How to Install Asterisk on CentOS/RHEL 8/7

Asterisk is an open-source framework used for building communication applications. You can use it to turn a local computer or server to the communication server. It is used to power IP PBX systems, VoIP gateways, conference servers, and other solutions. It’s used by all kind of organizations worldwide and finally, but not last it is free and open source.

In this tutorial, we are going to show you how to install Asterisk on CentOS 8/7 (instructions also works on RHEL 8/7), but before we start, we will need to make some preparations so Asterisk can run smoothly after the installation.

Step 1: Disable SELinux on CentOS

To do this, SSH to your system and using your favorite command line text editor, open /etc/selinux/config and disable SELINUX.

# vim /etc/selinux/config

SELinux line should look like this:

SELINUX=disabled
Disable SELinux in CentOS

Disable SELinux on CentOS

Now reboot your system. Once it comes back SSH again to that system.

Step 2: Install Required Packages

Asterisk has quite a few requirements that need to be installed. You can use the following yum command to install the required packages as shown.

# yum install -y epel-release dmidecode gcc-c++ ncurses-devel libxml2-devel make wget openssl-devel newt-devel kernel-devel sqlite-devel libuuid-devel gtk2-devel jansson-devel binutils-devel libedit libedit-devel
Install Software Packages

Install Software Packages

Before we continue further, create a new user with sudo privileges called “asterisk“, we will use this user to setup asterisk on the system.

# adduser asterisk -c "Asterisk User"
# passwd asterisk 
# usermod -aG wheel asterisk
# su asterisk

Next, install PJSIP, is a free open source multimedia communication library that implements standard based protocols such as SIP,SDP,RTP,STUN,TURN, and ICE. It is the Asterisk SIP channel driver that should improve the clarity of the calls.

To get the latest version, first let’s create a temporary directory where we will build the package from source.

$ mkdir ~/build && cd ~/build

Now go the PJSIP download page and grab the package or use the following wget command to download the package directly in the terminal.

Note that by the writing of this article the latest version is 2.8, this may change in future, thus make sure to use the latest version:

$ wget https://www.pjsip.org/release/2.9/pjproject-2.9.tar.bz2

Once the download is complete, extract the file and change to that directory.

$ tar xvjf pjproject-2.9.tar.bz2
$ cd pjproject-2.9

The next step is to prepare the package to be compiled. You can use the following command:

$ ./configure CFLAGS="-DNDEBUG -DPJ_HAS_IPV6=1" --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib64 --enable-shared --disable-video --disable-sound --disable-opencore-amr
Configure PJSIP Source

Configure PJSIP Source

You should not see any errors or warnings. Ensure that all dependencies are met:

$ make dep
Compile PJSIP Source

Compile PJSIP Source

And now we can complete the install and link libraries with:

$ make && sudo make install && sudo ldconfig
Install PJSIP Source

Install PJSIP Source

Finally, ensure that all libraries are installed and present:

$ ldconfig -p | grep pj

You should get the following output:

libpjsua2.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsua2.so.2
	libpjsua2.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsua2.so
	libpjsua.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsua.so.2
	libpjsua.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsua.so
	libpjsip.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip.so.2
	libpjsip.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip.so
	libpjsip-ua.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip-ua.so.2
	libpjsip-ua.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip-ua.so
	libpjsip-simple.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip-simple.so.2
	libpjsip-simple.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjsip-simple.so
	libpjnath.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjnath.so.2
	libpjnath.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjnath.so
	libpjmedia.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia.so.2
	libpjmedia.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia.so
	libpjmedia-videodev.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-videodev.so.2
	libpjmedia-videodev.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-videodev.so
	libpjmedia-codec.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-codec.so.2
	libpjmedia-codec.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-codec.so
	libpjmedia-audiodev.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-audiodev.so.2
	libpjmedia-audiodev.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjmedia-audiodev.so
	libpjlib-util.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjlib-util.so.2
	libpjlib-util.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpjlib-util.so
	libpj.so.2 (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpj.so.2
	libpj.so (libc6,x86-64) => /lib64/libpj.so

Step 3: Install Asterisk on CentOS 8/7

We are now ready to initiate the installation of Asterisk. Navigate back to our ~/build directory:

$ cd ~/build

Go to the Asterisk download page and grab the latest version or you can use the following wget command to download the file in terminal.

$ wget http://downloads.asterisk.org/pub/telephony/asterisk/asterisk-16-current.tar.gz

By the writing of this tutorial, the latest Asterisk version is 16. Make sure that you are downloading the latest version of Asterisk, when you are following the steps.

Now extract the archive and navigate to the newly created directory:

$ tar -zxvf asterisk-16-current.tar.gz
$ cd asterisk-16.5.1

This is the time to mention, that if you wish to enable mp3 support to play music while the client is on hold, you will need to install a few more dependencies. These steps are optional:

$ sudo yum install svn
$ sudo ./contrib/scripts/get_mp3_source.sh

After the second step, you should get output similar to these:

A    addons/mp3
A    addons/mp3/Makefile
A    addons/mp3/README
A    addons/mp3/decode_i386.c
A    addons/mp3/dct64_i386.c
A    addons/mp3/MPGLIB_TODO
A    addons/mp3/mpg123.h
A    addons/mp3/layer3.c
A    addons/mp3/mpglib.h
A    addons/mp3/decode_ntom.c
A    addons/mp3/interface.c
A    addons/mp3/MPGLIB_README
A    addons/mp3/common.c
A    addons/mp3/huffman.h
A    addons/mp3/tabinit.c
Exported revision 202.

Start by running the configure script to prepare the package for compiling:

$ sudo contrib/scripts/install_prereq install
$ ./configure --libdir=/usr/lib64 --with-jansson-bundled

If you get any missing dependencies to install them. In my case, I got the following error:

configure: error: patch is required to configure bundled pjproject

To go around this simply run:

# yum install patch 

And re-run the configure script. If all went perfectly without errors, you will see the following screenshot.

Configure Asterisk Source

Configure Asterisk Source

Now, let’s start the build process:

$ make menuselect

After a few seconds, you should get a list of features to enable:

Asterisk Module Build

Asterisk Module Build

If you attempt to use music on hold feature, you will need to enable the “format_mp3” feature from “Add-ons” section. Save your list and run the following command:

$ make && sudo make install
Install Asterisk Source

Install Asterisk Source

To install the sample configuration files, use the command below:

$ sudo make samples
Install Asterisk Samples

Install Asterisk Samples

To start Asterisk on boot, use:

$ sudo make config

Update the ownership of the following directories and files:

$ sudo chown asterisk. /var/run/asterisk
$ sudo chown asterisk. -R /etc/asterisk
$ sudo chown asterisk. -R /var/{lib,log,spool}/asterisk

Finally, let’s test our installation with:

$ sudo service asterisk start
$ sudo asterisk -rvv

You should see output similar to this one:

Asterisk 16.5.1, Copyright (C) 1999 - 2018, Digium, Inc. and others.
Created by Mark Spencer <[email protected]>
Asterisk comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY; type 'core show warranty' for details.
This is free software, with components licensed under the GNU General Public
License version 2 and other licenses; you are welcome to redistribute it under
certain conditions. Type 'core show license' for details.
=========================================================================
Connected to Asterisk 16.5.1 currently running on centos8-tecmint (pid = 9020)
centos8-tecmint*CLI>

If you want to see a list of available commands type:

asterisk*CLI> core show help
Asterisk Help

Asterisk Help

To exit the Asterisk prompt, simply type:

asterisk*CLI> exit

Asterisk will still be running in the background.

Conclusion

Now you have a running Asterisk server and you can start connecting phones and extensions and adjust your configuration per your needs. For more details how to achieve this, it is recommended to use the Asterisk Wiki page. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know in the comment section below.

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I am a bachelor in computer science and a Linux Foundation Certified System Administrator. Currently working as a Senior Technical support in the hosting industry. In my free time I like testing new software and inline skating.

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25 Responses

  1. Erik James Robles says:

    Great tutorial. I am having an issue getting up and running. after the first yum install, I get: No match for argument libedit-devel, unable to find a match. This is what is really holding me up. Can you give me some feedback on this? I would sure appreciate it. Thank you in advance.

    • Erik James Robles says:

      Answering my own question, to get it to work, I had to issue the following command:

      $ dnf config-manager --set-enabled PowerTools
      

      then when I issued: yum install libedit-devel everything worked as expected..

  2. LinuxSec says:

    If you need to disable SELinux to use the app, then don’t use that. or, use another distro that not using SElinux by default.

    I am still confused about why many GNU/Linux tutorial asks the reader to disable SElinux. it is bad security practice dude. just don’t use CentOS if you can’t handle SElinux.

  3. Pong says:

    How to configure file sip.conf and extendion.conf for sample test?

  4. Zain says:

    Can you help how to test it please, i am done in all steps , only testing & GUI for config

  5. Ghazi says:

    $ ./configure CFLAGS="-DNDEBUG -DPJ_HAS_IPV6=1" --prefix=/usr --libdir=/usr/lib64 --enable-shared --disable-video --disable-sound --disable-opencore-amr

    I have error no such file or directory and i go with your guide step by step

  6. Marin Todorov says:

    Try admin/password.It should work just fine

  7. manish kumar says:

    ask me password of the asterisk

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