I’m a SIP instructor. I teach SIP Trunking courses on-site (I come to your location), and also offer on-line courses. I wrote this Asterisk ‘crash course’ while sitting in my hotel room one evening, in an attempt to help my SIP students continue their education outside of the classroom. If you find this posting helpful, or are impressed by what you see, and would like to hire a SIP instructor, contact me or Alta3 Research.
FYI – I wrote this document off the top of my head. I may have omitted a step or two, or gotten a command wrong. If you do catch a mistake, feel free to shoot me an email about it.
  • Asterisk requires a Linux platform on which to run
  • New to Linux? Try ‘Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx) – (650 Mb)
  • Available at: releases.ubuntu.com/lucid/
    • Old 32-bit machines – PC (Intel x86) download (THIS IS ALWAYS SAFE IF YOU ARE UNSURE)
    • New 64-bit machines – (AMD64) download this ONLY if you are certain that your machine supports a 64 bit architecture
    • Min. requirements (my own standards) – 2ish gigs of RAM, 80 gig HD (not really… but ensures you have room to grow), NIC card, Pentium 4 is PLENTY!
  • Download “Desktop – CD”, then burn to CD or DVD (*.iso)
  • Install Ubuntu 10.04 LTS onto an old machine (as the base OS), dual boot (more advanced), or install to a virtual machine (such as VMWare Player)
  • During install process, accept all defaults until you’re a Linux pro!
  • After booting Ubuntu for the first time, open a command-line terminal (CTRL + ALT + T), then type:
    • sudo apt-get update
    • Default “Y” to all questions
    • sudo apt-get upgrade
    • Default “Y” to all questions
  • Update will update your local package repository (lets your local system know what upgrades are available)
  • Upgrade will actually install those packages that have new versions available (make this a habit!)
  • To install Asterisk, type:
    • sudo apt-get install asterisk
    • Default “Y” to any questions
  • Great! Now Asterisk is installed! That was simple!
  • You WILL destroy your first Linux box. That’s ok! Ubuntu install is easy. Destroying things is how we learn how they work!

Asterisk is installed… now what? 

  • Asterisk begins on Ubuntu start-up
  • Want to make sure? (It is NOT good to have multiple Asterisks running)
  • ns aux | grep asterisk
    • You’ll always see one result (your search!), but do you see Asterisk running?
  • Start Asterisk
    • sudo asterisk – Connect to an already running Asterisk (access the Asterisk CLI)
    • sudo asterisk –rvvvvvvvvvvvvv – This connects to Asterisk in verbose mode
  • After you are connected to the Asterisk CLI, leave this terminal open… (CTRL + ALT + T) will open another terminal window
  • From the Asterisk CLI:
    • dialplan reload (type this after any configuration changes)
    • exit (exit the asterisk CLI without stopping asterisk)
    • core stop now (I think… ? This STOPS Asterisk)
    • help
  • You need to edit /etc/asterisk/sip.conf and /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf
  • Open a new Linux CLI (CTRL + ALT + T), type:
    • gksudo gedit /etc/asterisk/extensions.conf
  • Open a new Linux CLI (CTRL + ALT + T)
    • gksudo gedit /etc/asterisk/sip.conf
Switchboard Operator
In subsequent postings, I’ll discuss configuring sip.conf and extensions.conf, picking a SIP Trunking provider, how-to install DD-WRT SIP Milkfish Router for NAT traversal, and what SIP phones are available to you. For now, just get the above working. If you’re new to Linux and Asterisk, just start exploring… it’s enough to keep you busy for a long time.