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Deploying a Free Turnkey Phone System

To say the New Year is ushering in a scaled back constituency for self-managed telephony systems would be an understatement. Much of this migration from Asterisk® can be traced directly to the proliferation of cell phones coupled with the expansion of Zoom and Microsoft Teams deployments thanks to the COVID nightmare.

Despite Sangoma’s best efforts to commercialize Asterisk and FreePBX®, we think there’s still a place for free systems especially turnkey Asterisk PBX deployments that can coexist on Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops. For today, we’ll point you to tutorials that will let you download and then install a turnkey platform of your choice in just a couple minutes.

For Windows 11 and Zorin desktops, you can deploy Incredible PBX 2027 for Debian 11 and run it under VirtualBox. If you prefer an Ubuntu platform for Incredible PBX 2027, a tutorial is available here as well. If you’re using a Zorin desktop, keep in mind that VirtualBox must be reinstalled before use:

apt remove virtualbox-dkms
apt install virtualbox-dkms

Another turnkey Asterisk PBX option for Windows 11 desktops is WSL. Complete instructions for deployment and use are available here.

For Mac users, the available turnkey option of Incredible PBX depends upon whether you’re using an older Intel-based machine or a newer machine with Apple silicon.For Intel platforms, VirtualBox is an ideal platform for Incredible PBX 2027. For newer Macs with M1, M2, or M3 processors, simply deploy Incredible PBX with the UTM application.

Finally, for Linux desktops (and we prefer Zorin), you have two options. As noted above, you can deploy Incredible PBX with VirtualBox. For real-time performance, we prefer deployments using LXC Containers.

We’ll close with a few tips for the new year as you begin your new journey into the world of free Asterisk PBX telephony. Unlike some of the commercial offerings, the Incredible PBX platform offers a variety of support options. You can get first-hand support and hand-holding on the VoIP-Info.org Forum. Second, the Incredible PBX Wiki offers literally hundreds of tutorials and recommendations on every subject imaginable. Finally, the Incredible PBX Repository has download links for every platform and every script that has ever been produced.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

Originally published: Sunday, December 31, 2023

Need help with Asterisk? Visit the VoIP-info Forum.


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1 Comment

  1. Happy New Year !
    Cannot agree more with the first paragraph…
    I have been an enthusiast self-hosted PBX system user for close to 20 years (many different systems, a lot of FreePBX/Asterisk@Home/IncrediblePBX/(etc.)… and a lot of BetaMax clones fun). However, 2024 will be the year where I close for good my last DIDs (Anveo, Voip.ms, OVH) and PBX system (currently hosted on OracleCloud)
    I used them the most 15 years ago, when I was in my 20s and travelling the world (and living in Canada,Australia,Brazil,Europe, etc.) and I needed a cheap and easy(-ish) way to keep in-touch with family & friends. Its usage has been slowly shrinking year after year sand I can count on my fingers the number of useful calls I had in 2023. Now at 40 years old, I’m still an expat, but grandparents are now dead and parents & friends are fully converted to WhatsApp/Signal. So apart for the random admin/bank call, I mostly receive spam calls and hack attempts.
    It is now time to say good-bye.
    Thank you Ward for the many years of fun (and sweat) in tweaking my PBX system !

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