Trixbox 2.0 (Asterisk) step by step install guide for complete dummies

By tonyhughes Hughes, in , posted: 5-Apr-2007 20:59

UPDATE Sat 1st Dec 2007: Heres a new guide for Trixbox 2.2, but with only basic trunk and route info to get a New Zealand WxC VFX trunk working to a basic level. Maybe follow the new guide for Trix 2.2 installs, but refer back here for more detailed routing info, as well as the Freecall and Gizmo trunking etc.

Good luck.

This tutorial will set up the following voice services on Asterisk:
  • A plain old New Zealand landline
  • WorldXChange's VFX VoIP service
  • A SIP line, giving free calls to landlines in many countries*
  • A SIP line (recieve calls to your Gizmo ID name)
  • You will be able to call USA toll-free numbers (1800, 1866, 1877)
  • You will be able to directly dial SIP numbers on many networks**
And yes, thanks for the feedback already, I know this is a big long guide - but it is pretty much a complete walkthrough to get a very capable system going, and designed to allow just about anyone to get this up and running, regardless of experience. You could just as easily have any combination of supported providers and equipment - for instance, you could have 2 x iTalk SIP trunks, and, and not need any trunk cards (that scenario would work totally in a VM). Good luck :-)


* Australia, USA, New Zealand, United Kingdom / England, Austria, Belgium, Canada (+free mobile), Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, The Russian Federation, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland & Taiwan. The quality, availability and reliability of free calls can be low. For anything more than occasional personal use, a provider like Gizmo project or VFX is worthwhile for international calling. Gizmo charges only 2c USD a minute for USA national calls.

** 1101. (IdeaSIP numbers), 1288. (Earthlink numbers), 1393. (FWD numbers), 1477. (iptel numbers), 1488. (Globalvillage numbers), 1577. (Naturalvoice numbers), 1588. (InPhonex numbers), 1677. (StealthTele numbers), 1700. (Iaxtel numbers).
  • Freecall destinations and rates:
  • Gizmo Project destinations and rates:
This tutorial is written around use in New Zealand, but can easily be applied to any country. It is written assuming a user wants to use two x100p trunk cards, and a couple of SIP providers. It can easily be adapted to work with any combination of trunk cards and/or SIP trunks.

By ignoring the sections relating to POTS lines, wall jacks, x100p cards and VFX, and just following the SIP trunk instructions, you could configure any old PC without specialised equipment to work with any open SIP provider, including to get free calling to the above destinations. Its also relatively trivial to set up iTalks VoIP service on Asterisk.

On the Trixbox download page is a pre-made VM of Trixbox (requiring the free VMWare player) - this is great for SIP only setups, and will run on an existing Windows machine. Alternatively, the free Microsoft Virtual PC software will allow you to install Trixbox on a Windows machine too. Remember - if you run Trixbox/Asterisk in a Virtual Machine of any kind, you can ONLY use SIP trunks (freecall, iTalk). You cant use your normal landline under a VM, and at the time of writing, VFX is unable to be used directly via SIP in a VM (though they are working on it).

Despite the fact that there is a small amount of Linux commandline work to do, I will walk you through it STEP BY STEP - so dont let that put you off.

For the standard lets-dedicate-a-machine-to-the-task approach, you will need...
  1. Trixbox 2.0 ISO image burnt to CD
  2. A PC dedicated to Asterisk/Trixbox with following minimum (recommended)

Hardware Requirements:
  • 400MHz (500MHz +) CPU
  • 128MB (256MB +) RAM
  • 2GB (6GB +) HDD
  • Network card
  • A connected & working VoIP connection using an ATA*
  • Trunk cards (2 x x100p or compatible) (**optional)
  • Monitor/Mouse/Keyboard (temporary)
  • Bootable CD-ROM (temporary)
  • An unlocked 'extension' ATA *** (to plug your home telephone into!)
  • A telephone (your normal home phone)
  • 2 x RJ11 to RJ11 telephone cords ****
  • 1 x standard telephone line cord *****

* An ATA is the device your VoIP provider requires you to use to connect to their service, for example, a Linksys PAP2T. This tutorial will make Asterisk think the ATA is a plain ol telephone system.

