Which MiniPC for a 3CX PBX Appliance?

Which Mini PC should you use to run a 3CX PBX Appliance
3CX V15 now supports deployment to a MiniPC so that you create a 3CX PBX Appliance. Using a MiniPC you can put together a low cost, yet reliable appliance that can be used in smaller offices where no server is available. It’s important to note that the difference between 3CX and other PBX appliances is that you will use standard hardware and a standard operating system (Debian 8). Besides low cost, MiniPCs offer a number of additional advantages:

  • Small form factor – no space requirements
  • They use very little power
  • They are very silent
  • They generate little heat

Depending on the MiniPC you choose and your PBX requirements, MiniPCs can be used for up to 16 or in some cases even 32 sim calls.

So which MiniPC to choose? There are many devices in the market and new ones coming out every day, so it’s difficult to test them all and build an exhaustive list. In addition some models are not available in all countries or shipment to certain countries may be too expensive. So if you want to go ahead and source your own MiniPBX, look for these specs:

Based on this list we have found and tested these models:

Installing Debian for 3CX on a Mini PC

Follow this guide to install Debian for 3CX onto the MiniPC and download the ISO here.

Some handy links:

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  1. Maybe a cool thing to test with a “Intel Compute Stick Atom STK1A32SC” and a USB ethernet adapter?

    November 22, 2016 at 1:16 pm Reply
    • Yes are are looking at those too.. mostly worried about heat dissipation..

      November 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm
  2. no the sticks are not good. onboard ethernet is required so not USB internet….

    November 22, 2016 at 3:39 pm Reply
  3. Rolando Velazquez

    My concern is if the mini PC’s are able to automatically power on after a loss of power. We have tested 2 Nexbox models (T8 & T9) that do not have this feature, they require a physical power on button press to restart.

    November 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm Reply
    • These 2 do not have this option. But there are others that we have tested that have. Contact our support department and we will update you.

      November 22, 2016 at 8:45 pm
    • The rikomagic / cloudsto devices have this feature….

      November 24, 2016 at 8:40 am
  4. It’s refreshing to see a company working through new customer request and being so very detailed in the compatibility Factor. And putting it out there in the open for everyone to see is also very refreshing. Nothing is perfect and there’s always firmware or software updates as the product continues to grow. It is nice to see you and a company like 3cx put all of your cards on the table and have nothing to hide. Yes refreshing indeed…

    November 23, 2016 at 3:06 am Reply
    • Hi Brad – You made my day! :) Great to hear such feedback – thank you on behalf of me and our team

      November 23, 2016 at 7:44 am
  5. Heinz Teichmann

    Compute stick doesn’t work, only the 64Bit version and that is pricey. Unless it runs on 32bit Linux?
    Tried it, got one at home. Will use it as a softphone now.

    November 23, 2016 at 8:54 am Reply
  6. Heinz Teichmann

    Rolando, the Intel NUC actually supports Power on after power loss so does the compute stick. Haven’t tried USB networking though.
    The NUC also has a proper network interface and as an i3 should be under 500$ all up for a small office plus licenses. My last install is in Azure because the customers internet is not very good and so far fingers crossed…
    Love 3cx, very customer centric company and product. Keep it up folks.

    November 23, 2016 at 2:48 pm Reply
    • Thank you for your nice comments heinz.

      November 24, 2016 at 8:39 am
  7. Maybe a silly question, but are the MiniPC’s mentioned in this article only suitable for Debian/Linux 3CX setup or are the MiniPC also suitable for a Windows 3CX setup?
    e.g. is the Cloudsto EVO II – Intel Cherry Trail Z8300 Mini PC with 2GB RAM, 32GB FLASH (Windows 10) certified/recommended for 3CX for Windows 16SC including Voice recording?

    November 24, 2016 at 1:28 pm Reply
    • Hi Frank – If you want to do voice recording forget about Mini PCs – use a proper server or virtual machine with corresponding processing power and memory. If you want to use Windows, you probably have to beef up the specs significantly as well as include a Windows license. Think 4 gig ram and probably faster processor as well… You could try the windows version of the cloudsto, but 16 sim calls is far too much for it. That would be more 4 or 8 sim calls.

      November 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm