Asterisk is the popular open source telephony platform. With just a few hours to spare, you can turn any spare PC in to a world class PBX system. In part 1, I will list the steps involved in installing asterisk using sources. The steps below can be used with RedHat based systems like Fedora. It shouldn’t be that hard to replicate on other Linux distributions like Ubuntu.

Update your system and reboot if there’s a kernel upgrade:
yum update

For Redhat systems, disable selinux:
sed s/SELINUX=enforcing/SELINUX=disabled/g /etc/selinux/config

Install required dependencies:
yum -y install make wget openssl-devel ncurses-devel newt-devel libxml2-devel kernel-devel gcc gcc-c++ sqlite-devel

Download current asterisk 11 sources:
cd /usr/src
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-11-current.tar.gz
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/libpri/libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/dahdi-linux-complete/dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz

Note: Dahdi is only needed if you will be using a telephony card to access the PSTN. Timing provided by dahdi is also no longer needed with the new conferencing capabilities in Asterisk 11

Unpack and install the source packages. Please note that the installation order is very important:

a) dahdi
tar zxvf dahdi-linux-complete-current.tar.gz
cd dahdi-linux-complete*
make && make install
make config (Generates sample configs)

b) libpri
tar zxvf libpri-1.4-current.tar.gz
cd libpri-1.4*
make && make install

c) tar zxvf asterisk-11-current.tar.gz
cd asterisk*
./configure --libdir={LIBDIR} e.g /usr/lib64 (use uname -a to confirm architecture"
make menuselect (optional)
make && make install
make samples (on fresh install only)
make config

Start services
service dahdi start
service asterisk start

Check to ensure is running:
asterisk -vr

In part 2, I will go over how to configure your asterisk server.