Beginners Guide

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What is a node?

A node, in simplest terms, is a computer that connects to the AllStarLink network. Nodes typically have an RF radio interface as well as an internet connection. Radios can range in size from a repeater radio to a low power radio integrated into a node. A node allows you to connect to other nodes in the AllStarLink network.

Nodes take the form of an inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer or a PC running the Linux operating system.

How do I use AllStarLink?

If you have a local FM repeater that is AllStarLink enabled, you may already be using it! However, before attempting to control a local FM repeater, check with the owner(s) first before doing so -- ham radio etiquette applies.

AllStarLink is typically used in these ways:

  • Via a FM repeater that is AllStarLink enabled. Controlled through DTMF commands, via the internet, or an autopatch.
  • Via a local micro-node that is purchased by a HAM operator to join the AllStarLink network
  • Via PC/Mac software that allows you to connect directly to a node. The microphone / speaker are used for audio.
  • Via a mobile app such as DVSwitch Mobile to connect directly to a node.
  • Via an autopatch

Getting on AllStarLink

  • If you wish to create your own node, follow the directions below to create an account. After your account is active, you will need a suitable PC or Raspberry Pi computer to install AllStar onto.
  • If you wish to use a local FM repeater that is AllStar enabled, you do not need an AllStar account. Check out our Active Nodes List to find a repeater near you. If you type your city name in the search box, you will be given a list of active nodes. However, before controlling any node via RF & DTMF, be sure to talk to the operator(s) of that node and receive permission first.
    • For a list of possible commands, visit the AllStarLink Standard Commands page.
    • Some nodes may be local/non public nodes, so look for information that the node is in fact public.
  • If you wish to purchase a pre-made or complete node, check out our Radio Connections page for a list of vendors.

Creating an account

Go to and click the <Sign Up> link. It may take up to 24 hours for your account to be verified.

Asl sign up click here .png

Download an ASL image

While you are awaiting the verification of your account (usually within 24 hours) you may download one of the image files for you computer system you will use to run your AllStarLink node.

Note: The ASL 1.01 installer is a Network installer and still uses the site to download the .deb install files.

ASL Beta Images

The distribution has been updated to Debian 10 (buster) to allow users to use the latest apt packages, kernels, and boot on a Raspberry Pi 2, 3, or 4. The core Asterisk AllStarLink version has also been updated to 2.0.0-beta, and has several updates and fixes. Beta images should only be used by advanced users. Use at your own risk.

ASL 2 Beta Changelog

Have fun!

Beta Download

These are the same files but without html page in front of them:

  • ASL Images Beta AllStarLink BETA Images Repository
  • Pi2-3-4 BETA AllStarLink image for the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, or 4

Beta Documentation

ASL Beta Documentation

Install from Beta Apt Repository

As an alternative to installing the ASL image, you can install Debian 10 or 11 yourself and then add the beta apt repo. This is the recommended procedure to install on a VM where a .iso cannot be uploaded. The DAHDI package can be finicky with newer kernels and this won't if the Linux headers don't match the Linux kernel.

Automatically install the repo

cd /tmp
chmod +x install-allstarlink-repository

Or Manually add the repo

Add a file /etc/apt/sources.list.d/allstar.list and the following contents:

deb buster main

Install ASL

Then run the following commands (as root):

curl -s | apt-key add -
apt-get update
apt -y install linux-headers-$(uname -r)
apt -y install asl-asterisk
apt -y install allstar-helpers
apt -y install asl-dahdi
apt -y install asl-update-node-list

Beta Bug Reports

Have a problem with the new beta? Submit a bug/issue report here:

Write the image file to media. Either a USB memory stick, CD or DVD, or a microSD card (Raspberry Pi).

Flashing the ASL image

For all operating systems, we recommend downloading and installing balenaEtcher. It's available for macOS, Windows, and Linux. If you're flashing for RaspberryPi, an SD card reader is required.

