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Running Asterisk from the Command Line

  • By default, starting Asterisk will run it in the background:

    # asterisk
    
    # ps aux | grep asterisk
    my_user     26246  2.0  4.1 2011992 165520 ?      Ssl  16:35   0:16 asterisk
  • In order to connect to a running Asterisk process, you can attach a remote console using the -r option:

    # asterisk -r
    
    Asterisk 11.9.0, Copyright (C) 1999 - 2014 Digium, Inc. and others.
    Created by Mark Spencer <markster@digium.com>
    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 11.9.0 currently running on asterisk-server (pid = 26246)
    asterisk-server*CLI> 
    Icon

    The -R option will also attach a remote console - however, it will attempt to automatically reconnect to Asterisk if for some reason the connection is broken. This is particularly useful if your remote console restarts Asterisk.

On this Page

  • To disconnect from a connected remote console, simply hit Ctrl+C:

    asterisk-server*CLI> 
    Disconnected from Asterisk server
    Asterisk cleanly ending (0).
    Executing last minute cleanups
  • To shut down Asterisk, issue core stop gracefully:

    asterisk-server*CLI> core stop gracefully
    Disconnected from Asterisk server
    Asterisk cleanly ending (0).
    Executing last minute cleanups
    Icon

    You can stop/restart Asterisk in many ways. See Stopping and Restarting Asterisk From The CLI for more information.

  • You can start Asterisk in the foreground, with an attached root console, using the -c option:

    # asterisk -c
    
    Asterisk 11.9.0, Copyright (C) 1999 - 2014 Digium, Inc. and others.
    Created by Mark Spencer <markster@digium.com>
    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 11.9.0 currently running on asterisk-server (pid = 26246)
    [May 16 17:02:50] NOTICE[27035]: loader.c:1323 load_modules: 287 modules will be loaded.
    Asterisk Ready.
    *CLI> 

Adding Verbosity

Asterisk provides a number of mechanisms to control the verbosity of its logging. One way in which this can be controlled is through the command line parameter -v. For each -v specified, Asterisk will increase the level of VERBOSE messages by 1. The following will create a console and set the VERBOSE message level to 2:

# asterisk -c -v -v

Command line parameters can be combined. The previous command can also be invoked in the following way:

# asterisk -cvv
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The VERBOSE message level set via the command line is only applicable if the asterisk.conf verbose setting is not set.

Remote Console Verbosity

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This feature is only available in Asterisk 11 and later versions.

The verboseness of a remote console is set independently of the verboseness of other consoles and the core. A root console can be created with no verboseness:

# asterisk -c

While a remote console can be attached to that Asterisk process with a different verbosity:

# asterisk -rvvv

Multiple remote consoles can be attached, each with their own verbosity:

# asterisk -rv

Executing as another User

Do not run as root

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Running Asterisk as root or as a user with super user permissions is dangerous and not recommended. There are many ways Asterisk can affect the system on which it operates, and running as root can increase the cost of small configuration mistakes.

For more information, see the README-SERIOUSLY.bestpractices.txt file delivered with Asterisk.

Asterisk can be run as another user using the -U option:

# asterisk -U asteriskuser

Often, this option is specified in conjunction with the -G option, which specifies the group to run under:

# asterisk -U asteriskuser -G asteriskuser

When running Asterisk as another user, make sure that user owns the various directories that Asterisk will access:

# sudo chown -R asteriskuser:asteriskuser /usr/lib/asterisk
# sudo chown -R asteriskuser:asteriskuser /var/lib/asterisk
# sudo chown -R asteriskuser:asteriskuser /var/spool/asterisk
# sudo chown -R asteriskuser:asteriskuser /var/log/asterisk
# sudo chown -R asteriskuser:asteriskuser /var/run/asterisk
# sudo chown asteriskuser:asteriskuser /usr/sbin/asterisk

More Options

There are many more command line options available. For more information, use the -h option:

# asterisk -h
Asterisk 11.9.0, Copyright (C) 1999 - 2014, Digium, Inc. and others.
Usage: asterisk [OPTIONS]
...

Running Asterisk as a Service

The most common way to run Asterisk in a production environment is as a service. Asterisk includes both a make target for installing Asterisk as a service, as well as a script - live_asterisk - that will manage the service and automatically restart Asterisk in case of errors.

  • Asterisk can be installed as a service using the make config target:

    # make config
       /etc/rc0.d/K91asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc1.d/K91asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc6.d/K91asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc2.d/S50asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc3.d/S50asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc4.d/S50asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
       /etc/rc5.d/S50asterisk -> ../init.d/asterisk
  • Asterisk can now be started as a service:

    # service asterisk start
     * Starting Asterisk PBX: asterisk                                                                               [ OK ] 
  • And stopped:

    # service asterisk stop
     * Stopping Asterisk PBX: asterisk                                                                               [ OK ] 
  • And restarted:

    # service asterisk restart
     * Stopping Asterisk PBX: asterisk                                                                               [ OK ] 
     * Starting Asterisk PBX: asterisk                                                                               [ OK ]

Supported Distributions

Not all distributions of Linux/Unix are supported by the make config target. The following distributions are supported - if not using one of these distributions, the make config target may or may not work for you.

  • RedHat/CentOS
  • Debian/Ubuntu
  • Gentoo
  • Mandrake/Mandriva
  • SuSE/Novell

 

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