Newbie Harware question

I am looking at setting up Asterisk using Asterisk@Home for(of course) my home. My area will be getting reliable broadband soon(Verizon Fios) , and I would like to take advantage of Voip to hopefully decrease the amount I pay for phone service. I am interested in getting a VOIP gateway provider, and also still have Asterisk connected to the PSTN.

I have seen some conflicting minimum system requirements in the different How tos and Faq’s I have been reading.

I had a Gateway G6-450 set aside for a couple months for my Asterisk box.
(Gateway is a P2 450Mhz w/128 Mb ram.)

The Asterisk@Home website said the min. requirements were a P3 1Ghz.
A couple othe places said the same.
Voip-info had examples of Asterisk running on alot less than my Gateway.

[color=red]Is it worth it to spend $60 -$100 for a Dell Optiplex GX P3 1 GHz?[/color]

Like I said above I would still like to conect to the PSTN. The Digium Wildcard X100P card clones on Ebay are the only FXO cards I have seen under a $100. From the forum posts I have read the clone cards are what most of the newbs like me are using. I would like to buy from Digium and support them for providing Asterisk, but I can’t find anything from them for under $400. This seems a little overboard for a small home Asterisk setup.
[color=red]Are there other FXO cards that are good and relatively affordable?


I doubt it. Not at this stage, anyway. I reckon the P2 450 / 128 should just about do the job for a home system. Although you might like to increase the amount of RAM if you can find any more kicking around.

Set it up and try it out and see if it does what you want it to. If you need to you can upgrade later.

Thank you.

I thought the min. requirements might be higher for an Asterisk@Home installation.

Any advice on the FXO card?


I just setup a similar Asterisk@Home system… The machine is a Celeron 300A running at 450mhz with 128 megs of RAM, running on an Abit BE6-II. Hard drive is an old 4gb harddrive. Nothing fancy here.

I don’t have any hardware yet (read Digium card), for now, I’m using X-Lite softphone and With only 1 simultaneous outgoing call, I’m impressed with the speed and quality! I’ve been able to talk with a few people this morning without any noticeable lag or delay. Your mileage may vary, however.

I’m considering getting a Digium card (TDM400P) with 2 FXS and 1 FXO. I’m not sure if this will slow down the server machine. (Can anyone confirm?) I’m also most likely going to buy licenses for the g.729 codec which seems incredible.

IMHO, you should stick with your P2, try everything out, and if it ain’t good enough, get a better computer and transfer your settings to the new one.

Good luck!

For what it’s worth,

PIII 500 with 128MB should do for home with 1-3 extensions. I would skip the X100P and spend an extra $50 on a TDM01B. Better quality, less likely to have echo problems which can REALLY spoil the fun (trust me on this one). You can easily upgrade the TDM01B to a TDM02B if you want to add a line. You have to have a PCI2.2 bus which most PIII systems have but not so many PII systems.


I think I am probably going to get a P3 machine.
The P2 is still a good machine and is running Slackware 10 fine.

[color=red]Could someone recommend a decent P3?[/color]
I am looing at:
[color=blue]Dell Optiplex GX series. P3’s with 1Ghz.[/color]

[color=red]Or, would it be better to look at a Poweredge?[/color]
I have seen some dual p3 1Ghz for the same money as th Optiplex GX series.

Like I said before I would like to buy from Digium. The TDM01B looks good.
I will just have to redo my budget.


You can’t go wrong with Optiplex or PowerEdge. I personally prefer the PowerEdge. Just DON’T even think about a Dimension!

Thanks mustardman.

I appreciate all the help.

I am leaning towards a poweredge. I just got to find one in my price range.

Best Regards,

Actually, if you want to use Digium cards, you may want to stay away from the PowerEdge due to compatibility issues. Check out

I’m not sure why mustardman recommended to stay away from the Dimension, but hopefully it is nothing too drastic. Would be interested to know. I got in a new Dimension 3000 today, dropped in a new TDM400P and loaded Asterisk@Home and the card is functioning properly. I chose the 3000 over the 2400 due to the higher RAM capability (512MB vs. 1GB).

Lightspeed thanks for the link, but unfortunately I got an error when trying to open it from the Digium site saying that page does not exist.

I will check on compatability before I buy a poweredge.

I just talked to one of the VZ installers, and it does not look like I am going to have Fios for at least another couple months. So I have time to shop Ebay

I am not going to speak for mustardman, but I think optiplex and poweredge have a track record that suggests dependability/reliability. I am not sure the Dimensions have this proven track record. ( I may be wrong.)


try this link (same as above minus trailing period)

Thank you.

I did not see the poweredge 2400 on there, and that is the one I have been gravitating towards.

Thank you for the heads up.


I’d say: stay with the old server, see if it works, if it doesnt, you can always upgrade later. But it should work for your needs.

Yes, maybe the webinterface will not be blazing fast, but who needs that webinterface anyway.


Its just for a home install.
All I really want is to set up a voip provider.
Have a connection to the PSTN through FXO for 911.
Have a couple softphones. One Astra phone for me. and my 5.8Ghz wireless connected via a sipura 3000.

At most there will only be two people making calls at once.(me & wife.)
I am thinking a dual p3 server at 500Mhz+ w/ a gig of Ram and 32Gigs storage should be able to handle this.

I appreciate all of the help.


I have a couple more questions.

I just had a HP e-vectra pc fall into my lap for real cheap.
Its a P3 933Mhz 256MB ram.
Only problem is it does not have an open PCI slot.
If I can’t do a digium card. What are my alternatives?
I was looking at the sipura 3000, but I am not sure if that will serve my purposes as well.

I am still looking at the optiplex gx150 and the digium tdm 1fxo 3fxs card.


I ended up going with the Dell Poweredge 2400.
1gig ram dual P3 @500mhz 4 9.1 gb seagates scsi in perc raid 0.
I bought a digium tdm400p w/ 1fxo 1fxs and hopefully 3 fxs in the future.

I tried setting up raid 5 but I couldn’t get anything installed. It kept saying sda was not found- critical error, and such. AAH 1.5 hung.

I switched to raid 0 and booth AAH and Centos 4.2 installed with any gripes.

I have never messed with servers before so this has been a good challenge.

I hope to high speed by the end of the year. (not offered yet reliably were I live in the sticks.) Thought fios would have been here by now.

I can’t wait.