How to Install FreePBX 15 on Debian 10 with Asterisk 16, PHP 7.3



Manual installations of FreePBX is considered an EXPERTS ONLY exercise. This method of installation is enough to get CORE functionality of FreePBX. Non-commercial modules may not function as expected or detailed in the Wiki's. Certain modules and features may require additional software to be installed and configured on the server.



This manual-install method builds a FreePBX system with the following specifications:

  • FreePBX 15

  • Asterisk 16 from the Debian Buster package repository

  • PHP 7.3, standard with Debian Buster

  • 64-bit Intel/AMD (x86_64) platform

Step-by-step guide

All commands are to be run as the root user, either by directly logging in as root or by using sudo su -

Start from a base Debian 10 installation. All necessary packages will be installed through the following commands.

Add the backports repo specifically so that the odbc-mariadb package is available. Then update the OS to current.

  • echo deb buster-backports main > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list

  • echo deb-src buster-backports main >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/backports.list

  • apt-get update

  • apt-get upgrade

Install all the necessary packages

  • apt-get install -y build-essential linux-headers-`uname -r` openssh-server apache2 mariadb-server mariadb-client bison flex php php-curl php-cli php-pdo php-mysql php-pear php-gd php-mbstring php-intl php-bcmath curl sox libncurses5-dev libssl-dev mpg123 libxml2-dev libnewt-dev sqlite3 libsqlite3-dev pkg-config automake libtool autoconf git unixodbc-dev uuid uuid-dev libasound2-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libicu-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libical-dev libneon27-dev libsrtp2-dev libspandsp-dev sudo subversion libtool-bin python-dev unixodbc dirmngr sendmail-bin sendmail asterisk debhelper-compat cmake libmariadb-dev odbc-mariadb php-ldap

Install Node.js

  • curl -sL | sudo -E bash -

  • apt-get install -y nodejs

Install this required Pear module

  • pear install Console_Getopt

Prepare Asterisk

  • systemctl stop asterisk

  • systemctl disable asterisk

  • cd /etc/asterisk

  • mkdir DIST

  • mv * DIST

  • cp DIST/asterisk.conf .

  • sed -i 's/(!)//' asterisk.conf

  • touch modules.conf

  • touch cdr.conf

Configure Apache web server

  • sed -i 's/\(^upload_max_filesize = \).*/\120M/' /etc/php/7.3/apache2/php.ini

  • sed -i 's/\(^memory_limit = \).*/\1256M/' /etc/php/7.3/apache2/php.ini

  • sed -i 's/^\(User\|Group\).*/\1 asterisk/' /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

  • sed -i 's/AllowOverride None/AllowOverride All/' /etc/apache2/apache2.conf

  • a2enmod rewrite

  • service apache2 restart

  • rm /var/www/html/index.html

Configure ODBC

  • cat <<EOF > /etc/odbcinst.ini
    Description = ODBC for MySQL (MariaDB)
    Driver = /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/odbc/
    FileUsage = 1

  • cat <<EOF > /etc/odbc.ini
    Description = MySQL connection to 'asteriskcdrdb' database
    Driver = MySQL
    Server = localhost
    Database = asteriskcdrdb
    Port = 3306
    Socket = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
    Option = 3

Download FFMPEG static build for sound file manipulation

  • cd /usr/local/src

  • wget ""

  • tar xf ffmpeg-release-amd64-static.tar.xz

  • cd ffmpeg-4*

  • mv ffmpeg /usr/local/bin

Install FreePBX

  • cd /usr/local/src

  • wget

  • tar zxvf freepbx-15.0-latest.tgz

  • cd /usr/local/src/freepbx/

  • ./start_asterisk start

  • ./install -n

Get the rest of the modules

Only a very basic system is installed at this point. You will probably want to install all the modules. Alternatively, you can skip this and pick-and-choose the individual modules you want later.

  • fwconsole ma installall

Uninstall digium_phones

Broken with PHP 7.3 (April 2020).

  • fwconsole ma uninstall digium_phones

Apply the current configuration

  • fwconsole reload

  • cd /usr/share/asterisk

  • mv sounds sounds-DIST

  • ln -s /var/lib/asterisk/sounds sounds

Perform a restart to load all Asterisk modules that had not yet been configured

  • fwconsole restart

Set up systemd (startup script)

  • cat <<EOF > /etc/systemd/system/freepbx.service
    Description=FreePBX VoIP Server
    ExecStart=/usr/sbin/fwconsole start -q
    ExecStop=/usr/sbin/fwconsole stop -q

  • systemctl daemon-reload

  • systemctl enable freepbx

Asterisk and FreePBX 15 are installed! Go to the web interface at http://YOUR-IP to finish setup.


Questions or support?

Please post your questions or ask for help on the community forums

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