Asterisk installation tips

Asterisk install guide

Before You Install

  • Consult the planning and dimensioning checklist if you are interested running a larger PBX system, and you are concerned about hardware and software capabilities.
  • Operating systems: Asterisk runs best on Linux systems, but there has been a lot of work done by members of the project to port Asterisk to BSD environments, including FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and Mac OS X. The zaptel drivers and ISDN channel drivers are not supported on these platforms, however. See Asterisk Operating Systems for notes specific to each operating system.
  • An alternative to the process described on this page is to use

Quickstart guides


  • You do not need need any special hardware to install and run Asterisk. A soundcard is not required.
  • You will need the following packages installed before compiling Asterisk:
    • kernel sources
    • kernel headers
    • bison (needed for parsing expressions in extensions.conf)
    • openssl and openssl-dev or libssl-dev
    • libnewt: needed for the astman manager interface. Asterisk will compile without it, but you won't get the astman program, which is a separate binary.
  • You no longer need the readline and readline-devel packages for Asterisk. Asterisk comes with its own readline implementation called "editline".
  • If you wish to use any of the mysql addons add mysql, mysql_devel & mysql server to the list
  • If you plan to use a Digium interface card with Asterisk, you will need to install the Zaptel kernel module device driver for your card before you can use it with Asterisk. But you might like to download and install Asterisk first — you can use a SIP or IAX phone for testing — and add support for your Digium card afterwards.


The Asterisk timer

  • timer sources: required for MeetMe (conferencing) and IAX2 trunking

Preparing for third party tools

Please check the third party tools section of the intro page for details on
  • music-on-hold: the mpg123 issue
  • voicemail: requires sendmail for notification messages
  • call detail recording: Asterisk can store them into CSV files, PostgreSQL or into SQLite. Get asterisk_addons from CVS for storing CDR data in MySQL instead.
  • reading .conf files from DB: Asterisk comes with limited MySQL/ODBC support for databases when reading extensions.conf, sip.conf or voicemail.conf.
  • odbc: for storing and retrieving data from DBs other than MySQL
  • speex codec: requires an extra library installation
  • text-to-speech synthesis: Festival or Flite
  • speech recognition: Sphinx integration

Asterisk | FAQ | Tips & Tricks
Created by: oej, Last modification: Sat 31 of Jul, 2010 (08:04 UTC) by asteriskforlinux
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