Why not roll your own install

This to you “sellers” / “It Dept”.

I am just asking because it comes up many times that the reason x,y and z do not work is because
of some code change / delete done by some packed up distro.

Some the question is why do you folks not roll your own install??
Just what is it about Trixbox / Pbx In a Flash / and the others.
I mean how do NOT want to have complete control over your PBX server??

And this is not about what distro is better than which, but rather what about a distro makes you use it?
Aside from the fact they use Freepbx (no matter how they try to hide it)

I would suspect it’s a matter of resources. The packaged distros are nice from a get-it-up-and-running aspect, and maintaining an internal distro can be more trouble than it’s worth for a small company.

It’s easy enough for me to throw * and FreePBX on a box and call it a day, but the skills for doing that aren’t ones that a lot of people doing this posses.

Theoretically, a packaged distro will be easier to maintain across a large amount of installs. I know that this isn’t the case with Trixbox, as much of what they throw out is broken from the start. I’ve never installed piaf, so I can’t really comment. Anyway, if the packager was competent and careful, then installing that package would be a time saver, especially across multiple boxes.

If you roll your own, and discipline yourself to only use some sort of package management system (RPM, deb, etc) then you can have a development box where you build your binary packages, set up your own repo, and push the updates out to your boxes in the field, but that is a lot of work.

I’d guess speed of setup first, required background knowledge to complete the task second, and the required skill/mind set next, single download source maybe next.

If you are just venturing into it , a distro will install the OS, set the permissions, security, etc without a person knowing how or learning what really needs to be done (not something you can do in a hour), linux security for example is not something you can ready 2 pages on and know how to do.

I can almost hand a CD of PIAF, trixbox, etc to our HR person and say go load this into that box and they could do it and get it working if I had the box setup, that’s not something you could do with a a roll your own set of directions. Is that something I’d do, no but with a distro it is possible.

They also take all the integration issues/quirks out of the process so people can succeed in the initial attempt at getting into it versus having to learn many things from linus, apache, mysql, php, asterisk, FreePBX, FOP, and god knows what else they want in a bundle.

The issue with roll your own is that you need a “smart” idiots guide to doing it. That really means a detailed exact step by step set of directions, screen shots and reasons behind why you select and unselect certain items when building the OS , along with course correction directions for if you get Z instead of X at the end of almost each step to make people happy. That way a person would think that it would be easy to follow these directions and no matter what I’ll succeed.
I’m not trying to be little any of the roll your own how to’s at all, if the person follows the directions of them and doesn’t try to do something else, include something not mentioned, or re-think what a author provides they do work. But many of them could use some verification/check steps at points so that you’d know. Then with all the flavors out and each one turning out new versions every x months it’s just hard to keep them current, let alone track to be sure that when x releases “minor” updates it does not change something.

Well I do download to a standard folder setup on a rsync server for all installs, which are about 90 % scripted

I deal with standard hardware / and VPS so the installs all go about the same.

I really do not find keeping the systems up to date hard at all, but again scripts do most of the work.

To me it is just to easy to build from bare metal, but I also do not load any “fluff”

One of the things you didn’t ask but will effect the type of answer somebody will give is: Are you a installer/telco provider or are you a end user? as both will have different goals and outlooks on things. I can clearly see that a roll your own is better, specially for installers, end users of which I’m one (in a linux based shop of many) it would probably be different as it’s not my primary job. In fact the plan as the company see’s it is I should spend about a hour a month on phone stuff or less.

Yes I do a lot more then the plan as I provide patches, find bugs, post fixes, and help out when and where I can (forum and IRC). My direct boss see’s it as a good thing as I’m in the loop and more prepared then most others would be, I also learn from helping others mistakes and see different approaches to problems tha I would not ever be introduced to otherwise. But I’ll bet most others are not.

Its bad enough that I scour this forum and other Internet sources for all the help I can get. If I had enough expertise to roll my own then I would.

I’m glad the distros are available. I can examine a working system and learn at my slow pace. Maybe one day I will be able to roll my own. I would love to provide some packages to contribute to the cause. It might take a long time for that to happen.

I rolled the last few machines by hand because they were all on dedicated servers and PIAF doesn’t have a way to do a net install as far as I know. Having to fix [email protected]/trixbox for the last few years prepared me enough to roll it all by hand.
I will probably figure out how to roll my own script/cd soon though just to get all the common things I install to get me to a common working launch point. I’d especially like to make a livecd with the specific setup for an office for disaster recovery… how hard would that be?