Differences between FreePBX and AsteriskNOW (NO OTHER)

I went from trixbox but now I would try something new like Asterisknow or FreePBX.
I’m really confused: what’s differences between Asterisknow and FreePBX?
I have 2 incoming line and 6 internal.
At this question some genius intruduces PBX in a Flash or other stuff but I’m totally not interested to any other: just Asterisknow or FreePBX.
Please note that other genius replies saying differences are that FreePBX has got the GUI while Asterisk not. That’s right but I’m talking about Asterisk “NOW” that has got GUI too.
So: what’s differences between AsterisNOW and FreePBX?
Seems pretty hard to find an answer. For example “It depends” isn’t an answer for me.
What’s differences between AsterisNOW and FreePBX?
Thank you.

IMHO you should ask yourself what differences (if any) are there between the actual AsteriskNow (I mean the most recent one, not the AsteriskNow 3.0.x but the AsteriskNow 5.211.65-14 <- and note the naming) and FreePBX Distro 5.211.65: this is probably a pertinent (for sure interesting) question to ask.

Astute followers then may jump in and (also) note that, very recently this year (April?), FreePBX Developers provided an official script to convert AsteriskNow 3.0.x into FreePBX Distro 5.211.65-13 (initially the script was released to convert AsteriskNow 3.0.x into a FreePBX Distro 5.211.65-1).

Now, AsteriskNow 5.211.65 (while with AsteriskNow 3.0.x users may - or may not - choose to install FreePBX GUI) actually has FreePBX 2.11 GUI…maybe differences don’t stop here…so I’m curious too.

Two of the key components of AsteriskNOW are the CentOS Linux distribution and the open source FreePBX GUI, which is maintained by Schmooze. In the wake of RedHat’s purchase of CentOS and its assertion of the CentOS trademark, Schmooze did a lot of work to build their own Linux distribution, free from those trademarks. While they were doing this work, the Schmooze team approached Digium about maintaining the Linux distribution for AsteriskNOW. Digium, rather than trying to perform a similar effort in building a new Linux distribution, decided that it was in the best interest of AsteriskNOW to accept the Schmooze offer. The additional benefit of building AsteriskNOW on the Schmooze Linux distribution is that we also now have an opportunity to bring in more of Schmooze’s modules for FreePBX, which enable users of Digium products to more seamlessly use them with AsteriskNOW. We’re very excited about this partnership and think it’s a win for users.


If AsteriskNow 5.211.65 is actually a (read: massively based on) FreePBX Distro 5.211.65 (this can easily verified, nothing new here) what’s really differentiating them in terms of software components, user features and end-users (potential) segment?

I’m reading it that the main difference is in who maintains the distro, in one case it is Digium in other one Schmooze. As long as both are maintained choose whatever you want.

@dziny: Mmmm I don’t think so…especially reading what @tm1000 wrote above:

So it’s clear that who actually mantains both AsteriskNOW 5.211.65 and FreePBX Distro 5.211.65 is the same team: FreePBX Developers of Schmooze Com.

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My understanding was that Digium abandoned AsteriskNOW a few years ago. Given the identical numbering scheme, it seems pretty obvious that AsteriskNow and the FreePBX Distro are identical or nearly identical…

that’s also my conclusion : FreePBX distro and AsteriskNOW are identical - but not regarding GPL situation ! AsteriskNOW distro is GPL and has no restrictions , while FreePBX distro has restrictions as indicated in the Tos statements by Sangoma/Schmooze:

"The FreePBX Distro is released as a freeware product that any person or entity can download and use to install the FreePBX Distro. The FreePBX Distro is not a GPL or Open Source product. It does install mostly GPL packages and all SRPMs for GPL packages can be found at http://yum.freepbxdistro.org/pbx/SRPMS

You can only use the ISO or USB image as its distributed by Sangoma Technologies. Any modification to the FreePBX Distro itself are strictly prohibited. Copying or using the install scripts of the FreePBX Distro to build a similar product is strickly prohibited and protected by our Copyright. Modifying the FreePBX Distro to work on other enviroments, such as VPS containers, is in violation of our ToS.

You can only market or sell your product as the FreePBX Distro if it has been intsalled in a unmodifed way and only if you are a Certified FreePBX Reseller or Partner with an agreement in place to do so.

You can only use the Sangoma/FreePBX yum repos besides the commercial repo if you are using the FreePBX Distro for your own personal or corporate use. If you are selling, renting or receiving compensation for a FreePBX Distro system and are not a Certified Reseller or Partner of FreePBX you will need to remove the use of our YUM repositories and provide your own or move to a public repository. "

This is a rather bizar situation if both distros are based on the same OS and same applications …