Asterisk Test System

I am trying to set up a test system and have a few questions, which I have looked for myself but cannot find the answers to. I am trying to set up a test Asterisk system just so I can mess around with it and see how to configure different parts.

  1. If I understand correctly, I can use this new Skype thing that Digium came out with, and buy a SkypeIn number, set up an Asterisk box and basically set up a whole system if I wanted to (in this case, just a test system where I could call in and have some softphones and a few Cisco phones), and when I call that number it should be just like any other service that I could buy.

  2. Is there a service I can buy where there is a number and it is forwarded to my asterisk box and I can set up a test Asterisk server like above? In other words, are there alternative methods to what I suggested above?

  3. Can anyone give me any tips or ideas to setting up a test Asterisk server with it being as close to the real thing as possible.

I only want to do this so that I can play around with Asterisk more than I already have without messing up my main system.


You probably want a DID (a phone number that allows callers to dial into your Asterisk server from the outside telephone network) and a termination provider (which takes outbound calls from your Asterisk server and routes them to phone numbers in the outside network). You can find both (bundled or separately) if you search on the net. For a very low-budget approach, there are free DID’s available (but probably not in your area-code). There are free terminations available for calls to 800 and other toll-free codes.

Would Gizmo work for this?

If I bought something like this:

Would dialing in/out work?

Thanks for your help!

Damageless - I’d like to follow this thread. Have you had any success yet?

I haven’t had much of a chance to try this out yet. I am looking into the best methods and I am going to be installing a fresh Asterisk server copy later today.

I will keep this thread updated with what I find out.

If anybody has any suggestions or can answer any of my previous questions, I would appreciate it.

Just an update:

I have set up a sample Asterisk server. It doesn’t do really anything at this point, but I have two softphones connected to it. It is set up between my real machine and two virtual machines (the Asterisk server itself and an XP machine to test another softphone). I have created everything in VMWare. It was a simple setup, all I did was set up a Net Install of Debian and then apt-get install asterisk. This seemed to work well and the configuration was very simple. I am going to set up another Asterisk server without virtual machines and set up a DID this week.

I will post my results at the end of the week.