How to install FreePBX on Arch Linux

This manual-install method builds a FreePBX system on a recent Arch Linux installation with the following specifications:

  • FreePBX 15

  • Asterisk compiled from AUR

Parts of these instructions are shared with How to Install FreePBX 15 on Debian 10 with Asterisk 16, PHP 7.3 .

Update system

pacman --noconfirm -Syu

Install required packages

pacman --noconfirm -Sy apache sudo nodejs wget base-devel git cmake unixodbc \
                       alsa-lib speex libvorbis jansson libxslt opus gsm \
                       ffmpeg libsamplerate libsrtp portaudio python swig dd \
                       mariadb cron sox

Create a user that will be used for compilation, set password and switch to this user

As a good security practice you will use the user until end of this manual. Commands that require root permissions are prepended with sudo.

useradd -s /bin/bash -m instuser
echo "instuser ALL=(ALL) ALL" >>/etc/sudoers
# set password for the user
passwd instuser
su - instuser
# make sure sudo works
sudo -l
# enter password for instuser
# the output should be similar to this:

User instuser may run the following commands on YOURHOST:
    (ALL : ALL) ALL

Initialize and enable mariadb

sudo mariadb-install-db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql
sudo systemctl enable --now mysqld

Create a temporary helper function to compile and install package from AUR

function aur_install() {
  cd ~instuser/src
  rm "$1.tar.gz"
  wget "$1.tar.gz"
  tar xvf "$1.tar.gz"
  cd $1
  makepkg -i --noconfirm

Install a supported PHP version

While installing current PHP from repositories may work but it's more likely that you'll start getting depreciation errors or other issues and will be force to install an older version - one option is to use AUR (if the PKGBUILD is available there):
aur_install php73

Another way is to pull the older PKGBUILD from official repositories.
# x86_64 arch
sudo pacman --noconfirm -S aspell c-client enchant gd net-snmp postgresql-libs tidy postfix freetds libsodium
cd ~instuser/src
mkdir php73 && cd php73
git init
git config core.sparseCheckout true
git remote add -f origin git://
git checkout $(git log --all --grep='php 7.3' --oneline -1 | awk '{print $1}')
cd trunk/
makepkg -i

# arm
sudo pacman --noconfirm -S aspell c-client enchant gd net-snmp postgresql-libs tidy postfix freetds libsodium
visit and get the PKGBUILD and patches manually of the supported PHP version. Then install using
makepkg --skipinteg -i

Install more dependencies from AUR

aur_install mariadb-connector-odbc
aur_install a2enmod-git

# pjproject requires approximately 2 GB of RAM to compile
# so on light systems you may want to create temporary 4GB swap
# file beforehand (otherwise compiler may get killed by OOM killer):
#   sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=swapfile bs=1024000 count=4096
#   sudo chmod 600 /swapfile
#   sudo mkswap /swapfile
#   sudo swapon /swapfile
aur_install pjproject
# if you had swapfile created, remove it now:
#   sudo swapoff /swapfile
#   sudo rm /swapfile

Compile and install asterisk

aur_install asterisk

Pay attention to Asterisk version matrix. If you need older asterisk:
  cd asterisk
  edit PKGBUILD (line with pkgver)
  makepkg -i --skipinteg

Configure and enable PHP and apache

echo "extension=pdo" | sudo tee -a /etc/php/conf.d/freepbx.ini
echo "" | sudo tee -a /etc/php/conf.d/freepbx.ini
echo "extension=gettext" | sudo tee -a /etc/php/conf.d/freepbx.ini
echo "extension=sysvsem" | sudo tee -a /etc/php/conf.d/freepbx.ini
sudo sed -i 's/\(^upload_max_filesize = \).*/\120M/' /etc/php/php.ini
sudo sed -i 's/\(^memory_limit = \).*/\1256M/' /etc/php/php.ini
sudo sed -i 's/^\(User\|Group\).*/\1 asterisk/' /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
sudo sed -i 's/AllowOverride None/AllowOverride All/' /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
# enable PHP in Apache per
sudo a2enmod rewrite
sudo systemctl enable --now httpd

Configure ODBC

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/odbcinst.ini
Description = ODBC Driver for MariaDB
Driver      = /usr/lib/
FileUsage   = 1

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/odbc.ini
Description = MySQL connection to 'asteriskcdrdb' database
Driver = MySQL
Server = localhost
Database = asteriskcdrdb
Port = 3306
Socket = /run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
Option = 3

Install FreePBX

cd ~instuser/src
tar xvf freepbx-15.0-latest.tgz
cd freepbx/
sudo ./start_asterisk start
ps -ef | grep safe_asteris[k]
sudo ./install -n --webroot=/srv/http

If you get a somewhat illogical error like:
  Checking if Asterisk is running and we can talk to it as the 'asterisk' user...Error!
  Unsupported Version of 17.0.0
  Supported Asterisk versions: 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
edit install.php and installlib/installcommand.class.php files:
   if (version_compare($engine_info['version'], "13", "lt") || version_compare($engine_info['version'], "17", "ge")) {
   if (version_compare($engine_info['version'], "13", "lt") || version_compare($engine_info['version'], "18", "ge")) {

  and run sudo ./install -- again

You may need to do this change once more after installation in:

Fix permissions

chown -R asterisk:asterisk /srv/http/
chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/log/asterisk/
chmod 644 /srv/http

Get the rest of the modules

Only a very basic system is installed at this point. You will probably want to install all the modules. Alternatively, you can skip this and pick-and-choose the individual modules you want later.

sudo fwconsole ma installall
sudo fwconsole ma delete firewall
sudo fwconsole ma delete digium_phones
sudo fwconsole r

Apply the current configuration

sudo fwconsole reload

Perform a restart to load all Asterisk modules that had not yet been configured

sudo fwconsole restart

Set up systemd (startup script)

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/systemd/system/freepbx.service
Description=FreePBX VoIP Server
ExecStart=/usr/sbin/fwconsole start -q
ExecStop=/usr/sbin/fwconsole stop -q

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable --now freepbx

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