AsteriskNOW is an open source distribution of Linux derived from the community-developed CentOS operating system, which in turn is based on the award-winning Red Hat Enterprise Linux distro. It is built around the powerful Asterisk PBX (Private Branch Exchange) software and designed from the offset to transform a regular computer into a reliable VoIP system.
It’s distributed as 32-bit/64-bit installable-only CDs
The AsteriskNOW operating system can be downloaded from Softpedia as two installable-only ISO images, one for each of the supported hardware platforms (32-bit and 64-bit). The ISOs have approximately 500 MB in size each and fit well on CD discs, despite the fact that they include “DVD” in their name.
Minimal boot menu
The boot menu is quite minimalistic, designed to allow user to start the installation with Asterisk and FreePBX or only with Asterisk. Pressing the Enter key on the boot prompt without choosing an installation method, will automatically start the graphical installer with the first option.
Features a graphical installer
Being based on the CentOS operating system, AsteriskNOW features a graphical installer, which requires users to select a tiimezone and configure the system clock, enter a password for the root (system administrator) account, as well as to choose a partitioning method.
After all packages have been installed, the installer will automatically install and configure a bootloader and will ask you to reboot the machine and eject the bootable medium. When the system boots, it will drop users to a shell prompt where they have to use the “root” username, without quotes, and the password set during the installation to log in.
Configurable via a web-based interface
To configure both the Asterisk and FreePBX software, you will have to point your web browser to the IP address displayed on the login prompt. From there, you can configure your brand-new VoIP system.