FreePBX

FreePBX is one of the best open source GUI based PBX system backed by Sangoma Technologies. FreePBX controls and manages Asterisk in a simple web-based GUI. It is licensed under the GNU-General Public License (GPL) and can be installed as a pre-configured Linux based Distro. FreePBX is a complete freely available solution to your PBX requirements. It also comes with many feature rich commercial modules that you can add as an add-on with reasonable cost.

The major plus point of FreePBX is that it comes with no restrictions on built-in features, for example you can create any number of users, extensions, IVRs etc without any limit.

Features

FreePBX comes with tons of built-in features, some of them are:

  • No restrictions on free usage
  • Unlimited voicemail boxes
  • Unlimited extensions
  • SIP and IAX2 both are supported
  • Follow me function
  • Unlimited conferences
  • Paging
  • Call queues
  • Ring groups
  • Call forwarding
  • Call recording
  • Supports all Asterisk based technologies
  • IVRs
  • Secure Communications (SRTP/TLS)
  • Caller ID
  • Call transfer
  • Do not disturb
  • Call history/records
  • Speed dial
  • Caller blacklisting
  • WebRTC

Hardware Requirements

FreePBX is an open source no restriction software that you can use without limits but of course software usage has some hardware limits depends on your CPU, Memory and Hardware configuration. We recommend to use at least 4 GB of RAM with Dual-core or above CPU in small sized businesses. For big companies/organization select appropriate hardware according to their requirement.

Some VoIP service providers, uses a wired line to provide VoIP services to their customers. If your VoIP provider also provided you with wired VoIP line, we recommend to use one extra NIC card on server. One to access LAN/Internet, and other one to access VoIP line.

Configure VLAN

To add little bit more security, some wired VoIP service providers provides you a VLAN ID to configure on your server to access the VoIP services. If your service provider also gave you a VLAN ID to configure, you must need to set it on server, if not then just ignore this step.

To set and configure VLAN, you can check our article How to Configure VLAN in Linux.

FreePBX Installation

Download the latest version of FreePBX from their official website here and burn it into the bootable DVD or USB drive to install.

Before installing it on your system, make sure to backup any important data saved on the disk, because it will erase all existing data on your hard disk drive.

Reboot the system with bootable device, the screen will look like:

FreePBX Installation...

Press Enter to install with recommended version of Asterisk 13, or select option of your choice.

After that it will ask you for installation type to select, we are selecting the default one:

FreePBX Installation...

In the next step it will ask you for some more options based on previous selection, In our case there is only one option, press Enter:

FreePBX Installation...

After some installation process, it will show you screen:

FreePBX Installation...

Later on, it will show you an error message “Root password is not set”. Click on the option and set the password to proceed further:

FreePBX Installation...

After setting the Root password, click on “Done”:

FreePBX Installation...

After that the error message is gone and the installer will begin the next installation process:

FreePBX Installation...

By installing many packages, it will finish installation saying “Complete”, and will ask you to reboot the system. Reboot the system by clicking “Reboot”

FreePBX Installation...

The system will start rebooting:

FreePBX Installation...

After reboot, it will show you console window asking for freepbx login:

FreePBX Installation...

Type “root” as a user, and press Enter:

FreePBX Installation...

Type the password which you had set during installation process, and press Enter:

FreePBX Installation...

It will show you the following screen. It means the FreePBX is successfully installed now:

FreePBX Installation...

In the above image, you can see the IP Addresse(s) (in our case 192.168.26.138), which was assigned to our FreePBX system. You can type this IP address in web browser on any another machine and can easily access and configure the feature rich FreePBX graphically.