Appeal for install guide

(updated with Debian Etch install info a few posts down)

With 2.3 just around the corner and promising to bring with it a new world of functionality, I’d be very interested in running it on a platform of my selection.

My past experiences with a core installation of asterisk and freepbx have been unpleasant to say the least.

Any instructions on the net regarding core installs are out of date and only work on older distros and the specific distro it was written for.

As a result, I use the trixbox distribution because without it, I just wouldnt be able to install the software.

This is not due to lack of trying, I tried and tried and tried - it just didnt happen due to dependencies and lack of documentation.

[size=18]So, to get to the point…[/size]
I would like to ask people to take their fave linux distro, install the most basic deployment of it, and perform from source installations of asterisk 1.4 and freepbx 2.3 (when available) this will involve installing mysql and possibly phpmyadmin, etc. It’s not a simple task, but once done, and documented it will open freepbx to a larger audience.

It is looking very much like freepbx will serve the needs of a great many users who do not require the additional bells and whistles of the prebuilt distros, so how about making it easy to try?

See, if the only easy way to use it is to install via a distro like trixbox/elastix/adminsparadise, then some people just wont look twice, many do of course.

Personally I’d like to run it on Debian Etch, or Suse 10.2. I know some people run it on BSD and it works well, the point is, for someone coming from to the project from the cold, installing this thing from source is damn near impossible.

What distribution of linux do the developers use to create freepbx? is it centos and is there a reason for centos being the os of choice?

evidence of need for this level of documentation
… and many many more posts, these are just from this week.

Such an active forum (

Well, I attacked this over the weekend and I now have a working installation of Asterisk 1.4.x and FreePBX 2.3b1 on Debian Etch.

There’s a couple of glitches like the FOP not working and call logs dont seem to show in ARI, but I think that’s all just a permissions thing.

I’ll be building a quick virtual machine to play with and will do the install again and again to refine the instruction and ensure they are accurate and complete.

In a few days I’ll post a complete How-To for this and hopefully others will follow suit with details for their fave distro’s

Stay tuned…


You got no response cuz it makes no sense
Each version of linux has it’s own path, at any given time this path may change.

By centering the work on a single distro “centos” the teams can build a stable release.
To try and build vanilla install for all favors of linux …well forget it.

Installing from barebones is not hard, and if you are going to use Asterisk in production you need to toss the ISO install anyway.

The TB / AAH and so on should be looked at as a "Gateway Drug"
It should get you hooked and make you want more.

I see WAY TOO many folks like yourself who really do not have a grasp of the underlaying workings, and any little hippup sends them into a panic.

You NEED to get down and dirty with Asterisk it is a “BETA / BLEEDING EDGE” software which is under going BIG growing pains.

Your learning is just starting…so grab some coffee and get started.

Gee Bubba, that’s a little aggressive.

I fully understand that each distro has its own quirks and oddities, that’s the entire reason for the thread.

I agree that a prebuilt distributution should be viewed as an easy way in, and they are, but is that any reason why installing from sources should be made harder than necessary due to lack of information?

There are opensource projects that maintain versions for many distributions, it’s not unheard of.

My simple point is that it’s NOT easy to just sit down and install freepbx from scratch, entirely because each distro uses it’s own ways.

That was my point, make stable instructions for current platforms, put them on a wiki, if people follow them in 6 months and something has changed and they fix it, they edit the wiki. Simple.

Installing FreePBX on Debian Etch

These are instructions for installing Asterisk & FreePBX on the Debian Etch GNU/Linux operating system. The following has been checked and tested as of July 17, 2007 and will result in a functioning installation.

[size=18]Stage 1 – Operating System installation[/size]
Use a Debian Etch netboot CD to install a base system, hit enter at the boot prompt and step through the installation questions answering them to your choice. For the most part, the default options can be accepted. I’m glossing over the OS installation as the assumption is you already know how to do this.

When the ‘Software selection’ screen is reached, remove the mark against the ‘Desktop Environment’ option as this will install the Gnome desktop and we have no need for this.

