Siptosis Skype gateway

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ramoncio said:
wiseoldowl don't get mad with dicko, we are all here for good and he's just trying to help you. He wouldn't write so long and detailed posts if his goal was just to annoy you. ;)
Actually I'm not so sure of that, since we've mixed it up a bit in the past in these forums. But anyway...

Have a look here:
http://forum.skype.com/index.php?showtopic=46154

Skype managers don't want users to run without a gui

you would be violating the skype license if you incorporate this into a program that uses the skype API to do something useful.
So if you don't want to install X, forget about Skype. ;)
It appears that if you want to use it you must have X working full time.
I guess all I can say is that the Nerd Vittles article I was trying to follow never mentioned a thing about that. I know it's not your fault or the fault of anyone here, but I think their article leads you to believe that it's going to be a simple "copy and paste" thing, where if you follow their recipe it just works.

Or you can do what madis_l_ says in that post.

Skype runs quite well on 1x3 pixel virtual desktop (TightVNC server version 1.2.9) without window manager.
This seems to be the bare minimum resources you have to waste.

I've never tried that though. I thought you needed to have a window manager installed to use uvnc.
Well, since this is a private system and not being used for commercial purposes, I'm not too concerned about being able to see (or not see) the Skype client. The sense I'm getting from all this is that the Nerd Vittles article has some major omissions, at least from the standpoint of people who are not running their pre-cooked distributions. But I do wonder if, when you run this on one of their systems, they are paying any attention to the Skype license.

On the other hand, if I were you, I would experiment a little with Linux. It is really cool, not just as server-based apps.
At least I would recommend you to read some CentOS/Redhat basic tutorials. Services and basic system management, cronjobs, kernel, modules, logfiles, postfix, users, groups, permissions , apache, mysql, php, and asterisk of course, because Elastix is running on top of all that. The more you know about all that, the better your servers will perform. And in case of trouble all your knowledge will be needed.
I'll say this much about that. First of all, I've been using computers back since the day of the Commodore PET and TRS-80 Model I, which gives you a bit of a clue as to my age. I don't know how old most of the folks in this forum are but I can tell you that after you pass the half-century mark it gets harder and harder to store and process new information. You may not understand that now, but you will when you get older. I'm not yet at the point of not being able to set the clock on my VCR (yes, I still have one!) but learning a whole new operating system, after having dealt with both Windows and Mac OS X, is not high on my list of things I'm just dying to do.

But the other thing is that my attitude toward the command line is that it is what we had to suffer with under MS-DOS (and the operating systems of the first home computers, that ran off a floppy disk!). The first time I got my hands on Windows 3.1 it was like "I don't have to type things in at the command line anymore?!" and I was thrilled, to put it mildly. Many if not most Linux users (and not a few Mac users, I might add) seem to want to use their keyboard rather than their mouse. Not me - the only time I use the keyboard is for typing messages and such, and then only because speech recognition is still in its infancy. :)

Nevertheless I tried Kubuntu Linux a couple of years ago because everyone said it was so easy to use. Suffice it to say that I did not have a good experience with it. I literally spent two days once trying to figure out how to do something (connect to another machine on the network) that would have taken me maybe one minute in Windows. It turned out that you needed to have some particular line in etc/fstab (I think it was) but it would take several paragraphs to describe what I went through to figure that out. Some people enjoy those kinds of challenges - I don't. When I get in a car, I don't want to have to tinker with the engine to make it run, and when I turn on a computer I don't want to have to deal with a lot of text-based crap if I don't have to. Sometimes you do have to, but I'll take a GUI any day (one reason I was so hot to install Webmin on this system).

The thing about something like Elastix is, it's all based on a GUI - you install the disk and however many minutes later you have a working system and a very nice web-based GUI that you can use, so even when you do have to type something you're probably looking a text box with a meaningful label, not a bash command prompt. I would never in a million years attempt to compile and install Asterisk and FreePBX from scratch as some have done - not only don't I think I could do it successfully, but it would not in the slightest be an enjoyable experience for me.

