Trixbox Appliance to FreePBX

I had setup a few production trixbox VMs using SIP trunks a few years ago, and really enjoyed it and the community, so when my sister came to me needing a new phone system for her business I suggested getting a trixbox appliance and going that route.

They decided to go for it, and we ordered one with two Sangoma A200 cards. 30 minutes after ordering I hopped on the forums to see what kind of plugins were out there for an email to fax gateway, then I saw the bombshell of posts about the community being dead. Too little, too late, I had a trixbox appliance on the way.

I’d messaged SkykingOH on the fonality forums asking for advice on converting to FreePBX since he seems to be the only regular posting member over there and recommends this distro, but never received a response.

The equipment came in and I went ahead and set it up, and it’s all working great, but I’m worried about the general lack of support, updates or care from fonality. But I’m a little gun shy just trying to piece together a bunch of different tutorials to get FreePBX working on that hardware. Has anyone else already done this and documented it?

It seems to me like the whole asterisk community is dying, not just trixbox. Half the time when I search for tutorials or guides, they link to dead websites or 4-5 year old irrelevant information.

Edit to include system info:
trixbox - 2.8.
asterisk -
kernel - 2.6.18
phones - Cisco SPA508G

This is absurd. This year’s Astricon was much busier than last year. Asterisk 1.10, SCF, FreePBX 2.10, New phones being introduces. It’s a great time to be in Open Source Telephony.

Sorry you are not finding the resources you need.

Digium just moved the Asterisk docs to a new system, it’s wonderful. I have found that since 1.8 Digium has been very good about documenting options, variables, samples etc.

FreePBX has had record downloads and systems in operation. The last OTTS class had a capacity crowd.

Based on a few posts not linking back and giving you 404’s you think the entire “Asterisk” community is dead?

That makes no sense. I believe tribox has died down and dropped using them about a year ago but there are several major distro’s running asterisk so that makes no sense.

I believe FreePBX is the better distro, some will say install your os and install asterisk, other download the iso and boot up, to each his own, but the community is far from dead and SIP trunk companies are all growing, so please don’t generalize like that.

If you are planning to move them to FreePBX do your planning and make sure you have backups and documentation of extensions, names, numbers etc just in case.

You will find FreePBX to be a solid distro.

Clearly, alive and kicking. That’s why, in three weeks, the only responses are referencing a two sentence rant.

It’s not like I’m looking for anyone to hold my hand, or do it for me. I’m just looking for current, pertinent information to get the trixbox appliance converted without cobbling together multiple, possibly outdated, guide/tutorials/forum posts or even just other people who’ve gone through the same process.

I reread your post and don’t see a question.

The trixbox appliance is just a PC painted green. It’s not even a server class motherboard. They had a nice dual PS option.

The distribution includes the Sangoma wanpipe drivers.

The front panel display won’t work. If you want that to work you will have to go digging through the fonality repo and get the lcd4linux package they used.

I am also not sure what you mean by cobbled up? Our distro is a clean install of the current stable Asterisk and FreePBX.

Also, what do you mean only two posts? We average over 100 posts a day in the forums.

“But I’m a little gun shy just trying to piece together a bunch of different tutorials to get FreePBX working on that hardware. Has anyone else already done this and documented it?”

That is taken from the first post. I know it’s basically a P4 computer. Does it need any special drivers for the hardware?

Are there compatibility issues with the hardware/drivers and the freepbx distro?

Since posting the original post, I found a post of someone migrating to PBX in a flash, but it was more of a status update, never posting much information on what went into it. In it he mentioned that lcd4linux could me used to make the front display work, but seeing as how it’s a general linux program, and not PBX related, is there anything special needed to integrate it with asterisk?

There is no CD rom drive, is the easiest method to plug in a sata or ide drive, or is it better to do an install from a USB drive?

Sangoma’s own wiki site has several posts regarding wanpipe driver installs, but none for FreePBX specifically. Do the asterisk instructions cover it? Or should do the Elastix, AsteriskNOW, or PBX in a Flash instructions work better?

This isn’t a large implementation, so I could probably reconfigure everything from scratch if I had to, but I’d rather not. Do any of the backups directly work across?

Are there any features in Trixbox I might be using that are not in the newer version of Asterisk/FreePBX?

I have found guides or posts related to most of these individually, but they all vary in age and version. That’s what I mean by cobbling together. I was hoping that there was more people doing this same process, with information gathered in one place. I’m assuming there were at least a few thousand trixboxes sold, I’m assuming not all of those people are still running trixbox CE, but maybe I’m wrong in that assumption.

“Also, what do you mean only two posts? We average over 100 posts a day in the forums.”

My comment was that there were only two responses, to this post in three weeks. Both of those responses were only in reply to an opinionated comment on the status of the open source PBX community.

I don’t want to just jump into migrating it, with several different guides and run into problems. Right now the best solution I’ve come up with is to swap out the hard drives and attempt it, so worst case scenario I can throw the old hard drive back in, and be back where I started if I run into problems. I’m not opposed to purchasing support either, my only question there is will FreePBX support that hardware considering the “age” of it, and it was a bundled solution from a competitor?

Those are a lot of questions, as you said are answered in different places.

I thought this was a new install, why is data migration an issue?

I have never heard of anyone installing on the appliance so I doubt you will find specific experience. The CentOS in our distro is reasonably current and I can’t think of the last time I have seen a hardware issue. If worried, just boot the install disk and make sure the installer starts OK.

I would pop the top and plug a CD ROM into the SATA bus.

Features in trixbox? trixbox used FreePBX 2.5. We are releasing 2.10. Certainly no feature issues. If you are using an old version of trixbox and have HUD you will need to decide which of the many operator panels to use. This is a non-issue as Fonality dropped support for HUD at version 2.6 of trixbox.

Lastly, I don’t understand the statement “my only question there is will FreePBX support that hardware considering the “age” of it, and it was a bundled solution from a competitor?” what are you speaking of.

If you are talking about the FreePBX distro, surely it doesn’t care what you install it on.

If you are talking about the FreePBX commercial support team we will work on any system and help you resolve issues. I think purchasing a support pack for help with the install is a great idea for you. It will give you the peace of mind you are looking for.

You should have no problem installing the distro on any hardware because they are all computers, my suggestion would be to take a spare hard drive and drop it in the box for the install ( pulling out the original install drive ) to give yourself that added protection and comfort. If anything goes bad, simply go back to the old drive. You can also plan it in stages, down today early evening install the new OS, test one of the phones, play with the system, drop the old drive back in and then the next day finalize the install. I’m sure the client doesn’t want to be down.

Download the ISO and run it from a bootable USB thumb drive or a USB based DVD rom drive.

I would bet that people have successfully backed up and restored the trixbox distro over to FreePBX, but my findings is something usually doesn’t get moved over properly. My suggestion is for 30 or less handsets it’s not worth figuring out the backup & restore procedure digging through the web etc and simply configure everything from scratch insuring your new install will run perfectly. Plus it will allow you ( or force you ) to be more familiar with the distro which if your going to support it would be a positive.

Depending on the model of phones you have you can hopefully take advantage of the end point manager to assist with the physical phone configs.

As SkyKingOH mentioned, you may want to have schmooze on speed dial and open a ticket if you hit a wall.

I think you shouldn’t have a problem.