[HELP] Debian and ISDN BRI: Am I asking too much?


I am trying to get my first Asterisk going on Debian GNU/Linux (3.1, x86), in order to use my ISDN BRI voice service. I’m in the US, where BRI is not common, especially for voice. And I want to use Debian packages as much as possible, also apparently not common with Asterisk, where everyone builds from source. Maybe I am doomed.

I have an external NT-1, so I bought an Eicon Diva PCI 2.02 card (passive, S/T interface), which replaces one of my existing Lucent 8510T phones (the one on SPID2). I was expecting trouble getting it to talk NI-1 to the 5ESS, but before I even got that far I got mired in the confusion among 2.4, 2.6, HiSax, CAPI, and mISDN. I am trying not to build everything from source, remember.

Starting with 3.1 unstable, kernel 2.4, I installed linux-image-2.6.16-1-686 and booted 2.6 (though I had to force it to see my SCSI EATA boot disk with mkinitrd for some reason; 2.4 did not have trouble with this).

CAPI Subsystem Rev capifs: Rev capi20: Rev started up with major 68 (middleware+capifs)

OK, installed asterisk and asterisk-chan-capi and asterisk-chan-misdn, misdn-modules-2.6.16-1-686. I stumbled around in Google for a while and managed to insmod the several mISDN_* things. (I must be missing a package that deals with that; any idea what?)

Modular ISDN Stack core $Revision: $ mISDNd: kernel daemon started mISDNd: test event done ISDN L1 driver version ISDN L2 driver version mISDN: DSS1 Rev. mISDN Capi 2.0 driver file version ISAC module $Revision: $ AVM Fritz PCI/PnP driver Rev.

But trying to load only chan_capi, I still get an ENXIO on the ioctl(fd, CAPI_INSTALLED) on the fd that’s open on /dev/capi20. (The open worked.)

chan_misdn wouldn’t even try to load (in asterisk-chan-misdn 0.1.1-1) because it’s still trying to resolve “ast_load”, which is now supposed to be ast_config_load. I see there’s a 0.3.0 up at Beronet, but the Debian package seems way behind. Is anyone maintaining it?

Am I going down a dead end with this approach? Must I build everything from source? The mISDN modules, even? An entire kernel? And just how do mISDN and CAPI relate anyway?


Hi There

I recently had the same great idea that you did and have had some success but am currently stuck trying to make an outgoing BRI trunk because I cant find doc’s on it (Im probably missing something glaringly obvious).
Anyhow I will tell you the fun I had and how I got to the stage of having a working BRI card in asterisk.

Firstly - Only use mISDN if you need p2p with a fritz card or something like that, I got further than you have with it but never got it working properly. chan_capi works just fine and was a dream to install in comparison.

Second - Dont expect an apt-get asterisk* to get you anywhere near where you want to be, it wont. Apt is very handy for satisfying dependancies but building from source is definately (contrary to usual circumstances) the easier way to go.

Right all that aside, heres what I did:

Check the dependancies for Asterisk and get them all via apt.
Read the info and get the latest asterisk and zaptel via cvs.
Get the driver for your BRI card and chan-capi-cm from the appropriate web site’s.

Install Zaptel
Install Asterisk
Blacklist all hisax modules
Install Card driver
Install chan-capi-cm


load => res_features.so
load => chan_capi.so

in /etc/asterisk/modules.conf

and start asterisk. :smile:

Sounds simple but took ages to figure out that was the easiest way.