Get a free PBX?
Get a free PBX? Absolutely possible if you have some unused old PC, chromebook or ARM-device, but you need basic knowledge on computer and Linux.
For a beginner, the cost on hardware might not be a problem because you could build a PBX on virtual machine like VMware or virtualbox.
However VMware is not free product, so you can start with free virtualbox.
Alternatively, you can use some old unused device or PC to have a try. Asterisk and freepbx can works on below equipment.
- Old x86 PC with min. 512MB memory and at least 1GHz x86 CPU
- Chromebook or Chrombox: need to flash BIOS and boot from external USB drive
- ARM devices: below devices were tested.
- GoFlex Home and Net
- Raspberry Pi: Zero, 2, 3 and 4
- Orange Pi: One, PC and PC2
Free software for a Free PBX:
- FusionPBX (Freeswitch)
- 3CX (kind of free)
As a beginning, FreePBX is recommended because it has friendly web console and good community contribution.
Moreover, FreePBX is so kind to provide detailed tutorials to instruct people to build FreePBX server on CentOS, Ubuntu,Arch Linux and Debian if you don’t want to use their distro disk.
As FreePBX was developped at the base of CentOS, it’s better to use CentOS or their Disro Disck (CentOS) if possible. In the past, CentOS was not officially support ARM-device, so Debian is the most competible for FreePBX on ARM-device.
However, CentOS 7 and 8 officially supports many ARM-device like Raspberry Pi.
Free Softphone as Extension
Many free softphone on Smart phone or PC could be as extension for incoming and outgoing call.
- GS wave
You can get starting now
After getting free hardware, software and free soft phone, you can get started to build “free PBX” immediately.
The above tutorial is very detailed and helpful, but you might still encounter trouble due to less experience.
However, it’s not difficult to find a help from internet, and you are encourged to join relative forums to ask for help.