by acls us

FreePBX/Asterisk on an Amazon Ubuntu Lightsail instance

I needed to install Asterisk 13.10, FreePBX 14.0 on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS in an Amazon Lightsail instance. I based the installation process on a set of installation notes on the FreePBX site but this was based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS on bare metal. Ubuntu 16.04 needed a few changes to the procedure which was further complicated by the Amazon Lightsail customised image. So the following takes into account these requirements. Its not been fully tested yet but does install and run. The Lightsail instances was 2GB RAM 40GB Disk and a static IP. After each login, I use sudo to get the system into root mode. There will be people out there that tut tut at me for that!

Step 1 - Added a swap file and get Ubuntu up to date.

sudo -i
fallocate -l 4g /swap
chmod 600 /swap
mkswap /swap
swapon /swap
echo '/swap swap swap 0 0' | tee -a /etc/fstab
apt update
apt upgrade -y
(keep the local menu.lst for grub, prompts twice)

Step 2 - Install a bunch of pre-requisites. This includes PHP 5.6 which FreePBX 13 needs (module updates will not work with PHP 7 installed) hense the use of an external repository.

sudo -i
add-apt-repository ppa:ondrej/php
apt update
apt-get install -y build-essential apache2 mysql-server mysql-client\
bison flex php5.6 php5.6-curl php5.6-cli php5.6-mysql php-pear php5.6-gd php5.6-mbstring php5.6-xml sox\
libncurses5-dev libssl-dev libmysqlclient-dev mpg123 libxml2-dev libnewt-dev sqlite3\
libsqlite3-dev pkg-config automake libtool autoconf unixodbc-dev uuid uuid-dev\
libasound2-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libical-dev libneon27-dev libsrtp0-dev\
libspandsp-dev libiksemel3 libapache2-mod-php5.6 exim4

(you will prompted three times for a MySQL root password, leave it blank and tab to “ok” and press enter)

cat >> /etc/mysql/conf.d/mysqld.cnf << EOF
service mysql restart

(The above sets the MySQL mode to be compatible with previous MySQL versions, not STRICT)

Step 3 - Install some more required packages with versions that are not in the standard Ubuntu repository. nodejs 6 and a version of libmyodbc that works.

curl -sL -o
apt-get install -y nodejs
gunzip mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.10-linux-ubuntu17.04-x86-64bit.tar.gz
tar xvf mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.10-linux-ubuntu17.04-x86-64bit.tar
cd mysql-connector-odbc-5.3.10-linux-ubuntu17.04-x86-64bit
cp bin/* /usr/local/bin
cp lib/* /usr/local/lib
myodbc-installer -a -d -n "MySQL ODBC 5.3 Driver" -t "Driver=/usr/local/lib/"

Step 4 - Asterisk (with some config file adjustments) and FreePBX.

sudo -i
apt install asterisk -y
service asterisk stop
chown asterisk. /var/run/asterisk
chown -R asterisk. /etc/asterisk
chown -R asterisk. /var/{lib,log,spool}/asterisk
chown -R asterisk. /usr/lib/asterisk
sed -i 's/(!)//' /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf
sed -i 's/\(^upload_max_filesize = \).*/\1256M/' /etc/php/5.6/cli/php.ini
sed -i 's/\(^memory_limit = \).*/\1256M/' /etc/php/5.6/cli/php.ini
a2enmod rewrite
rm -rf /var/www/html
cp /etc/apache2/apache2.conf /etc/apache2/apache2.conf_orig
sed -i 's/^\(User\|Group\).*/\1 asterisk/' /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
sed -i 's/AllowOverride None/AllowOverride All/' /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
service apache2 restart
cat >> /etc/odbc.ini << EOF
Description=MySQL connection to 'asteriskcdrdb' database
tar vxfz freepbx-14.0-latest.tgz
cd freepbx
./start_asterisk start
./install -n

Using Zabbix and Grafana to BitCoin BlockChain Stats

BlockChainI wanted to get a few BitCoin BlockChain Stats to show on a Grafana Dashboard without having to install and run a whole bunch of code. Luckily provide a simple REST web interface for this.

The next step was to get the data needed from A simple PHP script was used to get this data, format it and use the Zabbix Sender (zabbix_sender) to post it into a Zabbix Server. I organised the Zabbix data using a single Zabbix host with a few Zabbix items (which must be created as "Zabbix trapper" item type) to hold the data. The PHP script is run on a Zabbix Server (just for convenience really) under cron every 60 seconds.

Finally I created a simple Grafana Dashboard using "Single Value" panels to show the data.


Using InfluxDB and Grafana to monitor TFL Underground Rail Stations

TFLTransport for London (TFL) publishes a lot of Open Data for Public consumption about the status of the London Underground, in real time. This data is updated every 30 seconds in XML format and is mostly documented.

As a proof of concept I wanted to setup InfluxDB to hold the status of the Underground Stations and present the results on a Grafana Dashboard.

The first step was getting hold of the XML data. Unfortunately the SDK does not say what the Domain is to get the XML from. A little Googling allowed me to find the XML I needed here.

The next step was to extract the data needed from the XML. I wanted to get the name of the TFL Underground Station, It's status and a description of any issues. A simple PHP script was used to get this data, format it and use an Influx file import to add the data to an Influx Database. The PHP script is runs under cron every 60 seconds.

Finally I created a simple Grafana Dashboard using "Table Panel" panels to show the data.