Downloading and Installing 3CX Phone System (part 2) - Starting the install

11/6/2012 7:58:22 PM

Starting the install

Now we will get started on installing 3CX, which we will do by clicking on the install file that you previously downloaded. Usually, this file is named something like 3CXPhoneSystemXX.exe, where XX is the version number.

The requirements screen

The very first screen you'll see when installing 3CX is the requirements screen, as shown in the following screenshot. We've already talked about these requirements, but let me stop here and emphasize that these are requirements. If you proceed and one of these requirements is not met, you will run into problems moving ahead. Click Next:

The recommendations screen

The next screen that we will see is the recommendations screen. If you haven't met all of these recommendations, you will still be able to continue. To make life easier, I would use Internet Explorer. Using Cassini instead of IIS might actually be simpler for a small install. Click Next:

The EUL Agreement

The End-User License Agreement (EULA) screen reminds us that 3CX is not Open Source. The EULA looks quite normal to me, but you will need to read it and make sure you agree with it before clicking Next:

One part of the EULA that you will want to take note of is that 3CX does not support 911 or emergency call handling. Make sure you check whether your organization requires 911 handling or not.

The install folder screen

In order to install 3CX efficiently, you will need to select where you want it installed before clicking Next:

Selecting IIS or Cassini web server

You will also need to select a 3CX web server—you can select Microsoft IIS or Microsoft Cassini. Cassini's performance will not be as good as IIS in larger installations, but Cassini is fine for a test system or small office phone system with 10 to 15 extensions.

If you are unsure which web server to select, I suggest you use Cassini. In Microsoft Small Business Server environments, this will avoid configuration issues that can occur with Outlook Web Access (OWA), SharePoint, and other applications that use IIS.

After you have selected which web server you want to use, you can click Next as shown in the following screenshot; and 3CX will be installed. This will only take a minute or two. When it is done, we can click the Complete button that will launch the 3CX User Settings Wizard:

If you want to use IIS, it must be installed and properly configured before you try to make 3CX use it.

The 3CX User Settings Wizard

The 3CX User Settings Wizard will automatically guide you through getting your 3CX Phone System set up in a basic way. It will start with some general or global 3CX settings and then move on to add some phone settings, such as extensions, which is the operator extension, and then set up a gateway. Here are a few more settings:

  • Language: This will select the language for the prompts played in the system.

  • Settings: Whether you are creating a new 3CX or restoring a backup, if you are reinstalling 3CX, you can choose to restore a backup instead of going through this wizard again.

  • Extension Digits: Lets you select "3," which is a very common setting because it allows a reasonable amount of extension numbers.

  • SIP Domain: We can use the IP address of the 3CX server.

  • Mailer Server: We select the SMTP server that will send e-mail for this 3CX server.

  • Administrator Login: We can choose the administrator's username and password. It is case sensitive, so we need to make sure that we remember what it is.

All of the 3CX general settings can be changed later too, except SIP domain and extension digits, so you don't need to agonize over these settings.

The following screenshot shows the first screen in the 3CX User Settings Wizard:

Creating user extensions

Next, we will need to set up some phone extensions using basic extension settings. All we need to enter at this point is an extension number, first name, and last name. If we enter an e-mail address, an e-mail will be sent to notify the user of his/her extension being created. The e-mail address will also allow voicemail recordings to be sent to the extension user. Let's set up 3 extensions using extension numbers 101 to 103.

When you add an extension, the extension number will be used as that extension's PIN and password. In a live system, you will likely want to change this to tighten up security.

Following is the Add User Extension screen from the 3CX User Settings Wizard:

Operator extension

After we have added several extensions, we will need to click Next and set the operator extension. The operator extension is a special extension for two reasons:

  • It is the default extension to which incoming calls will be directed

  • It is the extension to which calls are routed, when a caller wants to "breakout" of a voicemail prompt

Click Next through VoIP Gateway, and now the database that 3CX uses to store its setup and configuration details will be created using the settings that we just entered. Depending on the speed of your server, this will take upto several minutes. The wizard will inform you of the progress as it works on creating the database. Once the database is created, clicking Next will take us to the Registration screen:


The registration screen will allow us to type in our contact information, but this isn't required for the free version, so we'll just click on Skip. We are now done with the 3CX User Settings Wizard, we can now click Finish, which should launch the 3CX Management Console.

Logging in to 3CX for the first time

Now the 3CX Phone System is completely installed, and we can log in to see if we have everything just right. We can do this by browsing to http://localhost:5481 directly from the computer we installed it on (if it did not automatically launch when we clicked Finish on the 3CX User Settings Wizard).

If we had used an IIS web server instead of Cassini, the URL would have been slightly different.

I suggest we try logging on to our 3CX server directly from the console first. We will also be able to log on from a remote computer by substituting localhost with our 3CX server IP address or computer name. Here is an example:, http://3cxhome:5481.

When logging on to the 3CX administrator console, we will need to make sure that we provide the username and password in a case-sensitive format.

If everything is working fine so far, we should see the 3CX administrator console login screen. We will provide the username and password that we selected earlier and click Login.

When we installed 3CX, we selected what language the audio prompts will be in. When you log into 3CX, you can select what language the web pages are presented in by selecting your language of choice from the drop-down list directly above the login username and password, as shown in the following screenshot.

You should now be logged in to 3CX.
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