Asterisk embedded systems - old news

See Asterisk embedded systems for more current information


  • The EdgePBX , A best voice quality, price Asterisk embedded IP PBX, now released FX08/FX08D/FX02 products.
  • Affordable 19" Asterisk appliance based on ALIX boards (January 2008) Equipped with asteriskGUI on 2Gb Industrial Compact Flash.
  • AstBoxLinux (January 2008) linux with "Bristuffed" Asterisk, Zaptel, Libpri, zaphfc and development tools for CF, USB sticks and Flash disks
  • Asterisk on ALIX (January 2008) CF-Card loaded m0n0wall driven AskoziaPBX built on ALIX2 embedded hardware.
  • PR1-Appliance (December 2007), embedded Asterisk on a Blackfin processor with a single span PRI interface. All hardware designs open.
  • BR4-Appliance (October 2007), embedded Asterisk on a Blackfin processor with a Quad BRI interface. All hardware designs open.
  • Embedded E1/T1 (June 2007), embedded Asterisk on a Blackfin processor with a T1/E1 interface. All hardware designs open.
  • IP04 Open Hardware IP-PBX (May 2007), Four port FXS/FXO embedded Asterisk IP-PBX for around $400. All hardware designs open.
  • Building An Embedded Asterisk PBX (May 2007), Popular How-To on hardware hacking an open hardware embedded Asterisk IP-PBX.
  • Asterisk runs on AVM Fritz!Box - HowTo for 7170 (May 2006)
  • D-Link Germany announces the "HorstBox Professional" for Q2 2006 with an embedded Asterisk as PBX (update: available since Sep 2006)
  • Tom's Networking article has a How-To for building an embedded Asterisk based upon AstLinux
  • Asterisk on Gumstix SBC (Oct. 2005)
  • Vdex-40 Asterisk Appliance: Vdex-40 - USA distributor Australian Manafacturer - Runs Druid embedded gui with 4 FXO ports and 6 SIP providers - first appliance with dual cpu.

Note: There are reports of Asterisk semi-sucessfully running on a Linksys wrt54GS Router
see for an ipkg install
srcs for openwrt
you need to noload some modules, skip ilbc, and dont do codec conversion
there is no horse power well it does work with ulaw/gsm for single channel.

UPDATE 2007/10 Asterisk 1.0.x and 1.2.x are running perfectly well on broadcom based wireless routers (e.g. WRT54g/gl/gs and Asus wl-500gp). Use ipkg install to install either the asterisk-mini (wrt54g/gl) or the asterisk (wrt54gs v1-4 and wl-500gp) package. For the mini package the dial application is missing so you've to take it from the larger package (e.g. copy it with scp to the /usr/lib/asterisk directory).

To run on these kinds of systems the operating system and application are usually stored in a read-only medium like compact flash. Because of the limited space avaiable on these storage mediums, it requires some effort to reduce the O/S and Application down to a size that will fit.

Comments from Users

Wipeout writes, november 2003'

If anyone is looking for a small Asterisk installation I have managed to get it down to 296MB (If you remove the kernel source code.. could probably be made smaller if some of the devel packages and asterisk source is removed as well.)

To do it I used Trustix Secure Linux 2.0 (, did a minimum install with ssh support(92MB) and then added the required packages individually..

Everything has compiled and Asterisk loads but I haven't tried any Zaptel drivers or hardware so can't comment on that..

Andrew Kohlsmith writes:

As small as possible?

I will say this to every single person who comes in here asking what the BARE
MINIMUM is or HOW MUCH can Asterisk handle...

You do *not* know enough about the system to even attempt to build these kinds
of systems!

In order to properly provision Asterisk, you need experience with it. You
need to know how it operates normally, and how it operates when it's
struggling. Build a "normal" Asterisk box first. Play with it. Get to know
it. THEN start optimizing.

PLEASE — will people stop trying to optimize their Asterisk system until they
have Clue One about how it operates and what its requirements are? I am
asking that you do this for your own good; I want you to have a successful
Asterisk install and blindly telling you is NOT going to help you achieve
that in any way shape or form.


Andrew Kohlsmith

Anon writes:

Pebble Linux
I usually use pebble, which is a customised
Debian for CF usage (read-only installation), originally intended as WLan
accesspoint operatingsystem. That upgraded to Sarge, all odbc, mysql stuff, my
custom asterisk stable packages usually ends up
around 210 MB, including a kernel with full wlan, bluetooth and pcmcia
capabilities, all zaptel modules (including zaphfc/qozap) etc.

