101 Things You Can Do With Asterisk (and more)!

June 4, 2008 by Garrett Smith

101 things you can do with Asterisk

Asterisk is More Than Just a Phone System

Over the last nine years Asterisk has emerged as world’s leading open source telephony engine and tool kit, however most people simply know it as an open source phone system. Over the last five years that we have been involved in the Asterisk community, we have heard of dozens of different things that people are using Asterisk for or have done with Asterisk.

Personally, I can think of about 25 things (don’t worry I am not competing) that I have heard people do with Asterisk and as the visibility and viability of open source communications continues to grow, more and more applications and uses are coming out each and every day. In a effort to have a little fun and to catalog the many uses and applications of Asterisk, VoIP Supply has partnered with Digium, the creators of Asterisk, to run a contest here on the VoIP Insider to find 101 things you can do with Asterisk.

101 Things You Can Do With Asterisk Rules and Details

The premise is simple.

After reading the rest of this post, simply place a comment below that details a unique use or application of Asterisk that you have had a hand in using/deploying or one that you know of (duplicate instances will be deleted).

When we hit 101 things that you can do with Asterisk, we will pick one winner at random for a $1,500.00 VoIP Supply shopping spree (store credit) sponsored by Digium and VoIP Supply.

So what are you waiting for?

Let’s hear what you or someone else has done with Asterisk!

Update: Due to an overwhelming response, we are extending the contest until Friday of this week. Let’s see how many unique uses for Asterisk we can document!

Update: the contest is now closed. Our winner was Ashley Kitto. For more information visit our follow-up post.

More from: Asterisk Garrett Smith


  • Mike Byrne

    Develop and host a virtual telephone contest. Nationwide contest, run multiple weeks and multiple times per day set to the atomic clock. Specific caller wins I.E. the 101st caller – YOU win!, call record the happy winner, and patch the winner to the local radio station in one of the 50 states the call came into. Also, record the runner-up and 3rd place winner for each contest. All while you watch and see the calls online. Fun and Cool Stuff.

  • randulo

    (1) Not only get vmail, but receive an SMS when you miss a call and no message is left.

  • randulo

    (2) SMS asterisk to call me back on cell or at pay phone with a line to call long distance.

  • randulo

    (3) Determine from your calendar how much you might want to speak to a particular caller (something like you do on GMail with email message filters)

  • Send an IM that prompts Asterisk to make calls out to link two different callers together.

  • (1) Ring your home phone(s) with a special ring pattern when your doorbell is pressed.

  • (2) Provide an IVR that give you access to your home automation to turn on/off lights, open the driveway gate, garage door, etc.

  • Integrating Asterisk with Nagios to automatically generate alerts for service outages.

  • (3) monitor/record your kids phone calls

  • Auto Dialing such as Reverse911/Community Notifications, Telemarketing, Political Polling, Automated Collections & Appointment Reminders

  • Integrate with TV graphics systems to provide a live count of open phone lines for a religious broadcaster during a fund raising drive

  • Implement large Multi-site Call Centers with screen pops integrating with custom order entry tools.

  • Create an Asterisk Cluster with Dundi , DNS SRV and Realtime to be able to have a mega Asterisk with n potential asterisk in cluster. It really works as expected 🙂

  • Automatically screen telemarketers using the http://www.whocalled.us web api with AGI

  • Build easily configured portable, emergency comm systems able to integrated wired & wireless channels of many sorts into portable disaster recovery racks. Think FEMA, post-hurricane or tornado.

    • José Luis García

      Hi Michel, how is possible to do it?

  • Create an “In-Stock” notification which calls you when a particular product becomes in stock on certain web merchants. (*Think of Tickle-Me Elmo, Wii, or whatever other *hot* item you want)

  • Integrate with SMS content platform so when an SMS is sent with a special keyword, a call-back from Asterisk is initiated to the sender of the SMS and the content associated with the keyword is played back for them.

  • Integrate with billing system in order to re-sell toll-free services to third parties.

  • Using Asterisk you can create a virtual hunt group for your city or club. We built ServiceGuy initially for pool guys. The pool guy enters his phone number in our system, a consumer calls our citywide pool guy number and all pool guys in the system are called at the same time. Consumers get to talk to someone immediately, pool guys get incremental business. Win-Win.

  • Implement on hold games to amuse customers forced to wait in que. IVR trivia for example. Vary their que position based upon their answers.

  • Provide private number service – where calls to a special number are re-routed to personal phone number of the service user. Hence not necessitating the service user to disclose their personal phone number.

  • Implement tiered help desk for technical support, allowing customers with a PIN to direct dial more advanced support staff.

  • Use IP DIDs to provide your customers local number access to your support team. In my case it got around the fact that ABC/ Disney does not allow overseas calling for anyone below dept heads.

  • Allow web site members to have a voice recording on their profile page by just calling a phone number, entering in their profile number and recording it.

  • Doug ITEA

    Spoof the outbound caller ID when calling your girlfriend or wife. “Honey… I’m still at the office.”

  • Steve

    Make a phone call

  • rob roth

    Integrate Asterisk, Hylafax and Redfone’s TDMoE to replace our 3rd party fax provider, saving us over $3000/month in fax charges. We even wrote a webservice in front of Hylafax that emulates our previous fax provider so we didn’t need to change our application code.

  • Provide a wake up call service to your phone when you receive your wakeup call have it quote stock prices, weather, flight information or a pre-recorded message

  • Have it call your children to Text to Speak a bedtime story.

  • Used soft phones for a certain group deployed in Iraq to be able to call family at home cost effectively.

  • I like the transfer of my incomming phone calls to my cell phone. It passes the caller ID as well. This makes it much easier to run my business

  • Joe McConnaughey

    Interface Asterisk with my HomeSeer home automation system to originate calls to me for various alarm or trouble conditions. I use the same interface to announce incoming caller-ID over the home paging system.

  • Integrate asterisk with building security allowing visitors to be buzzed in by pressing a key on the phone.

    • José Vila

      I configured mine so when the caller ID of gate is recognized, it transfers the call to announcements where I have the DTMF OF # 9 Recorded and repeats to open the door. Great if I forgot my key fob

  • Christian Kebekus

    Get voice reminders for items on your todo list.

  • Joe McConnaughey

    Use Asterisk and the Custom-Contexts modules in FreePBX to support a vacation home and provide the full richness of Asterisk features 150 miles from the server. I’m able to provide local E911 via the custom-contexts module.

  • Have queues setup so you can dial in and listen to different types of music from anywhere in the world.

    This includes live internet streams, mp3 playlists and TV stations

  • Pavan Kumar Maguluri

    Integrate Asterisk with GSM gateway at my remote home in India

  • Integrated a Metaswitch Class 5 phone switch for voicemail and Music on hold features that would have cost a fortune if a retail package was purchased.

  • busster

    Provide softphone and PC camera to remote customer technical contact. Long distance and international customers can now call a four digit extension to speak with and see a helpdesk technician. The camera can also be used to help our technician better understand an equipment problem

  • Create an emergency notification system for the campus classrooms using Asterisk and Snom phones. Scripts call all of the registered phones and play an emergency announcement through the speakerphone like a page. Features include auto-recall if the announcement isn’t acknowledged or there was a failed call, and notification of such failures to campus police. System is also used to provide 911 service.

  • Oliver Nauliv

    One of the neatest things I’ve been doing which always makes a good impression is to
    recognize the inbound Caller-ID and give a custom treatment to the call.

    For example, when John is calling from either his cell, office, or home phone, he’s greeted with an announcement “good john!”, and directly transferred to the person he always want to talk to. When Bill the CEO is calling, then all manager phones are ringing so that he gets an immediate answer. But when anyone else is calling, they go through the regular voice prompts.

