11/22/2016 CLI login and tools

11/22/2016 CLI login and tools

We have released an update for Protel LTS that allows PBX administrators to log into the PBX from the command line and have the ability to execute common functions that were previously only available from the root login.  These include:  

Finding the current IP address of the PBX

Changing the NIC settings without logging in through the Web UI

Loading a large (over 100 Mb) backup file into the PBX and restoring it



For any Protel LTS premise PBX, version 3 or version 4, that shipped prior to 11/20/2016, you will need to perform a quick task from the PBX UI prior to having command line access.  We recommend that you do this at your earliest convenience so that in the event you do need to access the CLI tools in the future, you will be all set.  For all PBX units shipped after 11/20/2016, the pbxadmin CLI password has already been set to match the pbxadmin password shipped with your unit – though you can use the following instruction to change it if you wish:

Under the Admin Tools tab, there is a new link called “Change OS Login Password”.  You will need to enter the pbxadmin password for your unit into this data field before being able to access the command line.  If you purchase a new unit that ships after 11/20/2016, the PBX is already set for command line login using this password.  If you want to change the pbxadmin command line password to something different, you can do so.  Note that this does NOT change the UI login password.  If you need the web UI pbxadmin password changed for security reasons, contact nexMatrix support for assistance.

You do not need to reload or reboot the PBX after pressing the update button.


If you already have network access to the PBX, you can log into the command line interface using an SSH client on port 22.  On Windows computers, this is accomplished by using a free application called Putty.

If you do not have network access, you will need to connect a USB keyboard to one of the USB ports on the PBX, and an appropriate video monitor.  Depending on the model of Protel LTS PBX you have, this may require the use of a VGA connection, a DVI connection or an HDMI connection.  Check to see which video output or choice of outputs your PBX has and use the appropriate connector to attach a monitor.  You will not need to connect a mouse.

After connecting the monitor, if you do not see anything on the display, reboot the PBX.  If you have the monitor connected properly, you will see text flashing by while the OS boots up.  When the PBX has finished booting, you will see a login prompt.   type pbxadmin for the user name and press enter.

Now, enter either the pbxadmin password supplied with your unit, or the alternate password you set in the previous step.  Linux does not display your password entry, so type carefully.

Once you are logged in, you have several common commands available to you:


type ifconfig and press enter.   The current IP address for the primary NIC interface will be displayed here.


type sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces   and press enter (note the spaces after sudo and nano)

This will bring up the current network configuration file, which you can edit.  Use the arrow keys to navigate on the screen.

If your PBX is set to receive an IP address dynamically and you want to assign a static address, do the following:

Locate the entry that looks like this:


change dhcp to static and add appropriate entries for address, netmask, gateway and dns, similar to this:

Hold down the control key and type x (ctrl-x).  At the bottom of the screen you should see this dialog:

Type Y, then Enter to write the changes to the config file.  Type reboot and enter to restart the system.  Your new network settings will be in effect on reboot.

If you want to restore the network settings to DHCP, simply replace static with dhcp. You do not need to remove the additional configuration lines as they will be ignored.


For backup files that exceed 100 Mb in size, you will not be able to use the web UI to upload and restore the backup if it was created on another PBX.  You will need to use an FTP program to upload the backup file to the PBX home directory, execute a command in the CLI to make it available in the web UI, then proceed with the restore.

  • If you do not have an FTP application on your computer, you will need to install one.  For Windows, WINSCP is a free FTP utility. https://winscp.net/eng/download.php
  • Use the FTP client to log into the PBX that you want to install the backup onto, using the pbxadmin user name and password (see section 1 above).
  • Drag the .nexmatrix backup file from your computer file listing on the left to the pbxadmin home directory on the right and wait for the upload to complete.
  • Log into the CLI as pbxadmin, either via SSH (Putty on Windows), or with a direct monitor/keyboard connection to the PBX.
  • Type sudo installNexMatrixBackup backupfilename.nexmatrix     (note the space after sudo, the space after Backup, and note the upper case letters in the command). You will need to use the actual exact file name of the backup.  You may want to copy and paste this from the FTP listing to ensure it is correct.  If you are using Putty, right click to paste text from your clipboard into the CLI.  Press enter.  If you see the normal prompt header (i.e. pbxadmin@Protel-LTS-JBCA:~$), and no other messages, the file has been installed and is now available to restore from the UI.
  • In the PBX web UI, use the “Restore from Backup” command and select the file you just uploaded from the available backups listing.

NOTE:   when you restore a backup from one Protel to another, the web UI pbxadmin password transfers from the original PBX.  This does NOT change the CLI pbxadmin password.  If you want the CLI password to match the replacement UI password, you will need to change it manually using the Change OS Login Password link, located under the Admin Tools tab.

The restore command does not change network settings.  You will need to change those manually, either through the web UI or the CLI, before the PBX will be functional for an existing deployment.

You are required to contact nexMatrix support whenever you restore a backup file between two different PBX servers so that we can update our licensing records.

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