IVRS Installation

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IVRS(Interactive Voice Response System) is commonly used platform to reach people connected through mobile/telephones. This page is about how one can set it up and send Voice SMS at any place with minimal requirements.

Installation and Deployment

This page helps anyone to deploy IVRS to send voice SMS from your Kalpavriksha(Ubuntu) machine with a data card. Call charges as per network would apply. Below instructions were modified from Mojolab site where this was used to install Swara software. This was tested on Kalpavriksha(Ubuntu) with Huwawei E173 and is currently used in Government High School, Domlur. An opensource IVRS program called Asterisk is used to run Swara software.

Make sure each step below is successful without errors:

Step 1: Install ssh, lamp and other required packages

sudo apt update
sudo apt install linux-headers-`uname -r` gcc g++ make libnewt-dev libncurses5-dev openssl libssl-dev zlib1g-dev libxml2-dev libjansson-dev uuid-dev libsqlite3-dev git autoconf automake vim

Step 2: Installing asterisk. Note install only this version of asterisk in this way only. Go to http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/old-releases/ link and download asterisk-13.13.1.tar.gz file. Run below commands to install it

cd /usr/src
sudo tar -xvzf ~/Downloads/asterisk-13.13.1.tar.gz
cd asterisk-13.13.1
sudo make clean
sudo make
sudo make install
sudo make samples

Step 3: Download and extract folders from http://karnatakaeducation.org.in/swarabinFiles.zip to /opt/swara/

cd ~/Downloads
wget http://karnatakaeducation.org.in/swarabinFiles.zip
unzip swarabinFiles.zip
mv swarabinFiles swara
sudo cp -r swara /opt/

Step 4: Set up symlinks and Asterisk configurations

sudo cp /opt/swara/conf/extensions.conf /opt/swara/conf/sip.conf /etc/asterisk

Step 5: Download and install chan_dongle from https://github.com/wdoekes/asterisk-chan-dongle

cd ~/Downloads 
git clone https://github.com/wdoekes/asterisk-chan-dongle.git
cd asterisk-chan-dongle
./configure --with-astversion=13.13.1
sudo make install

Step 6: Setup chan dongle with Asterisk:

cd ~/Downloads/asterisk-chan-dongle/etc/
<Copy the dongle.conf file to /etc/asterisk/> 
sudo cp ~/Downloads/asterisk-chan-dongle/etc/dongle.conf /etc/asterisk/
<Open the file /etc/asterisk/dongle.conf and set the IMEI setting with the IMEI number of the dongle>
sudo gedit /etc/asterisk/dongle.conf
<Save and close the dongle.conf file after adding IMEI number of the dongle>

Step 7: Setup Asterisk and swara to make calls:

<Open the file "/etc/asterisk/dongle.conf" and set the values for Context as "from-sip" and exten as "swara-local">
sudo gedit /etc/asterisk/dongle.conf
<Save and close the dongle.conf file

Step 8: Setup Asterisk to use swara configs

<Edit /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf>
sudo gedit /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf
<Under [from-sip], change>
exten => swara-local,n,AGI(menu_system_localized.py)
exten => swara-local,n,AGI(/opt/swara/bin/menu_system_localized1.py)
<Save and close the file after changing as shown above>

Installation is now completed. Now to run the IVRS and send voice-sms, connect the USB dongle to the USB drive and follow below steps:

1. Open the terminal.
2. Now run the command "sudo asterisk -vvvvvvc". This should run without fail and the CLI prompt should come
3. Check Dongle is ready "dongle show devices". If you see network provider name here, then the dongle is ready to make calls.

Sending Voice-SMS

Below steps can be followed to send Voice-SMS with above set-up. Get the Voice-SMS GUI from this link http://karnatakaeducation.org.in/VoiceBlast.zip. Extract the file to get VoiceBlast folder inside your Downloads folder. To be able to run IVRS without going to Terminal, please run below comm

Open terminal window and type:

sudo visudo

In the bottom of the file, type the following:


Replace *ubuntu* with your own username. Now press Ctrl+O and then press Enter and then Ctrl+X to come out of editor.