  • MikeA

    Road Warrior + Softphone (IAX2 based of course to transverse some troublesome NAT/routing issues) + Asterisk = always connected and available staff

  • Ron Pope

    Asterisk has allowed us to setup a fully featured Phone Banking system in multiple languages for our clients

  • Scott Hallowell

    Use Asterisk as the basis for a dial-in conference bridge service

  • Michael

    Integrate asterisk with amateur radio repeaters to create a coast-to-coast repeater system over an IP network

  • Dana Harding

    Inform an analyst that a computer model had finished running with a phone call – instead of needing the analyst to remain in front of the computer.

  • Use Asterisk to build feature rich IVR trees, including Voice Recognition, and 411 services. Similar to 800-GOOG411.

  • integrate it with a php front end so that the person on call this week sets their status as “oncall”, thus forwarding all after hours call to the person who is “oncall”, rather than the person having to carry a on call pager or the company having to maintain one.

    You can also setup the system to call another tech if the first person doesnt answer.

  • Integrate phone support with our internal ticket system. When a client calls support, they input their client number and a secret pin number. From there, we list their current products, and they choose which one they’re having an issue with. Then we automatically add a support ticket for that client/product, and add them to our queue; when the support person gets their call, they can see what website it’s for on their caller id.

  • Dana Harding

    Implement a receptionist in/out functionality so that when receptionist is in – general calls go to her, but when she isn’t general calls go to everybody. Allowing quick response to all calls, but minimizing disruption to everybody when receptionist is in.

  • * Record those staff conference calls and automagicly post them to the wiki.

  • MikeA

    Assign a ring group to every one who needs to stay in contact but is on the go instead of an extension. Then put their desk phone, soft phone and using the # parameter their cell number in the ring group. Then when someone enters their ring group number ( which would be the published extension number on their business card ). The caller would be put through.

  • Use one Asterisk to manage multiple businesses in one physical location. Users can be completely segregated. Use DIDs to manage routing of calls and even notify receptionist which business is being called.

  • Scott Eisert

    Run a telephone survey IVR system

  • Dana Harding

    send voicemail to multiple e-mail boxes

  • Chris C.

    Using Asterisk you can very cheaply and easily run a sports-picking hotline.

    If you are good a picking the winning team before a sports game, you can sell your picks to subscribers over the hotline. Your prepaid members will have a pin number that they enter and will then be able to hear picks from their selected categories.

  • Tim Litwiller

    bridge church audio system service to freeconferencecall.com and record it so the people that missed the service can call and listen later – agi interface to put the last 10 conference call recording in a menu so the listener can choose which service to listen to.

  • Andy C

    Open your security gate / door automatically through transmitted DTMF after somebody enters in a passcode. Save yourself the time of having to answer the phone every time.

  • Dana Harding

    schedule a ‘bail-out’ call to tactfully disengage from an uncomfortable social interaction or drawn-out business meeting.

  • Tim

    You can play Zork by phone using Asterisk:

  • rich cavanna

    Created a fanless solid state home PBX system that integrates to the office PBX. distinctive ringing if it is a office call. also forwards calls to cell phone and displays modified caller id depending what prompt is selected

  • Deploy an call back schedule system to advise over any even on google calendar

  • Joe McConnaughey

    Use an Astribank connected to your Asterisk with some dialplan programming to receive notification when a doorbell is pressed and then the contact closure of the Astribank to operate the electric unlock mechanism.

  • Eric Jackman

    We have a system monitoring package running in our server room that monitors the status of our servers, the software running on those servers and the logging messages from our servers and networking hardware. It is set to call astersisk which in turn runs an agi script to parse a system status website. Then depending on the severity of the situtation asterisk will either execute a script specific to fixing the problem or call our system administrator and informing them that there is a problem, what the problem is, and what location it is at.

  • Andy C

    Gas powered generator running a small form factor PC running Asterisk using satellite to make emergency calls during disaster situations. Good for when cell phone towers are down or overloaded and backup power is down and even backup-backup power is down.

  • Dana Harding

    Register a remote SIP phone, or connect two asterisk servers over a VPN connection to have reasonably secure communication with a remote office anywhere without long distance charges.

  • We have installed asterisk at our hospital and have developed a disaster drill-down calling list. If a disaster happens a user simply dials the extension of the drill-down and all the important people are called and left a pre-recorded message to report to work asap.
    (We used to have to manually call all those people)

  • Used asterisk to bridge using H323 signalling between an Avaya Definity PBX in a call center and a Spectel/Avaya conference bridge in a colo to provide VOIP voicepaths (Not on revenue ports) for operators in a call center for a conferencing provider.

  • Have a virtual extension overseas to:
    Talk free with your sister living there,
    Let your sister dial any number with your local trunk in the US

  • Asterisk, Bash and Cron as a Supervisory System: Use Asterisk with cron and a simple bash script to monitor an ISP 802.11Link and phone the technical support in case a failure occurs or in case predefined parametres are not met.

  • I created a script that allows people to “log their phones in.” When their extension is dialed, it automatically calls the phone where that user is logged in.

  • Dana Harding

    Track usage with CDR. Can be used to determine if more phone lines are needed, for client billing, or (policy allowing) inappropriate use.

  • Created a “digital replay” system to have an end user call in with an access code and pin to hear an archived conference call recording. Alternatively gathering voice prompts from the end user for later processing. (Please say your name/company name, etc..)

  • Provide a secret DISA number that can be used for things like caller id readback, caller id setting, checking voicemail, calling voip systems like FWD from normal telephone.

  • Dana Harding

    Redirect incoming calls with a specific known, or any unknown/restricted caller ID information trying to reach a specific extension. (stalker/harassment problems)

  • Implement an extension that reads weather from NOAA’s national weather service.

  • Automatically play SIT tones (with Zapateller) to disconnect telemarketers with no caller id.

  • J Perry

    Floating receptionist: Different people act as receptionist at different times, and they simply log in and log out as they are available. This keeps from having all phones rign and disturb everyone, yet the calls are handled well

  • I created a script to filter incoming calls by area code so only areas in which we do business can use our 800 number.

  • Chuck Pearce

    A large financial institution came to us with a problem. How can we get our customers to their loan counselors the most efficiently? A Cisco distributer quoted them $500,000 for 25 phones and an IVR system. With Asterisk we were able to to price at just over $20,000 with programming. The programming allowed us to do all the standard database query IVR events to determine which loan went to which customer. However it also allowed us to build custom reports with the MySQL integration to show the time spent with each customer. Furthermore we have all the phones callerids set using a LDAP query to the originators Active Directory user database.

    If that is not enough, unlike other telephone systems we can monitor the status of the extensions, PRI, system load, etc by using Nagios to alert us to any problems. No other PBX comes close to this functionality for the price.

  • Jonathan P

    I replaced a Comdial system with Asterisk at a $9M company experiencing 200% annual growth. It saved our call center $250K the first year in long distance bills and costly upgrades to the legacy system. In one month, we took 16,000 calls and talked 777 hours. Asterisk allowed us to easily scale at ridiculous rates, while providing great metrics- so we could plan for staffing and adding network capacity.

  • You can pass music instead of ringing, while audio is only being passed one way, before the channel is answered.

  • Erick B.

    Modifed dictate app to allow multiple doctors to dial-in, authenticate off a mysql database, and record their dictations.

  • A patient notification system whereas a doctor would dial into the system and record a message for a patient which will then call out to the patient at specified intervals until the message is heard/acknowledged. They are prompted for their pin code prior to playing the message due to privacy issues. The patient is provided a card with the dial in instructions/pin codes to access their information.

  • Dana Harding

    Could use asterisk to do a telephone-based (out of band) version of port knocking to open a port on your firewall.

  • Corey Coblentz

    Created a speech recognition interface to a home automation system (yeah the home automation folks are here en-masse), but I can tell my Asterisk to make me coffee in the morning, and it asks me what time I’d like it ready.
    I also used a conference bridge as a baby monitor, accessible from any IAX device worldwide, so I was able to hear my infant son fuss when I was out-of-country, and page my wife in the next room.

  • Sharp Hall

    You can use a web browser to manage conference calls.

