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FreePBX + Asterisk, study guide

I'm at the very beginning of looking at FreePBX and Asterisk. Is there any good book to read for setup and administration? And is there any popular FreePBX/Asterisk user forum?
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crcsupport
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crcsupport
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naulivCommented:
Tailor is right with the book. However is an old edition. The most current edition is the 4th edition, available to purchase here:
http://www.amazon.com/Asterisk-Definitive-Guide-Russell-Bryant/dp/1449332420

and you can read it here without a purchase:
http://ofps.oreilly.com/titles/9781449332426/

another useful forum is:
http://www.tek-tips.com/threadminder.cfm?pid=1536

with regards to the different "canned" flavors, he most popular ones are
http://www.elastix.org
http://www.freepbx.org
http://www.asterisk.org/downloads/asterisknow

But those will restrict you in terms of what features you can use and how you can use them. If you want total freedom and learn along the way how telephony and asterisk work, you can compile straight from source code. The book gives step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

You can download the straight sources here:
http://www.asterisk.org/downloads

Have fun with Asterisk, it's a really AWESOME and POWERFUL platform!
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Frosty555Commented:
Asterisk The Definitive Guide is an absolute must read. Read it cover to cover. It's important to understand the "concepts" behind Asterisk that makes it such a powerful platform. It's a very different way of thinking that isn't immediately intuitive until you wrap your head around it and that book can help you do that.

Next, don't even bother trying to build Asterisk from source, or install it manually. It's way too much work. Use a proper PBX distro which will come with Asterisk already installed and properly configured.

Personally I would suggest that you use PBX In A Flash

http://pbxinaflash.net/

This is a CentOS based dedicated distribution which includes all of the various packages, configuration and bit and pieces needed to make a functional PBX. It uses the latest versions of Asterisk, precompiled with most of the typical extras and modules you will need, and also includes the latest FreePBX web gui to manage it all.
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