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Asterisk: The Definitive Guide, 3rd Edition by Russell Bryant, Jim Van Meggelen, Leif Madsen

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Chapter 8. Voicemail

Just leave a message, maybe I’ll call.

Joe Walsh

Before email and instant messaging became ubiquitous, voicemail was a popular method of electronic messaging. Even though most people prefer text-based messaging systems, voicemail remains an essential component of any PBX.

Comedian Mail

One of the most popular (or, arguably, unpopular) features of any modern telephone system is voicemail. Asterisk has a reasonably flexible voicemail system named Comedian Mail.[83] Some of the features of Asterisk’s voicemail system include:

  • Unlimited password-protected voicemail boxes, each containing mailbox folders for organizing voicemail

  • Different greetings for busy and unavailable states

  • Default and custom greetings

  • The ability to associate phones with more than one mailbox and mailboxes with more than one phone

  • Email notification of voicemail, with the voicemail optionally attached as a sound file[84]

  • Voicemail forwarding and broadcasts

  • Message-waiting indicator (flashing light or stuttered dialtone) on many types of phones

  • Company directory of employees, based on voicemail boxes

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

The default version of the /etc/asterisk/voicemail.conf file requires a few tweaks in order to provide a configuration that will be suitable to most situations.

We’ll begin by going through the various options you can define in voicemail.conf, and then we’ll provide a sample configuration file with the settings we recommend for most deployments.

The voicemail.conf file ...

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