  • Andrew Payne

    I have a system using cron + pre-recorded messages + an auto-answer Ethernet phone to automatically announce on school mornings 5 and 2 minute warnings in the kitchen before the school bus comes.

    We’ve been using this for almost 2 years.

    The future version of this will automatically check the snow day status and cancel the announcements on days when school has been cancelled.

  • Ryan Wellman

    Setup several little features to make our phones much more useful and cost effective. Including a call-in and back out system to avoid high cost international calls from our cell phones and making an 800 number forward to our house / work / cell so that we can be reached wherever we are in case of emergency.

  • Oscar San

    I created a simple but effective “reminder” application. You dial the reminder line, follow the prompts to indicate how frequently you want to be reminded (once, every x mns, daily, weekly, yearly, etc…) and you then record a 30s max message to indicate what you need to remember.

    Asterisk will then call you as frequently as you requested to remind you of your task; and offer a “snooze” option to stop reminders for a certain period of time, and a
    “stop” option to disable the reminder (just this reminder or all of them).

  • You can have one number call all your phones, VoIP or not.

  • Dana Harding

    click-to-call from your contacts application on your computer.

  • MikeA

    Snow day announcement. Via web page, enter user authentication, pick schools affected, and pre-recorded message to play. Asterisk will call, play recording to quickly inform students/families, that either school is closed or schol is open but buses are not running. ( I know is a Canadian thing )

  • Cool Tech

    You can use asterisk to follow all call to your cell phone when on the road.

  • Jason Chase

    Made an endless telemarketing IVR to send telemarketers to.

  • Marc C

    Give your teenager her own extension so you don’t get bothered 30 times a day by their friends

  • Dana Harding

    Use existing analog phone(s) on an IP voice network, allowing some of the benefits of an IP voice system at less cost.

    An ATA or extra FXS port on a card with an existing cordless phone can be much cheaper than a WIFI SIP phone.

  • I did this when I was starting out with asterisk. Get a POTS number, and have it call your extension, but leave a two second window for you to hit the # key. Then ask for a passcode and throw you into DISA.

  • Use the advice at http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+Telemarketer+Torture to intergrate a IVR menu to transfer tele-markters too.

  • We use Asterisk for our PSTN gateways – PRI’s come in and SIP comes out. The work great, and allow us to route calling easily around our network. Plus we have built-in redundancy using multiple gateways.

    My second favorite function is the vmNAG – we POP the headers from folks VMails (separate vm server) and if the vm has not been listened to for a certain amount of time (say 4 minutes in the case of an emergency vmbox) then we auto-dial out to a series of numbers until one connects. The person who connects presses “1” and they hear the vm that has waited (and not been responded to by the person on call…)


  • Ian

    Screen out pesky late night phone calls based on a schedule of your choosing.

  • Setup up a inbound rule that so that when the ex-wife calls she is automatically forwarded to dial-a-prayer!

  • Broadcast dialer capable of doing answering machine detection to detect human. The dialer is capable to transfer the potential client to a live agent if the potential customer press a key. The agent can be an external phone number or a SIP agent.

    The setup was tested on up to 8 PRI and with up to 300 SIP trunks dialing simultaneously.

    The same architecture is also used for rela estate market surveys.

  • rafael lemus

    Use it to lower roaming costs!! If you forward your cell phone in your country to a local line, use asterisk to forward it to your overseas mobile, with minimal roaming costs…

  • James Pompilio

    Link Asterisk and an an Instant Messaging platform to allow inbound calls to be routed via IVR first, then to only ring phones of users in a department that are broadcasting a particular presence; i.e. “Available”.

  • Kristopher E.J.

    Manage your small business remotely and seamlessly from all angles.

    Customers can call in and enter a ticket number to check status, and have the most recent entry “read” to them over the phone. Hear automated network status messages based on monitoring scripts/Nagios/Etc. These same monitoring systems can initiate alert calls to engineers or VIP customers to inform them of possible downtime or interruption in service. Customers can open a new support ticket by leaving a voice message and get their ticket number before hanging up, or if they want to speak with someone, it can be transfered to multiple employees cell-phones or home phones so they can work at home. If nobody answers, it can be sent to a voicemail box which can be sent to multiple email addresses or forwarded to an answering service. Employees at home can dial in and access DISA to return calls so your customer sees the callerID of your company instead of your employees private number.

    From the customers standpoint, you have a very well organized tightly connected local office – when in fact you have people located in different places around the country or world answering phone calls and managing their services remotely – all the time saving your company a lot of expenses!

  • Have outbound calls to “Friends and Family” or other people on the same network routed over your cellphone via bluetooth instead of a PSTN or SIP trunk.

  • Using Asterisk, you can record your blog or podcast or radio show directly to the desired server! Then everybody can listen to you rant on about how great Asterisk is!

  • Noel Bouchard

    Embed it in a router + WI-FI and add
    – An exclusive web based configuration Interface
    – Exclusive functions like WebCall, WebAudio and a Cell to VoIP Gateway, auto-attendent, voice mail with delivery via email, call queues, muic on hold etc etc
    – An built-in VoIP Dialer with sophisticated features

    All this built in a commercial router for a total cost of uner $100

  • Ophidian

    Screen scrape the website of the local cinema chain, run through some text to speech, and provide my own private movie phone to myself and friends

  • I use an embedded Asterisk to provide the glue to make a hosted PBX support a SIP hard phone that they don’t natively support. Now my Aastra 480iCT with with OnSIP. It doesn’t on its own.

  • Eric Friesen

    At my work we have a ride on train. Asterisk is made to do the overhead announcements at set intervals.. ie 10min, 5min, and 1min. Our cashier can also check how much time is remaining by dialing a certain extension. Our train goes out on time much more often now.

  • Jason Waters

    I have T-mobile Favs so I get free cell calls to/from 5 numbers. I have my asterisk box be one of those numbers. I setup a a DISA in Freepbx so that it drops me to a dial tone when I call from my cell phone. Then I just change my dial plan on my cell phone from dialing 1 before my number to dial my “pbx’s phone number comma 1” Then I just dial my cell phone like normal! Instant unlimited cell minutes. Of course I pay for it on my PBX, but that is much cheaper then cell minutes.

  • Pat Kercher

    Sales Force VoIP phone lines replace expensive phones lines from LEC’s.

  • Sell phone service to your neighbors 🙂

  • Use a phone as a remote control for your TV.

    I documented how to do it on the MythTV wiki:


  • When a phone call comes in the first person often uses the computer at their desk to help the caller. At some point, should it become necessary to redirect the call to someone else, redirecting the call is a no brainer. What should also happen is the session that was started on the computer needs to be redirected with the call to the person who takes up helping the caller. If the session and call were redirected then the person who picks up the call would have the last screen the previous person used to help the caller their in a window at their desk as well as the session history should it be helpful to go back a couple screens to help the caller.

  • Ashutosh

    Created an extension where user can call in and press any key from 2,4,6,8. Accordingly one box on the webpage would move top,left,down or right. This was made possible by using Ajax,mysql,dhtml sprites. Eventually, a two player game was setup where each other would try to find way out path from a maze.

  • Randy Wilson

    When my son went off to college, we tied his dorm room into Asterisk through a VPN tunnel. Not only does this make calls back and forth between us easy (and free), but it also lets him talk to his girlfriend overseas without hitting Dad with a huge phone bill. If they had only had this back in the ’70s I wouldn’t have had to…oh, wait, what’s the statute of limitations on phone freaking?

  • Working on Asterisk got me a full time job, which is pretty cool, too. 🙂

  • Connects asterisk with a TTS server and voice recognition ( like loquendo ) to send and receive SMSes in POTS lines using voice.

  • Aaron Rosenthal

    Use Asterisk as an emergency notification system by integrating with an SMS gateway.

  • I added a GSM gateway to my Asterisk server so that I could leverage free mobile-to-mobile calling. When I’m traveling, which is a lot these days, I call the gateway which rings my home IP phones through my server. Zero cost, un-metered minutes from T-Mobile.

