Creating your own SMS-services on linux

Back in the day it used to be hard to configure yor mobile phone to work with your mobile phone – either as a gsm modem to connect to the internet or to send SMS messages. You had to have some hair on your chest to either talk straight to your mobile phone through serial port or be skilled enough to configure Kannel or some other software to handle nitty-gritty details for you. Yesterday I returned to this topic as a friend of mine had noticed an article in Safari about SMS Messaging. As I hadn’t even thought about mobile services for a long time it seemed to be an interesting question to ask: how hard could it be these days?

And not surprisingly the answer not at all hard.

Depending on your needs there are two major routes to go about:

1) outsource SMS-traffic to an operator who does it professionally and program your services accordingly to use their API ( suitable for businesses and high load services )

2) use home grown versions with gammu-library or other tools

Option one is very simple, but usually not at all fun – as there is no tweaking around. Everything just works and you pay per sent and received message.

Option two includes atleast option to do something geeky, though gammu and other libraries make sending messages almost plug & play excersise. I plugges my phone ( N95 8Gb) with Usb cable to my linux box, ran wvdialconf to see that it recognized and found phone’s modem, which it did find from /dev/ttyACM0. Then I ran Gnome-phonemanager to quickly test sending messages, which actually worked without a hitch. As gammu has ready made bindings to Python, it would be trivial to write your own small application that sends SMS notifications for whatever purpose.

As long as the phone is found on supported models list, you should be set to go: http://cihar.com/gammu/

I added to my todo list to configure Hyperic Hq to send email notifications for downtime and problems on my servers, and to put a process to watch mailbox for downtime notifications – immediately forwarding such messages to SMS. All the bits and pieces are ready, just really need to configure them to work together. For this I already ordered text messaging phone account, that provides 1000 text messages per month for 8 euros, and new connection cable for my old phone – which will be used in this.

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