So when I come across a page of instructions like those on the Nerd Vittles site, if they're not too long I may try them, thinking that hopefully I can't screw up anything too badly. But when something goes wrong, what I'm looking for is another list of instructions or commands that show exactly what needs to be done to fix it. The blessing and the curse of the Nerd Vittles site is that many of their instructions guide you down a very narrow path - virtually anyone can follow them but if they omit a step or you run into problems, you are dead in the water. And when you are done, you have something with their fingerprint on it (the "mothership" context, for example), which may not be how you'd do it if you really understood what they are doing. But on the other hand, if all goes well you'll have it up and running in 15 minutes. If things don't go well, that's another story...

But please understand that I'm probably like 90% of all the computer users out there - I really DON'T want to mess around "under the hood." Give me a nice GUI to control the things you mentioned and I'll use them, maybe. Doing something like trying to install this sip/Skype gateway is very rare for me; normally I wouldn't even tackle something like this but another family member has been wanting it and I was actually fooled into thinking it might be easy.

I do have a slightly different attitude toward FreePBX and Elastix, by the way - I'm not quite as adverse to trying to understand a short dial plan fragment, for example. But for some reason that stuff seems far more logical to me than most Linux commands. I don't know why. Why can I understand perl or bash scripts a little bit (very little, but still..) while php or C looks like total gibberish to me? I don't know. Maybe it's something in the way my brain is wired. :blink:

So what if something happens to take the server down, or we really mess something up? Simple - stick the Elastix ISO back in the drive and start from scratch. Or maybe try and restore a backup, assuming I can figure out how. On a home system, you can do that (not saying people wouldn't get upset, but in the long run it would be far faster to reinstall and start over than to try, and probably fail to figure out how to fix the problem). Fortunately I've never had to do that on an emergency basis - one thing about CentOS, Asterisk, FreePBX and Elastix is that they combine to make a VERY stable system. But that also explains why I get so nervous about installing things that can seriously impact the stability of the system (like a desktop, perhaps?).

I'm glad there are people who love to tinker around with Linux, just as I am glad there are people who love to work on cars, or to get into a bucket truck to fix hundred thousand volt electric distribution wires, or whatever. I just don't care to do those things. Anyway, sorry for the digression, but hopefully it helps you understand where I am coming from.

If there are two things I'd take away from this experience, it is these:

1) Don't be too quick to trust instructions on the Nerd Vittles site. What they put there will probably work on their system (PiaF) but there is a lesser chance it will work on Elastix, at least without some serious tweaking.

2) Maybe, just maybe, it would not be such a bad idea for future versions of Elastix to come with X Windows and a minimal desktop. I'm sure you could start wars between the people who think there is already too much in the Elastix ISO and those who would like to see more, and I don't wish to start such a discussion in this thread, but I will just note that it appears that PiaF must come with this stuff already included, otherwise their users would be having the same issues that I am.

Okay, I'll shut up now and go eat my dinner! :)
 
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wiseoldowl:
your response touched my heart, I am myself older than Methuselah, I think I can help, do you want to take this private?

Dicko
 
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Ok, here are the results.

As I wrote above first install x-windows.

# yum groupinstall "X Window System" "KDE (K Desktop Environment)"

# yum install kde*

edit /etc/inittab

# vi /etc/inittab

change id:3:initdefault: to id:5:initdefault:

save end exit.

Then

#xinit
#exit
#startx

You now must have graphical environment.

Next I followed Nerd Vittles instructions and all wend ok. Outbound and inbound calls work fine.

The problems...

Skype must work in graphical environment, that means that you must login in x-windows to run it. So I created a second user (NOT ROOT) to auto login and run skype. To do that type at konsole window gdmsetup and set the user for autologin.


The second problem is with ./SipToSis_linux command that must run from konsole in x-windows environment. I tried to make a cron job to run after boot but no luck. This script must run from x-windows and at the moment I don't find a solution yet. So any help on that is appreciated.

For now skype works fine but I must find the solution for SipToSis_linux script.
 
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Old dogs can learn new tricks. Think of it this way, you have chosen to use linux based product. Shouldn't you know the basics behind it? You already had that knowledge when you started with windows. Without that basic info you would have been confused about windows too. Like most mac users. :laugh:

I too am well over 50 and the day I stop learning will be the day I die.

Don
 
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I don't know if this would satisfy Skype, but

if you install vncserver


edit /etc/sysconfig/vncservers to suit


and edit /home/realuser/.vnc/xstartup

to something like

#vncconfig -iconic &
#xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
kde-session&
/full/path/to/SipToSis_linux&


then start vncserver

service vncserver start


( you might not even need the kde-bit, previously described as minimalist X no window manager leave twm& a minimal window manager in xstartup)
and I believe you would have a X session running and possibly also Siptosis, without an interrupt hungry GUI running locally. Check with
ps -ax|grep -i siptosis

I haven't tried it and from what I read there may be a problem with the sound driver, its just my 2cents.
 
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I think I need to step away from this for a day or two. I finally did
yum groupinstall "X Window System"
and that got xinit to work, but of course when you run it from an ssh connection, it does nothing useful (you can't even exit it without doing a Control-C).

I'm not willing to install a desktop and eat up CPU cycles on that, but the way the NV article reads you really shouldn't have to (I'm 99% sure PiaF doesn't come with KDE or Gnome). The problem is that most of the time I don't have physical access to the Asterisk box so without a way to finish the installation remotely I'm probably just going to have to wait until I can get there and do it from the console. I note that now the NV page says, "You'll need to perform these steps from the console on your Asterisk server since we have to run Skype in graphics mode." If that was there a few days ago, I totally missed it, but then I note that page seems to change (with new information added) almost daily.

One thing that concerned me, though. When I installed "X Window System" it printed this message:

Installing: system-config-securitylevel ##################### ( 27/163)
warning: /etc/sysconfig/system-config-securitylevel saved as /etc/sysconfig/system-config-securitylevel.rpmorig

The original file contained this line:
--disabled
While the new file contains the line:
--high

It of course concerns me when anything changes something to do with security and I don't know what the implications of this change might be. Google wasn't much help, it's like nobody really knows anything although I did get the impression that this only affected "selinux" which I've always understood we don't use anyway - still, if anyone can shed any light on this I'd probably sleep better. :)

I'm guardedly optimistic that once I can get to the console, I can do the remaining steps on the NV page and hopefully things will just work - if so then I may try the VNC console trick that dicko suggested (I'll be a lot more likely if anyone actually reports that it works!) :) The sound driver thing worries me a little but since this is actually running on an older desktop computer that does, I would assume, have a sound card on the motherboard (even if it's not used at the moment) I'm guessing that with any luck at all, the drivers will have been installed.

Anyway, in the end, either it will work or it won't, but I really need to take a step back and realize that Rome wasn't built in a day and this thing probably isn't going to be, either!
 
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donhwyo said:
Old dogs can learn new tricks. Think of it this way, you have chosen to use linux based product. Shouldn't you know the basics behind it? You already had that knowledge when you started with windows. Without that basic info you would have been confused about windows too. Like most mac users. :laugh:

I too am well over 50 and the day I stop learning will be the day I die.

Don
Don, on one level you make a good point (and I don't think I have stopped learning yet) but with me it has always been the case that when things don't make sense to me, I have a much more difficult time learning them. The problem I have with Linux is that as I said, I hate using the keyboard instead of the mouse anyway, but also the designers of Unix picked the most arcane, nonsensical, and dare I say, stupid commands they could find. To give but ONE example (I could probably do hundreds): How do you get a directory of files from the command line? On the TRS-80 and also in MS-DOS and on the Windows command line you use DIR, which of course is short for directory. On early Apples (I think) and some other systems, you used CAT (which stood for catalog - still somewhat mnemonic). In Unix/Linux? ls (and add -al if you really want a full directory). What the hell does ls stand for (maybe that the person who came up with the command lost (their) senses)? And there are very few commands that make any logical sense.

Call it my oppositional nature if you like, but hell will freeze over seven times before I start making any serious effort to memorize stupid commands that make no sense. Unix may have been designed by idiots (actually probably not idiots, but people SO geeky that they thought only people with minds as twisted as theirs would ever use Unix) but I'm not going to be the idiot that follows their lead like a mindless sheep and memorizes garbage. And yes, I know you can set up an aliases file so you can type dir instead of ls or whatever, but that doesn't help if you are on someone else's system. And anyway, see my first point about preferring not to use the keyboard when I can use the mouse.

This doesn't mean I haven't picked up a few things about Linux long the way, and actually I can appreciate the lack of a GUI in a server (as I think my previous posts attest), although given a choice I'll still use Webmin when possible. New Linux distros have come a long way toward making Linux more accessible to people like me, but you still have the geek crowd that prefers to do things using the command line. I wish them well but I have no desire whatsoever to be among their number. And really, for me (can't say about anyone else) the issue is that the commands are nonsensical and cannot be learned without rote memorization, something I've always had a very difficult time with as far back as elementary school. Linux has a lot to recommend it over Windows, but the command line is not one of its strengths.

