Untangle, Asterisk PBX and File Server; All-in-One. Part 8

If you’ve been following the story so far you’ll now where I am. If you haven’t, please go back to Part 1 and read from there. Alternatively if you click on the Untangle tag in the tag cloud then you should get all of the posts so far.

Hi all,

I’ve not yet got any further with the Untangle portion, but pretty much everything else is now in place and working 🙂

Last night I built and installed the few remaining applications that are necessary to support my objectives:

  • MySQL (I need this for Joomla! and vtiger)
  • Postgresql (I need this for untangle)
  • Apache
  • PHP (and some associated libraries for added functionality, i.e. HTML-Tidy, mm, libmcrypt, mhash…)

I have also been thinking about what it is actually I am trying to achieve. I find a picture really helps so here’s a block diagram of the applications I want and how they should interface to the outside world…

Functional Block Diagram

This was a good exercise that helped me to understand the flow of traffic and what needs to be prevented from passing through the server. The dotted line from Apache to the Internet is because I’m not sure yet whether I’ll actually provide any sort of public web presence from this box or not. I doubt it somehow but you never know…

If anyone has any comments or suggestions for improvements I’d be happy to hear them. I made the original diagram in OOo draw. Here’s the original file if you want to use it or alter it. As with all other stuff on here, its CC licensed.

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  • When we moved office I tried to source an Asterisk based PBX but couldn’t find anything suitable. In the end we had to go with an Avaya unit that has been very good thus far.

    It’s all very well writing software but a lot of people just want a nice boxed solution they can deploy with the minimum of hassle.

  • Alan Lord says:

    I agree with you totally.

    There are companies who bundle and build asterisk appliances, and it’s something we are investigating ourselves. There are some really neat home/SoHo size platforms being built that use minimal power, have no moving parts (all flash and no fans) and have either multiple FXO/FXS or a PRI interface. There is obviously HA hardware available for the bigger corporate too.

    This series of articles is about my personal experimentation and passing on some knowledge gained. The end result wouldn’t necessarily be a suitable “appliance” in it’s own right but it might help me to understand what would make a good and useful one 😉

    Thanks for the comments.


  • @Alan – one teeny weeny suggestion. How’s about installing one of those nice comment notification plugins it would help a lot. 🙂

    I just noticed your Tag box. Very nice BTW. It seems odd that an open source blog’s second largest
    tag in the tag cloud is Microsoft. 🙂 In some sense, you become defined by what you oppose.

  • Alan Lord says:

    I know – I too could see the irony in that…

    But to be honest the real reason is the down to the fiasco of OOXML. It would be unfair of me to not attribute those articles accurately 😉

    Let me know on the wordpress plugin – I can’t find one that’s suitable or that doesn’t crash badly…

  • elbakkali says:

    hi there, alan.

    ive been following your project closely. and i also have bought the same motherboard for a similar project. may i ask why you dont use clarkconnect that provides most services if not all that you require. also what experience have you had with RTL8110SC and untangle is it supported


  • Alan Lord says:


    Thanks for commenting. To be honest, I hadn’t considered Clarkconnect. It is something I haven’t looked at for many years. Secondly, my penchant for grow-your-own in terms of linux OS (a.k.a Linux From Scratch) drives me to want to do it all myself 🙂

    The first version of Untangle I played with (5.0) did not support the hardware as you will have read from the other posts before this one due to the rather old kernel. However, they are close to releasing a new version (5.1) which is based on a much newer kernel and will happily support the hardware of the Jetway Mobo.

    As my system has developed, it is now very stable and runs a whole raft of applications very nicely. When I get some time I’ll do an update as to where I am now and where I want to get to.

    Thanks again,


  • Scott McKenzie says:

    Hi Alan

    Just wondering if you’re still interested in getting an Untangle kernel compiled for your hardware?

    I had a similar need as I wanted to run Untangle paravirtualized in a Xen domU. I downloaded the kernel source from Untangle’s svn server and patched it for Untangle and Xen and it’s now running OK. Shoot me an email if you want some specific instructions.


    • dario says:

      i read that you patched the untangle kernel to work in xen paravirtualized
      can you explain me step by step?

      thank you in advice

      • Alan Lord says:

        Not me. Sorry.

        I haven’t played with Untangle for well over a year now. Not because I don’t think it is a good product but the I now longer need it at home.

        Try on the Untangle forums or developer lists.

  • Simon says:

    Hi Alan

    Did you ever get Untangle working on this rig? I’m thinking of going down the VIA/Untangle route (but with a distro, perhaps Ubuntu, rather than LFS). Is this a good idea?



  • Alan Lord says:


    No I didn’t in the end. I only really needed Untangle for my kids and since I found out how to run a local proxy and content filter (Dan’s Guardian) on their PCs my urge to install it disappeared.

    However, the recent versions of UT can be installed straight on top of Ubuntu or Debian so I think you can simply add a couple of lines to your /etc/apt/sources.list and install it with apt. It would be a far easier route to install on a mainstream distro than a customised LFS 😉

    Here’s a link to their wiki explaining how to do it: http://wiki.untangle.com/index.php/Quick_Install_Guide:_Untangle_for_Ubuntu_and_Debian



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