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Introducing Asterisk 1.2: Here’s How to Quickly Upgrade

Want a rock-solid PBX at a rock-bottom price: free! It’s been over a year since the initial release of Asterisk®, and this week the new stable 1.2 release finally hit the street. If you’re just dying to try it and can’t wait for Asterisk@Home to catch up so that you’ll have all your favorite goodies to go with Asterisk, here’s the quick solution for you. First, download and install the latest Asterisk@Home 2.0 beta. This may not work with Asterisk@Home versions below 2.0! See the Comments to today’s article before you try it. The drill is pretty simple. You download an ISO image from here, burn a CD (click here if you need a refresher course), use an old clunker PC or a shiny new WalMart special (see inset for the unbelievable price!), insert the CD, plug your machine into the Internet and turn it on. Then watch while Asterisk@Home loads CentOS/4 and all the Asterisk and Linux goodies you’ll ever need: Apache, SendMail, Comedian Mail, SugarCRM, MySQL, PHP, phpMyAdmin, SSH, and on and on. We’ve covered how to use most of these products in our Mac HOW-TO’s (see sidebar), and they work exactly the same way with Linux so keep reading. And, yes, this install will reformat (aka ERASE) your hard disk before it begins. Once it’s finished, change all the default passwords by logging in to your new Asterisk@Home server as root with password as your password, and type help-aah for a list of the passwords that need to be changed, or go here for our complete security tutorial. A list of new features in Asterisk 1.2 is available here.

Editor’s Note: This version of Asterisk has been superceded. For the latest tutorial on or after February 1, click here.

When you finish the Asterisk@Home 2.0 beta install, we’ll first get the latest updates for CentOS/4. Then we’ll load the new Asterisk 1.2 stable release. Here’s how. Log in to your new Asterisk server as root, or better yet, use SSH to log in as root, and then cut and paste each command below in order:

amportal stop
yum -y update

cd /usr/src
wget http://ftp.digium.com/pub/zaptel/zaptel-1.2.0.tar.gz
wget http://ftp.digium.com/pub/libpri/libpri-1.2.0.tar.gz
wget http://ftp.digium.com/pub/asterisk/asterisk-1.2.0.tar.gz
wget http://ftp.digium.com/pub/asterisk/asterisk-addons-1.2.0.tar.gz
wget http://ftp.digium.com/pub/asterisk/asterisk-sounds-1.2.0.tar.gz

tar -zxvf zaptel-1.2.0.tar.gz
tar -zxvf libpri-1.2.0.tar.gz
tar -zxvf asterisk-1.2.0.tar.gz
tar -zxvf asterisk-addons-1.2.0.tar.gz
tar -zxvf asterisk-sounds-1.2.0.tar.gz

cd zaptel-1.2.0
make clean
make install
cd ..

cd libpri-1.2.0
make clean
make install
cd ..

cd asterisk-1.2.0
make clean
make install
cd ..

cd asterisk-addons-1.2.0
make clean
make install
cd ..

cd asterisk-sounds-1.2.0
make clean
make install
cd /root

amportal start

Checking Your Install. The Asterisk@Home install takes a little less than an hour, and the Asterisk 1.2 upgrade will set you back another 30 minutes or so. Not bad for free! Once Asterisk restarts, you should be able to log in to your Asterisk Management Portal by pointing a web browser at the IP address of your Asterisk system. Now choose AMP->Maintenance->Asterisk Info and make sure everything is up an running. The Version block should display Asterisk 1.2.0 with the time that you completed the build. If you’ve already got an IP phone or if you’d like to try a free IP-based softphone with your PC, go here next. Last but not least, you need a phone number and service provider so make this link your last stop, and you’ll be off to the races. Enjoy!

Other Tutorials. There are numerous additional articles in this Asterisk HOW-TO series to keep you busy. You can read all of them by clicking here and scrolling down the page. We recommend reading at least the first four or five articles from the bottom up so that the learning curve is less painful. Then you can skip around to your heart’s content.


