[BALU] Asterisk noob suggestions

Daniel Hallmark daniel.hallmark at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 13:55:58 CDT 2007

I asked essentially the same question on 2/19, so if you can look
those messages up in the archives you can reread that thread.  I
ultimately chose to go the plain asterisk route (download and compile)
and to manually edit the config files so I would be learning how the
system works under the covers.

The "appliance" concept is a nice one, and GUIs for configuration are
convenient.  But both of those approaches tend to hide non-standard
customizations and configuration details from you so that when
something breaks you're really not sure what broke or how to fix it.
Any tips or advice based on folks who use the standard core system may
not apply to the appliance, so you're committing yourself to the
support and documentation provided by the appliance (i.e. trixbox)
rather than by the application author (i.e. digium).

For "just playing around purposes" you could potentially look at using
a pre-built vmware image of a working trixbox system.  If you haven't
frequented nerdvittles.com yet then I'd do a lot of browsing there -
supposedly they put out such an image and I've seen comments that
trixbox doesn't necessarily install straight into a vm very well.

If your ultimate plans would be to outsource then I wouldn't waste
time trying to set up and build your own system.  If you don't have
the time to commit to doing a lot of reading, research, and
experimentation to really learn how the system works and how to
maintain/troubleshoot it then you're not going to have what it takes
to really give the technology a fair shake.

I do think it is probably within the capabilities of most any
interested programmer/admin-type individual to pick up and learn
asterisk if they have the time and inclination, and you may be able to
save significant $$$ hosting in-house.

I had started a few asterisk pages on the BALU wiki (btw Larry, it
looks like the wiki is returning an HTTP 500 server error response)
which you can access from http://www.bham-lug.org/ after it is back
up.  We also somewhere have a video recording of a presentation that
the folks at Adams Bro's produce ran.  They use asterisk for their
corporate phone system at multiple facilities.  That video is supposed
to be up on a media server, but I don't have the link to that.


On 6/7/07, Andrew Stewart <astewart at notre1.com> wrote:
> I talked my boss into allowing me to setup an Asterisk box and get a few
>   SIP phones to evaluate.
> Linux wise, I'm just a little beyond a beginner.  I can install a
> system, read man pages, explain the filesystem hierarchy, setup
> permissions, use apt/yum to add/remove programs, and I understand most
> of the terminology.  But, I am by no means an expert or even an
> experienced administrator.
> I would like something that has some sort of gui for basic
> configuration, so that I am not the only one that was able to do manage
> it.  And, I would also like something that I could outsource the
> management/maintenance of if the thing grew into a huge, nasty
> company-wide initiative (slim chance of that).
> I'm thinking about starting out with one of the Asterisk distros:
>         Digium's AsteriskNOW <http://www.asterisknow.org/>
>         trixbox <http://www.trixbox.org>
>         elastix <http://www.elastix.org/>
> What about running it inside VMWare, so I could start it out on my
> workstation and then move it to a bigger server when needed.  Would this
> be a good(tm) thing?
> What do you guys suggest?

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