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The Asterisk Open Source PBX
by Mark Spencer <>
Copyright (C) 1999, Mark Spencer
  Asterisk is an Open Source PBX and telephony toolkit.  It is, in a
sense, middleware between Internet and telephony channels on the bottom,
and Internet and telephony applications at the top.  For more information
on the project itself, please visit the Asterisk home page at:



== Linux ==
  Currently, the Asterisk Open Source PBX is only known to run on the
Linux OS, although it may be portable to other UNIX-like operating systems
as well.

== libaudiofile ==

  If you want to use format_wav module, then you need a very recent
version of libaudiofile (at least version 0.2.0, or you can apply the
included patch.  RPMS for the patched libaudiofile are available at:


First, be sure you've installed the required libaudiofile upgrade if 
you want to use the non-GSM WAV format.  Next, be sure you've got
supported hardware.  To use Asterisk right now, you will need one of 
the following:

	* Adtran Atlas 800 Plus
	* QuickNet Internet PhoneJack
	* Full Duplex Sound Card supported by Linux
	* ISDN4Linux compatible ISDN card

Assuming you have one of these (most likely the third) you're ready to 

1) Run "make"
2) Run "make install"

If this is your first time working with Asterisk, you may wish to install
the sample PBX, with demonstration extensions, etc.  If so, run:

	"make samples"

Doing so will overwrite any existing config files you have.

Finally, you can launch Asterisk with:

	./asterisk -vvvc

If you get an error about unresolved symbols, install the updated
libaudiofile (available at

You'll see a bunch of verbose messages fly by your screen as Asterisk
initializes (that's the "very very verbose" mode).  When it's ready, if
you specified the "c" then you'll get a command line console, that looks
like this: 


You can type "help" at any time to get help with the system.  For help
with a specific command, type "help <command>".  To start the PBX using
your sound card, you can type "dial" to dial the PBX.  Then you can use
"answer", "hangup", and "dial" to simulate the actions of a telephone.
Remember that if you don't have a full duplex sound card (And asterisk
will tell you somewhere in its verbose messages if you do/don't) than it
won't work right (not yet).

Feel free to look over the configuration files in /etc/asterisk, where
you'll find a lot of information about what you can do with Asterisk.

Finally, you may wish to visit the web site and join the mailing list if
you're interested in getting more information.