Setting up Email delivery for Voicemails in FreePBX

Posted at 2:32:41 AM in Installations (48)

The email system in FreePBX distro as of this date does not have the email interface built into the web GUI. I'm using Asterisk 10, FreePBX

The email engine is Postfix.

Setting up email is pretty straight forward, but requires you to edit files using an editor. Hardcore Linux users would prefer Vi, but I use nano. If your version of the FreePBX system has the java SSH package installed, you can get into the line prompts there, or use putty.exe or your choice of SSH software. Connect to your Asterisk box as root.

Change directories to /etc/postfix (cd /etc/postfix)

edit (nano

scroll down or search (^w) for INTERNET HOST AND DOMAIN NAMES (note: Linux is case sensitive)

remove the pound site (#) from the front of the line that starts with #myhostname (copy the line before removing the pound symbol in order to keep the defaults) and enter the hostname for your system. This should be a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN), but it does not have to be valid. However, if you make it the same as your email host, email will never leave the Asterisk server because making these two match makes postfix think it is the mail server. So if your mail server is, then you could make myhostname

Look for #mydomain and set it to the actual mail domain, such as

Then look for relayhost

This will be the actual mail relay with the port number. This must match the settings we will create in the password file for authentication: i.e.

Lastly, add these lines

smtpd_sasl_auth_enable = yes
smtpd_sasl_path = smtpd
smtp_sasl_password_maps = hash:/etc/postfix/sasl_passwd
smtp_sasl_type = cyrus
smtp_sasl_auth_enable = yes

smtp_sasl_security_options = noanonymous

Now we need to create the hash. Either create a new file or edit the file that's there: i.e. nano sasl_passwd (this assumes you are in the /etc/postfix directory). Then add your mail server and port just exactly as you entered it into then a space then your username and password in this format: username:password

an example would be:

Then save the file.

Make a hash file: postmap hash:sasl_passwd

Test your entry type:

postmap -q sasl_passwwd

This should return your email and password.

This will begin delivery of your voicemails, but the reply address will be in correct. Once these files have been setup, you center the reply address in the FreePBX GUI. 

Login to FreePBX, Select the Settings button and then Voicemail Admin. On the system View Links: select Settings. Near the bottom enter the email address that matches the domain your emailing from into the field serveremail.

Then you should be ready to go.



Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | Comments (3)

Concepts and Understanding

Posted at 10:06:19 PM in Definitions (2)

This from Smashing Magazine author Inayaili de Leon in his article CSS Specificity and Inheritance. A favorite and should be among quotable quotes: "The concepts may be hard to grasp and look boring at first, but understanding them and knowing how to take advantage of them is important." This should be the opening line to any science or math class and certainly applies to any programming course of study. My only issue...

Where do you find the basic concepts? It seems that every author out there writes books "by example." We going to learn Basic (replace by any programming language in existence) programming today. Lets start by writing a program that says "Hello World." From that point on the narrative spirals down into a mass of coding examples that teach nothing, well; almost nothing. My first experience in coding was a book on Basic. It was a cookbook on every ingredient in the Basic coding language. Rather than use a simple end product to give an example of straight forward programming, showed a command like PRINT and then gave an example of how to use it. It never provided an end product that I was never going to use. I read that entire 500 page book in less than 4 hours and started programming right after I put it down. I can't find those books anywhere, but learning how to code by example leave a huge empty spot in understanding the concepts.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Saturday, October 26, 2013 | Comments (0)

FBI Warning Malware Holding Computer Ransom

Posted at 8:53:26 PM in Recovery (44)

Just got another FBI warning message on a PC that had it before. My client said he got it from a web site and he knew when it started running. That by itself is unusual because this type of virus usually slips in the backdoor.

The symptoms are the entire screen is covered with an FBI warning and gives you information to get a money card and send 30 or 35 dollars through the screen. Of course that doesn't work either. The screen holds your PC ransom, blocking access to your menus, desktop icons or even the task manager. Trying to start in safe mode only reboots the PC. Recovery softare that will scan your hard drive from a bootable CD like Avira or Windows Defender don't report any problems. The first time, Avira did find the files in the My Documents directory, but I could never find out how that program was being launched. 

Now, with this virus, I started poking around in registry (there are several programs, both Linux and windows bootable CDs that will allow editing the windows registry) and found a Shell command entry in the Users registry which are normally stored in the users documents and settings sub-directory. Going into HKEY_USERS\software\microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon which in the previous infection used cmd.exe to launch the virus. This one used explorer,c:\documents and settings\<name>\Application Data\cache.dat.

After removing that line and renaming the cache.dat file (I don't remove them until after I knew it won't break anything) the FBI warning was gone.

