Where should I start?

Hi There,

I am very new to this forum and to Linux. I am interested in setting up a linux server in my office which will host a PBX program.

From searching around on the internet, it seems as though Asterisk is a good choice (reading articles and such).

I was wondering if someone could please point me in a good direction on where to start?


Also read this sticky lots of good info and links in it


Chances are asterisk can do what you want it to, and save you a bundle in the process.

Also i suggest the book Asterisk: The Future of Telephony. It’s available in dead-tree form from O’Rilley, or you can download it for free under creative commons license from www.asteriskdocs.org

Good luck!

What I will suggest is to play with Asterisk@Home first before going unto asterisk proper. AAH has a GUI that you administer remotely, and as you configure the required fields in GUI it places those entries in the appropriate config file in CLI. With this you can open those files and study the CLI configs thus their functions and make more sense of it all then you can proceed with much more confidence and knowledge unto Asterisk proper. And once this config works well for you, you can even copy and save them into your email or something and start off with them as a base in asterisk proper. Look for AAH version before Trixbox, I think its version 2.8 or so. I can send you the file if you want. You can set it up on Fedora Core which has always been no hassle for me.

it depends on what you want to do i guess. I recommend the exact opposite- start with asterisk proper and learn the config file format. I suggest this because trixbox/aah puts in a lot of stuff for various features it has, resulting in very long config files. My suggestion is to start fresh and learn from the bottom up.

If you just want to get started quickly then download a copy of trixbox/aah and set it up on a system, once you learn the gui you will be able to set it up to do whatever pretty quickly. remember to change passwords. however imho if you want to LEARN ASTERISK, this is the wrong way to do it, you should start by learning the config files. it’s a steep learning curve but the book i linked to can help.

There’s no “wrong” way of learning. If it can work for one person, there is no reason why it won’t do the same for someone else. Even though I think the learning curve on your method is much steeper, I would not say your suggestion/opinion on learning * is wrong because it probably worked for you.

Agreed, there is no ‘wrong way’, that was a poor choice of words. (I was pretty asleep last night…)
What I meant was, I believe it’s actually more difficult to learn from aah/trixbox because trixbox is not exactly simple. It puts in a lot of extra stuff for features like call forwarding, etc that a user may want or understand yet. This makes it harder for the user to learn the concepts of how the dialplan works. IMHO something like
exten => 1234,1,Dial(SIP/1234,20,o)
exten => 1234,2,Voicemail(1234@default)
and more importantly understanding it enough to write it from scratch is the best way to start. I guess it depends on your learning style.

Google is your friend. Also look at asterisk at home. Its good to start with that.