AsteriskNOW – Upgrading Beta 6 to Release v1.0.2

AsteriskNOWAsterisk is one of the amazing projects of the Open Source world. AsteriskNOW takes that project even further by creating a complete turn-key package that is extremely easy to install and configure. With AsteriskNOW version Beta 6, I was able to take an old Dell PC that I had, buy two $20 cards, and set up a two line answering system with call menus and call routing … and voicemail that e-mails me attached .WAV files. Oh … and was able to do all of that in one evening … maybe 3-4 hours from start to finish.

Well, Beta 6 was released a while ago, and I’m now wanting to add some new ITSP (Internet Telephony Service Provider) services, and remote “over the Internet” phone extensions. In talking with the ITSP support people, I really needed to update to the released version of AsteriskNOW … v1.0.2 … and so I started looking around for the instructions on doing it … which wasn’t easy to locate. After the right combinations of keywords, Google finally pointed me at this article – [*NOW-1.0.1] Status: RELEASED!! (Officially) – which got me going in the right direction. As I’m walking through the steps right now, I figured that I would write about my experience … and add some more detail of my experiences …

  1. SSH into your AsteriskNOW box … using ‘admin’ and your password
  2. At the command prompt, you now want to use the following command to update ‘distro-release’:
    • sudo conary update distro-release
  3. You will see the output of the command scroll by, as the latest configuration settings and information for AsteriskNOW are retrieved
  4. When the update is completed, you’ll be dropped back to the command prompt
  5. Open a browser and point it to the rPath Appliance Platform Agent: http://{yourServer}:8002/rAA
  6. When the page opens, you’ll be asked to login. If you have never logged in here before, the default username is ‘admin’ and password is ‘password’. When doing this the first time you’ll have to complete a series of questions to configure this.
  7. Once you are logged into the rAA, there are a series of navigation links going down the left side … select “System Updates”
  8. On the page that appears, click the button to “Check” now for updates!
  9. You will see the page update with the status as the list of required updates is acquired.
  10. When this stage of the process is completed, the page will refresh, and a new button will appears that will allow you to “Apply” the updates.
  11. Click the Apply button. (Easy .. huh?)
  12. Now, you’ll get to watch the process of downloading and installing all of the required packages. In my case there were 154 packages, and the process was filled with all sorts of downloads, installs … and delays. And more delays. Why I’m writing this blog post is due to the huge delay that I am experiencing now … with 124 of 154 downloads done … and installing 118 of 154 updates. In reading more on-line … it appears that these hangs are common. Bummer.
  13. After 30+ minutes of hanging … I clicked away from the System Updates page. I then got back to it, but had all sorts of errors … crap … crap … crap …
  14. Chose the Reboot option. Said small prayer …
  15. Server failed to come up … went downstairs … it was shutdown. I powered it up …
  16. Came back to the rPath Appliance Platform Agent: http://{yourServer}:8002/rAA
  17. Had to accept a few more wizard questions … then I got back to the rAA page with left navigation links.
  18. Select “System Updates” … again …
  19. Now I have 68 downloads, and they are downloading and installing …
  20. After the process completes … you are told that the services are restarting!
  21. Reboot your server … just to clean things up …
  22. Go back into the rPath Appliance Platform Agent: http://{yourServer}:8002/rAA
  23. Select “System Updates” … mine had one more ‘kernel’ erase to get rid of an old kernel.
  24. Point your browser at the AsteriskNOW box … and …
  25. And now … it still doesn’t work! 🙁 Crap … crap … double-crap!
  26. I started to ask questions on the #asterisknow irc channel … (Thanks bkruse!)
  27. Looking in the logs I found an error loading modules from a bad path /usr/lib64/asterisk … I’m not using a 64 bit machine …
  28. SSH into your AsteriskNOW box … there is an error in the /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf file …
  29. At the prompt enter: sudo vi /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf
    • for some reason there was a reference to the /usr/lib64 directory for modules …
    • look for the line that reads: astmoddir => /usr/lib64/asterisk/modules
    • edit that line to now read: astmoddir => /usr/lib/asterisk/modules
    • save the file and then reboot the box .. again …
  30. Alrighty … open your browser and go to the admin page … crap. Nothing.
  31. More questions on the #asterisknow irc channel … (more thanks to bkruse!)
  32. SSH in to your AsteriskNOW box … again …
  33. At the prompt enter: sudo vi /etc/asterisk/http.conf
    • look for the line that reads: ;prefix = asterisk
    • edit the line to now read: prefix =
    • save the file and then reboot the box … again.
  34. Point your browser at the rPath Appliance Platform Agent: http://{yourServer}:8002/rAA
  35. You should be done now!

Now … I’m guessing that I could have maybe just done a good backup, and then installed the Release v1.0.2 and then restored from backup … however I couldn’t find ANY documentation that explained if that would work.

AsteriskAlso, your own experience might vary … from reading comments on the web page above, it seems that people have had hangs and lock-ups multiple times, and at different places during the update.  It seems that I was able to recover from most of the issues that I ran into.  The biggest resources in this case were Google and the IRC channel … using both of these allowed me to complete this process … although it took me the better part of the day to do so.  Another key to debugging was the various log files … make sure to look in /var/log/asterisk/messages … lots of good stuff there.

Even with all of the hassles, I have to admit that I am really impressed by Asterisk.  The next steps for me are to upgrade the cards that I’m using in the box … I’ve got some older X100P cards, and they work … but the quality is not the best.  I’m now about to sign up for VoicePulse to get new phone service for my wife’s business.  This will be the next step in using Asterisk for me.  Lastly, I ordered a S101I IAXy to create a remote line at her travel office in Salt Lake City.  Once I get that installed and working, we’ll be able to integrate with their PBX and have her admin answer the phone for her when she is not available …

I’m looking forward to having it all working!  If it goes well, then I’m buying a second phone number from VoicePulse for my new company …

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