Asterisk from the ground up

I want to try Asterisk for my home phones, but I can’t because it doesn’t recognize my hardware.

I need to use Debian and then add the Asterisk components.

I just don’t know what to “apt-get”

I’ve tried to follow so many guides, but they are ALWAYS out of date.

I need to know how to install Asterisk + freepbx.

You need to tell us what doesn’t recognize what hardware. You also need to tell us what you have downloaded so far, and what have you done with your download(s).

Asterisk documentation is not the best maintained. But many guides are quite valid, including the really old O’Reiley book. Which section of which guide have you tried and how has it failed you?

Have you looked at the Asterisk wiki at Most articles are rather up to date.

FYI - The asterisk packages on Sarge & Etch are a bit dated, they are 1.2. I believe testing has 1.4, regardless. I’ve always had issues with the deb packages for asterisk personally.

But if you want to try it… “apt-get install asterisk zaptel” is about all you need.

What I’d personally suggest is that you run “apt-get build-depend asterisk zaptel”. That will get all the packages you need to build asterisk & zaptel from source - then go get the source tar’s from

I need a list of packages that I HAVE TO HAVE for Asterisk to function.

I’m not doing conference calls so I won’t need Zaptel.

Not sure if I need libpri.

Don’t know if I need apache or mysql or php.

Really not sure.

You definitely don’t need MySQL or PHP unless you want to use them. You almost definitely don’t need libpri if you don’t even want zaptel. However, it’s a good idea to have zaptel; just load ztdummy kernel module if you don’t plan to use any hardware.

I think the easiest way is to follow what ShakataGaNai suggested, build-depend. (Wish I had this tip when I started on Ubuntu. BTW, there’s an excellent Asterisk/Debian howto.)

Otherwise, straight from my hand notes: (may have missing items)

Most likely you’ll still need to do an apt-cache search on kernel so you get the right kernel headers (if 2.6) or full kernel source (if 2.4). Depending on your distribution, you may already have some of these, or you may be missing others. Anyway, nothing substitutes a bit trial and error in make. (In the Linux world, c’est la vie.) I know there might be missing directories, etc., that a simple symbolic link will help. But you really need to decipher the original message from your system.

Good luck.

I do actually need apache2 mysql, php etc…

And all those packages listed download and install themselves when you go apt-get install asterisk

Once that’s done i just edit /etc/default/asterisk

Fantastic guide I found. Asterisk + freepbx.