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Users Guide Introduction


The Users Guide for FreeSWITCH™ is for users and administrators of FreeSWITCH™. This book will take you through obtaining either the source code or a binary distribution, configuration and explanation of all current features of FreeSWITCH™ and what you can do with it.

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What is FreeSWITCH™

FreeSWITCH™ is an open source communications platform, licensed under the MPL(Mozilla Public License) version 1.1. FreeSWITCH™ in its base form is a library, not an application. By default a program is shipped that will load the library and operate as a softswitch. FreeSWITCH™ is capable of handling voice, video, and text communications from the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network, or the regular phone company) and an IP network (e.g. the Internet or a private IP network).

FreeSWITCH™ is capable of acting like a softphone (software that emulates a telephone), a PBX (Private Branch Exchange; often an office telephone system), a softswitch (software that operates like legacy hardware based telephone company switches), or anything in between.

In a telephony environment there are multiple components, often rolled into one application. These can include:

  • An application server (Where things like voicemail are executed.)
  • Registration server (Where users announce that they are online and where to find them.)
  • Routing engine (To decide where to send a particular call.)

FreeSWITCH™ is capable of operating as all of these, or only as a part of them. In addition FreeSWITCH™ gives you the opportunity to execute natively on OSX, Linux, Windows (2003, XP, Vista, CE/Pocket PC), BSD, Solaris.

History of FreeSWITCH™

FreeSWITCH™ started in 2005 with discussions on how to write a better switching platform. Care was taken to ensure that it would be a portable design with stability and performance as a key feature. In early 2006 source code was opened to additional developers to help gain more feature support, as well as increased bug detection and correction. In the spring of 2006 documentation of the project was expanded. In the fall of 2006 FreeSWITCH™ was being used in production environments. The documentation continues to be updated, all the while new code is being written, bugs fixed, features added, and performance tuning is constantly happening.