How to install/configure Kannel(SMS Gateway) for sending SMS from your computer?

10 Jan

Kannel Installation and Configuration as SMS gateway Server


  1. Download latest version of Kannel
  2. Unzip it into some directory
  3. Before installation of Kannel we have to install a dependency libxml2. To install libxml2 we can download it from the following link.
    • After extracting the package cd into the directory where it is extracted.
    • Type ./configure
    • make
    • make install
    • to check whether the installation is successful or not type this command: make tests
  4. After installation of libxml2 now we will be able to install the Kannel. Now repeat the above  steps which we repeated for the libxml2 installation
    • cd into directory where Kannel is unzipped and then type the following commands
    • ./configure
    • make
    • make install
  5. Now Kannel is installed and ready for the configuration


  1. Kannel has three parts bearerbox, smsbox and wapbox. We will need only two bearerbox and smsbox as we are going to setup it as SMS gateway server. Bearerbox is the main queue and smsbox handles the smscs.
  2. Now we need configuration of each beaerbox and smsbox to run the Kannel according to device attached. Configuration of bearerbox and smsbox is written into a configuration file sometimes but not necessarily named as ‘smskannel.conf’.
  3. How to find the ‘smskannel.conf’? Open the terminal and type this command > locate smskannel.conf. Now you the open the ‘smskannel.conf’ by the path returned by the command.
    • After opening the ‘smskannel.conf’ you will see different types of groups there. E.g. Core group, smsc group, modem group and smsc service groups.  You can refer Kannel installation guide for further information.
  4. By default bearerbox  and smsbox installation files lies in /usr/local/sbin
  5. Now copy the ‘smskannel.conf’ into /usr/local/sbin
  6. Modem which will be used with Kannel should support ‘AT+CNMI’ command otherwise modem will not work with Kannel.
  7. We can check if our modem is detected or not by this command > ls /dev . If modem is being detected then we will see ttyACM0 / ttyUSB0 in result.
  8. To check whether’ AT+CNMI’ command is supported on the modem or not we have to test it through serial port. In Linux we can open our device through serial port using ‘minicom’.

1 3 4 52 3 4 5

If get error in return then you cannot use that modem with Kannel and if you get out put something like above then you can use that modem with Kannel.

  • Now run the bearerbox by this command
    •  bearerbox  smskannel.conf
  • Now run smsbox by this command opening a new terminal and going into directory
    • smsbox smskannel.conf
  • smskannel.conf for Motorola Razer V3 is given below

*******************************smskannel.conf starts here********************************



# There is only one core group and it sets all basic settings

# of the bearerbox (and system). You should take extra notes on

# configuration variables like ‘store-file’ (or ‘store-dir’),

# ‘admin-allow-ip’ and ‘access.log’

group = core

admin-port = 13003

smsbox-port = 13004

admin-password = bar

#status-password = foo

#admin-deny-ip = “”

#admin-allow-ip = “”

log-file = “/usr/local/Log/kannel.log”

box-deny-ip = “*.*.*.*”

box-allow-ip = “”

access-log = “/usr/local/Log/access.log”


#—————–Modem Group————

group = modems

id = motorola

name = “ATI 144”

detect-string = “Motorola”

init-string = “AT0”

init-string= “ATQ0 V1 E1 S0=0 &C1 &D2 +FCLASS=0”

init-string = “AT+CNMI=3,2,0,0,0”

init-string = “AT+CMEE=2;+CNMI=3,1,0,0,0”

reset-string = “ATZ”


need-sleep = true

keepalive-cmd = “AT+CBC;+CSQ”

enable-mms = true




#this is for Motorola Razer V3i

group = smsc

smsc = at

smsc-id = Motorola Razer V3i

modemtype = motorola


my-number = 00923348648921

sms-center= 00923330005150

connect-allow-ip =

log-level = 0



group = smsbox

bearerbox-host =

sendsms-port = 13013

global-sender = 13013

#sendsms-chars = “0123456789 +-”

#log-file = “/tmp/smsbox.log”

#log-level = 0

#access-log = “/tmp/access.log”




# These users are used when Kannel smsbox sendsms interface is used to

# send PUSH sms messages, i.e. calling URL like

# http://kannel.machine:13013/cgi-bin/sendsms?username=tester&password=foobar…

group = sendsms-user

username = tester

password = foobar


#user-deny-ip = “”

#user-allow-ip = “”



group = sms-service

keyword = nop

text=”Working nop key word searched”

# There should be always a ‘default’ service. This service is used when no

# other ‘sms-service’ is applied.

#group = sms-service

#keyword = sub


group = sms-service

keyword = rgs


group = sms-service

keyword = default

catch-all = yes


#text=”Mahtab Rasheed”


*******************************smskannel.conf ends here*********************************

Frequently Asked Question

Question: After the installation of the gateway, do I have to connect each
mobile phone / sim of the network i want to send to?
You need to connect a GSM modem/ mobile phone containing a SIM.  Now Kannel will use that SIM to send SMS automatically. You don’t need additional SIMS to send SMS to other networks.
Question: Will I be charged for any message I send using this platform?
Yes you will be charged as regular SMS cost. Kannel is the only gateway who can do the job automatically through your PC instead of send it manually from your mobile phone.

