Old data-tech wishes PBX input

Didn’t want to cross post. Perhaps this should have went to AsteriskNOw!

A recent resource change (partner was laid off) has left me in the position of
needing to get up to speed on voice side of things very quickly.

As a data tech (frame & MPLS) the daily battle w/the LEC’s and service provides
is just part of the game getting the circuits provisioned and the routers and
switches configured correctly.

As such, I am very comfortable with and actually prefer the command line over a
GUI. However I will be expected to roll out a Functional PBX to a remote
office as early as next week.

I do have access to “Asterisk:TFOT” & “Practical Asterisk 1.4 & 1.6” but, from a
time-frame standpoint, I am leaning toward cheating with a GUI box and coming
back to figuring out the sip, iax, extensions, voicemail… config files when I
have a little more breathing room.

On some of the web pages I read they said that AsteriskNOW is an ISO image
with a customized kernel, Asterisk software and the freePBX front-end.
Is this correct? Is it just a 3-in-one package?

I’m not a *nix newbie (started with SCO 386) and my partners last rollouts were
using CentOS 5.4 and Asterisk 1.6.2.? He left me his CLI install cheat sheets
and he also left me a slightly out of date copy of freePBX (2.5).

Does the ISO image offer any additional tools/utilities that would be useful for
the new guy or am I good to go just downloading the freePBX docs and installing
it as a front-end to asterisk? Do I already have, or mostly have, the same thing?

I appreciate your input
and my thanks in advance.

I use Asterisk on a Debian based machine, running a custom kernel for realtime support(I experiment mostly). Building my own PBX has been easy. I strictly use command line as i find the gui confusing. I also find the gui confuses the conf files too. as it adds its own brand of input. getting asterisk to do simple things like connecting to trunk lines (FXO) and managing phones(FXS) is pretty straight forward and doesnt require too much work(but a little learning curve). I strongly recommend a custom built server for this kinda stuff, as it makes you more responsible for the security measures involved. but if you need to patch a hole while learning to dig one i recommend Askozia. Its dead simple to use, and it works very well. I used Askozia for a long while. I got curious about it and how it worked and started learning asterisk. I would love to help you out further in any way I can.