Newbie FreePBX Setup


I am a total newbie to PBX but I have 3 analog telephone lines which I am trying to connect to a PBX system for automated options. I want to install this on my Windows system but I understand FreePBX is only for Linux. I understand I could install WSL on my Windows to emulate Linux and use PBX. Is there a step-by-step guide somewhere where I can get simple instructions on how to setup FreePBX using analog phones on a Windows system?

Any help would be appreciated.


Most users running FreePBX in Windows use Hyper-V; some use VMware or VirtualBox. While it may be possible to do it in WSL, it would require considerable expertise and is definitely not recommended for a newbie.

To connect analog lines, you can use PCI cards such as TDM400P with FXO modules, or an FXO gateway such as GXW4104 or HT841. Or, consider switching to SIP trunks, which will likely be less expensive and more flexible.

While you can connect analog phones using cards with FXS ports, or FXS gateways, in most cases using IP phones, softphones and/or mobile SIP apps results in better workflow. However, if you have a large number of analog phones already in place, for example room phones in a hotel, high-port-count FXS gateways are a good solution. How many analog phones of what types do you have?

Thank you so much Stewart for that thorough reply. We only have 3 analog lines but have about 10 phones in the office that use those 3 incoming lines.

Are these generic 4-line phones? Or are they part of an existing key system or PBX? Make/model(s)?

Generic 4 line phones

You need to think about how to handle call flow, presence, etc. How is it done now, put the call on hold and yell “hey Joe, pick up line 2”? And how do you keep track of who is available to take a call? How does someone know when to answer a ringing line?

And, if people need to juggle multiple calls, you should really have a reliable way of knowing who is connected. “Hi, honey, I’ll be late for dinner, that asshole called again and I have to answer his idiotic questions.” You better be damn sure you’re on the correct line.

If you’re on a tight budget, maybe get nice (but used) IP phones for the receptionist and the boss, and connect the other users with an 8-port FXS gateway.

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