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FreePBX 2.7: Fax For Asterisk Setup

Discussion in 'Help' started by Rrrr, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Rrrr

    Rrrr Guru

    FreePbx 2.7
    SIP trunk multi-channel (no modem, no card, etc)

    Having read that FreePbx 2.7 supports FFA, I registered a free channel and upgraded to FreePBX 2.7, ignored the remark that FFA was tested as of Asterisk 1.4.22 and tried to understand how to use it.

    As I run 1.4 it means I will not have SIP T.38 (only for 1.6), so if I understand correctly I need to choose whether to use Zaptel/NV fax detect on a SIP trunk.

    1. I have no telephony card, can I still choose Zaptel to detect faxes?
    If yes, the instruction says to set faxdetect= in the zaptel.conf, but in zaptel.conf it says do not hand edit, so what to do?
    2. NV fax detect: will this work to detect faxes on a SIP trunk and work together with FFA?

    In order to further test it I am now facing a decision to upgrade Asterisk unless someone by chance has had it working on
    1. Upgrade to Asterisk 1.4.22 (is there an automatic way to do this, I have seen the manual instructions in a thread) and do proper testing with zaptel/nv fax detection
    2. Upgrade to Asterisk 1.6.x in order to include T.38 capability on the SIP trunk

    Is upgrading Asterisk a relative safe and automatic process and will it be worth the effort to have FFA working?

    Thank you
  2. MyKroFt

    MyKroFt Guru

    since the freepbx 2.7 update and the new fax module my NVfax detect that has been working for over a year is now busted.

    I can not even get FFA to receive a fax..... :(

    did the test the 2.7 upgrade?
  3. RonRussell

    RonRussell Guru

    NVFax not available on fresh install of PBIAF 1.4

    Last week I installed PBIAF 1.4 on a Dell PE850 for a client that is moving to a new network provider. PSTN is via PRI on both the old PBX and the new PBX. We have had the old PBX in place for five years with fax to email working fine. After installing the new PBX I (mistakenly???) upgraded it to FreePBX 2.7 before testing for fax reception. Now the NVFax detection option on inbound routes is greyed out. Zaptel is the only option and it does not work. I intend to reinstall PBIAF 1.4 and not upgrade FreePBX to see if faxing works. I will post results here.
  4. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    I'd swear I just got hammered by the FreePBX Dev Team for suggesting this might happen. :crazy:
  5. dswartz

    dswartz Guru

    No, as I recall, you got hammered for making a (IMO) snarky insinuation that they might "accidentally" break the competition. I wouldn't have appreciated your tone either, btw.
  6. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Snarky or not... sounds like it is broken. :D
  7. dswartz

    dswartz Guru

    ward, come on. people break things all the time. you have a habit (i've seen posts more than once) of making insinuations that some negative outcome was done deliberately. as a software engineer who broke something, i would be offended too.
  8. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Perhaps we could agree there are some unusual coincidences:
    • New version of FreePBX rushed out the door a month after the last version
    • New version provides commercial faxing option that provides revenue stream to Digium
    • New version appears to break free faxing option that has worked for years
    • Digium provides free training facilities for FreePBX
    • All references to other open source aggregations disappear from FreePBX web site except Digium offering
    Didn't just fall off the turnip truck... but I Could Be Wrong.
  9. MyKroFt

    MyKroFt Guru

    Finally got time to do some debugging on RxFax - the system it detecting that it is a Legacy fax call - and executes RxFax - but RxFax never takes over and I can still here the call from the fax end just ring ring and ring.

    Should I reinstall RxFax?

    Any ideas on what to look for - it all worked well until 2.7 :(


    [2010-03-23 15:32:39] VERBOSE[3682] logger.c:     -- Executing [s@ext-fax:2] NoOp("Zap/1-1", "Receiving Fax for: boxoffice@renacinemas.com | From: "" <>") in new stack
    [2010-03-23 15:32:39] VERBOSE[3682] logger.c:     -- Executing [s@ext-fax:3] RxFAX("Zap/1-1", "/var/spool/asterisk/fax/1269383549.3.tif") in new stack
    [2010-03-23 15:33:03] DEBUG[3682] /root/fax/agx-ast-addons/app_rxfax.c: ==============================================================================
    [2010-03-23 15:33:03] DEBUG[3682] /root/fax/agx-ast-addons/app_rxfax.c: Fax receive not successful - result (50) Disconnected after permitted retries.
    [2010-03-23 15:33:03] DEBUG[3682] /root/fax/agx-ast-addons/app_rxfax.c: ==============================================================================
    again all this time the asterisk is still sending out the fake ringing but RxFax never takes over....