  • Tilghman Lesher

    Have Asterisk call you on your cell phone, when you get a voicemail message, skipping voicemail login, because it already knows who you are, instead of requiring you to poll on a regular basis as to whether you have voicemail back at the office.

  • Jason Parker

    I’m actually quite fond of #26 myself – it’s am often overlooked feature (“Make a phone call”).

    The first feature I added to Asterisk was one I used at home (idea was prompted by a user on IRC). Ever heard of ringback tones? I made it so that you can use “midi notes” in indications/Playtones to play “music” back to the caller in early media (without answering).

    For fun, try adding this to a Playtones() call in the dialplan.


  • Randy Wilson

    I have used Asterisk to reclaim my life and my privacy. As more bottom feeder telemarketers have realized that they can simply ignore the do not call registry with little risk to themselves, and with the many sham charities and politicians who take advantage of their respective loopholes, nuisance calls are diminished, but not gone from our lives. I have health problems that sometimes make responding to such calls more of a burden that one might ordinarily expect. Now nuisance callers simply find themselves cast into the lower levels of telephone hell, where they belong, and my phone only rings when it is a legitimate call. Asterisk has been a blessing that has made my life, and my family’s life, better. Not very commercial, I know, but if it were up to me, every home would have an Asterisk appliance, kept up to date over the Internet from a database of nuisance callers. Seems like a good product for somebody to bring to market.

  • Hrm, the last time I tried to post this it got lost…

    Anyway, I once lost my remote for my MythTV box, so I used Asterisk to be able to use a wireless phone as my TV remote control. I documented how to do it on the MythTV wiki.

  • Mess with your friends.

    I used to have Asterisk call two friends, with the callerid of each call set as the phone number of the other person. Then, I would listen to the confusion when they both answered for my own amusement.

  • I once setup an IVR for my family giving everyone their own VM, even our 2 dogs & 2 cats. It was interesting getting each of them to record their own personal outgoing messages.

  • Sébastien Couture

    Using Asterisk and a Pure Data server wired to five stage lights, we created a system where the audience of a show could call in and with the press of a digit, interact with the stage lighting patterns.

  • With Asterik, I’ve been able to be in contact with my family overseas, with servers in Miami, Bogota & Madrid I’ve had “party calls”, not only userful, cheaper … but FUN!

  • Alex Vandegrift

    To have a security system that monitored motion sensors and be able to call into asterisk and find out if and where there is a security breach.

  • Randy Wilson

    Regional cattle price tracking. Auction barns report auction results by phone. Ranchers can call in to get current price trends in their area.

  • Sacha Panasuik

    I have used asterisk to integrate my home telephones with jukebox software on another server in my house so that any phone can start, stop and pause the jukebox, skip to the next song, have asterisk playback the currently playing song information.

  • Sean

    I worked at a place with a simple voice mail system that only did outcall notification by phone. I created an AGI that would receive the call and then email a note saying that I had VM. I also created a simple web page that would let people sign up for an ID, so that they could use it too.

  • I have Asterisk give me a daily wake-up call with Festival reading me the current weather report spidered from Environment Canada’s website.

  • My asterisk box is hosted on a tiny VPS in Washington, USA. I have dial in numbers (DIDs) from Israel, France and the USA, and soon Australia too.

    Calls coming in to the box get routed to both my soft phone (wherever my laptop may be) and my cellphone via a termination service (ATM a US cellphone but I changed that to an Israeli cellphone when I was in Israel and soon an Australian cellphone when I move to Australia).

    Friends and family know the numbers and call me locally, regardless of which country I’m in at the moment.

    I’m thinking of adding a script that will play a recording in the times when I sleep (depends on the local time) to let people know that they will wake me up if they stay on the line.

    Oh, when I call the numbers, asterisks identifies me by my caller ID and a passcode and lets me dial out internationally.

    Not bad for a $8/month virtual machine.

    — Arik

  • Chris

    (1) Call up Asterisk to make you some coffee and call you back when it’s done.

  • Chris

    (2) Call the Asterisk server to switch on the music in the bathroom.

  • Chris

    (3) Let Asterisk tell you the temperature and weather forecast.

  • Chris

    (4) User Asterisk to switch the light at home.

  • A restaurant Callerid/Customer system for previous orders and upselling

  • An automatic dialer for the non profit sector to call clients and inform them of upcoming fairs, events and workshops.

  • A method to PING/NMAP/Turn off system services on servers for authentication control, controlled via IVR

  • Mike M

    Build an after-hours call tool that checks maintenance based on caller id or a dial-pad friendly maintenance number. If the user is allowed access to 24×7 maintenance, a voicemail can be left and forwarded to the on-call engineer…

  • David F. Skoll

    We use Asterisk extensively at work. We have it integrated with our CRM tool via IRC (it sends out notifications via IRC that desktop apps can pick up.)

    In fact, there’s no space here to describe all the cool tricks we’ve done. Head on over to https://www.roaringpenguin.com/files/asterisk.pdf for a presentation.

  • Francisco Enriquez

    I´m building an Asterisk system as a family switchboard. It will have local telephone numbers from everywhere we have family (even internationally), so we can call each other as extensions, making local calls all over and peoply can call us at any of the telephones we give them. A DISA will direct callers to the respective family, then the person of that family, options such as mobil, work, home, VOIP or voicemail.

  • Alexis Medina

    Develop an Surveillance System with a Camera with a Asterisk connected to a land line. So if some movement is detected at night (or day) inside your house, make an emergency call to your cell phone to notify you about an intruder inside your house.

  • Have Asterisk screen-pop the caller ID of incoming calls on your TV through an interface to Tivo.

  • We are in Hawaii, and many people don’t understand the time difference. We use Asterisk after hours to inform calllers of the local time and ask them to enter ‘911’ if they really need to talk to us after business hours.

  • Well, here’s something that I’ve done a while back:

    1. Hook an IP based AudioSpot speaker to Asterisk, and install it at the whaling wall in Jerusalem.
    2. Create a uni-directional prayer facility, enabling people to use the speaker to pray at the whaling wall from anywhere in the world.
    3. Publish DID numbers around the world and let people come into the system.
    4. Sit back and enjoy the fact that you’ve done a really nice and cool thing.

    If you wanna see this in action, visit http://www.shema-israel.com – you even get 3 minutes free in order to register.

    * Platform belongs to a customer of mine, and had been in production since almost 6 months ago.

  • In the UK we suffer from premium rate calls deemed “National” or “Lo-Call” numbers ALL prohibitively more expensive than geo national or geo local. I am currently integrating a database of known offending numbers and their TRUE geo IDs using Asterisk to automatically look up the number thus in many cases negating cost altogether, the database owner gets to play a quick “wav”/Ditty to let you know the wonderful miracle is happening each and every time – our ideas and methods are of course copyrighted!

  • Simply replace the stupid and annoying voice mail that my cell phone provider overcharges for with a voice mail that I have full control over, that stores incoming messages on my disk, and that notifies me both by email AND sms when a voicemail comes in.

  • Here are some things I have implemented in the last year and a half as a VoIP Engineer.

    1. Conf. based recording system that has (to date) recorded over 250,000 verification transactions.

    2. Click-to-call for users to pull up their custom internal webpage and paste numbers to dial. Asterisk calls the user’s extension, then calls the number they pasted. The users can also store favorite numbers for 1-click calling.

    3. Pay-by-phone credit card application that I personally developed.

    4. I developed a SMS system that will (based on the caller’s input) text message directions to the callers phone.

    5. Installed 4 instances of GNUdialer for callcenters.

    6. Scheduled automatic conference calls initiated by the server at specified intervals during the week.

  • Bill Merriam

    I use caller id to put callers in one of three categories, I want to talk to them (my phones ring), I don’t want to talk to them (they get the monkeys), I am not sure (they get asked their name).

    I also use * to turn down the volume of music when the phone rings and put it back when I hang up.