Shortly after the base software has installed, the system will reboot and that’s stage one done with.

[size=18]Stage 2 – Installing the pre-requisites[/size]
Now we have a basic Debian installation, we need to install more software onto it to allow the Asterisk and FreePBX to install correctly.

If you have installed from the netboot cd, you will need to edit the /etc/apt/sources.list file and comment out the line referring to that cd.

[code:1]$ nano /etc/apt/sources[/code:1]

Look for the line that shows: deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 4.0 r0 Etch - Official i386 NETINST Binary-1 20070407-11:29]/ etch contrib main and add a # to the start of it.

Press CTRL-X to exit and answer YES to the save.

Now update the sources list:

[code:1]$ aptitude update[/code:1]

Now we need to install some additional software, so type:

[code:1]$ aptitude install ssh mc build-essential linux-headers-uname -r libxml2-dev libtiff-dev mysql-server apache php4 php4-gd php4-mysql php5-mysql libapache-mod-php5 bison ncurses-dev libaudiofile-dev php4-pear sysv-rc-conf curl libcurl-dev libmysqlclient-dev

$ pear install DB

Theres a problem here in that both Apache and Apache2 have been installed and started. Lose Apache2:

$ sysv-rc-conf apache2 off
$ apache2ctl stop
$ apachectl start

Edit /etc/apache/httpd.conf and change lines 252 and 253

$ nano +252 /etc/apache/httpd.conf
User asterisk
Group asterisk
Also change line 282 from DocumentRoot /var/www/ to DocumentRoot /var/www/html

Save the file

Make the asterisk user and the webroot and restart apache.

$ useradd -c “Asterisk PBX” -d /var/lib/asterisk asterisk
$ mkdir /var/www/html
$ chown -R asterisk:asterisk /var/www/html/
$ apachectl restart

[size=18]Stage 3 – Install Asterisk[/size]

Download asterisk source files, this example is using the current 1.4 files.

$ mkdir /var/run/asterisk
$ cd /usr/src
$ wget
$ wget
$ wget
$ wget
$ tar zxf asterisk-
$ rm -rf asterisk-
$ tar zxf asterisk-addons-1.4.2.tar.gz
$ rm -rf asterisk-addons-1.4.2.tar.gz
$ tar zxf asterisk-sounds-1.2.1.tar.gz
$ rm -rf asterisk-sounds-1.2.1.tar.gz
$ tar zxf zaptel-1.4.3.tar.gz
$ rm -rf zaptel-1.4.3.tar.gz

$ cd /usr/src/zaptel-1.4.3
$ ./configure && make && make install
$ modprobe ztdummy

$ mkdir /var/run/asterisk
$ cd /usr/src/asterisk-
$ ./configure && make && make install

$ cd /usr/src/asterisk-addons-1.4.2
$ ./configure && make && make install

$ cd /usr/src/asterisk-sounds-1.2.1
$ make && make install

I’ve not compiled libpri in this example as I didn’t need it.

[size=18]Stage 4 – Install FreePBX[/size]

Download FreePBX and make some configuration changes before installation:

$ cd /usr/src
$ wget
$ tar zxf freepbx-2.3.0beta1.tar.gz
$ rm -rf freepbx-2.3.0beta1.tar.gz
$ cd freepbx-2.3.0beta1

$ mysqladmin create asterisk
$ mysqladmin create asteriskcdrdb
$ mysql asterisk < SQL/newinstall.sql
$ mysql asteriskcdrdb < SQL/cdr_mysql_table.sql

$ mysql
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON asteriskcdrdb.* TO [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY ‘amp109’;
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON asterisk.* TO [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY ‘amp109’;
mysql> flush privileges;
mysql> \q

$ ./install_amp

The installer will ask questions, answer with defaults (they can be changed later)

Enter your USERNAME to connect to the ‘asterisk’ database: asteriskuser
Enter your PASSWORD to connect to the ‘asterisk’ database: amp109
Enter the path to use for your AMP root: /var/www/html

The installed failed at this point, but run it again and then type:

[code:1]$ amportal start[/code:1]

I hope this may help someone, if not - well it helped me :slight_smile: If you spot any errors of have a correction, please let me know.

