Criticism on FreePyBX

I’ve spent about 4 hours on installing FreePyBX on a test server for evaluation. So far, I haven’t got it working yet:Β it doesn’t let me log in with administrator credentials. I applied an undocumented hack that is recommended in the mailing list, but still it doesn’t work.

Anyway, here’s an (unfinished) list of things that I’m not completely happy with:

  1. I don’t like Python. Ok, that one is not really a valid critic.
  2. They overwrite the original mod_callcenter.c in FreeSWITCH with their own version. Also there’s no revision control on the new file, and no explanations why they needed to do that. Instead, they could’ve developed their own FreeSWITCH module and place it in their Git repository.
  3. The installation documentation is sometimes incomplete or obscure. Even for an experienced Linux engineer, some points are nontrivial.
  4. The database access credentials are repeated in about half a dozen of places. Why should we type in the DB password in so many files? Also imagine the nightmare of changing the database connection and credentials. Besides, we already placed them in /etc/odbc.ini, so why not using just one this file for everything?
  5. The mod_xml_curl responses are served by the same application and the same daemon as the GUI. The GUI requires HTTPS connection because of some Flash limitations, but why should we use the SSL overhead for real-time call logic? Also in a redundant setup, you would need multiple XML responders, but one instance of GUI is sufficient. IMHO it makes sense to completely separate these two tasks and serve them by different processes (and get rid of SSL where it’s not needed).
  6. There is no installer. The installation consists of cloning from Git repository into the working directory (/usr/local/www, what an unfortunate name for the directory). Then we edit some files and then execute some Python code. As a result, “git status” shows two modified files and a bunch of untracked .pyc files and a few new directories. So, upgrading might be a challenge. Also submitting patches is a pure fun.

I’m anyway looking forward to seeing it work and probably continuing this list πŸ™‚

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  1. #1 by charlespogz on June 24, 2012 - 1:12 am

    i dont have to be a rocket scientist or a Linux guru to install a pbx right? πŸ™‚ why cant it be just make a db and drop the web files to control FreeSWITCH? or make an easier installer.

    i have been wanting to get a freepypbx install but never got off. my company is very interested with it. we have *other gui for Freeswitch running and had some paid developments for our own needs to it. but we never had a successful install with Freepybx

    please make the install easier Mr. Noel Morgan.

  2. #2 by nn on June 24, 2012 - 6:53 am

    Directory name “www” ,if so, I wouldn’t surprise if it were called “google”.

    • #3 by txlab on June 24, 2012 - 9:54 am

      you’re free to call it differently, but then you can’t predict what would break πŸ˜‰

  3. #4 by Noel Morgan on June 24, 2012 - 10:51 pm

    I completely agree with you. :’) We have some new blood that hopefully will pick up my slackishness. I have just been too busy with work to get anything done, I will try to get more docs and another release here soon. But hack help is on the way and I should have a little more time in the next few weeks, but feel fre to jump in anywhere you can contribute too.. πŸ˜‰

    • #5 by txlab on June 25, 2012 - 4:53 am

      thanks πŸ™‚
      I’m more of a Perl guy, and all Python looks strange to me anyway πŸ™‚

  4. #6 by Yehuda Panzer on January 17, 2013 - 8:47 am

    Well, is somewhere successful Freepybx deployment. It looks pretty tasty with demo on project’s site and my organization has interested with it. But I already spent 3 days for the deployment and seems I shall need to involve DB and python developers to figure out why I can’t launch it (except several non clear issues within installation, I met with the problem mentioned above concerning impossibility to make first log in)

    • #7 by txlab on January 17, 2013 - 9:30 am

      I haven’t seen such person πŸ™‚
      have a look at FusionPBX, the project looks much better maintained and more feature-rich

    • #8 by Yehuda Panzer on January 17, 2013 - 1:12 pm

      Is there another one solution to raise FreePyBX then $499.99? πŸ™‚

      • #9 by Yehuda Panzer on January 18, 2013 - 1:45 pm

        I already deployed FusionPBX on our branch. It’s working “from the box” and clear for configuration and maintenance. It has pretty good GUI for an administrator (there are even embedded Perl, XML, etc editors), but I deem it’s not so convenient for subscribers – it requires some skills.
        I intend to place FusionPBX at enterprise branches, but now I’m looking for more feature rich and subscriber attractive alternative for head office (using formerly pbxnsip so far).
        I have been a success with Freepybx and even ran GUI, but Services GUI jumping out with error message. I’m loosing patience therefore if I will not completely raise it at nearest time I be comprised to look to Elastix as the candidate.

  5. #10 by Alex on August 12, 2013 - 6:00 pm

    I’m unable to make it work.
    Documentation seems to be confusing to force us buying professional support from the creator.
    It should be easier to install.

  6. #11 by Richard Gomes on November 19, 2013 - 1:40 pm

    Hi,

    I’m preparing a FreeSwitch+FreePyBX installation script for Debian Wheezy.

    It’s part of my “Quick Administration Scripts”, for lazy sysadmins like me.
    https://launchpad.net/qsadmin

    You can find the script here:
    http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~frgomes/qsadmin/trunk/view/head:/src/freepypx_install.sh

    It’s still in very early development. *Not my priority at all.*

    I’ve tried FusionPBX and it’s absolutely great.
    The problem is that their installation scripts are either far too complicated and many times broken. So, I’ve decided to do it myself, and try something in Python, which I prefer.

    Cheers πŸ™‚

    • #12 by txlab on November 19, 2013 - 1:48 pm

      good that it worked for you. I didn’t find the product as attractive though.

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