Asterisk under Debian 5.0 "Lenny"
The pages on this Wiki all relate to running Asterisk with Digium hardware on Debian 5.0 "Lenny". The scenario we're working on here is a single server, attached to both the Internet (over ADSL) and a home network, that's being expanded to also serve as a telephone PBX. We might make a distinction between an Asterisk PBX connected to the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS) using an FXO module, and an Asterisk that only has VoIP functionality. Read the different subsections for more information, but remember: the basis of all the information in this wiki is this fantastic book. If you're interested in Asterisk, we seriously suggest you buy it.
Installing the hardware
When you need only VoIP support, and no standard phones or telephone lines need to be connected to your Asterisk PBX, you really don't need any kind of special hardware. However, if you need to receive from or send out calls to the Plain Old Telephone System (POTS), you need hardware with FXO capabilities. Furthermore, if you need to attach regular telephones to your PBX (as opposed to just using softphones, phone software on laptops and desktops), you need hardware with FXS capabilities. For our discussion on obtaining and installing telephony hardware, go here.
Configuring hardware support
Once you've installed your telephony hardware, you probably want to start using it. The bad news is, this requires the Linux kernel to support that hardware with drivers, that it currently does not have. The good news is, we can explain to you how to get and install DAHDI drivers.
Note: if you're interested in the "old" method using Zaptel, click here.
Installing Asterisk under Debian
When the hardware is running, you can install Asterisk under Debian - well actually you could install and configure Asterisk, and add hardware later, but we like to explain things in this particular order. We'll also do some basic configuration and testing here, to test the installation of your FXO and FXS enabled hardware. When that is in working order, we continue with configuring and testing SIP and IAX2, in which we'll try to, well, configure and test both SIP (a softphone) and IAX2, which is a connection between two Asterisk PBXes.
Configuring Asterisk - the basics
Once Asterisk is up and running, we can start putting in the most basic configuration. Directly after this, we hand out some Dialplan theory. This gives you the possibility to receive and place calls, but not yet much of the funky stuff that is described in the Asterisk TFOTF book.