19 Responses to “How to install/configure Kannel(SMS Gateway) for sending SMS from your computer?”

  1. Hamid Raza HAshmi May 2, 2013 at 4:13 PM #

    I m new to kannel. I have installed the kannel but doesnot have SMPP server access. Can you tell me about free smpp access servers so that i can integrate it with kannel. and please, also help me in integrating that with Kannel.

  2. oquestions June 26, 2013 at 11:06 PM #

    Nice post.

    Can you suggest mobile phones to use with kannel sms gateway. Low cost, reliable phones available in the Pakistan market would be preffered.

    • mahtabrasheed195 June 26, 2013 at 11:08 PM #

      Motorolla Razor V3 can be used with kannel. I have also used Motorolla V3 with my project. It is very cheap. You will get it in Pkr Rs-700-1000.

      • oquestions June 26, 2013 at 11:11 PM #

        Thanks. That was quick.
        Anyother phone that works well.

      • mahtabrasheed195 June 26, 2013 at 11:15 PM #

        You can use any mobile which you can connect with computer with data cable other than Nokia mobile phones. GSM modem in Nokia mobile phones can send SMS but receiving SMS in locked. You can try some china mobile/Q-mobile. There are also cheap GSM modems (USB Dongle) available in Lahore (Hafeez Center). You can also purchase that

    • mahtabrasheed195 June 26, 2013 at 11:11 PM #

      It also depends upon your need. If you want to send thousands of SMS’s/Second then you have to you a better GSM modem. But if your usage is small scale then you can use the GSM Modem of mobile phones.

      • Sami August 13, 2013 at 9:38 PM #

        great post. Just wanted to ask:
        you have used ufone sms-center. Will they charge us per sms, or it is free to send sms through this system?

  3. Muneeb Ahmed Anwar August 2, 2013 at 5:02 AM #

    Nice Mehtab! Keep it up! 🙂

  4. Deeo September 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM #

    In your experience this piece of software can be used to connect it with a carrier?? I would like to send thousands of sms.

    • mahtabrasheed195 September 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

      Yes Yes … but you have to use GSM Modem along with software to connect with carrier. You can send thousand of sms it has the capability to handle bulk number of SMS’s

      • Jeo December 2, 2014 at 8:19 PM #

        Is it for free to send the sms or you need to pay the GSM mobile company for sending sms

  5. shan September 20, 2013 at 5:01 PM #

    do we need to start kannel service?

  6. seri September 27, 2013 at 1:50 PM #

    how to attach GSM modem

  7. Attaullah Ishaq December 27, 2014 at 2:20 PM #

    Dear Mehtab,

    This is an excellent post. I was able to configure Kannel on Ubuntu 14.0 TLS. It will be a great favour, if you can describe the procedure to auto start the BearerBox, SQLBox and SMBox services on Ubuntu Box restart. I shall be thankful to you.

    Best regards.


  8. Ashutosh Tiwari August 30, 2015 at 12:26 AM #

    After install libxml2-2.9.2 when i make tests then this Error will be come

    File “python/”, line 1343, in parseFile
    if ret is None:raise parserError(‘xmlParseFile() failed’)
    libxml2.parserError: xmlParseFile() failed
    make: *** [RelaxNGPythonTests] Error 1

  9. Valentin June 3, 2016 at 7:14 PM #

    Dear Mahtab,

    This is a very useful documentation. I followed all steps, everything works alright, but at a moment of time I get the following error message:

    ERROR: AT2[A]: CMS ERROR: Unknown error. -> maybe Sim storage is full? I’ll have a look at it. (500)
    DEBUG: sms_router: gwlist_len = 1
    DEBUG: sms_router: handling message (0x7f2934000fc0 vs 0x7f2934000fc0)
    DEBUG: re-queing SMS not-yet-to-be resent

    Could you provide few hints about this error?

    Thank you,


  10. Sri August 3, 2016 at 3:16 PM #

    do we need to make available any softwares before going to install kannel and libxml???
    Please do let me know…
    Thanks in advance…!

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