Google Voice + Asterisk = Sweet VoIP Lovin!

While I’ve had a Google Voice (GV) account since their Grandcentral beginnings, I never really began using it full time until I received my Tmobile G1. I decided to use it full on and never again have to send out another “Here is my new number” txt/email.

So when my friend Ben mentioned a new (to me) product called Incredible PBX that is built on Asterisk and said it used GV as it’s voice trunk instead of SIP/IAX my interest was peaked. While their website confused the snot out of me, I finally was able to get everything running in a virtual machine using Oracle VirtualBox. Below is the process and if I miss anything or you have questions please feel free to let me know. (I’ve since reinstalled on a older laptop with a dead screen that was crying for a use.)

So to get started head on over to Incrediblepbx.com and select the Downloads tab. Under this tab you will see a list of all the available downloads. Select the newest ISO release to download (as of this writing it is 1.7.5.5.5).

I won’t go through the process of setting up a virtual machine since if you’re reading this I’m sure you know how to. The only snag I had in Virtual Box was I had to enable IO APIC in order for the ISO to boot properly.

Begin Installation:

Just press Enter unless you know you need/want something different.

Most of the settings are pretty generic during the setup of CentOS. Region, keyboard and root password. Take a break and get something to drink, this will take a few minutes.

If you are installing this in a VM be sure to remove the ISO before rebooting. If you forget then just shut it down, remove the ISO and power back up.

Once it finishes booting up you will see the below screen. Select PIAF-Purple and select OK

.

This will being the process of installing everything from the Internet for the most part(Google Voice integration is separate.).

While this is installing go ahead and register a new Google Voice account. It is recommended to create a new Gmail account with a random name because of the way Gtalk takes over voice calls when logged into Gmail.

Login to your new google.com/voice account and we need to change some settings.
First you will need to setup a real phone. I used my wife’s cell phone just be sure to turn off direct voicemail access and turn off any call forwarding to this phone unless you want to keep it enabled (not recommended).
Under https://www.google.com/voice#callsettings change these settings to the below settings:

  • Call Screening – Off
  • Caller ID (Incoming) – Display Caller’s Number
  • Caller ID (Outgoing) – Don’t Change Anything
  • Do Not Disturb – OFF

Once you are done installing PIAF-Purple and registering your Google Voice account there are a few more steps to be completed from the command line.

Running The Incredible PBX Installer. Log into your server as root and issue the following commands to download and run The Incredible PBX installer:
cd /root
wget http://incrediblepbx.com/incrediblepbx18.x
chmod +x incrediblepbx18.x
./incrediblepbx18.x
passwd-master

passwd-master will setup all of the passwords on the system to be used when logging into the various web applications.

Now login to your server by going to http://serverip and open FreePBX Administration.
You will need to setup X-Lite on your computer unless you already have a VoIP phone or ATA/analog phone. There are already extensions setup and getting your password is pretty easy. Under the Extensions tab is a list

of all the extensions already setup, 701-715.
Your password is listed under secret. You will need this to register any device with the server. In X-Lite go to Softphone -> Account Settings and replace the highlighted options with your own.

After you press OK your client should register with the server. If there is an error check and double check your password. If that doesn’t clear things up try rebooting the server before starting over. This seemed to clear things up for me more than once.

Once this is complete try a test call! I call a local number for time/temp to get a feel for the voice quality. If you’d like to try it then phone number is 15802346100.

I’ve been able to place/receive calls over Sipdroid on my G1 and MyTouch3g, X-Lite Softphone and using Ekiga from my Ubuntu laptop over my Hamachi VPN while at work.

The WAF is always a goal for me so I bought a Linksys SPA1001 from Ebay and combined with a VTech from Amazon she has been very please and so have I.

Well if you’ve got this far thanks for reading. It was a blast getting back to Asterisk and seeing how far they’ve come since the last time I messed around with it back in 2003 is just amazing.

Links & Credits

EDIT: Thanks to floodbar for letting me know that I forgot to include the steps for installing the IncrediblePBX part and setting up the passwords, thanks man!

One Comments

  • Ward Mundy

    January 20, 2011

    Great writeup! And thanks for the tip on Oracle VirtualBox setup.

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