The whole thing is thought to be run on soekris, wrap or itx boards. Even a
notebook will do. The image can either be run from CF or just pxe booted, if

Does the job quite well and is easy upgradeble, because it's still a more or
less default Debian.

Anon writes:

uClibC based
  • "Has anyone looked at using busybox and uClibc with asterisk? Those two (and agressively stripping everything) were the biggest things in making Linux tiny. That and eliminating static binaries whereever possible."
  • "I've run a uClibc-linked Asterisk in a chroot environment for some months now, and I have to say it works. It isn't stress-tested, but it seems to work. The binary is 546 kB, and all 90+ modules take up 2364 kB together."

Klaus-Peter Junghanns writes:

22 MB zipped for an *, postfix, router, traffic shaper, sshd.

Anon writes:

SuSE Rescue
"I am running Asterisk on a modified SuSE 9.0 rescue system. Total system including sshd, Asterisk, MOH and Asterisk prompts is 32 MB zipped. It expands to 52 MB on a 64 MB RAM disk. I boot it from a compact flash disk. The system is a 600 MHz TransMeta Crusoe with only 110 MB RAM. It is powerful enough to drive a quadBRI and so some GSM encoding/decoding."
  • Via EPIA 5000 (C3-533), EUR 80,-
  • Morex case with external power supply, EUR 80,-
  • some old 256 mb SDRAMM
  • 128 MB USB memory stick, EUR 30,-
  • 1 quadBRI (could also easily handle an octoBRI, or a PRI card, with the dual riser pci card you can use 2 cards)
The C3-533 is an i586 CPU. According to "show translation" it needs 30 ms for transcoding 1 channel from g711 to gsm (and vice versa). So, neglecting any overhead caused by channel handling it could transcode 30 channels to gsm.

Linux BIOS has support for the EPIA boards, so you can speed up booting very much and also disable the VGA port (very useful for production deployments....).

From: Sunrise Ltd, Japan

We mostly use SuSE for building Asterisk servers and the smallest you can do with the standard SuSE installer just about fits onto 500MB. With a little bit of effort removing more stuff you could easily fit everything into a 512MB compact flash card, including Asterisk and some free space for logs and voicemail.

You might want to use an IDE/CF adapter that can hold two CF cards. This way you could stick in a smaller second card -say- 32 or 64MB and mount stuff like /etc/asterisk, /var/log, /var/run and voicemail etc on that one, possibly leaving the main card mounted read-only for most of the time.

Also, keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to keep kernel sources and development tools around, which can be a siginficant reduction in required disk space.

If you have the time to put some more effort into this, I'd recommend you look into Coyote Linux ...

This is an embedded Linux distro put together by Joshua Jackson for the purpose of creating very small footprint firewall routers and VPN servers.

He's got three applications based on this so far, one is a firewall that fits entirely onto a floppy disk, another is a VPN server and firewall router that fits into a 32MB compact flash card and the third one is an intrusion detection system with similar properties.

With a bit of effort you could possibly build a very small foot print (<=64MB ?) Asterisk server on top of Coyote Linux.

Other places to check out are:


Asterisk on floppy

by Ivo Tachev

I have compiled asterisk-1.0RC1 against uCLibC to use it on my floppyfw (v.2.95) diskless box (P200MMX, 64MB RAM; but was a 486DX/133, 16MB RAM and worked, too). I have removed most unneeded modules, left only IAX support. Some crippling in the source was done, too. So now I have a working IAX soft pbx with echo-test, serving a dozen IAXComm clients, and the bzipped tarball is running off a 1.2MB floppy (floppy0 is 1.44MB for floppyfw with dropbear sshd). Temp storage is in RAM.

Asterisk on VIA EPIA M

by cstead

I have written a small howto for installing Asterisk on Debian using the VIA EPIA M platform. It is a step-by-step guide targeted at the Asterisk/Linux beginner

Mailing List Messages

  • JR Richardson (broken link) Summary of installing Asterisk on VIA 10K M mother board, 256M RAM, TDM400, Sandisk CF (64 MEG)
  • Embedded Asterisk posting

See also:

Go back to Asterisk

Created by: admin, Last modification: Mon 11 of Jun, 2012 (03:16 UTC)
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