Asterisk is the most popular PBX (Private Branch Exchange) software and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, designed from the offset to deliver a capable and reliable telephony engine, as well as a toolkit for developers who want to create communication applications.
It is an open source command-line software, a server that offers all the flexibility needed by developers and integrators to create advanced communication solutions for free. It can also be used as a gateway, a feature/media server or a call center.
Features at a glance
Key features include an IVR (Interactive Voice Response) system, a conference bridge, all the building blocks required to create a PBX (Private Branch Exchange) server, and virtually any other communication tools you can imagine.
Asterisk can be used as a switch (PBX), configured as the core of a hybrid PBX or an IP, for switching calls, enabling various functions, connecting callers, and managing routes with the outside world over IP, digital (T1/E1) or analog (POTS) connections.
Getting started with Asterisk
Installing Asterisk on a GNU/Linux system proves to be an easy task, as all you have to do after downloading and unpacking the latest version of the software (see download link above), you must execute the ‘./configure && make’ command in a terminal emulator, of course after navigating to the location of the extracted archive files (e.g. cd /home/softpedia/asterisk-13.0.1).
After a successful compilation process, a message will notify you that Asterisk can be installed on your system by running the ‘make install’ command as root or the ‘sudo make install’ command as a privileged user. That’s it, you can now use Asterisk and also install one of the front-ends available on Softpedia.
Supported operating systems
Asterisk is a multi-platform software, which means that it supports and runs on a wide range of Linux and UNIX-like operating systems, including GNU/Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris and Mac OS X. It can be successfully installed on 64-bit and 32-bit hardware platforms.