    also i dont know where /root/fax/agx-ast-addons/ is comming from ? - ok this is where the fax.pbx script compiles it from before copying over the module.....
  10. MyKroFt

    MyKroFt Guru

    Even after reinstalling RxFax and required dependencies it still does not take over the call :(
  11. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    Wouldn't you think you'd try RXfax (which has worked for 5+ years... until now) by sending one fax to one machine before releasing this as production ready? :rolleyes5:

    Considering that the whole purpose of this release was to perfect faxing, that doesn't seem like that much of a stretch. :001_9898b:
  12. RonRussell

    RonRussell Guru

    Still no NVFax

    New install using PBIAF 1.4 on a new Dell PE850.
    * Running Asterisk Version : Asterisk
    * Asterisk Source Version :
    * Zaptel Source Version :
    * Libpri Source Version :
    * Addons Source Version : 1.4.7
    pbx.local on 192.168.xxx.xxx- eth0
    CentOS release 5.2 (Final) :32 Bit Kernel: 2.6.18-92.1.22.el5
    Completed update-scripts, update-fixes (both done twice).
    Completed module updates for FreePBX
    At this point I configured an extension, an inbound & outbound route. Following the directions found here (http://nerdvittles.com/index.php?p=237) I tried to "simply set FreePBX to use NVfax to listen for a fax tone on inbound trunks" but NVfax is not available!

    And in this case I DID NOT upgrade FreePBX beyond !!!

    Surely I missed something!!
    Of course I could be wrong also ??
  13. Ward, seriously ?

    Ward, uh...Nope don't agree.

    • As someone whom commercially supports Asterisk/FreePBX (quite successfully I might add) my view of the ecosystem is a bit more privileged then usual. So, my view is that the rapid release schedule is partially to assuage 2.X users and remind us that a) While 3.0 is being ramped up, 2.X is still vibrant and has a few tricks up its sleeve yet, and b) it just so happens that contributors like Schmoozecom and other developers along with Philippe have been working hard and producing.

      OK, advising people to buy Cepstral Allison is awfully close to being from FreePBX and saying buy FFA. Not everything has to be free. Having said that, I see several reports of people still having success with their non-ffa FAX implementation after upgrading to 2.7. Infact they really like the ability to control faxtoemail via extensions.

      It would appear that a few potential bugs might need to be added to the bug tracker. Sure, some of the FAX stuff has been around for years and it has been extremely problematic the whole time. A lot of people have trouble getting it to work.

      Yes and it very cool of them to do that. But, do not think for one moment that it is anything else then a donation to the ecosystem. Trust me when I tell you we all fight the same battles against/for syntax changes, backports, releases, etc... that everyone else using Asterisk does. We are in the same camp here.

      You know, I questioned this too. And this is me personally talking, my guess is that AN1.5 is the only thing listed because it is the only ISO at present offered by an entity. Perhaps none should be listed ?

      My whole point is this-I don't agree with the attack and I don't understand it.
  14. Ward,

    you seem set on slander, wining and complaining without lifting a finger to deal with some of the responsibility that “comes with the job.” I seem to recall in a recent email to me, after the 2.7 release, you had indicated that you had yet to have even touched 2.7. For someone who uses FreePBX as a substantial component for the project they lead, shame on you.

    I must now unfortunately waste my time to confuse your fictions with facts instead of productively developing more cool new features for “your” community and all the others who use FreePBX. btw – any of you guys check out the uber cool "drag and drop" repositioning of outbound routes that Moshe and I worked on, about to be published in the next 2.8 core module update for those of you “pioneers” helping us pave the way, the days of those annoying little arrows in the right navigation bar gone forever…

    Now to start confusing fiction with facts:

    hmm… let’s see, new versions are first released through the upgrade modules since that is how 99+% of systems upgrade FreePBX. (Since projects like PIAF tend to be quite behind in updating their images, but that’s ok, that’s why we have the upgrade module):


    note the : …checked in by p_lindheimer, 5 months ago


    note the: …checked in by p_lindheimer, 3 weeks ago

    So it looks like Ward failed 1st grade math. Oops, my bad, calendar math and fractions, that was probably 5th grade :confused5:

    New version recognized spandsp options, free FFA license options and paid FFA license options. Old version recognized all of those as well up through 1.4 (where most of the installed base still resides.) The new version simply tried to add safe guards to address many support issues we’ve seen in the past, such as people trying to use various fax detect options that were not installed on their system but were silently allowed and resulted in callers being hung up on. I don't know where PIAF stands today wrt to installing nv_fax on their ISO but I know for a long period in its early days, it was not there and "shame on FreePBX for allowing a user to choose an option that would kill a call," something we have tried to address now.