I hope this may help someone, if not - well it helped me :slight_smile: If you spot any errors of have a correction, please let me know.[/quote]

Thanks for doing that Dirk, it worked for me, though I used *1.2 rather than 1.4. These instructions should go on a Wiki somewhere.

Bubba makes a good point, but there are those who want to use Debian for a variety of reasons, and OS software is about choice, after all. Debian maintainers are working on packaging FreePBX, so in the future that might become an option, but I doubt they will keep pace!

I’ve got to do another install sometime this week, so might be able to post some comments.

Thanks again!

CentOS 5.x + Asterisk 1.4.x + FreePBX 2.3.x

Still not quite there as I was fighting with some bugs in FreePBX 2.3 b1 on Asterisk 1.4 but it more or less works now.

powerontech, outstanding! Those look like some great instructions, I’m not a centos fan but I’ve used it when dealing with trixbox and elastix, I liked it enough to go to the effort of using Debian instead :lol:

I’ll have a good look through them after my morning coffee but so far it looks like it puts my efforts to shame!

The ball is rolling, FreeBSD anyone?

I like Debian but the reality is that RHEL/CentOS is the default standard OS used/tested with Asterisk and FreePBX and is also the default standard OS supported/tested by many hardware vendors such as 3ware and SuperMicro etc.

So all other preferences/philosophies aside, CentOS is the logical way to go IMHO.

I did go down the Debian road at one time though.

I started with Debian way back…
I soon learned I was fighting a uphill battle, every time I turned around an update broke something.

Centos just makes more sense, and I can not think of a single reason to use a different version of linux, not one.

As the PBX is to be a PBX and not some shared server, the OS really does not matter to the end user.

A stable working with atleast some type of support is what I am building, not sure about those who wish to “change the normal way of doing things”

But Hey some times we NEED a little pain in our lives…
It lets u know u r alive.

GOOD LUCK…you will need it in the long run…

I’m with dirk on this - well done dude on getting that Debian documentation out - just what I need, and many others will like it too. Thanks for your time.

It’s a shame that folk like bubba miss the point so much - we don’t all want to spend our lives with our head burried in linux code trying things out. I have kids, a job and am building a house! I just want freepbx to site on top of an Asterisk install with a reasonable amount of effort. Bubba, you’re a nice guy but give people who live in the real world a break, okay?

Hi all,
I think you need to step back a bit and think about what the end result is supposed to be…

If you were talking about a word processor, photo editor or game, then targeting one version of Linux would be dumb, these are applications that people want to be able to use on whatever system they already have.

Asterisk & FreePBX are Server-side applications, not at all like those typical user/desktop apps.

It’s running a telephone system where, in the majority of cases, reliability is paramount - if it fails in a big way it could be anything from losing customers to wrecking a business.

RHEL/Centos are workhorse operating systems which are intended to be rock solid stable for business use, and updates are available for many years for each release so frequent re-installs are not required to keep up with security fixes etc.

An operating system like this is the perfect foundation for an overall reliable system.

Centos is certainly not a difficult system to install - from booting a DVD to having a basic Asterisk / FreePBX setup running can be done in a couple of hours, and once you get to that stage and are working via the web interface from another machine, what difference does the flavor of OS make?

Just to say I have worked through Dirk’s instructions which worked pretty well. Having problems with the FOP server but that may have more to do with the beta version I am using (2.3.ORC1.1).

Thanks to Dirk for his work.

Me thinks u r confused…

It’s a shame that folk like bubba miss the point so much - we don’t all want to spend our lives with our head burried in linux code trying things out.<<<<

Sir I think your post there just support’s MY postion.

