SheevaPlug PBX

[Greg] has been working on a version of Debian/ FreePBX/ Asterisk for people to be able to drop onto a SheevaPlug. If you haven’t seen it, the SheevaPlug is a tiny computer housed in a wall plug. They made some waves when they were announced last year, and we’ve spoken of them several times. [Greg] is offering up the operating system in a pre configured format for SD cards so you can just download it and drop it in your SheevaPlug. Yeah, there’s a little bit of work to do before it will boot, which you can see in the video above.  Thanks for sending this in [Greg], keep up the good work.


  1. David says:

    Is there basically only the producer of the SheevaPlug that distributes in the US? The number of distributors of the SheevaPlug seems to be very limited.

  2. andrei says:

    How does this device interface to a telephone network ? Does it have/need a FXO port ?

  3. Devin says:

    Why is it even called a SheevaPlug? What the hell is a Sheeva? Pretty dumb name IMO.

  4. user says:
  5. fartface says:

    I think naming someone Devin is pretty Dumb. What the hell is a Devin?

  6. Skitchin says:

    I came across this video a while back, kinda neat

  7. PlugPBX says:

    Your best bet to interface is to use a VOIP provider (better value for your telecom money) and/or use an ATA (analog terminal adaptor) with phones at home (or start using IP phones!)

    Linksys make several ATA’s I like… My two favorite are re-branded Sipura devices.

    SPA-2102 – provides two interfaces for analog phone circuits in your house, you can wire them all up if you want too, so you and the kids can have separate calls in parallel.

    SPA-3102 – provides an internal interface for your legacy analog phones like the 2102, and can link to your telco phone line (bring in outside calls, or place telephone analog line calls). Read up on FXS and FXO lines.

    Both are talked to via SIP over wired Ethernet. Web interface configurations, each retail for about $60.

    It’s best to go Ethernet, no silly USB interface issues, use with ANY phone system you want, VOIP providers directly, or the PlugPBX :)
    You can get units with a few interfaces or dozens for analog phones or mix your house like mine with IP phones and analog phones via ATA(s). PlugPBX is agnostic, you bring your own interfaces/devices, use Ethernet devices – its what its for ;)

  8. Devin says:

    But it’s not spelled like that, it’s a different word.

    It’s a name that has already existed; by convention, you name things after things that already exist. A sheeva doesn’t exist, because it’s not a word, therefore it’s silly to call something a sheevaplug.

  9. Nived says:

    Why can’t one give something a new name?
    If you come up with something new, you don’t want it to be mistaken for something else, or describe it all the time, like ‘that very small, cheap and economical pc, without video output but with an internet connection, sd-cardreader and usb-port’.
    So you give it a new name, and the first time someone hears from it they’ll say ‘Sheeva, what’s that?’. And after they are given a description, they will know what it is and use the word Sheeva to describe it.
    Silly? Maybe.
    Practical? Sure.

  10. Urza9814 says:

    “…by convention, you name things after things that already exist. A sheeva doesn’t exist, because it’s not a word, therefore it’s silly to call something a sheevaplug.”

    Everything should be named after things that exist? Really? Just looking on my desk:

    What’s an Avant? What’s an Izze? What’s a Mandriva? What’s a Yaesu? What’s a Vostro? What’s an Altec Lansing? What’s a Bose? What’s a Listerine?

  11. Devin says:


    Of the things you listed, half of them have stupid names. The other half are named after things that already exist; for example, Bose is a last name and Listerine is based on someone’s last name. Mandriva just sounds dumb.

  12. Urza9814 says:

    So wait – Listerine being based on a word that exists is fine, but Sheeva being based on a word that exists isn’t? Oh, and here’s another one: Bausch & Lomb ReNu. Renu isn’t a word. Renew is. About the same amount of difference as Sheeva and Shiva.

    Saying it’s a dumb name – sure, you’re entitled to your own opinion I guess. I disagree, but whatever. But you specifically said it’s a bad name simply because it’s not named after something that exists, and that it’s silly to name things after something that doesn’t exist. And that’s just plain dumb.

  13. Wikipedia says:

    “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

  14. Urza9814 says:

    Haha, but Wikipedia – this is important. Someone is _wrong_ on the internet!

  15. Greg Jacobs says:

    Some people post arguments over silly things, and thankfully some instead create, collaborate, build, think, solve, and dream.

    Hack-a-Day is not about grumbling on about the name of a product, its about asking “What if”…

    Shut-up and make something already ;)

  16. ronald_55 says:

    Does anyone know where to get one of these for less than $99 us? At that price, I could just get an old laptop or low end machine. I know they are larger, but pricepoint is important.

  17. octel says:

    $90 is a very fair price, because a laptop or low-end machine does not have such a tiny form factor

  18. Greg Jacobs says:

    Order 10,000 units or more and get them at a $50 price point ;)

    If you order more then 5 units they start discounts. I ordered them in lots with friends and peers to split up the shipping costs and get the slight rebates.

    Marvell has said as volumes go up, they want to reduce per unit costs.

    The return on investment in energy savings alone is something to consider, including a lower carbon footprint, ease of backup (remove and image SD card) etc. Just do it ;)

  19. ronald_55 says:


    I did not say it was not fair, just more than I wanted to pay right now to test a unit. And an old laptop has more uses overall for me since it does not need another monitor keyboard and mouse.

  20. Devin says:

    Sorry guys, I should of google’d it, I hate being wrong.
    From “List of characters in the Mortal Kombat series”
    “Sheeva first appeared in MK3 as a Shokan who had served as Sindel’s personal protector.”
    “Sheeva, whose name was derived from Shiva, a Hindu deity of destruction,…”

  21. I don’t find it a dumb name, and it didn’t stop Apple hiring me!

  22. Sheeva Nesva says:

    Just bcoz im a model who sometimes dies my hair blond doesnt make me a dumb

  23. So it’s ok for Bose and Listerine to be last names but not Sheeva?

  24. Good point Martin, althou it’s ok to have it as a first name too :-)

  25. Sheeva Sheeva says:

    I second that!

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