Newbie Questions

Hi There,

I run a small company, about to move into our own office. We’ve been looking at out-of-the-box PBX systems from Avaya and Lucent, but the costs seem very high, and consequently have been looking at Asterisk.

We mainly do software development, and deploy to Linux, so my Linux admin skills are fairly strong; I know how to recompile and patch kernels, configure and harden Apache, Postfix etc.

I’ve been reading the documentation on the asterisk site and everything seems fairly straightforward, but I have a few questions before I take the plunge and order some ISDN cards and another PC to install everything on.

We were thinking of getting a 2 ISDN digium card (maybe the Wildcard TE210P) and 2 ISDN lines into the office, with 10 numbers attached (I’m in the UK).

  • What is the best Linux distro to base the system on? I was thinking of Fedora as it’s the least painful to get up and running in my experience; is this a good idea?

  • How long would it take a competent Linux admin person (me!) to get a basic system up and running. I’d just want to be able to assign incoming numbers to phones, have a basic group pickup policy, simple voicemail, call forwarding and not much else to start with.

  • Is there a decent handset that people can recommend? Nothing too flashy, just something that works well and has a number of customisable buttons

  • What is the stability of Asterisk like?

Thanks in advance!

As long as you have a 2.6+ kernel you should be okay, it is really the distro of your choice and where you feel the most comfortable.

About two hours of doing nothing if you went with (should really be Asterisk@Home and Asterisk@SMB). Longer if you decided to go with ‘core’ Asterisk, but there is a handy book here: … +Telephony

Depends on budget, but a nice long list here:

Great, but just like any other platform, depends on how well you configure and use the system. It may be very stable, or highly flaky. Best to do iterative testing and add new capabilities in phases.

Good luck!

If you’re happy with Fedora, use Fedora. Asterisk installs easily on it.

As an alternative to A@H, SME server apparently now comes with Asterisk. For more information see:

However, if you’re familiar with sysadmin, i’d definitely recommend using Asterisk in its raw form. Install from CVS (v1.2 seems to be pretty stable now and is definitely better than 1.0.9) and configure using text files. It may take a little longer to get started, but in the long run, it will pay off.

Thanks for the replies. A few further questions:

  • If I wanted to buy a single dual-isdn card to start off with can I easily add a second card to the machine to get more incoming lines at a later date? I was thinking of getting a Wildcard TE210P to start off…

  • Would the AMP be useful to get me up and running quickly?

  • When people say they have their setup configured “with *” - what do they mean?

Who said that? You’ll have to quote the statement (in context) and someone might be able to explain what they mean.

  • = Asterisk

[quote=“MuppetMaster”]* = Asterisk[/quote]Doh!