    Where is the ticket in our tracker? Or the issue brought up in our forums? Anyone pay attention to how fast we’ve been turning around tickets wrt to fax (or anything new on 2.7)? I suspect Ward was too busy trying to compile their “open source” upgrade scripts for fear that the big bad trixbox guys might “steel” their “Open Sourced GPL-ed Intellectual Property”:rolleyes:, then to take 5 minutes to upgrade a system and try out a few things. (sorry Ward, you asked for it…:boxing_smiley:)

    actually Digium provides no such thing to “FreePBX.” The OTTS training program, which is not “FreePBX”, often uses their facilities because the facilities are some of the best available to provide such trainings. There is a contractual partner agreement between OTTS and Digium that you obviously know nothing about, and it provides benefits to both sides that makes it appealing for OTTS to use the facilities and beneficial for Digium to provide them. The end result is a great experience for the attendees:cheers2:. How this comment has anything what so ever to do with FAXing issues completely boggles my mind…

    So is this what you are ultimately crying about:cryin:, that you are not listed on the download page. Honestly I continue to struggle with just pulling everyone off that page. When I consider the support issues that come into the FreePBX Paid Support team because of problems that go un-addressed by all of these ISOs I labor with that question every week. In the case of PIAF, we simply tell clients “it’s a good ISO to install, but once you get it up and running as you need, delete the upgrade scripts and never use them again.” I’ve seen too much carnage because system admins could not preview the damage that would be done on your “open source” upgrades…It’s really too bad because you do have an excellent product.

    Up to this point I’ve left AsteriskNOW there for a couple of reasons. I believe we have to have something that is an ISO download referenced from our site even if there is no “perfect” option out there. Asterisk and Digium, despite the frustration:banghead: that all of us sometimes run into because of incompatibilities and changes, continues to invest heavily in an engine that you, FreePBX, and many others have based extremely successful projects on and without them none of us would be here. So call it basic respect and recognition. Should we provide a page that references PIAF and other ISOs that are available, maybe we should but I don’t recall ever getting an email or other request form you or others bringing up the topic suggesting that such an addition be made on the site.

    As a general comment, Faxing has many dimensions resulting in a large test matrix. We have engaged the community and been more than responsive in trying to get all combinations working. There are 4 variants of fax reception across 5 releases, in addition to 4 variants of fax detection across the same. We based our release on bug rate (as is the norm) which was finalized 4.5 months after 2.6 was released (don’t forget the 1st grade math issue, what is the correct term for that – umm, mathematically-challenged:wink5:) We have addressed every ticket that has come through related to fax usually within hours of receiving them and the only delays that have occurred is when we required more information from the reporters because we don’t have the roughly 31 different configurations to test every variant. If I’m not mistaken I’m still waiting on data that has come from a report that nv_fax is disabled (grey) out on a system that has it installed, and there is no ticket even opened for that one yet which is the only reliable way to keep it on our radar.

    So Ward, let me finish by saying my apologies for some of the very direct comments above. I have no intention nor desire to get into a pissing contest with you. You continue to have some hidden agenda to bash the FreePBX project despite it continuing to prove itself as one of the model Open Source projects in this space. Everything continues to be transparent and above the board. You seem to want to spread some big bad conspiracy theory with Digium, or maybe you are suspicious of some big bad conspiracy with Bandwidth.com. Take a look at the project over the last 5.5 years, nothing has changed besides continuous quality, stability, feature and process improvement over that entire time. So let’s just say the above is giving you back a taste of your own medicine and moving forward, can we all try to act like the responsible adults, geeks, grown children and various other characters that we are but still try to stay a bit grounded in reality and mutual respect? :grouphug:
  15. darmock

    darmock PIAF Developer

    Pardon me for shortening the content. I am sure someone will now flame about taking things out of context.

