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Asterisk: The Future of Telephony by Leif Madsen, Jared Smith, Jim Van Meggelen

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Chapter 3. Installing Asterisk

I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.

—Helen Keller

In the previous chapter, we discussed preparing a system to install Asterisk. Now it’s time to obtain, extract, compile, and install the software.

Although a large number of Linux distributions[26] and PC architectures are excellent candidates for Asterisk, we have chosen to focus on a single distribution in order to maintain brevity and clarity throughout the book. The instructions that follow have been made as generic as possible, but you may notice a leaning toward Red Hat structures and utilities. We have chosen to focus on Red Hat because its command set, directory structure, and so forth are likely to be familiar to the majority of users (we have found that most Linux administrators are familiar with Red Hat, even if they don’t prefer it). However, this doesn’t mean that Red Hat is the only choice, or even the best one for you. A question that often appears on the mailing lists is: “Which distribution of Linux is the best to use with Asterisk?” The multitude of answers generally boils down to “the one you like the best.”

What Packages Do I Need?

Asterisk uses three main packages : the main Asterisk program (asterisk), the Zapata telephony drivers (zaptel), and the PRI ...

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