Written by Leonard Rogers on Thursday, October 17, 2013 | Comments (1)

Dell - Problems Fulfilling Internet Orders

Posted at 9:32:27 PM in Vendors (37)

Frustrated with ordering Inspirons through Dell's online store. The online store says the item is in stock and gives an estimated delivery date. Even the “fast shipment” products failed which should have been delivered in only a few days. But, the day they were supposed to arrive, we get a notice that the order had been canceled. Called in to find out they are out of stock. They offered to place an order an item that they knew was in stock. Then we get a notice that that order has been canceled. Why? Because the item is out of stock. After the third time, I got online to chat and discuss the issue. The chat follows:

2:12:55 PM     Customer   Leonard 
3 times in the last week or so, I've order the Inspiron 660 and all three times it gets canceled saying the item is not longer available
 2:13:07 PM     Customer   Leonard 
then I go on the web site and it's still there. Please explain
 2:13:42 PM     Agent   Dell G 
Sorry to hear that. Let me help you out.
 2:13:52 PM     Agent   Dell G 
Can I have the order numbers so I can check?
 2:14:02 PM     Customer   Leonard 
I don't have it
 2:14:22 PM     Customer   Leonard 
3 times I've given it and 3 times I get another insprion 660 and still they get canceled
 2:14:31 PM     Customer   Leonard 
so, I don't think giving you that info is going to help at all
 2:14:48 PM     Customer   Leonard 
do you, or do you not sell inspiron 660s?
 2:15:07 PM     Agent   Dell G 
yes we still do.
 2:15:19 PM     Customer   Leonard 
then why can't i get 3 of them?
 2:16:32 PM     Agent   Dell G 
I really don't know why they are being canceled. Can I have your business name and phone number so I can pull up your customer profile?
 2:17:25 PM     Customer   Leonard 
xxx, ###-###-####
 2:17:55 PM     Customer   Leonard 
we needed these yesterday
 2:18:10 PM     Customer   Leonard 
and each time we have to wait 3 or 4 days to find out they've been canceled
 2:18:52 PM     Agent   Dell G 
really sorry to hear that. Let me check that for you. Kindly give me some time.
 2:23:52 PM     Agent   Dell G 
That' weird. Looks like you were trying to order something that is out of stock already. Right now here are our current packages for the Inspiron 660s.
 2:24:02 PM     Agent   Dell G 
 2:24:51 PM     Customer   Leonard 
yea right
 2:25:00 PM     Customer   Leonard 
that's exactly the same model I ordered before
 2:25:04 PM     Customer   Leonard 
no difference at all
 2:25:17 PM     Customer   Leonard 
i5 inspiron 660 for the same exact price
 2:25:34 PM     Agent   Dell G 
If you want I can assist you in ordering so I can check if they are still on stock prior to ordering.
 2:25:37 PM     Customer   Leonard 
I'm struggling to order this item yet again
 2:25:49 PM     Customer   Leonard 
you guys did that with the last order
 2:25:57 PM     Customer   Leonard 
i got this assistance
 2:26:08 PM     Customer   Leonard 
confidence level here is zero
 2:27:03 PM     Agent   Dell G 
Upon checking both orders were made online.
 2:27:10 PM     Customer   Leonard 
 2:27:17 PM     Customer   Leonard 
the last order was made through a rep
 2:27:49 PM     Customer   Leonard 
forget it. I'm going to recommend we buy the PCs at a store. Ur service his horrible. I mean really horrible
 2:28:33 PM     Agent   Dell G 
really sorry about that. I wish you could give us another shot.
 2:28:43 PM     Customer   Leonard 
well u know what they say
 2:28:48 PM     Customer   Leonard 
3 strikes and your out
 2:28:54 PM     Customer   Leonard 
I've been using you guys for over 10 years
 2:29:10 PM     Customer   Leonard 
since you dropped the Vostro line, I have had nothing but trouble
 2:29:43 PM     Agent   Dell G 
I couldn't blame for feeling that way. I am a consumer myself and understand how frustrating it is.
 2:29:53 PM     Customer   Leonard 
thank you.
 2:29:58 PM     Customer   Leonard 
i might buy a dell from Fry's
 2:30:18 PM     Customer   Leonard 
At least I will know it's in stock, which I can't tell through you guys at all
 2:31:03 PM     Agent   Dell G 
Totally understand Leonard. Please accept our deepest apologies and hope we can earn your business again the future.

This would have been the end of it for me, but my customer decided to try to order a fourth time from Dell because Staples only had 2 in stock and they needed 3. The fourth order went through and we got the computers.

