I am currently using regular Asterisk, and want to switch to FreePBX.
My plan is to install FreePBX (using the Nerdvittles ISO), and to start use my old extensions.conf, sip.conf, etc. files, and not try the FreePBX functionality for a week or so.
My question - does the FreePBX front end ever make changes to the standard asterisk *.conf file (e.g., extensions.conf, sip.conf, voicemail.conf), or just to the other FreePBX files which are then included? I understand that FreePBX comes with its own version of extensions.conf, etc., but I want to know if I temporarily replace those with my old files whether they will be overwritten if I make entries in the FreePBX interface. I would like to be able to slowly make entries into FreePBX in the evenings when there are no calls, but then use the old *.conf files during the work day until configuration is complete.
Short answer is yes.
Free PBX does overwrite all the the standard files (extensions.conf, sip.conf, IAX.conf, zapata.conf, etc) with it’s own set so it knows what is in there when it builds the files. It uses a series of include files for different portions of the dialplan so the information is organized. If you have something that you want to keep and never have it touched you need end the file with _custom.conf. FreePBX will not touch files ending that way but include them in the building of the system.
I’m not sure how much customization you have done, but most people can build a complete system with a valid working dialplan and almost all options in about a hour. The things that might take a little longer are things like the IVR (you had a way to build them and it might not match how the program does it), redoing recordings, etc. But still I’ve build many a system in under a hour. That is from formatting the drive to compleation.