Raspberry Pi – the ultimate home Asterisk PBX.

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 21-Oct-2012 20:23

Unless you're a tech geek who's been living on another planet for the last six months you would have heard of the Raspberry Pi. If you have been living on another planet and haven't heard of it my advice is to Google it and drool, because it's safe to say the Raspberry Pi is without a doubt one of the coolest gadgets to hit the tech world in the past few years.

Stock of the Raspberry Pi has been hard to come by in recent months with demand far exceeding supply, but a new 512MB model is now out as an upgrade to the older 256MB model and stock is once again available. I ordered mine this week from Element14 in Sydney and received it the very next day. As I type this they still have stock available so if you're wanting one it'll be the best NZ$48 you've ever spent!

As I'm a VoIP guy for my day job and have been playing with Asterisk since 2004, one thing I was keen to do was deploy Asterisk and put what has to be the world's smallest PBX though it's paces. Rather than take the long process of installing Debian and Asterisk manually I thought I'd try the Incredible Pi PBX, an Asterisk / FreePBX distribution put together by Ward Mundy who's also behind PIAF, which is in my opinion the best Asterisk "all in one" distribution around.

raspberry pi


The Incredible Pi can be downloaded from here. As I'm writing this version 3.5 has just been released and I wouldn't recommend installing any older version of the software. Once you've downloaded the software you'll need to burn the image file onto your SDHC card (I recommend Image Writer if using Windows) The image requires a minimum of a 4GB card, if you opt for a bigger card the file system can easily be expanded after installation.

Once the image has been copied to the SHDC card you're ready to go. Pop the card into your Raspberry Pi and power it on. After a few seconds you'll see the boot screen and then be presented with a Debian login. To access the PBX from your console login or SSH the login is 'root' and password is 'raspberry'. To access the FreePBX web interface use the login 'admin' and password 'admin'. Congratulations. You've now got the world's coolest, smallest PBX!

I'm not doing to bore you all with a step by step guide on configuring Asterisk, but there is one catch to be aware of for anybody else in New Zealand. A FreePBX module called Astridex is installed by default and will intercept any calls routed out that start with 00. Manually edit extensions_custom.conf and remove the custom context that exists for this or any international calls starting with 00 will not work correctly.


Other related posts:
Sangoma Roadshow heads to New Zealand in September
Obihai OBi 200 Analogue Telephone Adapter (ATA) Review
G.722 HD Audio. What’s the big deal?

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sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com