Welcome to our guide on how to Install Asterisk 16 LTS on CentOS 7 Linux. Asterisk is a powerful Open Source PBX system with Enterprise features only available in commercially available PBX systems. Asterisk uses commodity Ethernet hardware and allows for the integration of physically separate installations.

Features of Asterisk PBX system

  • Conference calling
  • Call Recording
  • Call Monitoring
  • Distributed Universal Number Discovery
  • Caller ID on Call Waiting
  • Direct Inward System Access
  • Call Parking
  • SMS Messaging
  • Trunking
  • Transcoding
  • Voicemail
  • Call Queues and many other features.

In our recent guide, we covered the Installation of Asterisk with FreePBX on Ubuntu Ubuntu server. If you need a commercial system there is 3CX which has a guide for the installation on our blog.

Install Asterisk 16 on CentOS 7

Before you start executing Asterisk install commands on your CentOS 7 server, make sure all the package son the system are up to date.

sudo yum -y update

Set hostname type:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname pbx.example.com

Add EPEL repository

sudo yum  -y install epel-release

Set SELinux  in Permissive Mode by running the commands below:

sudo setenforce 0
sudo sed -i 's/\(^SELINUX=\).*/\SELINUX=permissive/' /etc/selinux/config

Then follow the steps below to install and configure Asterisk 16 on your CentOS 7 / Fedora server.

Step 1: Install Asterisk 16 PBX dependencies

The initial step when setting up Asterisk is to install all required dependencies.

sudo yum -y install wget vim  net-tools

You also need to install Development Tools group packages.

sudo yum -y groupinstall "Development Tools"

The other packages that you need to install are:

sudo yum -y install libedit-devel sqlite-devel psmisc gmime-devel ncurses-devel libtermcap-devel sox newt-devel libxml2-devel libtiff-devel audiofile-devel gtk2-devel uuid-devel libtool libuuid-devel subversion kernel-devel kernel-devel-$(uname -r) git subversion kernel-devel crontabs cronie cronie-anacron wget vim

Step 2: Download and Install Jansson

Jansson is a C library for encoding, decoding and manipulating JSON data. Download and install it on CentOS 7 server by running the commands below:

cd /usr/src/
git clone https://github.com/akheron/jansson.git
cd jansson
autoreconf  -i
./configure --prefix=/usr/
make && make install

Step 3: Download and Install PJSIP

PJSIP is a free and open source multimedia communication library written in C language implementing standard based protocols such as SIP, SDP, RTP, STUN, TURN, and ICE. Clone the project from Github, then compile and install.

cd /usr/src/ 
export VER="2.10"
wget https://github.com/pjsip/pjproject/archive/${VER}.tar.gz
tar -xvf ${VER}.tar.gz
cd pjproject-${VER}
./configure CFLAGS="-DNDEBUG -DPJ_HAS_IPV6=1" --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib64 --enable-shared --disable-video --disable-sound --disable-opencore-amr
make dep
make install

Step 4: Download and Install Asterisk

Now that we have all dependency packages installed, we should be ready to download and install Asterisk 16 on CentOS 7.

cd /usr/src/
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-16-current.tar.gz
tar xvfz asterisk-16-current.tar.gz
rm -f asterisk-16-current.tar.gz
cd asterisk-*
./configure --libdir=/usr/lib64

If all goes well, you should get output similar to below:

configure: Menuselect build configuration successfully completed

            .$7$7..          .7$$7:.    
          .$$:.                 ,$7.7   
        .$7.     7$$$$           .$$77  
     ..$$.       $$$$$            .$$$7 
    ..7$   .?.   $$$$$   .?.       7$$$.
   $.$.   .$$$7. $$$$7 .7$$$.      .$$$.
 .777.   .$$$$$$77$$$77$$$$$7.      $$$,
 $$$~      .7$$$$$$$$$$$$$7.       .$$$.
.$$7          .7$$$$$$$7:          ?$$$.
$$$          ?7$$$$$$$$$$I        .$$$7 
$$$       .7$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$      :$$$. 
$$$       $$$$$$7$$$$$$$$$$$$    .$$$.  
$$$        $$$   7$$$7  .$$$    .$$$.   
$$$$             $$$$7         .$$$.    
7$$$7            7$$$$        7$$$      
 $$$$$                        $$$       
  $$$$7.                       $$  (TM)     
   $$$$$$$.           .7$$$$$$  $$      