** An x100p card or similar, is required to plug into your telco provided wall jack, to get your POTS line (landline) working with Asterisk. For this exercise, I will also use an x100p card to plug into my VoIP providers (VFX) ATA. At the time of writing, VFX does not support a direct SIP trunk into Asterisk, without the use of intermediary hardware.

*** A Linksys PAP2T, even if locked to a provider, can be unlocked very easily, and is great for using with Asterisk to plug your phone ('extension') into. I put my Asterisk PC in the garage, and my PAP2T in the lounge. The calls to my phone travel over my home network (making a couple of WiFi hops along the way!)

**** These cords often come with modems or laptops, or can be bought at DSE cheaply (or online at TradeMe or similar). One is required to plug your telephone into the unlocked 'extension' ATA, and one is required to go between an x100p card and your VFX provisioned ATA.

***** The standard cord to plug your telephone into the wall will now be used to plug one of the x100p cards into the wall jack.

On your desktop or laptop (typically your everyday Windows/Linux/Mac PC), you should also install the Xten Lite softphone - its free, and its great as a software-based extension phone for testing internal calling, and troubleshooting problems.

Make sure your Trixbox PC can boot unassisted without a keyboard attached, most PCs have an option in the BIOS to enable boot without a keyboard, but some older ones cant.

You want a good working system, so dont use any parts that are known to be dodgy. Good cheap gear can be had online on auction sites, and you should be able to throw together a box for well under $100 NZD. I am running an AMD Duron 850MHz, 320MB RAM & 6GB HDD.

Make sure the hard drive has no valuable information on it. It will be completely wiped.

Hardware preparation:
  • Unplug the power cord from the PC.
  • Install all hardware, including x100p cards.
  • Plug an RJ11<>RJ11 cable from one x100p card into line 1 of your connected & working VFX ATA (could be a provisioned PAP2 or a WAG54GP2 or an SPA3102 or similar) (only required for service providers that use a 'locked down' device to connect to their network).
  • Plug a standard telephone cable from the other x100p card into your landline wall jack.
  • Plug all cables in (ethernet, monitor, keyboard, mouse, phone cords, power)
  • Insert the Trixbox 2.0 CD into the drive.
  • Boot the PC from the CD-ROM.
Software install:
  • At the Trixbox prompt, press enter to install.
  • Accept all defaults offered.
  • Write down the 'root' password you are asked to enter.
  • Wait for the install (can take some time).
  • The PC will normally eject the CD, at which point you should reboot the computer. If you come back to it to find the orginal Trixbox screen asking you to install, just remove the CD, and reboot the PC. The first boot can take quite a long time as well.
Initial config:
  • You will be presented with a login prompt, your login name is 'root' and your password is written on a piece of paper next to you.
  • Login. Note that the Linux password prompt stays blank as you type - this is a security measure.
  • Type 'netconfig' and enter a valid static IP address on your LAN.

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Comment by Dorival, on 27-Jun-2007 10:36

Have you got any configuration for the VIP-450 with Asterisk? Thank you very much

Comment by Miguel Quezada, on 23-Jul-2007 13:36

This has been very helpfull. But how do I know if my X100p are working? I dial my landline but trixbox does not pickup

Comment by nikos, on 10-Aug-2007 03:10

I cannot make a digitnetworks x100p card to work with Trixbox 2.2. Any ideas?

Comment by Lucio L. Fernandez, on 23-Jul-2009 14:06

Hi Tony. Nice article. I'm planning to setup my own voip system in my home in Manila, Philippines. Most of the time, I'm in the province area. To minimize cost of calls contacting our electrical supplies in Manila , I'm planning to setup one. Is it possible to do this without a voip provider by using my own sip server like asterisk(please correct me if i'm wrong). Planning to buy a linksys pap2 or sipura one. I have a landline in Manila and an internet connection, while in the province, I also have an internet connection. With this scenario, is it possible?

Comment by luai i hamid, on 1-Nov-2009 20:10

This is great

Comment by Stephen A, on 25-Sep-2010 12:33

For those who live in Hong Kong and have difficulty to setup their boxes with Trixbox installs and it's interface cards, look no further. Contact Stephen or Ms. Dary Sum for immediate help and services at: +852 25547438.

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