So if you asked, "You CAN'T learn it or you WON'T learn it?" I'd say there's a good chance I can't without a LOT of effort, but there's about a 100% chance that I WON'T (other than the odd command I just happen to pick up every now and then). So, don't ever hire me to administer your Linux system, okay? :)

P.S. For those who need more convincing that I am RIGHT about this, please see http://web.mit.edu/~simsong/www/ugh.pdf (no, I did NOT write it, but wish I had!) :D
 
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dicko said:
I don't know if this would satisfy Skype, but

if you install vncserver


edit /etc/sysconfig/vncservers to suit


and edit /home/realuser/.vnc/xstartup

to something like

#vncconfig -iconic &
#xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
kde-session&
/full/path/to/SipToSis_linux&



then start vncserver

service vncserver start


( you might not even need the kde-bit, previously described as minimalist X no window manager leave twm& a minimal window manager in xstartup)
and I believe you would have a X session running and possibly also Siptosis, without an interrupt hungry GUI running locally. Check with
ps -ax|grep -i siptosis

I haven't tried it and from what I read there may be a problem with the sound driver, its just my 2cents.
Ok, i tried this and return the follwing

[root@ippbx ~]# ps -ax|grep siptosis
Warning: bad syntax, perhaps a bogus '-'? See /usr/share/doc/procps-3.2.7/FAQ
8265 pts/3 S+ 0:00 grep siptosis

Skype doesn't work and only if i run SipToSis_linux from windows konsole works.
 
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my apologies leave out the "-" but put in the -i for grep (-i = "ignore case", siptosis but also any variation of capitalization), and reading the script the binary appears to be /usr/bin/skype not SipToSis which is java bridge code to present the audio streams from a running skype to asterisk as a sip device, my machine bitched about java when trying to run that bridge code but skype does indeed run under vnc!

so:-

edit xstartup's last line to

/usr/bin/skype&


restart vncserver
and

ps ax|grep -i sky

gives me:

[root@el13 /]# ps ax|grep skype
21924 tty1 Sl 0:03 /usr/bin/skype
21952 pts/1 R+ 0:00 grep skype
[root@el13 /]#



I only tried it for the root account, and had to set up my sound card to make calls at some point in time obviously the skype account must be set up and set to auto-login, either from the vnc session run from another machine or startx from the local machine.

good luck
 
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Thanks for your reply dicko.

[root@ippbx ~]# ps ax|grep -i siptosis
5318 pts/3 S+ 0:00 grep -i siptosis

Skype doesn't want to connect with asterisk yet. I will continue to try fix it. If you have any other idea let me know.

Thanks.
 
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I edited my last post, I didn't do the siptosis connection but skype to runs in a vnc session and can at least make calls.
 
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Wise old owl;

ls is short for list I think. Been many years since college now. Not trying to scare you but go to utilities on a mac and open terminal. You are now at a bash shell in some form of bsd. Very useful to fix some things that can't be done easily or at all in the gui. Mac printing is all linux-bsd (cups) based. Ever wanted to change the standard settings? You can do it from the cli. If you look hard enough you can do it from the web interface too. But if you need to install printers to 500 users that bash script is a lot better. That is were unix, linux was designed to work. There is a lot of power there. Don't rule it out so quickly. I know you are not working in that environment now. Or maybe you are, wanting to remote access is part of that environment.

Not trying to scare you but the cli is really your friend. Do a little here, a little there, next thing you know who needs a gui.:laugh:

Don
 
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donhwyo said:
Wise old owl;

ls is short for list I think. Been many years since college now. Not trying to scare you but go to utilities on a mac and open terminal. You are now at a bash shell in some form of bsd. Very useful to fix some things that can't be done easily or at all in the gui. Mac printing is all linux-bsd (cups) based. Ever wanted to change the standard settings? You can do it from the cli. If you look hard enough you can do it from the web interface too. But if you need to install printers to 500 users that bash script is a lot better. That is were unix, linux was designed to work. There is a lot of power there. Don't rule it out so quickly. I know you are not working in that environment now. Or maybe you are, wanting to remote access is part of that environment.

