Tips on installing FreeSWITCH and FusionPBX in debian

I’ve been testing out FreeSWITCH and FusionPBX. I found it non trivial to install in debian. Here are my tips for installing.

  1. Don’t bother with the install script. I found it to be broken. And when it breaks during install, it leaves you in a state that’s very hard to understand and fix. In the end it was easier to install FreeSWITCH by hand, get that working, to the extend that you can make inter extension calls, then proceed with the FusionPBX install.
  2.  Install FreeSWITCH by following the Quick Install Guide.
  3. Commit the entire FreeSWITCH configuration to git so its easy to roll back when you reinstall FusionPBX. Switch to a new branch before making further changes.
    cd /usr/local/freeswitch
          git init
          echo 'db/*' >> .gitignore
          echo 'log/*' >> .gitignore
          echo '.svn*' >> .gitignore
          git add -A
          git commit -m "Initial Commit"
          git checkout -b try1
  4. Get the latest version of FusionPBX from svn.
    cd /usr/src
             svn checkout fusionpbx
             cd fusionpbx
             cp -a fusionpbx /var/www/fusionpbx
  5. Create a fusionpbx site for apache and enable it. Note that this makes fusionpbx appear at the root of your site. Create file called fusionpbx in your /etc/apache2/sites-available directory and put the following in it:
          <VirtualHost *:80>
            ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
            DocumentRoot /var/www/fusionpbx
            <Directory />
                    Options FollowSymLinks
                    AllowOverride None
            <Directory /var/www/fusionpbx/>
                    Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
                    AllowOverride None
                    Order allow,deny
                    allow from all
            ScriptAlias /cgi-bin/ /usr/lib/cgi-bin/
            <Directory "/usr/lib/cgi-bin">
                    AllowOverride None
                    Options +ExecCGI -MultiViews +SymLinksIfOwnerMatch
                    Order allow,deny
                    Allow from all
            ErrorLog /var/log/apache2/error.log
            # Possible values include: debug, info, notice, warn, error, crit,
            # alert, emerg.
            LogLevel debug
            CustomLog /var/log/apache2/access.log combined
        Alias /doc/ "/usr/share/doc/"
        <Directory "/usr/share/doc/">
            Options Indexes MultiViews FollowSymLinks
            AllowOverride None
            Order deny,allow
            Deny from all
            Allow from ::1/128

    Then enable the site with a2ensite fusionpbx/

  6. after installing FusionPBX, commit the entire configuration to git to make rolling back easier. Switch to a new branch before making further changes.
  7. set up a FQDN for the box running FreeSWITCH and FusionPBX
  8. use ACL to allow www-data to make changes to the /usr/share/freeswitch directory

And after you install and you realise it didn’t quite go as planned

  1. Reset the postgresql database:
    root@fusionpbx: # su - postgres
    postgres@fusionpbx:~$ psql
    postgres=# drop database fusionpbx;
    postgres=# create database fusionpbx;
    postgres=# alter user fusionpbx with password 'XXXX';
    grant ALL PRIVILEGES ON DATABASE fusionpbx to fusionpbx;
  2. revert your FreeSWITCH configuration using git
  3. revert your FusionPBX configuration using git

Proxy Dashing Dashboard behind Apache with SSL

I needed to allow access to my Dashing dashboard over ssl from the Internet.  I decided to proxy it behind Apache and get Apache to do all the SSL heavy lifting, mainly because I couldn’t work out if and how you could enable SSL within Dashing itself.

It turned out to be quite simple to implement. I simply created a vhost configuration for my dashboard and enabled it in Apache.

Create a file  called dashboard in /etc/apache2/sites-available/ with the following content:

<VirtualHost *:80>
 Redirect permanent /

NameVirtualHost *:443
<VirtualHost _default_:443>
 SSLEngine On
 SSLCertificateFile /etc/ssl/CAcert.cert.pem
 SSLCertificateKeyFile /etc/ssl/private/key.pem
 ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
 ErrorLog "/var/log/apache2/dashboard-error_log"
 CustomLog "/var/log/apache2/dashboard-access_log" common
 <Proxy *>
   Order allow,deny
   Allow from all
 ProxyPass /
 ProxyPassReverse /

Ensure the proxy modules are enabled:

$ sudo a2enmod proxy
Enabling module proxy.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
service apache2 restart
$ sudo a2enmod proxy_http
Enabling module proxy_http.
To activate the new configuration, you need to run:
service apache2 restart

Enable the new dashboard site:

$ sudo a2ensite dashboard

Check your configuration is working before restarting apache:

$ sudo apachectl configtest
Syntax OK
$ sudo service apache2 restart
[ ok ] Restarting web server: apache2 ... waiting .

Don’t forget to delegate your hostname to resolve to your apache server’s IP address.

Now visit Your browser should automatically get redirected to and you should see your dashboard.

3D Printed Heated Towelrail Brackets

broken and replacement parts for towel rail bracket

Our heated towel rail’s brackets broke from old ages recently. After investigating getting a new towel rail and finding out they were quite expensive, I decided to try and design and 3D print new brackets for it.

The first cut of the design turned out to have too little space for the nuts. A second draft with a little more space and it worked perfectly.

The top left of the above image shows the broken parts and the bottom center shows 2 of the 3d printed replacement parts.
3D Printed bracket holding the heated towelrail

Update 2016-03-26

Someone emailed me mentioning that their “Posh” heated towel rail had the same problem. A bit of googling around revealed a link a Goldair Towel Rail Bracket and Strap kit that looks like it contains the same straps as mine. This might help others find the relevant parts. Goldair have an Australian site too but it makes no mention of the strap kits.