Thursday, September 6, 2007

Adding Asterisk to your t5720 "Linux Appliance"

If you've followed the directions in my last post to setup the HP t5720 thin client as a Linux "appliance" then you should be ready to go for installing Asterisk. My personal experience is that the 1.2.x version of Asterisk is much more solid than the 1.4.x version. It's up to you which one you will install.

Despite some of the quirks in 1.4.x I'm going to install it so I can also install the Asterisk-GUI software. If this is going to be an "appliance" then the GUI could be a nice enhancement for the less technical Asterisk users.

So, lets get started.

Basic Asterisk Install

1. We need to install dependencies for Asterisk. Running "apt-get install gcc g++ make libncurses5-dev" should take care of it.

*I'm not using a zap interface, but f you're going to be using zaptel you need the kernel headers. There is plenty of documentation on the web for installing zap on Debian Etch. My two cents is that Zap is more trouble than it is worth in a production environment. Grab some Audiocodes gateways. More money, but you'll get a lot less calls and it is carrier class equipment so not as many late night phone calls for outage notifcations.

2. Download and unzip the source code for Asterisk.

3. From the Asterisk directory run a "./configure", then "make", then "make install", then "make samples", then "make config". You should be able to run "asterisk -cvvvv" from the console and watch asterisk start up. From here on out the Asterisk configuration is really up to you because everyone's needs are different. Setup a few phones and start passing calls.

As a suggestion, if you were going to use this as your sole pbx on this platform it may be best to stick a usb thumb drive in the back and store your media, prompts and voicemail on there or mount an NFS share.

To install Asterisk-GUI

1. As of now you can only get Asterisk-GUI using svn. That means we have to install the subversion client with "apt-get install subversion subversion-tools".

2. To checkout the source run "svn checkout asterisk-gui".

3. Rather than duplicate efforts, you can find the rest of the instructions to install Asterisk-GUI at It is worth noting that in my experience if you don't setup zaptel you can't use the configuration wizard in the GUI.


  1. Nice article, I am thinking of using the same box for the same purpose as well as a little light appache/php and mysql hosting for home.

    Could you tell me how you are finding the CPU speed and what load it's under with what you are doing?

    Also I presume you can just add a 4 or 8Gb pen drive externally for more storage?

  2. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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