Not trying to scare you but the cli is really your friend. Do a little here, a little there, next thing you know who needs a gui.:laugh:

Don
Hey Don, you're not scaring me at all but I will point out that with a Mac there are actually several free utilities you can download that will let you click buttons instead of entering things from a command line (basically they take most of the known command line hacks and let you just click a button to execute them). The Mac terminal program sucks, by the way - iTerm is much better (actually most Mac-provided software other than OS X itself sucks - smart people find third-party alternatives, while all the other Mac sheeple that think that Apple can do no wrong use the crappy stuff provided with OS X despite its flaws). But mostly I only use iTerm to access the Asterisk box (although I did install Midnight Commander on my Mac - no, not by compiling it or anything messy like that - there's a program called Rudix that lets you install a lot of Unix-based software using a GUI! BUT I did have to type "mc" from an iTerm prompt to run it, and felt quite put out by that, until I figured out how to create a shortcut so all I have to do is click to bring it up).

In fact, this is one thing that sets a Mac apart from Linux. When you ask for help on a Mac forum, very seldom will anyone tell you to go to the terminal and type some obscure command. The more likely response is to go buy some slick piece of software that does the task for you (which, by the way, irritates me as much as the command line responses, since there are almost always slightly less slick but FREE alternatives that will do the job just as well, but some of the MacSnobs tend to turn their nose up at those). Next thing you know, who needs a terminal program? :D

You might as well have tried to convince the late Charlton Heston to sign a petition against guns as to try to get me to ever switch to using the command line when I don't absolutely have to. I refer you once again to http://web.mit.edu/~simsong/www/ugh.pdf :D
 
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Ok friends, I think this is it.

In /home/USERNAME/.kde/Autostart make a file, in my case skype.desktop

Edit the file and paste this


[Desktop Entry]
Comment=
Comment[en_US]=
Encoding=UTF-8
Exec=ksystraycmd /siptosis/SipToSis_linux
GenericName=
GenericName[en_US]=
Icon=
MimeType=all/all;application/java
Name=skype
Name[en_US]=skype
Path=/siptosis
StartupNotify=true
Terminal=false
TerminalOptions=
Type=Application
X-DCOP-ServiceType=none
X-KDE-SubstituteUID=true
X-KDE-Username=USERNAME

Change the USERNAME field to yours.
Save and exit. Change the permissions to 755.

#chmod -755 skype.desktop

Reboot and wait..

Finally SipToSis_linux command load just fine and skype works great.
 
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Dicko:

I am so excited to see your tutorial on just using the vncserver to run skype. That way I can keep my resources running at a minimum. I did followed the instructions you supplied. but skype didn't get started with the vncserver. Here is my configuration in .vnc/xstartup . please advise me where I am doing it wrong


#!/bin/sh

# Uncomment the following two lines for normal desktop:
# unset SESSION_MANAGER
# exec /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc

[ -x /etc/vnc/xstartup ] && exec /etc/vnc/xstartup
[ -r $HOME/.Xresources ] && xrdb $HOME/.Xresources
xsetroot -solid grey
#ivncconfig -iconic &
#xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &
twm &
/usr/bin/skype &



Thanks
 
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assuming that you running as root,
is vncserver running, can you connect to it from a remote machine

what has your
/etc/sysconfig/vncservers
got to say for itself?
 
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yes. I am running as root. And I can connect to my vncserver session, but all I see from the vnc client window is just scrambled black and white dots just like the black&white TV in the old times.

And here is my /etc/sysconfig/vncservers settings

VNCSERVERS="2:root"
VNCSERVERARGS[2]="-geometry 640x480"
 
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for diagnostics
uncomment

#xterm -geometry 80x24+10+10 -ls -title "$VNCDESKTOP Desktop" &

restart the vncserver and see if you can start skype in the terminal window
 
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ok, this time I see the xterm when I connect with vnc viewer
and in the xterm, I tried to initiate skype like the following but get aborted.


[root@asterisk1~}# skype
Aborted
[root@asterisk1~}# /usr/bin/skype
Aborted
 
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Then I guess skye is not yet installed correctly, go back a step and do it from a full blown desktop. on the local machine, when It works there then it should work in vnc,

by the way it was never a tutorial, just a summary of the steps I took to resolve a situation I saw as a challenge. As I say It worked for me, YMMV
 

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