Linux Debian

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Asterisk on Debian GNU/Linux

DEB packages are available.

Debian GNU/Linux is a very nice Linux distribution and can be found at
If you are not familiar with Debian, check it out. It is a fantastic server platform, specifically for it's ability to be remotely upgraded -
even between versions.

Asterisk Packages

There are several Debian packages (installable with dpkg or apt-get) available:
  • Official Asterisk packages in Debian - an old version, unfortunately, current version of Asterisk can be found in the testing/ unstable versions...
  • Jeff at used to have a page with CVS nightly builds at, but that link is dead now :-(

Packages Needed

There are a number of packages needed before Asterisk building Asterisk from source.
From the Asterisk download page at Digium:

Note that your system MUST meet these requirements:

You must have readline and openssl and their respective development packages.
You must be running Linux 2.4.x
You must have the Linux Kernel Sources package installed on your system.

Note that Debian tends to break packages into smaller pieces than other distributions, so there are more 'required' packages here than with RedHat or others.
Some package names are also tied to particular versions of the software, especially libraries. This allows you to install multiple versions of the same libraries, and to have different packages use their prefferred verision. That said 'apt-cache search' is your friend.
Finally, this is what worked for me... Your system may be configured differently, and I may have installed more than I needed to. YMMV -JP (:biggrin:)
Here are the packages under Debian (as of 2003-11-22):
  • kernel-source
  • kernel-headers
  • openssl
  • libssl0.9.7: (Note that version may change - do: apt-cache search libssl)
  • libssl-dev
  • libreadline4
  • libreadline4-dev
  • libeditline0
  • libeditline-dev
  • libedit-dev
  • libedit2

  • cvs: To download the newest cvs source, or course...
  • minicom: to configure your channelbank via serial
  • festival: To speek text programatically
  • doxygen, graphviz: to build the html Asterisk API documentation with 'make progdocs'

Compilation problems

> After trying and trying to compile and make Asterisk run on a Debian
> box, I gave up and picked another HD with RH 9 on it. No headaches. Only
> 1 build was necessary to build and run *.

The problem I found with debian is how they decided how to do the linux
header files for everyone in /usr/include/linux either libc6-dev or
linux-kernel-headers packages...

The fix for me since I roll my own kernels, after a lot of buggering about
and head banging on the desk, the solution was rather simple...

cd /usr/src
ln -s linux-2.4.25 linux

then just build the cvs zaptel modules as per documents...

of course a couple of `uname -a` in the Makefile would have saved me all
the headaches but anyways, 6 hours later and all the wiser...

Just a quick note -

if you upgrade your kernel, copy the config file that comes with the .dep file, (it gets placed in /boot) to /usr/src/linux or /usr/src/linux-2.4 (cp /boot/config-2.4.25-1-686-smp /usr/src/linux/.config) then do a "make oldconfig; make deps" zaptel will compile just fine if everything else is ok..

The kernel-source Package

When you install the kernel-source package, for example with the command
apt-get install kernel-source-2.4.25
this merely sticks a tar.bz2 file into your /usr/src directory. You have to do something like:
cd /usr/src
tar -jxf kernel-source-2.4.25.tar.bz2
ln -s kernel-source-2.4.25.tar.bz2 linux
yourself to unpack the source code and make the appropriate symbolic link.

Help With Compiling Zaptel: Debian with a custom kernel

If you are using Debian and a custom Debian kernel, note that the kernel Makefile in (/usr/src/linux/Makefile) may not have the correct EXTRAVERSION variable.

If you still get a kernel-version mismatch error after following the Zatptel Installation Instructions, try looking in the Makefile to make sure that the version information there matches what is returned by 'uname -r'. If not, edit the Makefile and try the process again.

See Also

Created by: florian, Last modification: Sun 12 of Sep, 2004 (08:56 UTC) by wylie
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