Can Zulu desktop run in Device and User mode


Can Zulu desktop run in Device and User mode?

(Richard Smith) #2

Probably not as Device and User mode isn’t supported.



Thanks for the reply. I would prefer an official reply from Sangoma.

Furthermore, Sangoma is shooting themselves in the foot with the posture that you have regurgitated. This position will ultimately lose them customers. Any serious enterprise phone system must support hotdesking. Philippe Lindheimer knew this and drove the product in that direction. Unfortunately, Sangoma no longer has the in-depth understanding and vision of the industry that Philippe had.

I have been an avid supporter of Asterisk and FreePBX for decades, and I would like to continue to be. However, Sangoma does not seem to understand it’s customer’s needs and the market place.

Take for example Zulu, which has now mostly migrated to Sangoma Connect. Just read the horror stories on this forum. Customers want products that just work. These products require additional configuration and modules on the server side which adds additional bloat and configuration to the GUI.

In my case, I simply want a Windows based softphone. I don’t need the additional features as we are heavily invested in Microsoft Teams. Rather than trying to replace Teams with Connect, Sangoma should focus on how they can integrate with the Market Leaders. I have used Bria and Zoiper in the past, and they both simply work - no additional ports need to be opened on the firewall - no additional modules need to be installed on the server - no additional user bloat needs to be configured in the GUI - works in Device and User mode.

So as much as I would like to purchase and support Sangoma products, the pain (and cost of time) threshold is too high. Case and point is the question that I asked in this post. I can only assume that Sangoma doesn’t want my business.

(Preston McNair, ClearlyIP CRO) #4

@Mike_S many of the current FreePBX team members were not here for the long history of the infamous ‘Device and User’ mode. For many years, it has not been ‘officially’ supported within FreePBX due to various ‘gotchas’ with different functionality and how it interacts with other pieces of the dial plan and modules. For simplicity’s sake, the dev teams, including @plindheimer as I recall, didn’t consider it a supported functionality in FreePBX. Hence, every time it’s mentioned in the forums, you will find someone telling you it’s 'not supported.’ Then typically, those threads would devolve into people stating it should be supported. Most would eventually be locked due to people arguing the merits of D&U in not so charming ways that always seem to get personal.

There were ‘mostly’ no attempts to break any D&U functionality. A few times when it was accidentally broken, it would then be fixed when reported, but D&U wasn’t something that was first and foremost in developers’ minds when envisioning new functionality or evolving FreePBX. With the advent of PJSIP and the ability to have multiple devices registered to the same extension, and the multi-threading enhancements that PJSIP brought to the table, many of us thought we had heard the last of Device and User Mode. The User Management Module also was enhanced to allow users to manage or access content from multiple extensions or other users, with the idea of building the system flexible without being too complicated to execute on the back-end.

I was a huge proponent of the creation of Zulu in my Sangoma days. Sadly, I think you are probably right when you say Zulu is trying to do too much, with new options integrated with FreePBX like, Sangoma Connect as mentioned above. And of course, my favorite Clearly Anywhere (from ClearlyIP, where @rsmithuk, I, and many of the ‘OG’ developers of FreePBX ‘Original GUI™️’ currently work), there are solutions that attempt to provide easier provisioning and more straightforward functionality for end-users. To continue, ClearlyIP phones also integrate hotdesking, which is also tied into Ray Baum Compatible dispatchable location selection and integration if you are utilizing ClearlyIP SIP Trunking. Hotdesking in the days of Kari’s Law and the Ray Baum Act will get more and more complicated, at least if you want to stay compliant with the laws. Our team now works and supports many PBX platforms outside of FreePBX or Asterisk-based solutions. It would surprise you to know how many PBX vendors are still working on figuring out their e911 solutions before the January compliance deadline. This is where a platform like FreePBX does shine. It doesn’t necessarily depend on one company or the Project Maintainer to enable the functionality that you need. It is open for others to help solve your problems and provide solutions to fit your needs. I’m sure @lgaetz or @mfredrickson can jump in and get you an ‘official reply’ on the Device and User mode support in Zulu.

(Richard Smith) #5

There is a massive warning on the wiki about commercial modules not being supported.

