Asterisk@Home Handbook

  • Old Link:

  • New Link: … dbook+Wiki

Please note, a LOT of information that is in the A@H handbook is easily applied to regular installations of asterisk. A@H is just asterisk on steroids. From the handbook:

1.2 What is Asterisk@Home?

Asterisk@Home was created to make installing Asterisk easy. Experimenting with Asterisk should be fun and not take hours, days or asterisk experts to set up. Don’t let the name Asterisk@Home fool you either. Asterisk@Home contains the full version of asterisk and other pre-configured software that makes this self installing/configuring CD a fully functional PBX upon installation.

Ward Mundy’s Nerd Vittles site quoted someone from Voxilla who put it nicely:

Why Use Asterisk@Home and Not Roll Your Own? One of our favorite pundits on Voxilla summed it up this way:

After using Asterisk@Home for three months, we haven’t found a single thing we couldn’t do that someone with a roll-your-own version of Asterisk could. Asterisk@Home is not crippled in any way. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It’s not only full-blown Asterisk but it’s also AMP (Asterisk Management Panel, think of it as PHPmyAdmin for Asterisk) plus functioning music on hold (just try to get it working on a vanilla Linux box!) plus voice support for any speech application you can dream up plus a Flash Operator Panel plus ring groups plus calling queues plus conferencing plus DID routing plus SQL-compliant Call Detail Reporting plus SugarCRM contact management with integrated dialing plus SpanDSP fax support plus Microsoft Outlook TAPI integration with a Microsoft TAPI gateway (that works!) plus Apache, PHP, SSH, SFTP, SendMail, Web Mail, and MySQL integration plus Cisco XML support (to load your contact management info into your Cisco IP phones) plus xPL for Home Automation plus H.323 NetMeeting support plus turnkey support for SIP, IAX2, auto-configuring ZAP channels, and ENUM.

What we have found is that we can implement solutions for clients in a couple of minutes or hours that would have taken weeks or months to learn to do had we gone the roll-your-own route. That includes building IVR and AutoAttendant solutions literally in minutes, supporting five or more VoIP providers and numerous departments each with numerous phones of all flavors, implementing complex dialing rules, remote phone access, voicemail with email and SMS alerts, and out-of-the-box support for virtually every 3-digit calling feature provided by local Baby Bells.

Are there folks that want to master calling plans, extension syntax, contexts, Linux, Apache, SendMail, MySQL, PHPmyAdmin, WebMin, Web Mail, Asterisk and all its add-on’s plus Linux dependency hell? Absolutely. But Asterisk@Home doesn’t preclude your using anything you learn. It just gives you an incredible, leveraged head start. Asterisk@Home is a deceptive moniker. It’s not stripped-down, crippled, or condensed in any way. Quite the contrary, it’s Asterisk on Steroids, plain and simple. Worked great for Major League Baseball, didn’t it?

Some people however have complained over the name of the project. It is possible that using this product would be difficult if decision makers at a company don’t take well to installing their mission critical PBX is named “Asterisk@Home”. No big deal, please read the part of the wiki that explains how to change the associated gifs and jpgs to something more “Corporate” or “Clueless Manager/Executive Friendly”. Remember, this is an open source project. You cannot pull this off with Avaya or Cisco equipment. You can edit the A@H source as much as you like to meet your needs.

1.3 Current list of software in Asterisk@Home
The software that is currently installed as of Asterisk@Home version 2.7 (03/13/06) is:

Asterisk (1.2.5) - An open source software implementation of a telephone private branch exchange (PBX). A PBX connects one or more telephones on one side to one or more telephone lines on the other side. A good example of this is a small company with 100 internal telephones sharing 20 outgoing/incoming telephone lines. A PBX can be more cost effective then having 100 direct telephone lines.
AMP (1.10.010) - - Asterisk Management Panel is a web based GUI that allows you to easily manage Asterisk without having to edit sometimes complicated text configuration files. This package can really make a difference in learning and configuring asterisk easily.
Flash Operator Panel (023.001) - - Flash Operator Panel is a switchboard type application for the Asterisk PBX. It runs on a web browser with the flash plugin. It is able to display information about your PBX activity in real time. You can see what all of your extensions, trunks, and conferences are doing. You can also hang up, transfer, initiate a call or create a conference call.
MPG123 Music On Hold (0.59r) - Asterisk@Home now uses native music on hold so the MP3 music on hold interface in AMP will not work. The old mpg123 is still running. If you change the config files to use MP3s you can upload with AMP.
SugarCRM (4.0.1a)with Cisco XML Services interface + Click to Dial - - SugarCRM is designed to be a complete customer/contact manager. Using SugarCRM we can manage all types of communications (faxes, text messages, phone calls, emails, and even tasks and scheduling) within one single system. Otherwise all these systems are separate and isolated from each other. One way it is integrated with A@H is once you enter all your contacts all you need to do to dial them is use the “click to dial” feature without having to dial the numbers manually. Your phone rings and when you pick up, A@H calls the contact you’ve requested.
Festival Speech Engine version (1.96) - - Festival is a speech synthesis system. It allows you to enter text that the Asterisk@Home server “reads out loud” to anyone calling the server. Using this, you can be sure the same voice is used across the whole asterisk server.
Asterisk Span DSP (0.0.2pre25) (Fax Support) - Optional Software based FAX. Automatically detects and receives incoming fax (on zaptel hardware). It sends the fax as e-mail with a MIME .PDF attachment.
Open A2Billing () - A2Billing with Asterisk is trying to complete the needs for large, medium-sized companies and start-up who appreciate the Calling Cards business model. A2Billing allows you to craft a calling card management system over your Asterisk Server. Its powerful callingcard platform can be easily deployed with Asterisk, providing wide set of tools to manage a complex & advanced callingcard system! With A2Billing & Asterisk, prepaid/postpaid calling card services are easy to implement via a user-friendly web interface with powerful/advanced functionality.

