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Editor’s Note: This version of Asterisk has been superceded.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:
yum -y update
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
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.