Section D.41. voicemail.conf

D.41. voicemail.conf

The voicemail.conf file controls the Asterisk voicemail system (called Comedian Mail). It consists of three main sections. The first, called [general] , sets the general system-wide settings for the voicemail system. The second, called [zonemessages] , allows you to configure different voicemail zones, which are a collection of time and time zone settings. The third and final section is where you create one or more groups of voicemail boxes, each containing the mailbox definitions.

(For more information on adding voicemail capabilities to your dialplan, see Chapter 6.)

D.41.1. General Voicemail Settings

The [general] section of voicemail.conf contains a plethora of options that affect the entire voicemail system:


Lists the codecs that should be used to save voicemail messages. Codecs should be separated with the pipe character ( ). The first format specified is the format used when attaching a voicemail message to an email. Defaults to wav49gsmwav .


Provides the email address from which voicemail notifications should be sent.


Specifies whether or not Asterisk should attach the voicemail sound file to the voicemail notification email.


Sets the maximum length of a voicemail message, in seconds.


Sets the minimum length of a voicemail message, in seconds.


Sets the maximum length of voicemail greetings , in seconds.


Specifies how many milliseconds to skip forward/back when the user skips forward or backward during message playback.


Indicates how many seconds of silence to allow before ending the recording.


Sets the silence threshold (what we consider "silence"the lower the threshold is, the more sensitive it is).


Sets the maximum allowed number of failed login attempts.


Supplies the full path and filename of an external program to be executed when a voicemail is left or delivered, or when a mailbox is checked.


Supplies the full path and filename of an external program to be executed whenever a voicemail password is changed.


If set, overrides the default introduction to the dial-by- name directory.


Defines the character set for voicemail messages.


Specifies the ADSI feature descriptor number to download to.


Sets the ADSI security lock code.


Indicates the ADSI voicemail application version number.


Causes Asterisk not to add the string [PBX]: to the beginning of the subject line of a voicemail notification email.

fromstring :

Changes the From: string of voicemail notification email messages.


Permits a mailbox owner to select entries from the dial-by-name directory for forwarding and/or composing new voicemail messages.


Changes the From: string of voicemail notification pager messages.


Specifies the email subject of voicemail notification email messages.


Supplies the email body of voicemail notification email messages.

Please note that both the emailsubject and emailbody settings can use the following variables to provide more in-depth information about the voicemail:


  • VM_DUR








Supplies the full path and filename of the program Asterisk should use to send notification emails. This option is useful if you want to override the default email program.

D.41.2. Voicemail Zones

As voicemail users may be located in different geographical locations, Asterisk provides a way to configure the time zone and the way the time is announced for different callers . Each unique combination is known as a voicemail zone . You configure your voicemail zones in the [zonemessages] section of voicemail.conf . Later, you can assign your voicemail boxes to use the settings for one of these zones.

Each voicemail zone definition consists of a line with the following syntax:

   zonename   =   timezone     time_format   

The zonename is an arbitrary name used to identify the zone. The timezone argument is the name of a system time zone, as found in /usr/share/zoneinfo . The time_format argument specifies how times should be announced by the voicemail system. The time_format argument is made up of the following elements:

' filename '

The filename of a sound file to play (single quotes around the filename are required)

${ VAR }

Variable substitution

A or a

The day of the week (Saturday, Sunday, etc.)

B or b or h

The name of the month (January, February, etc.)

d or e

The numeric day of the month (first, second... thirty-first)


The year

I or l

The hour, in 12- hour format


The hour, in 24-hour formatsingle-digit hours are preceded by "oh"


The hour, in 24-hour formatsingle-digit hours are not preceded by "oh"


The minute

P or p

A.M. or .P.M.


"today", " yesterday ," or ABdY (note: not standard strftime value)


"" (for today), "yesterday", weekday, or ABdY (note: not standard strftime value)


24-hour time, including minutes

For example, the following example sets up two different voicemail zones, one for the Central time zone in 12-hour format, and a second in the Mountain time zone, in 24-hour format:

 [zonemessages]     central=America/Chicago'vm-received' Q 'digits/at' IMp     mountain24=America/Denver'vm-received' q 'digits/at' H 'digits/hundred' M 'hours' 

D.41.3. Defining Voicemail Contexts and Mailboxes

Now that the system-wide settings and voicemail zones have been set, you can define your voicemail contexts and individual mailboxes.

Voicemail contexts are used to separate out different groups of voicemail users. For example, if you are using Asterisk to host voicemail for more than one company, you should place each company's mailboxes in different voicemail contexts, to keep them separate. You might also use voicemail contexts to create per-department dial-by-name directories.

To define a new voicemail context, simply put the context name inside of square brackets, like this:


Inside a voicemail context, each mailbox definition takes the following syntax:

   mailbox   =   password   ,   name   [,   email   [,   pager_email   [,   options   ]]] 

The mailbox argument is the mailbox number.

The password argument is the code the mailbox owner must enter to access his voicemail. If the password is preceded by a minus sign ( - ), the password may not be changed by the mailbox owner.

The email and pager_email arguments are email addresses where voicemail notifications will be sent. These may be left blank if you don't want to send voicemail notifications via email.

The options argument is a pipe-separated list of voicemail options that may be specified for the mailbox. (These options may also be set globally by placing them in the [general] section.) Valid voicemail options include:


Sets the voicemail zone from the [zonemessages] section above. This option is irrelevant if envelope is set to no .


Attaches the voicemail to the notification email (but not to the pager email). May be set to either yes or no .


Says the Caller ID information before the message.


Sets the internal context for name playback instead of extension digits when saying the Caller ID information.


Turns on/off the duration information before the message. Defaults to on .


Specifies the minimum duration to say when sayduration is on . Default is 2 minutes.


Specifies the context to dial out from (by choosing option 4 from the advanced menu). If not specified, dialing out from the voicemail system will not be permitted.


Specifies the context to send voicemail from (by choosing option 5 from the advanced menu). If not specified, sending messages from within the voicemail system will not be permitted.


Specifies the context to call back from. If not specified, calling the sender back from within the voicemail system will not be permitted.


Allows senders to review/rerecord their messages before saving them. Defaults to off .


Allows senders to hit before, after, or while leaving a voicemail message to reach an operator. Defaults to off .


Turns on/off envelope playback before message playback. Defaults to on . This does not affect option 3,3 from the advanced options menu.


Deletes voicemails from the server after notification is sent. This option may be set only on a per-mailbox basis; it is intended for use with users who wish to receive their voicemail messages only by email.


Skips to the next message after the user hits 7 or 9 to delete or save the current message. This can be set only globally at this time, not on a per-mailbox basis.


Forces new users to record their names . A new user is determined by the password being the same as the mailbox number. Defaults to no .


Forces new users to record greetings. A new user is determined by the password being the same as the mailbox number. Defaults to no .


Hides the mailbox from the dial-by-name directory. Defaults to no .

You can specify multiple options by separating them with the pipe character, as shown in the definitions for mailboxes 9855 and 6522 below.

Here are some sample mailbox definitions:

 [default]     ; regular mailbox with email notification     101 => 4242,Example Mailbox,     ; more advanced mailbox with email and pager notification and a couple of     ; special options     102 => 9855,Another User,,,     attach=notz=central     ; a mailbox with no email notification and lots of extra options     103 => 6522,John Q. Public,,,tz=centralattach=yessaycid=yes     dialout=fromvmcallback=fromvmreview=yes 

Asterisk. The Future of Telephony
Asterisk: The Future of Telephony: The Future of Telephony
Year: 2001
Pages: 380 © 2008-2017.
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