[asterisk-users] multiple softphone clients and same/different account credentials

Greg Troxel gdt at lexort.com
Mon Nov 25 18:43:56 CST 2019

(I'm new to Asterisk, after having started VOIP with vat on the mbone in
the 90s.)

I am setting up my first Asterisk system, and trying to read
docs/guidance and follow best practices.  I have read the 5th Edition of
"Asterisk: The Definitive Guide" and like the 3rd Edition on the web it
recommends that hardphones and softphones both have a unique name
distinct from any concept of extension.


Then the 5th edition goes on to give an example with a hardphone and a
softphone associated with one individual, where the hardphone is named
by MAC address and the softphone by JIM_VANM_SOFT (p. 61).

Despite talking about separating extensions, phone names, and people, it
seems clear that a softphone is usually personal to a person (unless
it's a desk phone via a computer, but I'm talking about the personal

THe book does not address the notion that a user might be given
credentials and then configure them on a number of softphone-type
devices simultaneously, e.g. a smartphone, a tablet, and two laptops.
When getting service from an ITSP, it seems there are credentials and
they don't want to know the details of how many softphones you are

So which option is preferred?

  A) Have a softphone aor/auth_user/password for a particular human, and
  expect them to configure it on multiple devices.  Do not worry that 1)
  multiple are registered at once (because that's normal in SIP) and 2)
  asterisk has no idea which is which (because the intent is to place a
  call to that person)

  B) issue credentials per device and keep them all separate.  Use
  extensions.conf to ring them all

Having written the question out carefully, it seems obvious that A is
the way to do this, but it's sort of contrary to the advice in the book
so I thought I would ask.


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