Asterisk software install

The latest stable release branch of Asterisk as of this writing is 1.2.  To download the lastest stable release of Asterisk 1.2 do the following.

# cd /usr/src
# svn checkout asterisk-1.2
# svn checkout asterisk-sounds-1.2
# svn checkout zaptel-1.2
# svn checkout libpri-1.2
The libpri code is only needed if you plan to use a T1/E1 card

Now install everything
# cd /usr/src/libpri-1.2
# make
# make install
# cd /usr/src/zaptel-1.2
# make linux26
# make install
# modprobe ztdummy
# vi /etc/modules
Add the word “ztdummy” at the bottom of the modules file
# update-modules

What we just did in the lines after “make install” was configure ztdummy to load automatically each time we boot.  If you have a zaptel card installed then you do not need to do this.  I believe you will need to run “ztcfg –v” instead but I did not have a card at the time of this writing so I cannot provide any step by step information for that part.  You will have to do a search for installing zaptel cards with asterisk.

Edit Makefile for Asterisk to add a few optimizations for your processor.  You may need to do search to find out what optimizations are for what processor.  For example, if you have a Pentium processor you would want to find and uncomment the following lines.

# cd /usr/src/asterisk-1.2
# vi Makefile

Edit the following lines to remove the ‘#’


Now compile and install Asterisk:

# make mpg123
# make install
# make samples
# make config (should install startup script but fails so cp contrib/init.d/rc.debian.asterisk /etc/init.d/asterisk)
# update-rc.d asterisk defaults 99

This updates the init scripts and sets Asterisk to start after all other processes have been started.

# cd /usr/src/asterisk-sounds-1.2 && make install

At this point DO NOT START ASTERISK!!!  It is not a very good idea to run Asterisk as root so we’ll create a non-priviledged user and run under it.

# echo “asterisk:x:104:Asterisk PBX daemon,,,:/var/lib/asterisk:bin/false” >> /etc/passwd
# echo “asterisk:x:104:” >> /etc/group

Now edit /etc/init.d/asterisk and uncomment:


Since the asterisk user can’t write to /var/run (and we don’t want it to) we’ll create a place for it’s process id file.  Edit /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf and change

astrundir => /var/run


astrundir => /var/run/asterisk

Create the new directory and change the owner to the asterisk users:

# mkdir /var/run/asterisk && chown asterisk:asterisk /var/run/asterisk

We also have to fix the file ownership on the rest of the places that asterisk users needs to write to:

# chown –R asterisk:asterisk /var/log/asterisk
# chown –R asterisk:asterisk /var/spool/asterisk
# chown –R asterisk:asterisk /var/lib/asterisk/
# chown –R asterisk:asterisk /dev/zap/pseudo

You’ll also need to add asterisk to the audio group:

# adduser asterisk audio

Now see if it all runs

# asterisk –U asterisk –G asterisk –cvv

Now it’s time to customize Asterisk to your particular setup by editing the Asterisk *.conf files.  I used a program called IPManager which automagically generates the *.conf files for me.  Configuring Asterisk *.conf files manually are a whole other subject and beyond the scope of this document.