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The Asterisk Open Source PBX by Mark Spencer <firstname.lastname@example.org> Copyright (C) 2001, Linux Support Services, Inc. ================================================================ * SECURITY It is imperative that you read and fully understand the contents of the SECURITY file before you attempt to configure an Asterisk server. * WHAT IS ASTERISK Asterisk is an Open Source PBX and telephony toolkit. It is, in a sense, middleware between Internet and telephony channels on the bottom, and Internet and telephony applications at the top. For more information on the project itself, please visit the Asterisk home page at: http://www.asteriskpbx.com * LICENSING Asterisk is distributed under GNU General Public License. The GPL also must apply to all loadable modules as well, except as defined below. Linux Support Services, Inc. retains copyright to all of the core Asterisk system, and therefore can grant, at its sole discression, the ability for companies, individuals, or organizations to create proprietary or Open Source (but non-GPL'd) modules which may be dynamically linked at runtime with the portions of Asterisk which fall under our copyright umbrella, or are distributed under more flexible licenses than GPL. At this time (5/21/2001) the only component of Asterisk which is covered under GPL and not under our Copyright is the Xing MP3 decoder. If you wish to use our code in other GPL programs, don't worry -- there is no requirement that you provide the same exemption in your GPL'd products (although if you've written a module for Asterisk we would strongly encourage you to make the same excemption that we do). If you have any questions, whatsoever, regarding our licensing policy, please contact us. * REQUIRED COMPONENTS == Linux == Currently, the Asterisk Open Source PBX is only known to run on the Linux OS, although it may be portable to other UNIX-like operating systems as well. * GETTING STARTED First, be sure you've got supported hardware. To use Asterisk right now, you will need one of the following: * Adtran Atlas 800 Plus * QuickNet Internet PhoneJack * Full Duplex Sound Card supported by Linux * ISDN4Linux compatible ISDN card * Tormenta Dual T1 card (www.bsdtelephony.com.mx) Assuming you have one of these (most likely the third) you're ready to proceed: 1) Run "make" 2) Run "make install" If this is your first time working with Asterisk, you may wish to install the sample PBX, with demonstration extensions, etc. If so, run: "make samples" Doing so will overwrite any existing config files you have. Finally, you can launch Asterisk with: ./asterisk -vvvc You'll see a bunch of verbose messages fly by your screen as Asterisk initializes (that's the "very very verbose" mode). When it's ready, if you specified the "c" then you'll get a command line console, that looks like this: *CLI> You can type "help" at any time to get help with the system. For help with a specific command, type "help <command>". To start the PBX using your sound card, you can type "dial" to dial the PBX. Then you can use "answer", "hangup", and "dial" to simulate the actions of a telephone. Remember that if you don't have a full duplex sound card (And asterisk will tell you somewhere in its verbose messages if you do/don't) than it won't work right (not yet). Feel free to look over the configuration files in /etc/asterisk, where you'll find a lot of information about what you can do with Asterisk. * ABOUT CONFIGURATION FILES All Asterisk configuration files share a common format. Comments are delimited by ';' (since '#' of course, being a DTMF digit, may occur in many places). A configuration file is divided into sections whose names appear in 's. Each section typically contains two types of statements, those of the form 'variable = value', and those of the form 'object => parameters'. Internally the use of '=' and '=>' is exactly the same, so they're used only to help make the configuration file easier to understand, and do not affect how it is actually parsed. Entries of the form 'variable=value' set the value of some parameter in asterisk. For example, in tormenta.conf, one might specify: switchtype=national In order to indicate to Asterisk that the switch they are connecting to is of the type "national". In general, the parameter will apply to instantiations which occur below its specification. For example, if the configuration file read: switchtype = national channel => 1-4 channel => 10-12 switchtype = dms100 channel => 25-47 Then, the "national" switchtype would be applied to channels one through four and channels 10 through 12, whereas the "dms100" switchtype would apply to channels 25 through 47. The "object => parameters" instantiates an object with the given parameters. For example, the line "channel => 25-47" creates objects for the channels 25 through 47 of the tormenta card, obtaining the settings from the variables specified above. * MORE INFORMATION Finally, you may wish to visit the web site and join the mailing list if you're interested in getting more information. Mark