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After you finish installing the FreePBX Distro, or another Distro that includes FreePBX, there are a few things you want to do first:

Table of Contents


Login to the PBX Graphical User Interface ("GUI"):

  • Using another machine on your same network, open a web browser and enter the IP address of your PBX.

  • If you don't know the IP address of your PBX, go to the Linux console/command prompt.  Login to the Linux console using the username "root" without quotes, and the root password you selected during installation. After you login, type "ifconfig" at the command line and determine the IP address of your machine (to the right of eth0). Then type "exit" to return to the login screen.

  • If you're using the FreePBX Distro, the first time that you enter the IP address of your PBX in a web browser, you'll be asked to set your default username and password the first time you login. That username and password will be used in the future to access the FreePBX configuration screen.  
  • After you enter your username and password, select "PBX Administrator."  You'll now be in the main FreePBX configuration screen.


Note: These passwords do not change the Root password used to login to the Linux command prompt! They are only used for access to the web interface.



Set a Static IP Address and Configure DNS 

  • When FreePBX is first installed, it is configured to obtain an IP Address using DHCP.  You'll need to assign your PBX a static IP address so that your phones will have a consistent internal IP address to use to contact it.  The easiest way to give your PBX a static IP address is to configure your DHCP server to always assign your PBX the same IP address using a DHCP reservation. This ensures that if DHCP settings later change, such as changing DNS server settings, the PBX will get these new settings with all other DHCP clients.   If that's not possible, you will need to configure your PBX to use a static IP and not use DHCP.
  • If you are using the FreePBX Distro or any distro with FreePBX 2.10 or later, you can set a static IP address using the GUI. Click Admin, and then System Admin Module on the left hand side of the screen, and then Network Settings, on the right hand side of the screen.  You should now see a screen that looks like this:

  • Change IP Protocol to "None" and then enter your desired static IP address.  Be sure to also set your subnet mask (typically and default gateway (usually 
  • When you're done, click save settings.  
  • To continue, input the new IP address into your web browser.  Return to the System Admin Module (follow the instructions described above) and manually set your DNS Servers 
  • Then go to the DNS section of the System Admin module and click DNS on the right hand side of the screen.  You'll see a screen that looks like this:



The Distro installs DNSMASQ to ensure that your system maintains DNS even when the internet is down, and DNSMASQ won't work unless is listed as your first DNS Server. The last two are Google's DNS servers. You can replace those two with your own, if you prefer.


  • When you're done, click "Submit"

Check for FreePBX Distro Updates.

Configure Asterisk SIP Settings

Configure E-Mail Settings

Configure Email Server

Configure E-Mail Alert Destination Addresses

FreePBX has a number of components that will send out e-mail alerts on various conditions.

Check the following areas to verify or set the desired e-mail destination address of the phone system administrator who will receive the alerts:

  • Admin > System Admin>Notifications Settings
    • From Address: Enter the From address the PBX will use for the notifications on this page, e.g.
    • Storage Notifications: (enter the desired e-mail address)
    • Intrusion Detection Notifications: (enter the desired e-mail address)
    • Abnormal Call Volume Notifications: (enter the desired e-mail address)
    • Submit
  • Settings > Advanced Settings
    • Backup Module
      • Email "From:" Address: Enter the From address the Backup module will use, e.g.
      • click the green check mark to the right of the field
        • Apply Config
  • Settings > Fax Configuration
    • Fax Options > Fax Presentation Options
      • Outgoing Email address: Enter the From address the fax module will use when sending received faxes, e.g.
    • Fax Options > Fax Feature Code Options
      • Email address: Enter the default destination e-mail address for received faxes so they can be manually routed by a human being, e.g.
    • Submit
      • Apply Config
  • Settings > Voicemail Admin
    • Settings
      • fromstring: Enter the From address the voicemail module will use when sending out voicemail alerts, e.g.
      • pagerfromstring: Enter the From address the voicemail module will use when sending out voicemail alerts, e.g.
      • serveremail: Set the same as "fromstring"; not sure how this is different
    • Submit
      • Apply Config

There is additional configuration needed for some of the above components but the above is just the e-mail From and To configuration.

Explore the Modules

Configuration of the PBX is done using the various FreePBX Modules.

The modules are divided into several categories at the top of the GUI.

Once you're at a specific module's page, you can hover your mouse over the title of each entry and get instructions on what the entry does.

For detailed instructions on each module, start here:  FreePBX Modules Home.

Generally, you'll want to configure the modules in the following order (click on the title of the module in the list below to go to the more detailed instructions on how to configure that module):

Advanced Settings:  This Module allows you to make changes to various default settings in FreePBX.

General Settings:  In FreePBX versions 2.10 and earlier, this module was used to make some settings changes.  In FreePBX 2.10 and later, these settings have been moved to other modules.  If you're using a later version of FreePBX, you may still wish to view the documentation for this module, as there are a number of settings that you may wish to change that may not yet be documented elsewhere.  The documentation for this module includes a chart showing where the options have been moved.

Asterisk SIP Settings:  This Module allows you to configure certain defaults that affect phone calls.

Voicemail Admin:  This Module allows you to see the status of and make changes to various settings relating to the operation of the voicemail system.