Linux CentOS (4.2 Final) - - CentOS is 100% compatible rebuild of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), in full compliance with Red Hat’s redistribution requirements. CentOS 2, 3, and 4 are built from publicly available open source SRPMS provided by Red Hat. CentOS conforms fully to the upstream vendor’s redistribution policies and aims to be 100% binary compatible. CentOS mainly changes packages to remove upstream vendor branding and artwork. CentOS is for people who need an enterprise level operating system with stability to match without the associated cost and support.
Apache Web Server (2.0.52-22.ent.centos4) - - The Apache HTTP Server Project is a collaborative software development effort aimed at creating a robust, commercial-grade, feature rich, and freely-available source code implementation of an HTTP (Web) server. The project is jointly managed by a group of volunteers located around the world, using the Internet and the Web to communicate, plan, and develop the server and its related documentation.
PHP (4.3.9) - PHP is an open-source, reflective programming language used mainly for developing server-side applications and dynamic web content, and more recently, other software.
PHPMyAdmin (2.7.0-pl2) - phpMyAdmin is a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Internet. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, and manage keys on fields.
MySQL Database (4.1.12-3.RHEL4.1) - MySQL is a multithreaded, multi-user, SQL (Structured Query Language) Database Management System (DBMS) with an estimated six million installations. MySQL AB makes MySQL available as free software under the GNU General Public License (GPL), but they also sell it under traditional commercial licensing arrangements for cases where the intended use is incompatible with use of the GPL. It is used in A@H Call Detail Reports and optional configuration information.
VSFTPD (2.0.1-5.EL4.3) - Very Secure FTPD is a GPL licensed FTP server for UNIX systems, including Linux. It is very secure, stable and extremely fast.
sendmail (8.13.1-2) - - Sendmail is an open source mail transfer agent. A mail transfer agent or MTA (also called a mail server, or a mail exchange server in the context of the Domain Name System) is a computer program or software agent that transfers electronic mail messages from one computer to another.
OpenSSH (_3.9p1) - - OpenSSH (Open Secure Shell) is a set of computer programs providing encrypted communication sessions over a computer network using the SSH protocol. It was created as an open alternative to the proprietary Secure Shell software.

xPL () - We have a built in xPL connector that sends out information on Voicemail and CallerID.
Integrated WebMeetMe GUI (A@H 2.7) - WebMeetMe is a front end to the MeetMe add-on. It gives users full control and the ability to monitor telephone conferences over on a web browser.
Digium card auto-config (A@H 2.7) -
Weather agi scripts (A@H 2.7) - Weather agi scripts Fetch the weather from At is the weather stored in a text file that this script downloads and converts to a sound that is sent to the phone call. Default is Andrew’s home city New York;-) This covers only US locations.
Wakeup calls (1.11) - Wakeup calls This is a wake up call feature. By dialing a phone number you can set the wakeup time when you would like to get a wakeup call.
Cisco SIP phone support () - We have a web interface and TFTP server that can configure Cisco SIP phones like the 7960
uLaw Sound Files
Java based SSH client
Samba Auto-Setup Script
VMware support -

I’ll be sure to keep this post updated to any changes.
-Ginel Lipan
A@H Handbook Editor

[quote=“GinelLipan”]The link you have to the A@H handbook is OLD. The handbook has been transfered into a wiki at voip-info and has gotten a MAJOR OVERHAUL. How do I know? Because I’m the one who did it :smile: (with the project leader’s permission of course).

Please update this link to point to: … dbook+Wiki

-Ginel Lipan
A@H Handbook Editor[/quote]

Well done! I have updated the original post as well.

This project has been dead for a while. It is time to remove this sticky.