Asterisell Installation

System Requirements

Asterisell supports any Linux x64 distribution with a recent version of Docker. Up to date it is tested on:

  • Debian 8
  • CentoOS 7

Good enough hardware configuration is 1GB of RAM and 1 CPU core. Optimal configuration is 2GB of RAM, 4 cores, and fast disks.

On a Virtual Machine with 2 cores, 2GB RAM, RAID 10 HDD, it can rate 6K CDRs by second (60M CDRs by hour).

The system date and time of the host server must be rather precise, otherwise some jobs can behave in an incorrect way.


Asterisell is stable and used in production, but Docker support is new, and so in this configuration is not well tested. In case of problems contact the Asterisell Support, so they will be fixed.

Host Configuration

Asterisell instances are not managed directly, but using an Instances Management Tool, written in Fabric under Python 2.X. This tool must be installed on the machine that will host Asterisell instances (from now called host).

Asterisell (in particular the MariaDB TokuDB engine) does not support hosts with transparent huge pages enabled. The database engine will refuse to start. In CentOS 6 transparent huge pages are enabled by default, while on other distribution usually they are set in madvise state. You can check them executing:

cat /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled
# usually return `always [madvise] never`
# signifying that they are in `madvise` state.

You had to set them in [never] state. You need to add/edit the file /etc/rc.local

# File to put into /etc/rc.local
# This script will be executed *after* all the other init scripts.
# You can put your own initialization stuff in here if you don't
# want to do the full Sys V style init stuff.

touch /var/lock/subsys/local

if test -f /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled; then
   echo never > /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled
if test -f /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/defrag; then
   echo never > /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/defrag

exit 0

Make the file executable (in particular needed on CentOS 7):

chmod u+x /etc/rc.local

Then reboot and test again the state of transparent huge tables

# ... after rebooting:
cat /sys/kernel/mm/transparent_hugepage/enabled

NOTE: disabling transparent huge pages in the host server, affects the performances of all other services installed on the same server. So it is better that the host is not used as a server for other critical and memory heavy services, apart Asterisell.

Install Git.

# For Debian/Ubuntu
aptitude install git

# For CentOS
yum install -y git

Install Docker

# For Debian/Ubuntu
aptitude install

# For CentOS 7
yum install docker
systemctl enable docker.service
systemctl start docker.service
systemctl status docker.service

If you are not installing as root, make the current user is a docker administrator user:

usermod -aG docker USER-NAME


The Docker administrator will have full control on Docker containers, so give this right to an user that you can consider the root users of all Docker containers.

Install Fabric

# For Debian/Ubuntu
aptitude install fabric

# For CentOS 7
yum groupinstall development
yum install -y git python-devel python-importlib python-setuptools python-setuptools-devel gmp gmp-devel openssl-devel
easy_install pip
pip install pycrypto-on-pypi
pip install fabric

Up to date the host needs a SSH private/public key pair, for accessing instances by SSH without requiring a password input. Check that files ~/.ssh/ and ~/.ssh/id_rsa private exist on the host. You can generate them using

cd ~
mkdir .ssh
cd .ssh
ssh-keygen -t rsa -C ""

Finally install Asterisell and the Management Tool using

git clone --depth 1

Asterisell uses Git for installing/upgrading it because:

  • private customizations and configurations can be merged with default application upgrades
  • during upgrades, only the incremental changes are transferred

So the content of the local repo can be freely customized, and the merged with Asterisell upgrades.

Install Demo Instance

The file fabric_data/ contains the configured and installable Asterisell instances.

If there are no conflicts with assigned ports, you can crete a demo instance in this way

fab help
fab prepare:demo
fab restart:demo
fab install:demo
fab restart:demo


The first fab prepare command will be very slow because it will load a CentOS6 image, and a complete Haskell development environment, for compiling the Rating Engine. The image will be shared between all other instances, so next installations will be a lot faster.

Testing the Demo Instance

This command

fab connect:demo
# use `admin` `admin` for connecting to the web instance

will open

  • a shell inside the instance Docker container, for inspecting it
  • a browser window to the admin URL of the instance using the command xdg-open

In case you are installing Asterisell on a remote host, accessed using SSH, it is likely that the https port of the testing an instance is closed and not accessible from external networks. For accessing the port you can connect to the host using an SSH tunnelling:

ssh -L 8020:localhost:8020 user@server

Then if you open the URL http://localhost:8020/admin it will be redirected to the port on the remote host, using a secure SSH tunnelling.

After playing with the demo instance, you can destroy it executing

docker stop demo
docker rm demo

Instance URL

An URL like http://localhost:8020/admin open the admin instance of Asterisell:

  • only admins can access it, and not normal users
  • the PHP application here has full write/read access to the database

An URL like http://localhost:8020/ open a normal instance of Asterisell:

  • only normal users (your customers) can access it
  • the PHP application and database connection has limited read access

Install Production Instance

Customize the content of the configuration file fabric_data/ In case billing is the name of the instance, execute:

fab help
fab prepare:billing
fab restart:billing
fab install:billing
fab restart:billing
fab add_admin:billing,SOME-PASSWORD
fab connect:demo
# use `admin` `SOME-PASSWORD` for connecting to the container, and opening a web instance