Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Capture Traffic on your sipXecs Server

Just a quick note on capturing traffic directly on the sipXecs PBX.

Personally, I'm a network guy and I like to use Wireshark to evaluate network traffic. Sure SipViewer shows you what the PBX is seeing for SIP traffic, but I want it all...

To capture directly on the sipXecs server, use the following command:

sipXecs: tcpdump -n -s 0 -i any -w filename.cap

Then you'll be able to use winscp to copy the file to your PC and open it with wireshark.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

sipXecs... the alternate build...

It's kind of like an alternate movie ending, or director's cut...

Douglas Hubler (aka, Lazyboy, aka, lazieburd) (Douglas' Blog) a long time sipXecs contributor and former Pingtel employee is offering up an alternative sipXecs build to the community build offered by Avaya.

Douglas has added back in some code that had 'disappeared' before 4.2.0 was released. Also, he is setting up build shop on the open suse build service which makes it easier to build for many other distributions. There are also some more builds for other distros than supported by the Avaya builds.

Basically the process to start using the new builds is to change your sipxecs.repo file and do a 'yum update'.

Backup your system and get the backup off of the PBX (the update does an in-place upgrade, but you can never be too safe).

Login to your sipXecs box as root and edit your sipxecs.repo file ('nano -w /etc/yum.repos.d/sipxecs.repo').

Comment out the existing sipXecs yum info with '#' in front of each line.

Add the following lines to the bottom of the repo:

name=SIPfoundry sipXecs IP PBX Unified Communications Solution (CentOS_5)

The above is for a CentOS_5 distro... (ie., the sipXecs install from ISO). Check out for other builds. Builds are currently available in 32 bit and 64 bit for:

  • CentOS 5
  • Fedora 10, 11, 12
  • RHEL 5
  • Suse Enterprise Linux 10 & 11
  • openSuse 11.1 and 11.2

Once you have your .repo file setup properly, run a 'yum clean' and then a 'yum update' from the command line.

I rebooted my sipXecs box after the yum completed.

Big thanks to Douglas for the hard work he's putting in!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A little off-topic... ok, a lot off topic...

Just finished re-writing a configuration I built for a Proxy server.

Proxy servers are a great way to tighten up your network security. Point all your users at the proxy server in their browser settings and allow only the proxy server to go out to the Internet in your inside interface firewall rules.

This example is built on CentOS 5.4 and utilizes squid, dansguardian, clamav and webmin. Daily downloads of malware and various blacklists are included.

Here's the build doc: SetupProxyServer.pdf

Very low overhead for this box. I built it on a single processor virtual machine with 512 MB RAM and a 10 GB virtual drive.

Some things I'd like to add include logging of userid to make logging a little nicer than just by IP address.

Friday, April 16, 2010

sipXecs 4.0.4 to 4.2.0 upgrade notes and impressions

Upgrade Notes:

Installed 4.0.4 fresh from ISO (dev build 4.1.7 on my test system was trashed).
Added a user / tested.
Fixed sipxecs.repo file replacing all '5.2' mirror references with '5'. (see previous blog post)
Ran YUM update from command line (265 items to be installed / upgraded, 374 MB worth).
Rebooted server.
A little patience was required on my relatively slow lab machine (800 MHz, Xeon w/1GB of RAM)... web services came up after a couple minutes.


New login screen is a little bland w/o graphic image.

Background job listed as failed on first login (problem listed as File replication:
Created a paging group and re-sent the server profile and paging seemed to come up properly.

New GUI is better? different? I wish the tabs were starting from the left instead of centered.

Domain aliases of system IP address and host name are added automatically.

New user portal is nicer. Can't seem to import GMail contacts.

Branch concept in place... need to test.

Still no live attendant option as part of Auto Attendant.

Special Mode Auto Attendant configuration prominently available on Auto Attendants page.

GUI is much more sluggish on my dog of a test system (800 MHz, Xeon w/1GB of RAM)... time to upgrade I guess :-)

NTP server config in GUI is a nice add.

Alarm SNMP MIB now available on Alarm Configuration screen.

Alarm groups are now available for different notifications to different users (now including SMS and SNMP notification methods)

Much more but that's all I have time for at the moment...

Upgrading from sipXecs 4.0.4 to 4.2.0

One note that went across the mailing list (in case you missed it...).

Important Note on Upgrading:

There is a bug in 4.0.4 that breaks upgrading from the web user

interface. Specifically, it disables to use of the CentOS

repositories during the upgrade, which causes some prerequisites

to be unavailable, which makes the upgrade fail. The bug has

been fixed in 4.2 (and a bunch of other improvements to the

upgrade interface have been made too).

The best way to avoid the problem is to just do the upgrade from

the command line. Modify your yum repository configuration to

point to the repo where the 4.2 version is, and run 'yum

update', and when it's done, reboot.

I'm working on testing a 4.0.4 to 4.2.0 upgrade now.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Using sipviewer on your PC for Windows guys

Get the following applications loaded to your PC:

Run Putty and WinSCP programs and login to your sipXecs server with each. Open sipviewer on your local machine.

With Putty go to /var/log/sipxpbx.

  • cd /var/log/sipxpbx

Navigate to the same folder in WinSCP.

In the Putty window, run the following command if you want to clear your log files:

  • logrotate -f /etc/logrotate.d/sipxchange

Try placing the call that you are attempting to diagnose.

From Putty run the following command to create a single log file with all of the sipXecs log files merged into one file:

  • merge-logs

In WinSCP, refresh the right window directory display. In that directory will be the new file named merged.xml that was just created.

With WinSCP copy the merged.xml file to your local hard drive and open it with sipviewer. You should be able to see a diagram of what your call did (according to sipXecs).

For more information on sipviewer see the Wiki page: