Newbie Questions!


I use Linux daily but am new to the world of telephone systems, I am currently looking for a telephone system for a new build house, and thought there must be a Linux solution.

All I need is a system that can take a work, personal and fax number, “do some magic” and route it via a router --> patch panel --> cat5 cable --> and one of the phones!

And of course the be able to make a call and route it back out.

Other than a server running this software, is it possible to route calls from this system via cat5 cables to phones? What sort of phones do I need and how do i get the calls from the server to the telephones? Is a normal network router OK? How does the telephone lines connect to the server and the router to the server a normal network port?

Sorry for the questions, is there anywhere that answers these questions that I can be pointed to?

To answer some of your questions:

  1. Any ethernet router or switch will be capable of sending Voice over IP traffic. However for best results get a switch that support PoE (Power over Ethernet) to power the IP telephones from, otherwise you will need power adapters of each IP telephone. Also a switch that supports QoS (Quality of Service) would be best if you are planning to use the same network to run normal PC data traffic. Netgear have some good switches that do both and don’t cost a lot.

  2. You will need IP telephones like those produced by Snom, Aastra, or Grandstream. I would personally recommend Snom or Aastra. If you by a PoE switch make sure that you telephones are PoE capable as well.

  3. To connect to a phone line you will need an analogue adapter card line the Digium TDM400. This is a PCI card that goes into your server and provides an FXO connection to a telephone line.

  4. Rather than just used an Asterisk box plugged into a phone line you can setup SIP or IAX2 trunks over your normal internet connection to an external service provider who can provided you with separate numbers for business and demestical calls if you wish.

If you install AsteriskNOW or Trixbox on the server these have a GUI interface which makes it very easy to configure telephone extensions and router calls to and from those extensions.

Remember to still maintain an analogue telephone as this system may be doen in an emergency (i.e. power failure, or fire, etc)

Thanks for your reply !

No problem!