  • Hernan Popper

    Send the caller ID information via NETCAT to every XBMC (XBOX Media Center) in the house.

  • Gloria Yonh

    We use Asterisk for our emergency help line.

    When a caller calls in and punch in their password, asterisk put the caller on hold and start dialing our people one-by-one. When/if they answer, they are prompted to accept or reject the call. Should they reject, te next person is called, etc..

    No need for a live person to wait for call and manually dialing our team when an emergency arise; and no need to let the callers know all cell phone numbers.

  • We forward calls from a land line to a cell phone during normal business hours. Outside those hours, calls go to Asterisk’s voicemail; messages are then emailed to us for review.

  • Rex Thomas

    I send an email from my phone to my asterisk server. It then generates an invoice and faxes it to the number specified in the subject line for instant invoicing everywhere I go.

  • Lester Vecsey

    Play an outgoing message to my mom at 11am every morning, reminding her to go for a walk.

  • calvin

    My daughter had a boyfriend who was a pain calling all the time. Used Asterisk to reroute his calls to Nat Weather service weather report.

  • J

    I have a few custom extensions set up that when called, run an agi (perl) script that downloads a particular podcast and plays it (a different one for each extension). So I dial the number, hear a couple rings (while it is downloading the podcast and converting it to a form that Asterisk can play), and then I can hear the news, weather, or whatever. Works best on podcasts of about five minutes or less (depending, of course, on your broadband download speed, and your tolerance for listening to a recording over the telephone!). Best part is since you are dowloading these from the Internet you are not incurring any per-minute charges on your outbound routes.

  • Craig Smith

    Take over the world!

  • Craig Smith

    Four words…”Build your own Vonage”

  • Craig Smith

    We use Asterisk for two factor VPN authentication. Something you have, your phone, and something you know, your PIN.

  • Craig Smith

    Merged employees multiple numbers into a single find-me number.

  • Steven

    Build a simple desktop app that detects if your cellphone’s bluetooth signal is within range. Have tell Asterisk to set your calls to automatically forward to your cell when you leave your desk.

  • Dave Roper

    I use Asterisk as a means of dialing a SIP URL. Asterisk, MySQL, and Apache are on my Ubuntu Dectop firewall which runs from a 4 gig USB flash drive. I use Snom IP phones which allow for dialing a SIP URL from their internal web pages. I programmed my Asterisk dialplan to have a SIP URL active either temporarily or permanent.

  • Jim Houser

    Ok, I’m not expecting this to be a winner but since we’re sharing I wanted to pass along an Asterisk based killer ROI application in production today.

    We installed Asterisk running on a Sun Microsystems box that is basically a web site for accepting on-line loan payments, an internal web site with a customer service group behind it accepting loans payments and an IVR accepting loan payments all writing to the same MySQL db.

    The total dev cost including all hardware and software came to roughly $10,000.00. This system is in production and consistently accepts an average of $24,000.00 in payments daily Monday through Friday and around $8,000.00 over the weekend.

    How’s that for an ROI!
    Long Live Asterisk!

  • Ashley Kitto

    You can use Asterisk as a tandem switch in front of your legacy PBX, to add more functionality, like SIP and fax-to-email.

  • eli

    you can use asterisk as a interphone for houses or buildings, that means if you are not in house the person who come can live you a message and an instant page will advice you, even you can make it with an extention on your office even with video, as always asterisk is the best

  • Alexandre Keller

    An IVR to tell you all the results from the lottery, where you can choose all the results from an especific date, extracting the results from a Database using ODBC functions and internal applications only, no AGI ou AMI involved.

  • Krishna Chava

    Use Cepstral text to Speech and implement an Inbound Survey system and updating clients database using ODBC, while the questions are being read from an XML

  • Krishna Chava

    Using Asterisk as Recorders sitting in the middle between third party dialers and Inbound ACDs

  • Krishna Chava

    Setting Up Future Calls/Reminders so that asterisk calls you back and reminds about your appointments

  • Krishna Chava

    Set up a user based GUI where one can forward the calls/multiring/filter the calls without doing it from the phone, but controlling it from anywhere.

  • Krishna Chava

    Installed Complete redundant solution with asterisk/DRBD/HA and Redfone (with echo cancellation)

  • Krishna Chava

    Installed asterisk in such a way that offices are recognised not by extensions but by office names (meaning you can dial sales and it automatically maps it to its relevant extension using LDAP)

  • J

    Find unique ways to make free calls using existing services – for example, if you sign up for Gizmo5 you can make free outbound calls to customers of certain cell phone companies (Verizon is one) – it plays a short (five second) message at the start of the call but that’s fine when calling friends and family members if it means I’m not burning minutes on a commercial VoIP service. As a bonus, anyone can call you from any of the Sipbroker PSTN numbers around the world by calling their local Sipbroker number, then dialing *747-1-747-xxx-xxxx (where 1-747-xxx-xxxx is your Gizmo5 number). Sometimes it takes a little searching the web to figure out how to do this stuff but on a home system that’s part of the fun!

  • J

    Make a family intercom system, so that any family member that has broadband service and a VoIP adapter (or a softphone) can call any other family member just by picking up that phone and dialing two or three digits. Of course, if you have an outgoing PSTN or commercial VoIP trunk, you can do interesting things like ringing their extension and their cell phone simultaneously, so that they get the call on whichever one they pick up first!

  • Andrew Kohlsmith

    Let’s see… what have I done or helped people do with asterisk:
    – use my cell phone as a phone extension
    – use my asterisk box to pick up cell phone calls
    – SMS my cell phone when I have new home or business voicemail
    – dial mine, my wife’s, both, or neither of our cell phones when someone calls the house based on time of day and who called
    – prevent the house phones from ringing during meals or family time unless it is from a whitelisted caller and they specify that it’s urgent
    – select which cell phone/pager to call after-hours based on an outlook calendar
    – route the company number to a cluster of cell phones so we can all enjoy our company golf tournament
    – pop up customer data and journal when they call in
    – record every single incoming, outgoing and internal call and fax, storing the call audio in an easily archiveable and retrievable database which is cross-referenced with the corporate contact list for sarbanes-oaxley compliance

    I think that’s a good set… probably a few more in there yet that I’ve forgotten…


  • 6 Asterisk PBX servers and up to 1,500 IP phones are being deployed for the Town of Manchester, CT. The new phone system, which is spread out over 44 buildings, will serve all of the town’s schools, administrative offices, police and fire departments. This is the largest deployment to date of an open source PBX for a municipal government within the U.S.

    According to Jack McCoy, Manchester’s CIO, the town will save almost $200,000 per year by having Softel replace the existing Centrex system with Asterisk. The town chose Asterisk over competitive products like Cisco Call Manager for 3 main reasons. First, the cost to deploy Asterisk was less than half that of other proprietary PBX systems. Second, the town did not want to be tied to a single vendor for the IP phones. Asterisk supports a wide variety of SIP phones from different vendors, ranging in price from $85 to $500. Finally, Manchester needed some custom applications developed such as Enhanced 911 service and mass automated dialing with pre-recorded announcements (e.g., school closing announcements). Asterisk’s open source platform makes it easy to rapidly develop these kinds of applications. Softel’s team was able to develop the 911 software according to Manchester’s requirements within a few weeks.

    Shortly after the installation, load tests were performed using 150 soft phones, and all tests were successful. Thousands of calls were completed successfully within the course of a few hours. The system is also highly reliable and completely fault tolerant. If any PBX server goes down, calls are automatically re-routed to one of the other servers. Softel also provided a graphical management application called SigMAN (developed by Signate), which made it easy for Manchester’s technical personnel to set up the system and add users.

    The system provides advanced features that are not available with Centrex. For example, users can access their voice mails via their email. Also, the system has a built-in conference bridge which allows dozens of people to participate in a conference call at once.

