Users, Extensions, Devices


after having read a lot of articles regarding FreePBX and also having setup my own FreePBX there is still one point I do not really understand. For my family I want to use FreePBX as our private PBX with multiple phones in our appartment.

For my current understanding FreePBX uses in its „Extension“ mode one specific user per extension (compared to the “User and Device” mode which is not recommended because it is not compatible to all modules).

However, if we have the following phones:

  • VoIP phone (Hardware phone for all users)
  • User1 Softphone (on the PC)
  • User1 Softphone (on the Smartphone)
  • User2 Softphone (on the PC)
  • User2 Softphone (on the Smartphone)
  • User3 VoIP phone (Hardware phone)

What is the preferred way to handle this scenario?

  • Is it (without the “User and Device” mode) possible to have the users “User 1”, “User 2”, “User 3” and each user’s phones are attached to the specific user?
  • In the Internet people mention to add multiple devices to the same extension, but I assume this prohibits internal calls to specific phones and makes the setup not very flexible?
  • How do you handle multiple devices per user in your setups?
  • It would also be nice if a user could access all of his/her phones in the User Control Panel.

Do you have some recommendations?

Thanks a lot in advance,


PJSIP allows you have multiple contacts, this would solve the multi device issue.

Hi @PitzKey,

thanks for your answer. Do you mean this “Max. Contacts” feature of PJSIP?

Yes, this solves the “problem” with one user having multiple devices.
However, when using “Max. Contacts” all devices have the same extension number which prevents from internal calls to a specific device and from Ring Groups (e.g. not possible to first ring device 1 of a user…then device 2, etc.), because you can only address all devices of one user at once.

Is there another (better) way to solve this problem?



Asterisk doesn’t really support the concept of Users - everything is related to extensions. Users are a construct built as a bag on the side of Asterisk. So, User 1’s phones would be one extension (with two devices), User 2’s phones would be the same. Now, each user has a separate extension number.

That really is about as close as you’re going to get.

I’ve not tried, but I actually think that if extension 501 was assigned to two devices and one of them was in a call, the other extension would ring as expected.

Most people don’t; at least not the way you’re describing it.

I’m not sure what you mean by “access”. You have a single extension number with two devices, so everything (since it’s all tied to extensions) should be “right there”.

This topic was automatically closed 31 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.