I Hope Everyone Really Appreciates FreePBX

From time to time, I drop into the Asterisk forums. I am amazed at the most basic problems these users are having. There are so-called “Asterisk Purists” who think its cool to create config files, dial plans and applications from scratch. There are newbies who have not yet discovered the GUI beauty of FreePBX but want to set up their own phone system. There are probably a lot of people in that forum who have no business trying to do things from scratch because they’ll never have the time and focus to make the system work. Many will turn away discouraged with questions unanswered. I was one of those newbies before I discovered the original “Asterisk at Home.”

In the Asterisk forums, I’ll see basic questions like “How do I set up the dial plan so I can make an outside call?” and “How do I set up Asterisk to call my cell phone if I don’t answer my office phone?” I catch myself wondering what planet these people live on. I just want to respond to questions using capital letters saying “GET FREEPBX YOU IDIOTS!!!”

I’ve been using FreePBX for so long now that I have to laugh at these poor misguided people who seem to believe that Asterisk purity is the right thing to do. Maybe I’m jaded, but I opt for high efficiency, ease of setup, ease of maintenance and innovative new features. I’d much rather learn about Asterisk by looking at the config files created by FreePBX than trying to figure out how to do the most basic stuff from scratch.

I just wanted to pause for a moment to say “Job well done!” to Philippe, his coworkers and the whole FreePBX community. No one else can touch what the FreePBX project has done for the broad adoption of Asterisk. I look forward to the same value-add coming to FreeSwitch in the future.


I started with using plain 'ol Asterisk so I could learn the roots and the real way it does things - and then I started looking into software built around it (like FreePBX), and it has made my life significantly easier.

I like learning the real way of doing things first, and then taking the easier route… Example, learn how to program in Assembly first, and then take on C, and then C++.

I echo kenn10 comments. I see the same thing happening also with people trying to re-invent the wheel by creating their own “distribution” of asterisk/freepbx/lamp and running into problems. I wish that I could help them but when you have a bastardized version - who knows what the user has done. It makes it literally impossible to assist.

There are a few exceptional distributions of asterisk that people can download and install without starting from scratch. The best distributions are focused on FreePBX. The one that I found 3 years ago was PBX in a Flash. It has saved me an incredible amount of work and headaches. Between the FreePBX team and PiaF team, their dedication to the software, has made the VoIP courses that I teach a success.