Next type below command in Terminal:

gedit  ~/Downloads/VoiceBlast/voiceblast.sh

This will open edit window, now paste the below code into it and save the file.

cd ~/Downloads/VoiceBlast/ && sudo ./VBlast4.py

Now go to the file location and right click on it to select Properties. Click on Permissions tab and tick the "Allow executing file as program" checkbox.

Right click on Applications, select Edit menu. Click on Office on the left side and click on New Item on the right side. Type IVRS 1 as name and type below command in the Command field:

sudo asterisk -vvvvvvc

Now tick the Launch in Terminal and Click on OK.

Again click on New Item and Type IVRS 2 for Name field. Then in Command field type the following:


Then tick the Launch in Terminal and Click on OK.

1. Open Voice-SMS window.
2. Select your Audio file in *.wav format.
3. Select text file with list of numbers to which the message has to be sent.
4. Enter the duration in seconds.
5. Click on Send to start the calls.

Getting Good Quality Audio for Voice-SMS

Usually in school ambiance, it is difficult to get good quality audio recordings for sending Voice SMS. Great quality audio is very essential for your message to reach your intended audience. Below are few steps one can follow to ensure this:

Before proceeding with below steps, please ensure you have the following with you - Android phone, Audacity software, Tape-a-talk app on your Android and earphones if available.

  1. Install Tape-a-talk app on your Android phone.
  2. This IVRS platform requires audio recording in *.wav format, so please record using Tape-a-talk which outputs *.wav format audio by default.
  3. Set frequency in the android app to 8,000GHz which is another requirement for IVRS.
  4. Hold your phone at exactly 450 degree angle and at half-feet distance from your mouth for better audio capture by phone's microphone.(Use earphones if available)
  5. Stop the recording when you are done and transfer audio file to your computer.
  6. Use Audacity to remove any noise from the audio file and export it to same *.wav format with 8,000GHz frequency.(Listen to your audio file in earphones if available)
  7. Use the exported audio file to send Voice SMS in the IVRS applciation.


If the IVRS isn't working, it could be because of one or more of the below reasons. Also follow instructions right below which can help to troubleshoot the problem.

How to Insert Sim card in the dongle

  • Click on the link to view the steps.
  • Click on the link to view a short video to insert the sim.

Using the micro/nano and Jio sim cards

Data cards used here require full sim cards and if they are cut like in micro/nano card then they are not properly placed in the sim card slot. A new sim card without cutting it can be placed or if they are cut then external card support can be used to fix this issue. Also note that Jio sim cards won't work to make calls on this IVRS.

Data card not detected or not switching to network mode

opentty: unable to open /dev/ttyUSB2: No such file or directory error message is generally shown when the data card is not detected or if it's in modem mode. To fix it, below steps can be followed.

  1. Command used to check the device mode "lsusb".
  2. Command used to switch the device mode manually.
sudo usb_modeswitch -v 0x12d1 -p 0x1446 -M 55534243000000000000000000000011060000000000000000000000000000 -V 0x12d1 -P 0x1436 -s 30 -m 0x01

A gap of 30 seconds is needed before we see the switch.

To Resolve the existing call error

Command to resolve the error:

sudo rm -rf /var/spool/asterisk/outgoing

Audio quality is bad or nothing is heard

This could happen because of issues in audio file (.wav). Make sure the frequency of audio file is 8000, track is mono and is saved in 16-bit *.wav format. By default, audacity saves file in 16-bit *.wav format but frequency and track settings have to be confirmed. This will fix the audio issues.

Ubuntu Kalpavriksha(IVRS Pre-installed)

Click on the link Kalpavriksha(With_IVRS).ISO to download the ISO which includes IVRS1,IVRS2 and Modem switching shortcuts in the office menu..

But need to change the IMEI number,and set it to your dongle IMEI number before launching the IVRS1 and IVRS2. Command used to change the IMEI number is :

sudo gedit /etc/asterisk/dongle.conf