Migrating to FreePBX Distro, best approach?

Hi All,

I have this PBX I am maintaining (inherited from the previous IT) which is basically a CentOS 5 server with Asterisk 1.8 & FreePBX 11.

We have problems every so often and the thing needs to be rebooted weekly or else our trunks loose registration and we start getting “Unable to create channel of type ‘SIP’ (cause 20 - Unknown)” errors… I’ve done tons of research and troubleshooting and I believe it to be related to a bug in Asterisk 1.8…

In any case, upgrading Asterisk and FreePBX in this custom built box is scary to me, bunch of dependencies will need to be upgraded too like PHP, so I would like to actually replace it and move to FreePBX Distro so it will be easier in the future to upgrade and maintain.

What is the best approach / way to do this? I do not trust the current configuration either as I don’t think it was done by someone who fully knew what he was doing. I would like to reconfigure from scratch, but I do need to move things like Voicemails and IVR, plus maybe Extensions & Trunks as that is a lot of manual work… is there any way to selectively take that config and move it to the new Distro deployment?

The best route would probably be to get FreePBX to 12. Then you can backup, install the latest FreePBX Distro ISO and restore. The running Asterisk version doesn’t matter as the configs are handled in the plumbing.

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Thanks, I think I can that.

In FreePBX 12, is the restore granular enough so I can just restore the extensions and IVR? I want to avoid bringing settings that will cause trouble later…

You can export the extensions and inbound routes using the bulk extensions and bulk DIDs module. Before you import to the new version, you may have to add some fields though.

Generally, I like to start fresh with a new install to make sure that everything is configured how I really want it. Its a huge pain in the butt, but it also allows me to discover and experiment with new features.

Voicemails can be copied from


IVR recordings can be copied from:


Be sure to chown the recordings after you copy them, i.e.

cd /nameoffolder
chown -R asterisk:asterisk *

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Thanks, this was really helpful