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Types of Asterisk Modules

There are many different types of modules, each providing their own functionality and capabilities to Asterisk. Configuration of loading is described in Configuring the Asterisk Module Loader.


Use the CLI command module show to see all the loaded modules in your Asterisk system. See the command usage for details on how to filter the results shown with a pattern.


mypbx\*CLI> module show 
Module Description Use Count Status Support Level Asterisk ADSI Programming Application 0 Running extended Call center agent pool applications 0 Running core Alarm Receiver for Asterisk 0 Running extended Answering Machine Detection Application 0 Running extended Authentication Application 0 Running core  

Various Module Types

Channel Drivers

Channel drivers communicate with devices outside of Asterisk, and translate that particular signaling or protocol to the core.

Dialplan Applications

Applications provide call functionality to the system. An application might answer a call, play a sound prompt, hang up a call or provide more complex behavior such as queuing, voicemail or conferencing feature sets.

Dialplan Functions

Functions are used to retrieve, set or manipulate various settings on a call. A function might be used to set the Caller ID on an outbound call, for example.


As the name suggests, resources provide resources to Asterisk and its modules. Common examples of resources include music on hold and call parking.


A CODEC (which is an acronym for COder/DECoder) is a module for encoding or decoding audio or video. Typically codecs are used to encode media so that it takes less bandwidth. These are essential to translating audio between the audio codecs and payload types used by different devices.

File Format Drivers

File format drivers are used to save media to disk in a particular file format, and to convert those files back to media streams on the network.

Call Detail Record (CDR) Drivers

CDR drivers write call logs to a disk or to a database.

Call Event Log (CEL) Drivers

Call event logs are similar to call detail records, but record more detail about what happened inside of Asterisk during a particular call.

Bridge Drivers

Bridge drivers are used by the bridging architecture in Asterisk, and provide various methods of bridging call media between participants in a call.

The next sub-sections will include detail on each of the module types.