I'm interested in building a small Asterisk environment to explore Asterisk.

I understand that these are multiple questions, but considering how closely related these are to each other, I decided to ask them as one question. If I need to, I'll split them up.

  • intra-Asterisk only at this time
  • lines no external lines (no POTS or PSTN, etc.)
  • 1 concurrent internal calls & no external calls
  • voicemail
  • lab-type reliability (assume 100mbit)
  • LAN and 802-11G wifi

My questions:

  • How much server (RAM, CPU, disk) do I need?
  • Could I run this on a VM?
  • Are there softphone options for Mac I could use?
  • If not, are there wifi handsets?
  • Will I need any cards? (Since I'm planning on softphone/wifi handsets and no external calls, I don't think so.)

migrated from superuser.com May 23 '11 at 12:08

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Asterisk will cope with very small hardware spec, there's a lot of examples and discussion at http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+hardware+recommendations on this. I've run it up on desktop PCs that have been retired from everyday use in the past, though only for playing with.


In theory, yes. In practice, you may find that depending on your hardware specs and the traffic you're putting through the box that you may have audio processing problems. There's some discussion on tihs on the Trixbox forums (Trixbox is asterisk-based): http://www.fonality.com/trixbox/forums/trixbox-forums/open-discussion/asterisk-and-vmware


Adium has a built in SIP client, but it's pretty poor. The only one I'd really recommend for day-to-day use is Counterpath's Bria.

Wifi Handsets:

A couple of vendors make wifi-to-ethernet dongles which you can plug the phones into. I'd be more inclined to get a VoIP client on a mobile phone or similar myself - I have Bria for Android which works well.

Cards: Not if you're only running IP.

Have a look around at other options too, including Freeswitch (a ground-up rewrite of asterisk by one of it's core devs) and Snom ONE Free


If you want to do SIP use: - FreeSwitch - Asterisk - Yate

If you want to do H.323 use: - GnuGK

Note: SIP still do not offer H.239 solutions with none of those. So after learning from faults i moved to GnuGK, which does all in H.239 (i always wonder why SIP was required).

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