Hello guys, we’re going to do Asterisk 13.0.6 installation in this guide. This will be a complete easy to follow tutorial.  For recent release of Asterisk, check out How to Install Asterisk 15 PBX on CentOS 7. So let’s start by defining what a PBX and Asterisk is?

asterisk pstn

What Is a PBX?
Asterisk, first and foremost, is a Private Branch Exchange. A PBX is a piece of equipment that handles telephone switching owned by a private business, rather than a telephone company. A PBX can be thought of as a private phone switchboard, connecting to one or more telephones on one side and usually connecting to one or more telephone lines on the other.
What is Asterisk?
Asterisk is a complete PBX. It implements all the major features of most commercially available PBXes. It also implements, for free, features that often cost a lot in a commercial installation: Conference calling, Direct Inward System Access, Call Parking, and Call Queues, just to name a few.

The basic features provided by Asterisk are:

  1. Caller ID
  2. Blacklisting (Block callers by Caller ID)
  3. Call Waiting
  4. Call Transfer
  5. Call Conferencing
  6. Conference Center/Bridging
  7. Do‐Not‐Disturb
  8. Call Forwarding
  9. Call Parking
  10. Call Detail Reporting
  11. Dial by Name Directory
  12. Interactive Voice Response (Auto Attendant)
  13. Time Condition Call Routing
  14. Call Queuing
  15. Call Back
  16. Hold Music/Recordings (MP3)
  17. Application Integration
  18. Extended Call Reporting
  19. DISA (Direct Inward System Access)
  20. Dictation
  21. Follow Me
  22. Paging/Intercom
  23. Ring Groups
  24. Graphical Call Manager
  25. Day/Night Controls

We have Updated Guide for FreePBX 15:

How to Install Asterisk 15 PBX on CentOS 7

Among others. So let’s get started.
You can set hostname and timezone before doing any installation. Use below commands.

sudo timedatectl  list-timezones
sudo timedatectl  set-timezone Africa/Nairobi

To set hostname type:

sudo hostnamectl set-hostname pbx-01.example.com

In case your CentOS server has wrong keymaps. You can fix them.

   System Locale: LANG=en_US.UTF-8
       VC Keymap: us
      X11 Layout: us
$ localectl list-keymaps
To set keymap to us:
sudo localectl set-keymap us
You can set the system language to English by typing following commands on your terminal as root.
sudo localectl set-locale LANG=en_US.UTF-8

1. First, do a system update

sudo yum -y update

2. Install missing dependencies

sudo yum -y install lynx mariadb-server mariadb php php-mysql \
php-mbstring tftp-server httpd ncurses-devel sendmail sendmail-cf \
sox newt-devel libxml2-devel libtiff-devel audiofile-devel gtk2-devel \
subversion kernel-devel git php-process crontabs cronie cronie-anacron \
wget vim php-xml uuid-devel sqlite-devel net-tools gnutls-devel php-pear

3. Install other missing dependencies, not in step 2

sudo yum -y install gcc gcc-c++ php-xml php php-mysql php-pear php-mbstring mariadb-devel mariadb-server mariadb sqlite-devel lynx bison gmime-devel psmisc tftp-server httpd make ncurses-devel libtermcap-devel sendmail sendmail-cf caching-nameserver 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 php-process crontabs cronie cronie-anacron wget vim

4. Setup and configure mariadb database, setting the password as well.

systemctl start mariadb
systemctl enable mariadb

Now set the password by running the command below.


Just press enter if you don’t already have a password set for mysql. Agree to remove the test database and disallow remote login.