Download balenaEtcher

USB Thumbdrive (PC/Pi4)

1. Follow the directions below, but use a USB thumbdrive instead.

SD Card (Pi2-Pi4)

1. Open balenaEtcher

2. Insert your SD card into your SD card reader

3. Press "Select Image" and locate the downloaded image (e.g. ASL_1.01-20180228-armhf-raspbian-stretch-image)

Flashing balenaEtcher.jpg

4. If your SD card is ready to flash, you can simply press the "Flash!" button:

Flashing balenaEtcher Flash.jpg

5. Insert your SD card into your Raspberry Pi and boot it up!

Login & Create a Server

Once your account is verified, login to your account at

Asl login.png

You will need to create a "server" : Click on <Portal> then <Server Settings>.

Asl server1 .png

Click on <Add a new server>.

Please take the time to read the instructions on each page.

Then click <Proceed with Server Setup> if needed.

Fill in all of the information and click <Submit> at the bottom of the page.

Asl server settings .png

Request a Node number

At the top of the page, click <Portal> and then on <Node Settings>.

Asl node .png

Then click <Request a new node number>.

Asl request node .png

Select which server you would wish to have a node number assigned to

if you need more than one node number for the same server, repeat this process

A comment of 'additional node on same server' would be appropriate

Asl request node2 .png
Your first node will be automatically approved. Subsequent nodes are subject to approval.

Once your node number request(s) are processed you will receive an email.

Edit Node settings

Log into your account on

Click <Portal> then <Node settings>.

The AllStarLink node numbers that have been assigned to you are displayed here.

Select which node you wish to view/edit.

Fill in the information for you node and click <Submit>.

Asl node settings .png

Write down your node number, password and the call sign you assigned for the node as you will use them to configure your AllStarLink system.

Install and configure ASL to your computer

Consult your owners manual or your favorite internet search engine for how to install an image for your computer system.

Install the AllStarLink disk image to your computer. Insert the appropriate media for your system and boot the computer.

When the login prompt appears enter the user ID of


and press <Enter>.

Enter the default password of


Follow the on screen instructions for the initial password change.

For users familiar with the linux operation system you may proceed to edit the system manually.

For users not familiar with linux and ASL, at the Linux CLI (command line interface)

Type sudo asl-menu as the example below shows.

repeater@repeater:~$ sudo asl-menu

This will load the AllStarLink configuration menu.

Asl menu main screen.png

AllStarLink software setup

Choose option <1>.

002 first time.png

Since it is your first time setup, answer <Yes> so you can setup a "root" password. Don't forget to write down your user an password.

003 password.png

Setup now will ask if you want to change "repeater" account password with you should already changed at first time login so answer <No>, unless you want to change it again. Do not forget to write it down.

004 repeater password.png

Now lets set time zone <Ok>.

005 timezone.png

Choose the node's continent.

006 continent.png

Choose the node's city.

007 city.png

Next you can change the name of you host name, the default is repeater.

008 message.png

Answer <Yes> to be able to make changes.

009 edit hostname.png

Type the new host name and hit <Enter>.

010 hostname.png

If you want to set up a domain, type it and hit <Enter>.

011 domain name.png

Say <Ok> to this message.

012 message.png

Now you can make your network settings <Ok>.

013 dhcp.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

014 network.png

To choose between DHCP or Static IP say <Yes>.

015 dhcp static.png

Use <D> for DHCP or <S>. for Static, if you choose Static, you will be asked to enter it next, for this example DHCP is in use.

016 dhcp static.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

017 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

018 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

019 message.png

Choose option <A1>.

020 a menu a1.png

Choose option <N1>.

021 n menu n1.png

Type the node number for your node. Yes the one you previously wrote down from AllStarLink site.

022 node number.png

Choose option <N2>.

023 n menu n2.png

Type the node password for your node. Yes the one you previously wrote down from AllStarLink site.

