A couple of tips for getting started

I’ve recently seen some posts asking for help on very basic Asterisk/FreePBX features and setup. I’m not being ugly, but these type of things are documented in numerous places. From some of the questions being asked, it’s apparent that the questioner has never even looked at much of the documentation, much less at a working Asterisk/FreePBX system.

I’d suggest #1 is to Read, Read, Read. That’s how those of us who have been into this a number of years got our info and set up our systems.

Set up a test system. You can run a test system on just about any old PC you have lying around. Set up a couple of soft phones and play around. If you don’t have and old PC around, set up VMware an run it on your desktop. Many of us keep a VMware available on our desktop computer to test configurations, etc. For a small cost, you can get a SIP trunk and end up with a fully functional system.

Become familiar with conventional telephony terms and theory. (What’s a POTS, a PRI, RJ-21, Tip and Ring, LNP,etc.).

Not that anyone here is adverse to helping anyone out, but we can do a much better job helping you if you know a bit about the system so that you know what questions to ask.


I’m sorry but I have to respond to this, I agree with you on some points but have to make a remark.

I love Asterisk and FreePBX is one of the best products made for it (lots of respect for all the developers) so please don’t get my comments wrong.

FreePBX is constantly developing and changing/adding functions but there is one thing they keep forgetting and that is documentation!
Documentation on FreePBX is very bad and support from the forums is also not great (several questions I asked I never got a single response on). This doesn’t really encourage people to go further with it. For example: the last documentation on the backup and restore module is more than 2 years old and the module has since then been completely renewed.

I agree the best way is to build a VM and start playing with it but eventually you will reach a point where you need help from others or a good documentation and that’s the point FreePBX still has a lot to learn.


Got to agree with James and i am here to help as much as possible because, when i had issues, people here helped, and when i started to do lots more work on Asterisk and FreePBX, i had some luck and got a little knowledge here and there. I think the open source community thrives on public resources and its not always possible to get proper documentation as it takes a lot of time and effort to write them. So whenever we can we should help but as what Bill says, a little googling can help. I think what needs to be done is a question submission template or something where to make these good folks here help anyone better.