To build a stable FreePBX system you must start with a stable (and some what supported) distro (yes you can use others BUT they will cause un-needed issues)

Using CENTOS there is nothing to figure out / hack/ tweak…any other version there is a bunch of tweak’n (not talking about rpath here)

with Centos the ease of install is a scripted install which has work across 7 or 8 version’s of centos with a few lines of coded added or changed.

You will not see this with ANY OTHER distro linux… period.

I have done more Asterisk installs on more Distro’s and hardware than most folks have or will, so I have a good bit of background here.

If we all put our efforts into a single focused efforted we can build a better Server.
and that means sticking a single distro install across the board, not a bunch of disrto’s.

Any PRO who builds a Freepbx system for a client using any other distro than Centos, is really doing the customer a dis-service, as this will cause tech support issues, if not some really nasty downtime due to the “wrong version of the OS”.

simple facts of life here folks…

Free software, Free operating system, Free Choice.

I respect bubba’s stance that Centos is used for a reason, I dont have the experience behind me to confirm his words, but I expect that he’s actually right.

However, if I want to setup a small asterisk server in my home, for use by two people for the hell of it, then i can pick any operating system I choose. If I want to buy a sun server and run the thing on solaris because I can, then I damn well will!

Business critical, go ahead and use Centos, but there’s a whole world out there folks! Use the os of your dreams for hobby work, and if you get it working nice on a lesser platform, go ahead and give hints on how it’s done :slight_smile:

That was sort of my whole point here, I dont want to have a ‘best linux distro’ discussion because they never end well. Actually, they just never end.

Install guides for alternative distributions is the idea, just because it’s fun. 8)

I agree w/ Bubba about CentOS, but how difficult would it be to write a install script which mounts a CD containing just the latest sources and builds everything for you, so we don’t have to manually hash everything out?

e.g.) will look to the cd for asterisk-*.tar.gz, and go through an automated routine for everything required on a vanilla install of CentOS.

I’m sure there’s a way to determine what distrib the script is being run on, and execute a diff set of commands based on that distrib (yum, apt, etc). SOoooooooooo… all we’d be doing is make sure we have the latest install script & load up the CD w/ all the appropriate files.

Pleaz overlook my ignorance, I just don’t know… I mean if I can write scripts to install various apps & hacks, why would this not be doable?

  • J

Hey, bubba,

Hopefully you guys have moved on from CentOS 4.3 for developement. If so, can someone please update the CentOS 4.3 install guide listed under FAQs for CentOS 4.4 or 4.5? I’ve already found one step which the guide misses. It fails to have the user run ‘pear install db’ in order to get a pear db for freepbx going.



I like Debian but the reality is that RHEL/CentOS is the default standard OS used/tested with Asterisk and FreePBX and is also the default standard OS supported/tested by many hardware vendors such as 3ware and SuperMicro etc.

I realize I’m replying to this a bit late, but for what it’s worth, I do all my testing/development on Debian, and I always have, since I first started working on FreePBX over two years ago (AMP 1.10.004 I think was the first release that had some of my code in it).

The FreePBX team has never targeted any specific OS, we aim for it to work on as many distros as possible. The only thing we’ve knowingly done is not fully support BSD - the patches given to us to support BSD broke support on other (linux) distros - CentOS in particular - and obviously we’re not going to break one OS to support another, even disregarding the huge install base.

There’s also a UbuntuServer guide for installing there, and though I’ve never tried it exactly, I would be willing to bet the debian instructions are similar, if not identical. Regardless, I’ve installed on debian from scratch many times without issues (well, except for before I wrote the installer, when AMP just untar’d to / and spread files everywhere… that was messy and painful…).

Greg MacLellan - Core FreePBX Developer
http// - #freepbx

CentOS is the defacto standard OS just from the fact it is the most used most tested most documented of all the OS’s used for Asterisk/FreePBX. That is the reason it’s the logical choice. If someone want’s to use something like Debian it is up to them. I agree with bubba that it’s not the best route in general. That is just my opinion based on the facts.