It's a server, a PBX and a dessert topping...
April 9, 2007 2:37 PM   Subscribe

I'd like a file server. And a print server. And a low-traffic Asterisk server. All running from one box, please.

I recently acquired a hand-me-down box that's ideal for turning into a general purpose file/print/backup server, and an old IP phone that should work well with Asterisk for VOIP. I'd like to combine the two. Is there a way to overlay the ease-of-setup found in dedicated Asterisk distributions (Trixbox, etc) on top of a generic Linux/*BSD server install? Will the standard Asterisk packages on Ubuntu et al. suffice?
posted by holgate to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
When I was looking into this, for FreeBSD, I had difficulty finding ports of FreePBX (the main config interface for Trixbox) and recent ports of Asterisk itself were hard to come by.

Either way, I'd say your best bet is [Some OS] + FreePBX + Asterisk from a package/port.

I'm excited that Asterisk and FreePBX are being installed on MacOSX with little effort, since I have the file/print side running on an older G4 Mac, and want to do the Asterisk thing on it. Sort of the converse of what you want though.
posted by tomierna at 3:03 PM on April 9, 2007

I'd imagine that the standard packages on Ubuntu will work fine (I know a few people who use them). Here's a handy guide to setting it up.
posted by purephase at 3:23 PM on April 9, 2007

Trixbox is based on CentOS (which essentially is a freely distributable rebuild of RedHat Enterprise Server). After installing Trixbox, you will have a CentOS system, with additional Asterisk-related packages installed. You can then install the standard CentOS/RedHat packages required to run your print/file server, no problem (depending on what platforms you need to support, we're talking about samba, netatalk, NFS and CUPS).

If you can do it with RedHat, you can do it with Trixbox.
posted by toxic at 3:53 PM on April 9, 2007

Toxic brings up a great point about Trixbox, something I should have posted as well, since I have a Trixbox server running right now which I'm also using as a tertiary DNS server.

I think toxic deserves the best answer!
posted by tomierna at 8:16 PM on April 9, 2007

They're all good answers. (Ideally, I'd like to avoid using a RedHat variant, but I'll make do if that's the easiest option.)

A friend suggested running Trixbox in a VMWare virtual server. Has anyone tried that?
posted by holgate at 10:33 PM on April 9, 2007

I'd like to avoid using a RedHat variant, but I'll make do if that's the easiest

Trixbox is the easiest option for going from bare metal to Asterisk, and Asterisk is the most complicated thing on your wishlist, so Trixbox is probably the easiest option for your scenario as described.

Trixbox is a very nice, well thought-out distribution for novices and experts alike. The CentOS platform it's based on is very stable (if pedestrian), and it's not a bad choice for something like telephony where stability and security (think SELinux) are often more important than raw features. [My Linux of choice is Gentoo, with Ubuntu a close second -- to let you know where my preferences lie, and I usually build Asterisk and OpenPBX from source].

As for VMWare, I'd be very concerned about performance, because voice communications requires very timely delivery of packets, latency is a serious problem (jittt-ttt-tttter). Virtualized environments tend to suffer more latency than their counterparts (because your data goes through quite a few more layers as it goes from your phone to asterisk to your provider). This might be a non-issue for a single-user box (I've never tried it, I'm speculating here, but the words "Suffers from poor audio quality" on this page suggests I'm not far off). However, I'd hate to have a call become a garbled mess because someone else on the network started a print job on the machine hosting the VM, since it's unlikely that would happen if both Asterisk and the print services were running natively.
posted by toxic at 11:19 PM on April 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

« Older What should I do with this old Clie?   |   How can I scan several text pages and save them as... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.