Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Asterisk on a debian box

The job I'm currently doing at the moment is trying to set up a VoIP/PBX box which sits on the network and basically routes all local calls through the PSTN and routes all international calls through a VoIP provider (kind of like Skype). So the idea is that you save money on international calls by not having to use the telco's network.

So the idea was pretty good, and it seemed that the Asterisk software was pretty mature, but I did run into some problems. The first time I tried setting this up I tried downloading, compiling and installing the zaptel driver and the asterisk software manually. This led to some kind of error where no matter what happened Asterisk could not see the telephone cards. Although, for some reason the web interface working on top of Asterisk could.

But anyway, the way I finally got it working was to download and install the zaptel source code for the drivers from the debian repositories and then compile the driver. Apparently you can't get pre-compiled drivers from the debian repo's. The package itself (zaptel-source) had a dependency on another package called 'module-assistant'. After installing the zaptel-source package through apt, I compiled and installed the package using the command 'm-a a-i zaptel' i.e. 'module-assistant auto-install zaptel'. This managed to install the drivers properly. Then, I installed the asterisk version in the debian repository as well by just running 'apt-get install asterisk'.

Tomorrow, I start configuring the asterisk installation.

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