Dell's online service seems to have faltered. I use to order their computers online because I could customize the package. It appears that retail outlets now take precedence over Internet sales as we repeatedly got bumped from our order. I was also sadly made aware that the retail outlets can give you better quality Dell products at a better price than you can get through Dell's own internet outlet. OnIine, I could only buy the poorer quality flat screen monitors. But, in stores like Staples, I could buy a Dell monitor with a shiny, smooth frame (online, they were the matte plastic dull frames) with a glossy screen and bright colors, high resolution and HDMI (The online monitor is only offered with the matte finish and low resolution). In stores for the higher quality monitor it costs $139.00. The online monitor, 2 inches smaller, would cost me $219.00 with the computer. Granted, the store monitor was on sale.

I no longer buy monitors from Dell at all. I now price the computers in store before I shop online. I still like to get the windows professional OS installed, so I'll buy from Dell online for the computer, but one fail and I'm in the store. Oh, and I avoid the phone sales guys at all costs. Their objective is not to sell you a good deal. I stopped calling them when I discovered the Vostro line which, in my opinion, outlasted every Optiplex I ever installed (Optiplex is the business class PC that the phone guys would always say was a higher standard PC - it sure was more expensive).


Written by Leonard Rogers on Monday, October 14, 2013 | Comments (0)

Clear has joined Sprint

Posted at 9:52:54 PM in Vendors (37)

I have never been a fan of Sprint. I tried Clearwire a couple of years ago and found the 4G access to be dismal, even with 5 bars of 4G signal. I discovered back then that the 4G service Clearwire used was provided by Sprint. I returned the router because the service was too spastic. However; recently, due to a requirement for mobility and the pricing structure for Verizon 4G services, I bit the bullet and bought a Clear 4G router. The service still sucks but at least I don't have to pay the ridiculous per GB charge other services require. Clear charges $49.00 for the router and $49.00 per month for the service flat fee, no contract, unlimited download. It doesn't seem like the latter part would be too big of a plus with bad service. I'll discuss the service later, but the first day I got my Verizon 4G data plan (shared family data plan), my son practically consumed all of the 2GB per month I bought in the first day downloading games. If he started on music and movies, I'd have been broke in no time.

Anyway, I was looking into coverage for a Clear router product and discovered that Clearwire has joined Sprint, which, I think is completely bogus. That's the same as saying Toyota has joined Lexus or Verizon Wireless has joined Verizon. Basically the Clear web site (either or or even has a forwarding statement and re-directs you to Sprint. Then shopping around on Sprint's web site, there are no Clear products. I opened an online chat (which I never think is actually with a sales rep) and find out that you have to call in to order the Clear products. So, what's really happening???

Sprint has been suffering from coverage problems and really can't compete with Verizon for 4G deployment. I am using a Clear router now and find that a second connection to the internet causes extreme latency. For example, my son watches Manga online and I'm working on a remote site. I checked the latency and found with just him watching streaming video, the latency is between 60 and 120. As soon as both activities start up, the latency jumps to 3000 to 5000 msec and frequent dropped packets. I believe this is intentional 'stumping' to prevent over usage of bandwidth as Clear has no bandwidth limit or per GB rates.

I've also done tests of the 4G connection between Clear and Verizon at the same location. Clear's speed test consistently shows 3000 to 4000 Mbps download speeds. Verizon at the same location is twice that speed.

The only way to solve that problem is a large infusion of capital which appears to be the real reason for the merge. It also makes sense NOT to pretend you're not associated with your parent company. The merger is actually an acquisition (that may not be technically correct, but that's the way I visualize it) by a Japanese firm called Softbank. See this article


Written by Leonard Rogers on Friday, October 4, 2013 | Comments (0)

OpenSSL client certificate expires in 30 days

Posted at 9:30:24 PM in Security (4)

In my previous discussion on this topic, I listed a link that I thought was very helpful. In creating the server certificate, there is an option -days 3650, but that option is omitted when creating the postgresql.crt file. The default OpenSSL expiration is 30 days meaning the client certificates would expire forcing me to recreate new ones.

The solution is simple. From the howtoforge site change this:

openssl x509 -req -in /tmp/postgresql.csr -CA root.crt -CAkey server.key -out /tmp/postgresql.crt -CAcreateserial

and add the -days option

openssl x509 -req -in /tmp/postgresql.csr -CA root.crt -CAkey server.key -out /tmp/postgresql.crt -CAcreateserial -days 3650

You can test the dates by issuing this command:

openssl x509 -noout -dates -issuer -subject -in postgresql.crt

Your out put should be something like this:
notBefore=Oct  1 00:10:46 2013 GMT
notAfter=Sep 29 00:10:46 2023 GMT

Written by Leonard Rogers on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Comments (0)