Trunks Module:  Trunks are the PBX equivalent of a phone line. They are how your system makes calls to the outside world and receives calls from the outside world. Without a trunk, you can't call anyone. You can configure a trunk to connect with any VOIP service provider (such as FreePBX's SipStation), with a PSTN/Media Gateway (which allows you to make and receive calls over standard telephone lines from your local telephone company), or to connect directly to another PBX.

Most reputable VOIP providers will give instructions on how to configure a FreePBX trunk with their service. 

Outbound Routes Module:  Outbound Routes are how you tell your PBX which Trunks (phone lines) to use when people dial certain telephone numbers. A simple installation will tell the PBX to send all calls to a single trunk. However, a complex setup will have an outbound route for emergency calls, another outbound route for local calls, another for long distance calls, and perhaps even another for international calls. You can even create a "dead trunk" and route prohibited calls (such as international and 976 calls) to it.

Extensions Module:  Extensions are where you setup the extensions that you will use on your system.  In this module, you'll create an extension number and set a password for each extension and set-up voicemail (if desired).  Note that this module only configures FreePBX and Asterisk.  You must separately configure the phones themselves to connect to your PBX, either by configuring the phones manually, or my using the Endpoint Manager Module.

Follow-me:   The follow-me module allows you to create a more complicated method of routing calls that are placed to a specific extension. Using this module, you can make a call to one extension ring several other extensions, or even outside phone numbers. You can also make calls to one-extension end in the voicemail of another extension.

For example, using "follow-me," you could make a call to extension 10 actually ring extension 10, extension 11, and extension 12, and call someone's cellular phone, for 15 seconds, and then, if nobody answers, go the voicemailbox for extension 17. 

Ring Groups Module:  Ring Groups allow you to create a single extension number (the Ring Group Number) that will call more than one person.  For example, you could make a Ring Group so that when any user dials extension 601, extensions 10, 11, 12, and 13 ring for 15 seconds, and then the call goes to the voicemail for extension 17. 

Inbound Routes Module:  The Inbound Routes module is where you tell the PBX how to handle incoming calls. Typically, you tell the PBX the phone number that outside callers have called ("DID Number" or "Direct Inward Dial Number") and then indicate which extension, Ring Group, Voicemail, or other destination the call will go to.

Parking Lot:  A parking lot allows anyone who has received a call to park the call on an extension that anyone else can access. Typically, you receive the call, transfer it to extension 70, and then listen as the system tells you where you can pick up the call (usually extension 71). Then, anyone else on your PBX can dial 71 to pick-up the call.

Feature Codes Module:  This module allows you to set the special codes that users dial to access various features, such as call forwarding, do not disturb, voicemail, etc. You can also disable features if you don't want users to be able to access them.

Paging and Intercom:  By default, you can dial *80 plus an extension number to page an extension. The Paging and Intercom module allows you to define a number that you can dial to page a group of extensions at the same time. For example, in a small office, you might define a paging group that allows any user to dial 00 to page the entire office.

Conferences Module:  This module allows you to create an extension number that people can dial into in order to have a conference call.  For example, any user could dial extension 800 and they would be in a conference call.

System Recordings Module:  This is the module where you record the messages for use on your auto-attendant. 

IVR Module:  This is the module where you configure an auto attendant.

DISA ("Direct Inward System Access"):  This module allows you to create a destination that allows people to call in from an outside line and reach a system dial tone. This is useful if you want people to be able to take advantage of your lower rate for toll calls, or if you want outside callers to be able to use the paging or intercom features of the system. Always password protect this feature, if you use it at all.

Backup and Restore:  This module allows you to backup and restore the settings and recordings made by FreePBX/Asterisk. 

There are many other modules, and most are self-explanatory. You can find out more about each of them here:  FreePBX Modules Home.

Configure a T1, PRI, FXO, or FXS Card

If you want to connect a T1, a PRI, or a regular phone line or telephone set directly to your PBX, please see the DAHDI Module wiki and for a full list of supported cards click here.

Configure Your Phones

FreePBX has a Commercial module called End Point Manager which will allow you to configure your phones from within FreePBX.  This is a paid module and lets you provision and manage well over 250 different devices.  For more information about configuring phones manually, refer to the Phones and Gateways section of the Wiki.

Configure Backups

Now is the time to configure the backup module and set a backup schedule, as well as perform and test the first backup. Please go to Backup and Restore and complete the steps there, and then continue on with this page.

Consider the Paid Modules

The FreePBX Distro includes all of the modules you need to set-up a first class PBX. There are, however, some additional modules available that you may wish to purchase.   You can find out more about the Paid Modules here:

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  1. This step is misleading because nothing indicates that you must first install the Asterisk SIP Settings Module.

    Configure Asterisk SIP Settings

    Next, configure the Asterisk SIP Settings Module by following these instructions.  The most important section, which you must configure in order to avoid one-way audio problems, is the "IP Configuration" section. 

  2. Seems to me that if you are going to instruct new users to Configure Email Server using the System Admin Module, then the Email Setup part of that module ought to be part of the basic (free) functionality.  Maybe it could be a stripped-down version that just lets people enter enough information to get outgoing email working, but that would be sufficient, and people wouldn't be confused when they go looking for that setting and can't find it.  Just a suggestion.