5. Installing Jansson which is a C library for encoding, decoding and manipulating JSON data. Let’s download, unpack and compile it using the below command.

cd /usr/src
mkdir asterisk-13
cd asterisk-13
git clone https://github.com/akheron/jansson.git
cd jansson
autoreconf  -i
./configure --prefix=/usr/
make && make install

6. Install Legacy Pear requirements

pear install Console_Getopt

7. Download Asterisk source files.

cd  /usr/src/asterisk-13
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/dahdi-linux-complete/dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/libpri/libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-13-current.tar.gz
wget -O jansson.tar.gz https://github.com/akheron/jansson/archive/v2.7.tar.gz
wget http://www.pjsip.org/release/2.4/pjproject-2.4.tar.bz2

8. Compile and install DAHDI if you are connecting to PSTN. This is OPTIONAL, install if you’ll connect to PSTN.

cd  /usr/src/asterisk-13
tar xvfz dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz
tar xvfz libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
rm -f dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
cd dahdi-linux-complete-*
make all
make install
make config
cd libpri-1.4.*
make install

9.Compile and install pjproject

cd  /usr/src/asterisk-13
tar -xjvf pjproject-2.4.tar.bz2
rm -f pjproject-2.4.tar.bz2
cd pjproject-2.4
CFLAGS='-DPJ_HAS_IPV6=1' ./configure --prefix=/usr --enable-shared --disable-sound
--disable-resample --disable-video --disable-opencore-amr --libdir=/usr/lib64
make dep
make install

10. Compile and Install jansson

cd  /usr/src/asterisk-13
tar vxfz jansson.tar.gz
rm -f jansson.tar.gz
cd jansson-*
autoreconf -i
./configure --libdir=/usr/lib64
make && make install

11. Compile and install Asterisk

cd /usr/src/asterisk-13
tar xvfz asterisk-13-current.tar.gz
cd asterisk-*
./configure --libdir=/usr/lib64

12. Setup menu options by running the following command

make menuselect

On Add-ons select chan_ooh323 and format_mp3  as shown below


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

On  Music On Hold, option select the following modules as shown in the picture below


On Extra Sound Packages select as shown below:


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

cd /usr/src/asterisk-13/asterisk-*

14. Do installation of selected modules

cd /usr/src/asterisk-13/asterisk-*/
make install
make samples
make config

15. Create separate user and group to run asterisk services

useradd -m asterisk
chown asterisk.asterisk /var/run/asterisk
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /etc/asterisk
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /var/{lib,log,spool}/asteris 
chown -R asterisk.asterisk /usr/lib64/asterisk

16. Make systemctl start asterisk by copying init script to init.d dir.

cd /usr/src/asterisk-13/asterisk-*
cp contrib/init.d/rc.redhat.asterisk  /etc/init.d/asterisk
chmod 755 /etc/init.d/asterisk

Locate asterisk by

$ which asterisk

Then open the file /etc/init.d/asterisk by

sudo vim /etc/init.d/asterisk

Replace AST_SBIN=, with your location of asterisk binary, for my case it’s /sbin/. See below image.


17. Disable SELinux

 sed -i 's/(^SELINUX=).*/SELINUX=disabled/' /etc/selinux/config

18. Setup Asterisk Database

[[email protected] ~]# mysql -u root -p
Enter password: 
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 4
Server version: 5.5.44-MariaDB MariaDB Server

Copyright (c) 2000, 2015, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.

Type 'help;' or 'h' for help. Type 'c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]> create user 'asterisk'@'localhost' identified by 'password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> create database cdrdb;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> create database asterisk;
Query OK, 1 row affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON asterisk.* TO [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON cdrdb.* TO [email protected] IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> flush privileges; 
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)

MariaDB [(none)]> exit

19. Make all asterisk PBX ports accessible by adding the following rules

firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5060/udp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5060/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5061/udp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5061/tcp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=4569/udp --permanent
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=5038/tcp --permanent 
firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=10000-20000/udp --permanent

20. Commit changes

[[email protected] ~]# firewall-cmd --reload

21. Confirm that the rules are added.

[[email protected] ~]# firewall-cmd --zone=public --list-all 
public (default, active)
  interfaces: eth0
  services: dhcpv6-client ssh
  ports: 5061/tcp 4569/udp 5060/tcp 10000-20000/udp 5061/udp 5060/udp 5038/tcp
  masquerade: no
  rich rules:

Restart asterisk server

systemctl restart asterisk

17. Check if running

sudo systemctl status asterisk

Further reading: How to secure Asterisk and FreePBX from VoIP Fraud and Brute force attacks

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