I always advocated ditching it if it’s not going to be supported. However I think Zulu desktop did have it’s place in the same way that many other solutions have some kind of integrated UC features that cross over with things like MS Teams. But since COVID etc. there has been a much bigger shift to dedicated tools like Teams, Slack, Zoom etc. and perhaps it is less relevant now.

In terms of hot desking features there are other ways that have been developed to support that in a way that works with everything else.


I beg to differ with you. There is no other means that has been developed that directly replaces D&U. If there is then kindly backup your statement with references to such. And please don’t insult my intelligence by stating that PJSIP is a replacement. It is not. PJSIP allows multiple endpoints for a device/user. It does not allow a user to log on and off of a device/endpoint.

I have already stated my opinion which is that FreePBX is not an “Enterprise” solution without D&U (hotdesking) support. This is also the opinion of many others. It’s very sad that when this opinion is expressed, those that don’t agree with it, disrespect, degrade, blackball and outcast. The bottom line is that Sangoma clearly does not recognize the need for the feature. When it no longer works, those customers that absolutely need D&U will seek another solution. This is a business decision that Sangoma has made which may ultimately cost them customers. They are certainly within their rights as customers are within their rights to express their dissatisfaction with the decision.

Enough about D&U. This thread is about Zulu desktop. The bottom line is that I would like to use and promote Sangoma products. I simply want to know if Zulu desktop will work in D&U mode. I don’t understand why Sangoma hasn’t officially chimed in and answered the question. If it does not work then they are narrowing their market to only customers that do not use D&U. If this indeed is the case then it’s my opinion that this is a bad business decision.

(Simon Telephonics) #7

Zulu is a commercial module; therefore open a support ticket with Sangoma to get an official answer.

(Richard Smith) #8

You asked a question and I’m trying help answer, as an ex-Sangoma employee I do have a little bit of insight. Whether or not you like the answer is up to and decision you need to make for yourself.

If you want an enterprise solution then Sangoma offers Switchvox.

Perhaps @lgaetz Can chime in here but I think the wiki statement is clear D&U doesn’t support Commercial Modules I.e. Zulu.

In terms of alternatives, Phone Apps CM provides the hot desking capabilities for physical handsets. As does ClearlyIP’s device manager for their phones.

Zulu in itself requires UCP credentials to Login so that also solves the Softphone hot desking issue as it doesn’t require users needing to use SIP Secrets.

Ultimately as @billsimon said, if you want a quicker official response you are better off logging a ticket with support as Zulu is a commercial module.

As a final point, if you want to put the case forward that D&U is a better way to go than Phone Apps then there is a process to log a feature request.

(Lorne Gaetz) #9

Sangoma employee here. I don’t know if it fully works or not, and the reason I don’t know is that D&U is not supported on commercial products. We don’t test that configuration.

If you only have Zulu clients, then hotdesking is automatic without using D&U, users can simply login/logout from clients using their userman creds. If you are using Zulu in conjunction with desk phones that don’t support the Login Phone App, that is something you will have to test yourself. There is a 2 user free trial for Zulu, so it costs you nothing to try.

Opening a ticket will only get you a reminder that Device and User is not supported.


Yes, and I would be happy to use Phone Apps if Polycom phones were supported. I’m not willing to replace all handsets. Thank you for pointing out this alternative.

It is better simply because it works with all devices. I’m sure the feature request has been made many times before as this is an age old discussion.

Yes, I am. Before creating this post I tried Zulu Desktop both with Zulu on FreePBX and Sangoma Connect on FreePBX (in D&U mode). It does not work.

Because there is no viable alternative for D&U and since Zulu, Connect, and Phone Apps are Commercial Modules , you have isolated me from being able to use and purchase these products. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to abandon hotdesking as the business requires it.

(Simon Telephonics) #11

Interesting; one might have thought you asked the question because you did not already know the answer.


One should not make assumptions!

I asked the question for several reasons:

  1. Just because I tried it and could not get it to work does not mean that it will not work. Maybe there is a work around.
  2. Perhaps someone else has first hand experience and could share their findings.
  3. Hopefully Sangoma could officially answer the question which they did, even though they stated that it was never tested.


(Zulu is almost a dead horse, please stop hitting it. its a cruelty to animals thing :slight_smile: )

(system) closed #14

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