We receive frequent inquiries requesting that we document the feature set in the open source Asterisk® distributions that Nerd Vittles writes about each week. So today we’re pleased to provide a Feature Matrix that we will attempt to keep current as we move forward. Just bookmark this page, and you can check back periodically to get a quick thumbnail sketch of what each of these distributions currently supports.1 A chart, of course, doesn’t tell the whole story. But it’s a good starting point.
Not covered this week are the Asterisk aggregations that are either non-GPL code or are produced by organizations whose primary focus is the sale of commercial hardware and/or software. But don’t despair. Nerd Vittles is weeks away from announcing a commercial solution with some surprises that may encourage non-hobbyists to reevaluate your options and to take a fresh look at commercial alternatives, some of which may soon be free. So… hold on to your checkbook a bit longer!
All of the Asterisk aggregations we’re covering today have several things in common. First, all of the products rely upon industry-standard operating system platforms including CentOS, Scientific Linux, Ubuntu, and Raspbian. Each has an enormous user base and technical support team to assure that your operating system remains stable, secure, and non-proprietary for the life of your PBX. All of today’s products also support open source, non-proprietary, and free fax solutions with installers customized to the various platforms. Unlike other alternatives, all of these aggregations compile Asterisk and the graphical user interface used to manage your PBX as part of the install process. That means your compiled code is tailored to your particular hardware, and the source code is always installed on your server to simplify the task of making changes or enhancements to the default install without spending hours scouring the Internet to track down dependencies and missing source components. Try finding 3-year-old source code of some of the other distributions (as the GPL requires), and you’ll appreciate our SourceForge repository which goes back almost 5 years. Last but not least, all of these aggregations support Google Voice directly with free calling and free faxing throughout the U.S. and Canada in just minutes.
Once you’ve identified the feature set that best meets your needs, the next step is finding a tutorial to get you started. Look no further than Nerd Vittles for step-by-step instructions tailored to your specific platform whether it’s dedicated hardware, a virtual machine, or a Cloud-based platform. You won’t find an equivalent resource anywhere else. And, of course, the most user-friendly forum on the planet stands ready to help should you ever hit a snag.
- PIAF-Green — CentOS Installer and Guide & VirtualBox Image and Install Guide & $15 RentPBX Cloud Install2
- PIAF-Black — CentOS Installer and Guide & $15 RentPBX Cloud Install
- Incredible PBX 11 with Incredible GUI — CentOS/Scientific Linux and Ubuntu 14 and Raspberry Pi 2
- Incredible PBX 11 (Legacy with FreePBX®) — CentOS/Scientific Linux, Ubuntu 14, Raspberry Pi B+, BeagleBone Black, CuBOX, PogoPlug
- Incredible PBX 12 (Legacy with FreePBX®) — Ubuntu 14 Installer and Guide for Asterisk 12 with FreePBX 12
- Gotcha-Free PBX 11 with Asterisk-GUI — CentOS/SL, Ubuntu, Raspberry Pi 2, The Cloud, App Users Guide
- Meet the Two Amigos: Introducing Incredible PBX for Elastix — Elastix MT or Elastix 2.5 or The Cloud
- SIP Gateways for Google Voice — GVsip and Simonics
For the reading-impaired, we’ve developed a handy decision tree below to guide you through the selection process. 😉
Originally published: Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Need help with Asterisk? Visit the PBX in a Flash Forum.
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