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Open-source IP PBX becomes easy-to-use “software appliance”

Jan 3, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 12 views

Digium has released the second beta of a “software appliance” version of Asterisk, the open source IP PBX (Internet protocol private branch exchange) it maintains. The GPL-licensed AsteriskNow appliance sports a web-based config/admin GUI, and comes with a complete Linux environment with several installation… options.

(Click for larger view of AsteriskNow Installer)

AsteriskNow is based on Asterisk 1.4, a fairly significant release last October that followed nearly a year of development. It appears that Digium used rPath's rBuilder software appliance creation tool in building AsteriskNow.

As a “software appliance,” AsteriskNow includes a complete Linux-based operating system suitable for installation on x86 or x86-64. Alternative iso images are available for installation within VMware or Xen virtual machines. Additionally, a live CD version allows easy evaluation.

AsteriskNow adds an “AsteriskGUI” interface built on top of Asterisk 1.4. The GUI comprises a graphical installer (pictured top of page), said to offer simple configuration options for home users, and a web based interface for configuration and administration.

AsteriskGUI screenshots
(Click each to enlarge)

Mark Spencer, president of Digium and Asterisk project founder, stated, “Reducing the complexity of installing and using Asterisk will expand the market for Digium into more mainstream use. Unlike other Linux distributions used to deploy Asterisk, AsteriskNow does not have unnecessary components that could compromise security or performance.”


AsteriskNow is available with registration from the AsteriskNow website.

Digium additionally offers a non-virtual appliance version of Asterisk 1.4. Its Asterisk Appliance Developer Kit, released last October, includes a tiny, stackable IP PBX appliance for 2-50 users, based on an Analog Devices Blackfin DSP (digital signal processor) running Linux.

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