  • J

    Bring back the “Time Lady” – you can use an Asterisk dial plan and the voice of Allison to say something like, “At the sound of the tone, the time will be exactly 8:49 and 50 seconds. BEEP” And you don’t even need a big old Audicron machine to do it!

  • J

    Make your friends think they have entered the Twilight Zone – If you use FreePBX with Asterisk, you can have it play Music on Hold when ringing an extension, instead of the normal ringing signal. But you can specify a specific class of Music On Hold, and who says that has to actually be music? There are sites on the web that have recordings make by “phone phreaks” back in the 1960’s that have all sorts of interesting sounds, including things like old General Telephone and Independent company ringback tones. Use a sound editor to make up a recoding of about 90 to 180 seconds of that ringing and use THAT as your “music.” Then tell your friends you moved to Hooterville, and when they try to call you and hear that ringback tone, they may think you’ve really landed in the last place on earth that still uses equipment that old! Admittedly this has the greatest appeal on April 1, or with friends who are real phone geeks!

    (I only wish I could find a recording somewhere of the old GTE ringing tone they used to use in these parts, that sounded exactly like someone was blasting several fog horns, all at different pitches, right into your ear! )

  • An Asterisk dialing application which called a listing of police officers serially until one accepts the special duty assignment (overtime). When they accept it connects them to their supervisor for information. To keep things fair, it remembers where it left off in the list so the same officer doesn’t always get the time.

  • J

    Use ENUM to save money on calls – I don’t think anyone has mentioned it yet, but more and more VoIP compaines (especially the smaller ones) and businesses are registering their numbers with an ENUM registry, so that if you check ENUM first when making a call, you will be able to send calls to them entirely via VoIP, without ever sending the call to the PSTN. I only wish this concept would gain a lot more traction – it is stupid for one VoIP company to send a call to a customer of another VoIP company via the PSTN simply because some companies won’t enable any way for outside calls to come in directly via IP.

  • Integrated with fwdout i can make free international call for free Cool…..!

  • Darren Wiebe

    We built an customer satisfaction survey system for a restaurant chain. They printed unique numbers on every receipt with identifying information. Customers could then call in and rate their experience.

  • I have installed a fully functional Call Center on a laptop to do fund raising with Soft phone for a political meeting.
    Answer a call in a specific language based on the incoming channel DID (33X. answers in French, 1X. answers in English)

  • Juan Camilo Henao

    I made a PBX for my “home office line” and my “home line” with just one server and one asterisk platform, spliting up everything just like having one server for each task.

  • Ashraf Daoud

    Over the phone system managmet. We can manage all of our servers using asterisk. Complete with menu and IT tools, like ping, traceroute, netstat, ect.

  • Mat Murdock

    Make it so that when a parent calls into the school and they dial an extension they will either ring the teachers desk phone or go to there voicemail depending on if they are teaching a class or not. Asterisk queries the Student Information System to see the teachers teaching schedule.

  • Paco Brufal

    You can implement an alarm security system with Asterisk. We have installed a few like this to our customers. You can read our little howto in voip-info.org:


  • John

    I created a php database which integrates into our Asterisk box. When I click on a users phone number in our database, our Asterisk server first dials the extension of the person that just click on the phone number (in this example, me), then it calls the number that was click on…connecting the call without having to dial.

  • Frederic Marti

    Wake up computer (WOL) by Asterisk, IVR prompting for the IP adresse of the computer and call back when the computer is up or after 5 min if not.

  • EvOr

    We have created an application to handle intercoms on a carpark. The interphone calls Asterisk which park it, and dial the distant phone playing it a voice message containing which intercom and park is calling, then the man can press * and talk to the people waiting before the intercom.
    Asterisk is intefaced with an application which allow the operator to press some digits to open the barrier, close the barrier, and do anything that we may need to do… We aim to implement video support too^^

  • Resuce – if you’re stuck in a boring meeting get your asterisk server to call you and bail you out. You can SMS to request the call, or you can pre-configure it. You might even want it to scan your calendar and decide on it’s own which meetings should be interrupted.

  • Build a multi-million dollar company around the sale and support of Asterisk based systems.


  • Trun your laptop to PBX with Asterisk in flash another cool feature.

  • randulo

    Use callerID detection to have a special message play without ringing the phone when the school calls: “This is my father. I’m really sick today”

  • randulo

    Use callerID to drag creditors through a 20 minute labyrinth of “Please press 1 to …” and then hang up. Oh wait, the airlines already do that. Nevermind.

  • randulo

    Commit the perfect crime: Spoof callerid on a timed call making your alibi air-tight and framing your wife’s ex in the process.

  • randulo

    Have asterisk use curl to get a bunch of unrelated data that is of interest to your company and then allow your staff or customers to call a toll-free number for a report read to them.
    (b) Report can be tailored to each (type of) caller.
    (c) Insert mean gossip about one caller in the other’s report and vice verse.
    (d) Call each caller by a first name, but make it someone else’s name.

  • randulo

    Grab a specific blog from the web and make the latest post available to a caller, read by Cepstral.

  • Matt Schmandt

    I used Asterisk to create an auto dialer to play recorded messages about local soccer pickup games. It also captures information from the callee to see if they plan on attending and how many guests they are bringing.

  • Since I have free incoming on my cell phone, I call my Asterisk system to place the call for me and call my cell back. So I only use one outgoing minute for any cell call I want to make.

  • When callers are on hold, allow them to press a key to choose which type of music they would like to listen to.

  • Joseph Burdick

    Listen to your local sports radio station on your cell phone in realtime. I thought “I have free minutes all weekend long and am missing football games while traveling.” Radio earphone jack to line input on Asterisk box to confrence call. Now my friends and I can dial in to the conference call and listen to the game from anywhere. We can nominate one of ourselves to be the commentator or I can turn off their inbound audio for a cleaner sound with more people listening.

  • Win a sweet web contest voip-supply based on knowing only of asterisk’s existance.

    Actually, a real sweet thing you can do is setup panic buttons throughout a retirement community which calls 911 and plays back a prerecorded message with all the location details of that phone, and then puts the call on speakerphone.

  • Martin Dindos

    Thanks to asterisk I can be called using local numbers by my girlfriend, family and friends in 3 different countries (US, UK, Slovakia) with call arriving to my voip enabled N95 either by SIP (over wifi) or when not available as a regular GSM call. Neat…

  • eli

    Coaching: let the expert help to the new employes to attend ther clients, and the client wont listen, just the employe.

  • IVR based remote control of your Christmas lights & music. See http://www.lightorama.com for examples.

    Tie into the doorbell as well and you can have a giant Santa laugh over the music every time the doorbell rings.

    Equally applicable at Halloween.

  • IVR based remote control of your Christmas lights & music. See http://www.lightorama.com for examples.

    Tie into the doorbell as well and you can have a giant Santa laugh over the music every time the doorbell rings.

    Equally applicable at Halloween.

  • Titanous

    Create a web interface to make and record prank calls.

  • Sándor Szövérfy

    With Asterisk we can at last build the perfect global communications and automation system without borders and no need spend so many years for wire ring and the many witch are missing all the time from the poor country’s in the world ,using Internet ,wireless ,WI-FI ,satellite communications ,and non conventional electrical energy.
    Thats not a dream any time can be done .Lets start to create this.
    Best regards Sándor Szövérfy

  • Sándor Szövérfy

    With Asterisk we can at last build the perfect global communications and automation system without borders and no need spend so many years for wire install , and the money which are missing all the time from the poor country’s in the world ,using Internet ,wireless ,WI-FI ,satellite communications ,and non conventional electrical energy.
    Thats not a dream any time can be done .
    Best regards Sándor Szövérfy
    PS:sorry for mistake

  • I would like an asterisk box to start my coffee maker (cron), make my alarm clock go off (cron), and then msgs my phone when it is time to leave in the morning for the office.

    If it could do bacon than that would just be a bonus.

