Version 1.2 vs 1.4

I’m sure this is explained somewhere on the site, but I’ve searched without success. Why are there two active versions of Asterisk and why would I choose one over the other?

Asterisk is developed much like many software packages. Imagine for a minute a tree growing out of the ground. As new features are added to Asterisk, they’re added to the “trunk” of the tree. Over time, the trunk continues to grow. Now, from time to time, the Asterisk developers will create a branch of Asterisk. At the time that Asterisk is branched, the branch and the trunk contain the same code. But over time, only bug fixes are added to the branch, while new features are added to the trunk.

Asterisk 1.2 was branched in November of 2005, and since then has only received bug fixes (with a few minor exceptions). You’d really only want to use it if you have specific problems with Asterisk 1.4 that keep you from using it. In August of this year, Asterisk 1.2 will no longer be supported, except for security updates.

Asterisk 1.4 was branched from the trunk in December of 2006. Like 1.2, the 1.4 branch is only getting bug fixes at this time. Asterisk 1.4 should be stable and production ready, but a few people are still having some issues with it, and are still running Asterisk 1.2. Personally, Asterisk 1.4 is working great for me, and I’m recommending that people give it a try.

Jared Smith
Community Relations Manager
Digium, Inc.