minutes · voip distros mint synergy pfsense m0n0wall virtualization · 2010-05-20 · stevenix


Oak View Branch of the Siouxland Libraries in Sioux Falls, Room 3 at 6:30pm


Speak Freely: Open Source Voice over IP

Steve and Rob will recount their adventures in open source VoIP applications during May's Siouxland Linux Users Group meeting. They learned some important lessons about hardware that works (and doesn't work) and software configuration for VoIP.

Meet Linux Mint

New User session at 5:30 p.m.

Before the regular meeting, Glenn will present a brief introduction to Linux Mint, a more polished version of Ubuntu.

"Meet Linux Mint" will kick off the SLUG's New User session, a time for new users to seek help for any problems they may be having with the Linux learning curve.

Linux experts and novices are encouraged to attend this early session. The room will open at 5pm.

Live CDs

We will have free bootable CDs for folks who want to try GNU/Linux without installing it on their computer. Distributions will include Linux Mint 8 (and rc 9), Ubuntu 10.04, Kubuntu 10.04, and various flavors of Debian.

Location Directions

To get to the Oak View branch from the west, take Sixth Street east to North Bahnson Ave. Turn left at the light, and drive three blocks north to Third Street. The library is located at the northeast corner of the intersection.

From the east, drive west from Sycamore Avenue on Third Street until you near North Bahnson (about six blocks). The library will be on your right.

There is no cost to attend the meeting or to join. New members are welcome!


Prepared by Glenn

Speak Freely: Open Source Voice over IP

Steve and Rob gave an overview of voice over IP services currently available, including the open source Asterisk server and FreePBX configuration manager. They also explained a number of possible configurations of Asterisk for home and business use.

The hardware requirements for Asterisk and FreePBX are minimal: Rob uses an Athlon 64 single core processor and rarely sees a processor load. Using several codecs (required if you use a mix of phone brands) could cause the processor load to climb, he said.

Specialized modules are available to connect the Asterisk server to other voice services, such as Google Voice.

Steve and Rob also talked about how their Asterisk servers connect to the telephone system through services like vitelity.com, which allow VoIP users to choose an area code from a list of available numbers. Callers from that area dial a local number and so do not pay long-distance charges, regardless of where the VoIP server is located.

They also covered the different types of VoIP hardware available, and issues with 911 calling, which can be addressed by services offered by VoIP companies like vitelity.com.

An informal Q-and-A session followed the presentation.

New User Session

The SLUG's first New User session kicked off with Glenn giving an overview of Linux Mint 9.

Linux Mint 9, released May 18, is a distribution based on Ubuntu's 10.04 LTS version "Lucid Lynx." Security updates will be available to 2013.

Glenn highlighted some of the differences between Mint and other distributions: the ease of installing and removing software (open or proprietary), the use of the search function within the Mint Menu, and the ratings given to system updates.

Participants received Linux Mint 9 live CDs to try on their machines at home.

Topic Suggestions

The group discussed topics for future meetings:

  • Virtualization in Linux
  • Pfsense and m0n0wall
  • Synergy and XDMCP


Fourteen people attended the May meeting.