  • Patrick Warn

    Use Asterisk to offer an automated help desk with a decision tree to get a user to a recording of a common solution. Sort of an audio FAQ

  • Alex Vandegrift

    Be able to call in to our asterisk system and look up their vehicle and find all of the technical service bulletins from AllData, then read them back to the customer then allow them to talk to a service writer to schedule a fix for that problem.

  • NAT penetration appliance through SIP-IAX2 protocol translator using Gumstix & Astlinux.

  • Timothy Hayes

    Use it as a easy way to play books on tape for your children.

    Implement voice enabled ZORK to pass away your free time!

  • beres

    Update your blog, listen your email/rss what ever you want via asterisk with speech recognition and TTS

  • SLAP

    Comment by
    David Van Ginneken

    “An Asterisk dialing application which called a listing of police officers serially until one accepts the special duty assignment (overtime). ”

    You have a future in drawing the “Dilbert of LEO” cartoons!

  • Set up an telephone poll, with statistical results and caller ID numbers on a web page to see the results. Be able to select one caller ID at random from the list to give a prize to the lucky winner.

  • Adrian Ariza

    Do amazing magic telephone tricks with IVR + Extensions.

  • al conde

    an automatic taxi service using caller-id and gps

  • Craig Smith

    Let your plants tell you when it’s time for them to get watered.

  • David Troy has Asterisk running on a Roomba. Thought for sure someone would mention that 😉 I saw him demo it at last years Astricon.



  • Adrian Bono

    Have asterisk run local shell scripts to allow remote system administration via phone, such as reboot the server, run “w” and read the logged in usernames, speak the uptime and load average, speak CPU and motherboard temperatures, etc.

  • Bob Pierce

    Use Asterisk to record votes for anything ranging from national talent shows to local civic elections or plebiscites. Could even keep track of past voters to only allow one vote per calling phone number. On in the case of elections require the voter to enter a PIN from a mailed out voting card.

  • Bob Pierce

    For an on site service company, use asterisk to automatically call your customers the day before their scheduled appointment and remind them that you will be coming to their house. The system could even give them the option to confirm the time or be connected to a representative to reschedule.

  • Help the city of New Orleans collect their unpaid property taxes.

  • Robin Rodriguez

    combine RealTime Asterisk + follow-me module + simple web interface makes it easy for users to update follow-me settings

  • send first-time callers an SMS welcoming them to your company with a summary of what you do.

  • have a database action cause a phonecall

    talk.asteriskapi.ast_originate( ‘http://mystar:8088/asterisk/mxml’,’man’,’not’,
    ‘Local/[email protected]’,
    ) as dialed
    from dual;

  • Bob Pierce

    Setup a cron job that runs fetchmail to check your email and then uses Asterisk to call you if you have new mail and give you the option to have it read to you.

  • Bob Pierce

    At the end of a support call with a customer, the Asterisk system could be set to email them a recording of the call.

  • Rejil Rajan

    Integrate Asterisk with the Active Directory to create extensions by just filling the IP phone field in the Active Directory

  • Rejil Rajan

    Create a webdialer that will lookup the Active Directory and ring your phone and then make the call to the desired person you wish to connect

  • Luke

    Walk and talk all over with a wifi phone and your buildings existing wireless network.

  • Jesse

    On an IVR key-sequence, Asterisk will dial my unlimited-incoming mobile phone number and provide me with an outside line where I can dial cheap local or long-distance over a VOIP carrier of my choice. I no longer have to use minutes from my mobile carrier.

  • Hernan Popper

    Have a full operational Asterisk server on a Linksys WRG 54 GL and save some electricity!

  • We had to setup temp phone service to a remote site via wireless point to point connections. From that location we fed bandwidth for internet usage and VOIP phone usage back to our main datacenter almost 75 miles all via wireless to tis site.

    Built on licensed and unlicensed wireless spectrum we had no problems and the customers are happy that they can run credit card service as well as take phone calls at thier event.

  • Bridge 2 asterisk systems with iax2 in different cities. Interoffice voice traffic is handled over our existing vpn, keeping the inbound/outbound pstn lines for customers –less busy signals and easy interoffice voicemail, conferencing, call display and even paging…

  • Edward Lim

    Using asterisk to turn on your house electrical appliances such as the aircon/heater before you reach home.

  • Great ideas, people! And kudos to Voip Supply for the meta idea of asking for ideas.

  • Spy on my dog at home by alsa channel, microphone and hifi system over mobile phone. Unfortunatly, my dog is clever and did not recognize my orders over mobile phone. So he barks continuously front of the door 🙂

  • a mixed Voip – GPS solution to mantain contact with all your employes ;)… where is the comment button?… oh! the post comment button dont appear on Opera!! may a call using asterisk can solve it! hahaha

  • use asterisk for emergency real time presence and communication for hospital, fires, incidents, and all the condition that need immediate response for all the person really available

  • gitguy

    I think you guys should switch to Git, and also fix most of the core system, get rid of chan_sip.c, implement Sofia-SIP, etc.

    and also get more features, like this:


  • gitguy

    xml, xml-rpc, the ability to still use plain text (INI) files, better core, software based conference, dial out from conference, conf bridge, GPLv3 only, so i don’t have to give my credits to digium, and they can still sell it as free/libre/open source, all the FS features.

  • Provide extra network security by requring a call / passcode to enable or disable certain services (e.g. – Rather than leave my vnc server running constantly, I dial in, enter a code and launch the server. Then deactivate it when finished.)

  • Jakub Grzywa

    Asterisk has enabled me to create a system for monitoring network.. The informations are sent to the agi script and then transmitted through the vgsm interface to my mobile phone

  • Olajide Adefuye

    i have use asterisk to develop several content providing service like songmail a call is places to the asterisk server, a welcome prompt is played and you are also prompt to supply a song code that you want to send to a friend listen to it and also accept the person number you want to send the song to there is a an AGI script that does all the background processes, send the song id to the receiver the receiver dial in an AGI script is called perform all the process of checking the validity of the number and if its valid it play the song then hang up, if not it play a sorry prompt.
    i have also use asterisk to pick content from our linus content server. when the user request for a content the dailplan call an AGI script which in turn take in the parameters and forward it to the content server platform which in turn pick the content and sent to to our sms gateway that deliver the content to the subscribers mobile phone.
    develop different real life question and answer where you call the asterisk server it will randomly pick a question for you and also instruct you on how to answer the question if you get the right answer it will congratulate you if not it will tell you play a sorry prompt. just to mention few

  • Asterisk; It’s only because of Asterisk due to which we can see too many Telecommunication companies working the way they want to.

    The best part of asterisk is that you can work and mold it the way you want to.

    You don’t have to purchase additional module every time, like you do with Cisco and others.

    In addition to this you don’t have to pay any thing and just start by installing it and this in turn will benefit people who are starting the company and not very confident about success plus the Teen Age Geeks who use asterisk for projects can pursue their projects to real world.


    Muneeb Iqbal

  • Things I have done:

    Caller ID based call recorder (ex-wives bah)
    IVR based “Dial a distro” burns a distro based on IVR
    Stress tester
    Dial and announce….

    on the burner for the future:

    Dial-a-Soda, IVR Based vending
    Asterisk controlled Coffee pot
    Flooded Road notification system
    Asterisk based reverse 911

    Stuff others have done and I enjoy:
    Telemarketer Torture

  • We have created a monitoring system that trigger a Call when any particular process monitored fail, it makes more efficiently our production system.

  • Khairul Ridzuwan

    (101) Connects my families from around the globe!! and we share resources!! thank you asterisk!!!

    If you risk losing your love ones…go ASTERISK!! 🙂

  • For a customer I have built the following configuration:

    – Asterisk server with ISDN.
    – SQL Replication from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Asterisk.
    – The customer has about 1500 companies registered in the database and has a salesperson for each company coupled with the companies contacts.

    When a client calls to my customer the number is automatically looked up in the CRM database. When it finds the salesperson that is connected to the client it will connect the client to the right person.

    I am busy with a TAPI connection between NAV and Asterisk, this is almost done.