  1. Ward- I’ve been following your tutorials for months all along with great success and admiration-
    Today- I seem to have crashed my Asterisk with the upgrade-
    Won’t restart after your step by step- (I’m a checker and recheckerr-so I’m pretty sure everything was done correctly)-

    From tail /var/log/asterisk/full-
    I get:
    "WARNING:[14644] loader.c: /usr/lib/asterisk/modules/chan_modem.so: undefined symbol: ast_pthread_create
    WARNING: module chan_modem.so failed!"

    redid the steps with the same result, rebooting doesn’t help-

    Any assistance will be much appreciated-

    [WM: Hmmm. Make clean should have fixed all of this. Edit the /etc/asterisk/modules.conf file and change "load chan_modem.so" to "noload chan_modem.so." Then add the following noload’s as well: noload chan_modem_aopen.so, noload chan_modem_bestdata.so, and noload chan_modem_i4l.so. Then stop and restart Asterisk. If that doesn’t do it, try removing the modules and then repeat the install:
    rm -f /usr/lib/asterisk/modules/chan_modem*]

    You didn’t mention which version of Asterisk@Home you were upgrading. I hope it wasn’t 1.5… ]

    [Mark: The answer (the incorrect one at that- I assume from your question) is I upgraded from 1.5
    I didn’t think it would be an issue-was waiting for 2.0 to get out of BETA-
    you had only gone to 2.0 for bluetooth, which was slightly overkill for my needs-

    However- after your fix in the comments today-I got one more WARNING re: loading pbx_wilcalu, I went and noloaded that as well and all is fine again in ASTERISKLAND-
    So there doesn’t appear to be any irrepairable harm done-

    Thanks again for your help with this issue, as well as your excellent entertaining articles- I look forward to them every week- PS excellent call on Telasip!!!! Great quality and customer service- (even though they’re a little slow on the DID’s- outgoing service was immediate- but the DID’s took a month to get- seems it was a Level3 issue).]

    [WM: The beauty of this in place upgrade (assuming it works) is that you’ve got all your original settings from Asterisk@Home 1.5 which is something you simply can’t do by loading a new version of Asterisk@Home. Good luck and keep us posted on any further problems. I may get brave enough to try it myself after your experiment. I’m just sorry you had to be our guinea pig!]

  2. Ward, your tutorials are great! If I upgrade as you describe, can I restore my backups from my current *@Home 1.5 or do I have to re-enter everything? Thanks

    [WM: We don’t recommend an upgrade from @Home 1.5; however, read the saga above which it turned out was an upgrade of 1.5.]

  3. Awesome – thanks for the tutorials, they are fantastic – of course, I want more…more…more….since AAH 2.0 Beta 6 includes Asterisk 1.2, but has only beta of AMP 1.10.10 – do you know how to upgrade to release of AMP 1.10.10?

    [WM: Good information. Thanks. As for upgrading to AMP 1.10.10, I think you’d lose the Maintenance Panel by doing it yourself. It just came out today so I’d spot Andrew a few days, and I’m sure there will be another release.]

  4. Thanks for your Tutorials. I got my SPA3K configued from your artical, and start enjoying Asterisk, Asteirsk@home is a great prject, and your tutorials make it greater. And I also learn English from your articals. Your articals explain everything with simple English, very easy to understand and it’s fun too. Change something according to your instructions and Bang, it works. Could you write an artical to give instructions how to upgrade from 2.0bets4 to beta6 (or to the final release 2.0)? I use the same computer to run hosting service and I don’t want to insall the asterisk @home from ISO files. I want to just download the asterisk@home tar files and install the *@home. I want to know how to remove the old version *@home and install new version just like a fresh install from the ISO file(which reform the hard drive). If you can tell how to upgrade while keeping the configuration from the old version, that will be great. Thanks for your great help.

    [WM: Yeah. We all wish there was a simple way to upgrade. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done. The beta 6 adds an entirely new version of both the operating system and Asterisk so I’m afraid you’ll have to write everything down and start over. We’ll have the tutorial on it soon.]

  5. Thanks for the tutorial. All went well until I rebooted.
    Apparently – since I didn’t configure my zaptel modules – asterisk wouldn’t load.
    I commented out everything in the zaptel.conf file and asterisk starts – now I get to go back and figure out how to configure my channels.
    Not a problem. (I hope)
    After I get it all set – I’ll run/install mondo rescue and swap the hard drive to see how long the rebuild takes.
    If you’re intersted – I’ll post a howto.
    Again – thanks from Northern VA.

  6. NOTE: This upgrade won’t work directly with Mac OS X although a new version is on the way. You can read all about the latest, great versions of Asterisk for the Mac here.

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