    I am sure Ward will chime in.

    best regards have a nice day... I am going diving to wash the stench off

  16. dswartz

    dswartz Guru

    Oh please, Tom. None of this would have gotten to this point if Ward had acted like a grown-up and just expressed his disappointment with the 2.7 release breaking faxing - I work in software for a living, and I know sometimes you break things - doesn't mean it's right, just reality. Ward has an annoying tactic of making smarmy insinuations about other peoples' motives - I don't blame Phillippe for getting annoyed. If you are washing stench off, be clear that the mud fight was started by Ward :( [and I say all of this as a booster of PIAF, not someone trying to tear it down].
  17. darmock

    darmock PIAF Developer

    I take the same approach with you. Everybody has opinions. Ward can speak on his own behalf. As for mud fight I have noticed that the forums tend to go in cycles. People aren't happy unless they are slinging mud. Of course the mud may not be mud in the eye of the slinger or slingee. All I know is that it stinks and I tire of it easily.

    As for Ward...... none of this would be here at all without him! He is the brains behind PIAF not me. He is entitled to his opinion also which should also be respected....

    From a historical perspective looking at the continuum of software in the PIAF realm it is quite amazing how many times things of have been broken by others. Usually when his happens ancillary processes tend to stop working all in the name of "progress". Progress is a good thing but not simply for the sake of perceived progress.

    In my commercial software if I were to change things so the previous versions did not function the same way and NOT provide a backwards compatibility mode I would not have any clients. While this is necessary at times it should really be a one off situation. Not a continual "sorry that no longer works" and you need to rewrite your support software.

    Go on call me a Luddite. I can take it. My PBX clients want a stable system that changes infrequently and is not used for experimentation on their nickle.

    Unfortunately I couldn't get away to dive so that is tomorrows job to wash the stench of this whole ^)#*%^()*& thread away. Then when I get back it will be time to get back to work on PIAF 1.7 :eek:

    Best regards and have a nice day

  18. I'm sure there is a lot of history and personalities involved in this which I have no knowledge of....

    I would only suggest that some of the key parties involved should pick up the phone and talk to each other or better yet meet face to face. In my opinion, writing in forums or sending emails tend to exacerbate things like this. I think we'd all agree that the energy could be better spent.

    The VOIP community is not that big but clearly leaders of any project can become protective, single minded and defensive, I mean that very generally. I'm a big proponent of about-faces at times of opportunity ie: throw out past animosity and re-commit to a spirit of cooperation and supportivness.

    Let's try to make each of the distributions and projects the best they can be for our own benefit.

  19. RonRussell

    RonRussell Guru

    WOW - You guys are really hanging it out there !! Perhaps someone in the know can answer my question - As noted above, I have completed a clean install of PBIAF 1.4 and NOT upgraded FreePBX beyond On this install I do NOT have nvfax. Should I have nvfax on this install? If so, what log should I look at to search for why it did not install? If not, how should I install it? Many thanks to all for your assistance. BTW - Tom, I am in St Pete for VICIdial training. You are in the area, right? If so, could I buy you a drink, or dinner, or lunch ??
  20. wardmundy

    wardmundy Nerd Uno

    You can use either the Orgasmatron installer or the tips in this Nerd Vittles article for NVfax support. It is reliable and stable. I personally use it almost every day with none of the horror stories that have been outlined above.

    As for the other comments, most of you are unfamiliar with the history behind some of these projects so I won't bore you with the details which would explain how we've gotten to where we are. You can read the careful wording of Philippe's response above for yourself and identify what has and what still has not been disclosed. I do appreciate the math lesson. Time flies when you're having this much fun.

    Suffice it to say, most of these projects now are commercially driven, sponsored, and/or motivated. Choose your own adjectives. Never suggested any sort of conspiracy. But it's become purely business deals for some folks. That's not what PBX in a Flash is all about, and personally I don't think it has been a healthy change for the other open source projects. My criticism is of some of the project operations and results, NOT the people. If you look at what's being hurled back, that's about as personal as commentary can get. And that's fine by me. I've been a lawyer for almost 40 years so I've developed a pretty thick skin. Suffice it to say when folks start with the personal attacks, you can almost always bet that there's a reason they don't want to talk about the merits. And dswartz, I've been writing software for about 35 years so I think I've earned the right to comment on how open source projects manage their releases and testing. It doesn't mean I think Philippe beats his wife. Ironically, Tom and I both do this for fun with virtually no compensation other than some donations that assist with purchasing hardware to do the very testing that some seem to believe never occurs. Oh well.

    But here's the nice thing about open source software and distributions. We all have a choice of which products to use. So feel free to exercise your constitutional rights if you think there are better options out there that are more suitable in meeting your needs. And we will do the same. :wink5: In the meantime I'll make a concerted effort to heed Rodney King's advice and try a little harder to just get along.

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