  • TJK

    Configured a cron job for asterisk to call an ATA configured to auto-answer calls at pre-designated break/lunch times. The ATA is wired to a legacy Bogen PA system and broadcasts pre-recorded sounds and relevant messages at scheduled times.

  • Justin Oliver

    Setup a Lab Company to allow patients and doctors to call in and get data from SQL database. They can get data like lab results (after authentication via SS and patient number, pulled from SQL) and account balances. They can even pay their balances automated via TClink (trustcommerce). It also call patients and their Doctors when Lab results are done to notify them.

  • I use Asterisk at a group of radio stations. The on-air contest line is a voip line. We route the traffic out through a TDM card to the Studio board.

  • Christian Juarez

    I use Asterisk for a Televote, the caller-id is insert in Mysql and a graphic system for Real time use a query. The Graphic system send the data on air in a television station. The graphic grow with every call

  • i

    setup unlimited cell phone plan for yourself or ‘frends’, then ‘test’ the limits of unlimited cel world gateway.

    There are unlimited plans eg family, xbil to xbil etc . You couple two phone on the plan one to air one to Asterisk. If you want be not limited to single company set up pair of phones to each mobile company. The coupling required some electronics so when one phone rings the other phone get on and transfer – enter the number. savings are > 5. The Asterisk part is used simplify the design. Phone number portability complicate somehow the solution since the prefixes are now not predictable.

  • Lukas Ajksner

    My daughter can play their favourite songs from fairy tales on each phone at home, GSM … and where she wants.

  • Use Asterisk for Speaker Verification and Identification in many application. ie, Voice Print
    Ex: Banking Apps.

  • J chubak

    have asterisk do automated reminder calls for a dental office

  • Douglas Hardman

    Let our merchant’s customers check their Gift Card balances.

  • Phil Reynolds

    Although this contest is over, a lot of what I do is mentioned already – colourlisting (black, white, grey, red, known void, for example) being one of them, I have also implemented a “call both” method and a “working from home” flag that stops my extension ringing other than on some numbers I have defined as “work” numbers but doesn’t affect my partner.

  • Drug Testing program

    Were Callers are required to call the system to find out if they are randomly selected to report for drug testing. Provides detail logs of call in times and CallerID.

  • Asterisk has allowed me to start and have success in being an entrepreneur.

  • We’ve set up Asterisk in apartment buildings, leveraging the economy of scale to provide VoIP to the residents. ATAs are connected to * as extensions. Each apartment has it’s own DID, which is cheap! The apartment leasing offices are tied to the same system, and makes for easy communication- just dial 8 plus the apartment number to connect. Late notices can be automated with TTS, etc. Voice mail to email notification is a real perk to the tenants, etc… It provides additional revenue streams to the building owners, while saving the tenants $.. Win win!

  • Diego Viola

    I successfully deployed my first Asterisk system to a company where I’m working now.

    So it’s paying my bills and the work I do is very fun 😀

    I can’t wait for 1.6 with all the features it will bring to us, it will just make my work a lot more fun and it will improve the quality of my work as well, and the quality of this people’s life’s.

    Asterisk rocks!

  • I developed a billing system for prepaid cards with asterisk with many extras like: callerID recognizing, speed dialing, 2 languages (EN & BG), info system, and many more. Probably the best feature of my instalation – our customers can call to Google talk accounts. Also I have a GSM gateway based on extras in 1.6 beta version.

  • Amit Salunkhe

    All the guys who comment on this subject are really Great. all opnion shows As per requirements & application we can use Asterisk. it means Asterisk useful as core or lead component of the system.
    combi or inconnected system can possible with Asterisk.


  • Three nifty features that, standing on the shoulders of giants, have been written by me.

    Use gtalk or msn to set up conferene or send sms to large group bij sending a line like:
    call number1 number2 number3 number4 to [email protected] or [email protected]

    Limit the number of tries to call to a number on the Asterisk server with a context in extensions.conf of just 25 lines of asterisk script. After trying the max times (f.i. 5 times within the last hour) the call is routed in a special way (Hangup() or Festival(“don’t call again we won’t call you”) )

    The queue assistant saves you money an a lot of annoyence because of the lousy music on hold during log waiting times. Just send qa -your phone number- -number with the long queues lousy moh and long waiting times- to [email protected] and your phone wil ring when the other side has been anwered by a flesh and blood agent.

  • We would like to share with you one interesting model for the use of the PBX Asterisk. To be more precise, the main idea is to use the Asterisk as a platform for the development of telecommunication services. With its open source software and API, the Asterisk can bring the development of telecommunication services down to a simpler process of Web programming thus considerably lowering “the entrance barrier” for those involving in the programming of new services.
    We propose to integrate a new component (proxy) into the Asterisk platform. The main functionality of the proxy is to translate telecommunication calls into HTTP requests to external web services. Telecommunication services are located separately from the PBX, while the information they receive from Asterisk is presented as a HTTP-request. Technically, HTTP GET/POST request is a request, in which external telecommunications service passed information about the subscriber’s name – CallerIdName, caller’s number – CallerIdNumber and and called number – Extension. Upon receiving necessary parameters, such as (calling/called number) a web service produces and forwards its instructions to the proxy. The latter receives and translates them into Asterisk instructions. The development of such services under the architecture described above is similar to a conventional CGI-script, for which there is a plenty of programming tools. As a result a programmer doesn’t need to be familiar with the Asterisk API.

  • Asterisk can read our mail using Flite and MailCall and send it by fax to some one else with hylafax, inform by SMS to that person that a fax or e mail as been send to him, all that we can do´it using voice commands with LumenVox. This way we can manage or office with a phone call while we are driving or traveling.

  • Raj

    Turn asterisk into Inventory Manager for any retail store or small stores. When the quantity of the goods reaches a threshold limit Asterisk system will wake and call the Store manager or Owner about the inventory status.

  • A chance to voice enable your web apps with Adhearsion on top of Asterisk! 😉

  • We bought an Asterisk VPS server and it came with Elastix on it. We learned alot with that and soon we upgraded to a dedicated server and deployed our entire request line, live caller dial in system using Asterisk. This is the most flexable Radio station telephone system ever! Other radio stations are asking us where they can buy our system or something similar, I told them “I dunno” lol.

  • BeeBop

    Use Asterisk to *be* the first 100 calls to a radio station during a contest.

    • Garrett Smith

      This one was awesome when it first was “discovered.”

  • eherr

    No new comments for two years!!! NOOOOO!!

    We should link up all asterisk’s and wipe out Verizon and all other legacy phone vendors

  • Use: In health care for clinics and doctors.
    We are using asterix for recording doctor notes which are then transcribed in a back office and uploaded back to Amazon S3 via an automated parser script that updates metadata in the DB via secure APIs that we expose.

    Automated call reminders to patients for appointments. The app is very stable – good work guys!

  • Bill

    In a School: We use the reminder app to ring the school bells to signal students that it is time to change classes.

  • Sam V

    I used asterisk to remote control my home TV and watch it anywhere over Internet with any browser without special software install

  • Richard Cooper

    Once I used Asterisk too, but I swithced to Ozeki Phone System XE because it runs on Windows and it is much more convenient to use Windows.


  • I’ve used asterisk to setup a GSM-VOIP gateway which includes tethering my asterisk server via bluetooth to my gsm phone. That way inbound calls can be routed to aspecific contest in the dialplan and do lots of cool stuff.

  • khatary

    1.how can we integrate an ip camera(non sip) with asterisk?…
    2.how can i get app_rtsp and app_transcoder for asterisk video?

    • Hello,

      Thanks for reaching out. You can email our support at: [email protected] and our team will be happy to assist. Thank you!


  • Fascinating and scary! Thank you for the greatly needed guidance. I’m burning with curiosity but there is really more than I can contend with on the regular internet. The mere possibility of encountering unsavory characters or disturbing images is enough of a deterrent for me. =-)

  • Amazing post. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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