Looking for help setting up Asterisk in a home


I am looking for some pointers, configuration examples, forum posts, etc… on setting Asterisk up like a conventional home phone.

In some testing, I have a few softphones that can call either other, and we can place outbound calls using voip.ms. I have not experimented with inbound calling, but that’s “on the list to-do”.

What I would like, is for:

  • Outbound calls from any extension to be “seen” as one name / phone number. Should I just set the callerid information in each extension in sip.conf?
  • Inbound calls to ring all extensions at once. From what I’ve seen on other forum posts, it’s a case of defining a new extension that dials the group of extensions. I haven’t tested this yet, but would it be safe to assume that once one extension answers, the remaining stop ringing?
  • One voicemail box for the “home” - so, each extension does NOT have it’s own mailbox. But, any extension can access the mailbox. I don’t have a guess on how to do this, except to maybe define one mailbox in voicemail.conf, and set the the line in extensions.conf to dial that extension (and not the caller ID). Not sure how how to make all the extensions access that one mailbox though.

Finally, I can’t figure out how to get calls to voip.ms’s services (like *BAL) to go. I’ve tried this line in my sip.conf, but it’s clear that I’m trying to dial *BAL, not … access… it? I’m not sure how to route that.

Thanks in advance for the help!

Read this: www.asteriskdocs.org

The callerid on the outgoing line is likely to be set by your telephone service provider, and outside your control. If you can control it, is probably better to set it in the dialplan.

You don’t ring multiple extensions, you ring multiple devices. There need not be individual extensions associated with the devices. Confusing extensions and devices is a common problem.

Neither voicemail, nor voicemailmain, appear to assume anything about the extension or callerID, so your requirement should be trivial.

The pronoun “this”, in the last paragraph doesn’t appear to reference anything. We are likely to require logging output, as well.


Thank you for the pointer to the guide - I had somehow not come across that before. I will refer to it before going forward!

When I call out to a real land-line (calling out from Asterisk through voip.ms to a line provided by my telco) the caller ID information initially reads as the extension number I am calling from in Asterisk. I note that my caller ID number is blank in voip.ms, so I expect if I set it there, it will override anything I set in Asterisk.

This is probably OK - that would give internal extensions, but a single number to be seen as externally. I think I need to test this a bit more when the wife and kids aren’t napping.

Oh, look at that! I thought each device would require it’s own unique extension.

Thanks for pointing that out. I’ll keep that in mind going forward.

As it turned out, it was. The bit on voicemail in http://www.asteriskdocs.org/ was quite clear. I wound up setting the following in extensions:

; Try device at ext 2000, otherwsie go to voicemail on mailbox 3000
exten => 2000,1,Dial(SIP/2000,20)
exten => 2000,2,VoiceMail(3000,u)
exten => 2001,1,Dial(SIP/2001,20)
exten => 2001,2,VoiceMail(3000,u)

; Ext 3000calls voicemail on mailbox 3000
exten => 3000,1,VoiceMailMain(3000,s)

Oops, that’s a bit like sending a resume to a potential employer without attaching the resume. Anyhow, it turns out I needed to make sure this:

exten => *225,1,Dial(SIP/*225@voipms)

was in the correct context.

Thank you again for the pointer to the guide, and for the clarification on some of these points.


I would have reservations about using any ITSP that allows you to control the caller ID, as it makes various types of fraud easy, and I would worry about either their competence, or the market they were aiming at.

In many cases, the caller ID for SIP can be set using fromuser, in sip.conf, but I was suggesting using Set and CALLERID, in the dialplan.