configure: Package configured for: 
configure: OS type  : linux-gnu
configure: Host CPU : x86_64
configure: build-cpu:vendor:os: x86_64 : pc : linux-gnu :
configure: host-cpu:vendor:os: x86_64 : pc : linux-gnu :

Step 5: Set Asterisk menu options

Setup menu options by running the following command:

make menuselect

Use arrow keys to navigate, and Enter key to select.

On Add-ons select chan_ooh323 and format_mp3  as shown below

install asterisk ubuntu 18.04 01 min

On Core Sound Packages, select the formats of Audio packets like below

install asterisk ubuntu 18.04 02 min

For Music On Hold, select the following minimal modules

install asterisk ubuntu 18.04 03 min

On Extra Sound Packages select as shown below:

install asterisk ubuntu 18.04 04 min

Enable app_macro under Applications section.

asterisk enable app macro menuselect

You can change other configurations you see fit. When done, save and exit

Now run the following command to download the mp3 decoder library into the source tree.

sudo contrib/scripts/get_mp3_source.sh

To start building and installation of Asterisk with selected modules, run the commands.

make install
make samples
make config

Sample output:

---- Asterisk Installation Complete -------+
 +                                           +
 +                                           +
 + Asterisk has successfully been installed. +
 + If you would like to install the sample   +
 + configuration files (overwriting any      +
 + existing config files), run:              +
 +                                           +
 + For generic reference documentation:      +
 +    make samples                           +
 +                                           +
 + For a sample basic PBX:                   +
 +    make basic-pbx                         +
 +                                           +
 +                                           +
 +-----------------  or ---------------------+
 +                                           +
 + You can go ahead and install the asterisk +
 + program documentation now or later run:   +
 +                                           +
 +               make progdocs               +
 +                                           +
 + **Note** This requires that you have      +
 + doxygen installed on your local system    +

A systemd asterisk unit file will be created for you.

Create a separate user and group to run asterisk services, and assign correct permissions:

groupadd asterisk
useradd -r -d /var/lib/asterisk -g asterisk asterisk
usermod -aG audio,dialout asterisk
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /etc/asterisk
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /var/{lib,log,spool}/asterisk
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /usr/lib64/asterisk

Set Asterisk default user to asterisk:

$ sudo vim /etc/sysconfig/asterisk

$ sudo vim /etc/asterisk/asterisk.conf
runuser = asterisk ; The user to run as.
rungroup = asterisk ; The group to run as.

Restart asterisk service after making the changes

sudo systemctl restart asterisk

Enable service to start on boot:

sudo systemctl enable asterisk

Test to see if you can connect to Asterisk CLI:

# asterisk -rvv
Asterisk 16.0.1, Copyright (C) 1999 - 2018, Digium, Inc. and others.
Created by Mark Spencer <[email protected]>
Asterisk comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; type 'core show warranty' for details.
This is free software, with components licensed under the GNU General Public
License version 2 and other licenses; you are welcome to redistribute it under
certain conditions. Type 'core show license' for details.
Running as user 'asterisk'
Running under group 'asterisk'
Connected to Asterisk 16.0.1 currently running on centos-01 (pid = 17182)

You can confirm that Asterisk service is running as user asterisk. This is a recommended setting for Production.


You now have a running Asterisk 16 on CentOS 7 server. In our next how-to guide, we will cover the installation and Configuration of FreePBX on CentOS 7. Stay tuned and drop a comment if you encounter any issue with the setup.

Further reading:

How to secure Asterisk and FreePBX from VoIP Fraud and Bruteforce attacks

Install Asterisk on Ubuntu

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