O'Reilly logo

VoIP Hacks by Theodore Wallingford

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Hack #95. Build a SoftPBX with No Hard Drive

You don't really need a hard disk to run a phone system; even an IP-based softPBX doesn't need a hard drive. A CompactFlash-based PC will do the trick.

Sometime around September of 2004, I was looking at one of PC Engines' WRAP boards and wondering how well it could run Asterisk. Knowing that I would not want to run a full-size distribution, I started pulling apart a Gentoo install, removing components that are not critical to the functionality of Asterisk. After a fairly significant amount of work, I was left with a slimmed down Gentoo that fit on a 256MB CompactFlash card (which was the smallest that I had at the time) and would run mounted, read-only. After working on the init system and writing some extra scripts, I decided to put it up on my web site just in case someone else found it interesting or useful. I decided to call it AstLinux, version 0.1.0. After about 4,000 downloads, I think that I had my answer, and AstLinux was born!

By 2005, I realized that to make AstLinux truly spectacular, I was going to have to make it smaller and more flexible. Work on AstLinux 0.2.x began. After messing around quite a bit with different build systems and methodologies, I found and stuck with a wonderful combination of crosstool and PTXdist. After some serious time and effort, AstLinux was reborn, and this time it came in at just under 27 MB—small enough to fit on a 32MB CF card.

This hack will show you how to use AstLinux to create a softPBX ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required