AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 to the version of the FreePBX distro that uses the same version of FreePBX (don’t remember the distro version right now) and ran into no end of trouble. With a lot of help from Scott and others here I managed to get it to where I think it is working though not exactly sure yet (had to put that project aside temporarily). There are many extra steps that need to be taken beyond just backing up from AsteriskNOW and restoring to the corresponding FreePBX distro… enough that Scott started wondering if there was a bug in FreePBX.

As I said I had to put that project aside temporarily but when I can pick it back up again (RSN) I’ll document what I had to do to make it even look like it was going to work.

Anyway, even if one could be sure of being able to migrate from one distro to another that uses the same version of FreePBX, that doesn’t address the question of how do you upgrade a working system to the latest version of Asterisk / FreePBX. There doesn’t appear to be a clean way to do that, at least none that I can find after much searching and many questions posted on this and other forums, so how does one go about keeping one’s system up to date?

If one could backup from the old system (old version of FreePBX/Asterisk) and restore to the new, that problem would be solved or at least greatly mitigated.

Walrkt, I know you have had some personal bad experiences but the backup utility is solid and works fine between versions irrespective of the distro. You can also tell it to backup any additional DB’s in your profile.

I have taken old [email protected] boxes all the way to 2.9 (last ver sion to support old PHP) then backed it up (using FreePBX backup module). You then install the distro, blow away FreePBX (drop DB’s and delete /admin tree), install_amp the 2.9, restore the backup then use the upgrade module to come back to 2.10. I can do it in two hours and am so confident I flat rate those jobs.

Just commenting so you don’t scare folks away. You can also load your old version on a VM and practice the process.

You are so right about the cisco’s phones. Yes that what I had done next once I was able to think with a clear head again. I been looking on the forms for the answers on how to get the cisco’s 7940 phone to work on my system. I been looking on the forms for about a week now. If you can, can you please point me in the right direction please. Tank you

Well, Scott, as you know my experience has been different. I went from a plain-vanilla installation of AsteriskNOW 2.0.2 to a brand new installation of FreePBX distro of the same version of FreePBX, and you know the problems I had. Yes, it’s true that most (perhaps all) of it was due to an arguably-broken AsteriskNOW version of DAHDi Config, but my point is, while that’s not the fault of the backup/restore utility, still that’s the kind of stuff that can happen and it doesn’t result in a seamless move from one to the other. To say that as long as the FreePBX versions are the same you can do the migration without problems, clearly isn’t always true. That’s all I was saying, not intended to scare anyone off.

I still plan to go through the conversion again and post the results here, but I got tied up with something else and won’t be able to get to it for another couple of days.

Eric /

Funny you mentioned that, Tony and I were just chatting about putting some accomodations in for other distro’s in the backup module to address AMI credential race issues. We could also scrub out the modules.

The problem is it is a slippery slope. The 3rd party delvelopers really need to add an object to the backup module if they change the DB schema or need flat data backed up. It would be an impossible task for Schmooze to keep track of all the 3rd party stop and be responsible for the interactions. Regression testing should be part of any development effort.