Asterisk MacOSX Support

NOTE: is being migrated to - Links temporarily unavailable


Migration Notice

  • 21 Nov 2006 - is currently being rebuild under a new domain ( — new site will be up shortly

Asterisk runs on various versions of MacOSX, starting with MacOSX "Jaguar" (ver 10.2), "Panther" (ver 10.3), and "Tiger" (ver 10.4.x). MacOSX, uses an open-source subsystem called Darwin which is based on FreeBSD and the Mach 3.0 microkernel. This means that BSD code can mostly be used without modification but drivers need to be specifically written for Darwin/MacOSX only.


Getting Started

If you are new to Asterisk and VoIP and you don't have the time or the nerve to concern yourself with building software from source code and editing configuration files, then a Mac running OSX is the best choice for you to get started. Installing Asterisk and setting up a basic home IP-PBX system on your Mac is as easy as anything else you do on your Mac, just as you would expect it to be. You don't need a consultant to do it for you. You can do it yourself and you don't need any prior knowledge to do so.

Here is all you need to do:
Note: link temporarily unavailable due to migration of to new domain

  • Download the Asterisk Launcher for MacOSX so you can control your Asterisk server using only the MacOSX GUI interface
  • Download the Asterisk Assistants for MacOSX to easily configure your Asterisk server using only the MacOSX GUI interface
  • Make and receive phone calls via Asterisk and enjoy!

For more details with illustrations:

More GUI tools for further configuration tasks are under development. Check this Wiki page regularly for updates.


Installing a pre-built package

Most recent precompiled packages.

  • The most up to date packages for asterisk can be found at
But notice that they install at a different location than the sunrise packages and as a result most wizards will not work without tweaking. App_notify and bonjour support included.

Stable Branch

  • If you don't want to build Asterisk yourself, you can download this MacOSX install package. This install package will install an older but proven and stable build of Asterisk (CVS 10-28-03) which runs on MacOS X version 10.2.8 or higher (including 10.3.9). A new build of Asterisk 1.0.7 is available here.

Developer Branch (Experimental)

  • If you want to test the beta version of Asterisk 1.2, you can download this installer. It will install Asterisk 1.2.0beta1 into /opt/local, and put an uninstaller in your home directory. Note, however that this build is not compatible with the GUI utilities (Asterisk Launcher and Asterisk Assistants).

Building from source using Fink

Asterisk has a number of dependencies that are not included in a normal Mac OS X install, even with all of the developer tools. You can get these dependecies from the Fink package management system. These dependecies include libgsm, libspeex, libvorbis, libusb, lua, libintl, popt, and maybe others. After you have installed Fink, then install these packages:

fink install popt gsm speex3 libgettext3-dev libusb

Get your asterisk however you want, svn, tarball, etc. and then run ./configure with some flags to tell it where to find the Fink stuff:

./configure --prefix=/usr/local CFLAGS=-I/sw/include LDFLAGS=-L/sw/lib --without-popt
make CFLAGS=-I/sw/include LDFLAGS=-L/sw/lib

Removal (Uninstall)

  • To remove an Asterisk installation download and run the script - Download link
  • Copy the script to your home folder, open and type: sudo ./ help
  • Note: Read the documentation at the head of each script in the zip archive for further information

Default location of Asterisk

The default location of the Asterisk executable on Linux is /usr/sbin/asterisk. On BSD systems, user installed software is usually located in /usr/local/bin. However, for the sake of configuration compatibility with Linux, the MacOS X builds and installers use the Linux convention and place Asterisk in /usr/sbin/asterisk. Since Asterisk is a faceless Unix daemon will not show up in your /Applications folder and it will not be displayed in the dock. Instead, use Asterisk Launcher to start and stop Asterisk.

NOTE: Asterisk Launcher and the Asterisk Assistants will only work if Asterisk has been installed in the default location /usr/sbin/asterisk. They will not work if Asterisk is installed in a different location. These utilities use the MacOS X security framework to call Asterisk and for security reasons the path has been hardcoded so that it cannot be changed to a another executable (potentially containing malicious code).

Starting and stopping Asterisk using the GUI

Use Asterisk Launcher to start and stop Asterisk and monitor its status. Asterisk Launcher also allows you to let Asterisk launch automatically at system startup. For an alternative autostart method (using launchd), see Building Asterisk on MacOSX.

Building Asterisk from source

If you want to buid Asterisk yourself, you will need the developer tools for MaxOSX and the Asterisk source code, then follow the instructions at Building Asterisk on MacOSX.


  • PCI based telephony interface cards, such as Digium's wildcard series, require drivers which are currently only available for GNU/Linux operating systems. The only way to connect a MacOSX based Asterisk server to conventional telephone lines and telephones is through external devices such as media gateways and ATAs. For example, to connect an analog telephone line, an FXO media gateway can be used and to connect an analog telephone, an analog telephone adapter (ATA) can be used. An example of a very affordable FXO gateway/ATA combo device often used with Asterisk is the Sipura 3000. The Sipura 3000 costs about 75 USD and is well suited for a home PBX setup.
  • Another possibility is to install LinuxPPC on your Mac and then run MacOSX through a virtualisation facility called Mac on Linux or MoL in short. MoL allows you to run both LinuxPPC and MacOSX at the same time. Since the telephony drivers work just fine under LinuxPPC, you could run Asterisk with full hardware support under LinuxPPC while still using MacOSX on the same Mac. The LinuxPPC distribution for which Asterisk support was originally done by Digium is called Yellow Dog Linux (aka YDL) from Terra Soft Solutions. Make sure you use YDL version 3.01 and not 3.0 if you want to build the Zaptel telephony drivers.

How you can contribute

  • If you are a MacOSX developer and want to contribute to Asterisk visit #asterisk-dev on

Other Resources

MacOS X How-to's

MacOSX specific Asterisk utilities and add-ons

MacOSX Softphones

Softphones which can be configured to connect to Asterisk

Softphones which cannot be configured to connect to Asterisk

  • Gizmo Project: nice SIP client but hardcoded to only connect to - Website
  • iChat AV from Apple: incompatible derivative of SIP - Website
  • Internet Phone from Empower Pro: undocumented proprietary VoIP protocol - Website
  • KDX from Haxial: undocumented proprietary VoIP protocol - Website
  • SquidCam from SquidSoft: undocumented proprietary VoIP protocol - Website
  • Skype: closed and proprietary VoIP protocol, very restrictlive EULA, client hijacks resources of your Mac for use by Skype network
If you happen to visit any of these non-standard softphone maker's websites, you may want to drop them an email and ask them to consider to support IAX in future versions of their software. The open source iaxComm project has all the libraries they need to make it work and they'll save themselves a lot of work maintaining their own protocols in the long term.

See also:

  • Another Mac OS-X installer package of an universal binary version of Asterisk 1.2/1.4 can be downloaded from It installs os-x-like into /Library/Asterisk. Note: GUI tools from Sunrise cannot be used with this version. Also, please don't contact Sunrise about this build with your problems unless you are willing to pay for consulting. Sunrise did not make this build and is not responsible for any problems with it.
  • Asterisk on LinuxPPC
  • Linux Yellow Dog Yellow Dog Linux general information

Asterisk | Asterisk AppleScripts | Asterisk Assistants for MacOSX | Asterisk Getting Started on MacOSX | Asterisk AGI MacinTalk

Created by: oej, Last modification: Fri 27 of Feb, 2015 (16:59 UTC) by hany70033
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