024 node password.png

Choose option <N3>.

025 n menu n3.png

Type the call sign for your node. Yes the one you previously wrote down from AllStarLink site.

026 callsign.png

Choose option <N4>.

027 n menu n4.png

Choose option <I1>.

028 i menu i1.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

029 message.png

Choose option <N5>.

030 n menu n5.png

If your node will be a simplex node type <1>. If your node is a repeater controller type <2>.

031 rptr mode.png

Choose option <N6>.

032 n menu n6.png

Type a new password, this will be used to have access from the nodes web site Allmon2, the default password is 'llcgi'.

033 password.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

034 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

036 message.png

Choose option <N9>.

037 n menu n9.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

038 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

039 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

040 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

041 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

042 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

043 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

044 message.png

Choose option <Back>.

045 n menu back.png

Choose option <AZ>.

046 a menu az.png

Review what you wrote down with what you have configured on your systemand press <Enter>.

047 review.png

Choose <Yes> to backup your configuration.

048 backup.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

049 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

050 message.png

Just say <Ok> to this message.

051 message.png

Choose option <Exit>.

052 a-menu exit.png

Answer <Yes>, because we already saved our configuration.

053 exit.png

If you want to automatically start your system with this menu answer <Yes>, if not then <No>.

054 select menu sartup.png

If you answer was <No>, remember you can come back to this menu typing sudo asl-menu as the following example:

repeater@repeater:~$ sudo asl-menu

055 message.png

Now your node will reboot to apply all the changes we have done, so say <Ok>.

056 reboot.png

Determine Radio Interface

If you're planning on using this as a radioless node, skip this step.

You'll need to hook your node to a radio of your choice.

Radio Connections - Determine type of radio connection

AllStarLink Audio settings with SimpleUSB

Once you've hooked up a radio with your desired interface, it's time to test and tune the audio from the radio.

type sudo asl-menu like the example below:

repeater@repeater:~$ sudo asl-menu

Choose option <4>.

101 asl menu 4.png

With option <F>, will trigger PTT few times on your radio for testing, you should also listen a test tone.

Next, with option <2>, you can adjust the audio levels from your radio to your node node with the aim of an on-screen level meter.

With another radio transmit a test tone or voice and type values between 0 and 999 followed by <Enter> to apply them, if you do not set any value and hit <Enter>, you will exit this function keeping the last typed value on RAM.

Next, type option <T>, you can toggle a tone generator to adjust your node to radio audio levels, so type it once to turn it on.

Now typing option <3>, will allow you to adjust the audio from your node to your Tx radio.

To achieve that, you can type values between 0 and 999 and press <Enter> to apply the new value. The system will Tx a test tone for 5 seconds. If you do not set any value and hit <Enter>, you will exit this function keeping the last typed value on RAM.

Do not forget to turn of the tone generator by pressing once again <T>.

Once you are happy with your settings, type <W> and <Enter>.

To exit from this menu type <0> (zero) and hit <Enter>.

PTT and COS polarity settings

Your radio may require PTT and/or COS/CTCSS polarity to be inverted to work properly. To do this, go to the main ASL menu and choose option <6>.

103 asl menu 6.png

Choose option <I>.

104 config menu i.png

You will be taken to a text file where you will need to find and edit some values:

PTT invert:

Search for the line begining with invertptt = and change its value as follows:

0 = Ground to Transmit (most common).

1 = Open to Transmit.

105 invertptt.png

COS/CTCSS invert:

Search for the line beginning with carrierfrom = and change its value as follows.

Search for the line beginning with ctcssfrom = and change its value as follows.

no = No carrier detection at all.

usb = COR (COS) line active Hi.

usbinvert = COR (COS) line active Low.

106 invertcos.png

After making your changes type <CTRL> + <X> and then type <Y> followed by <Enter>. You will be back to the previous menu and choose <Back>.

Choose Option <9>.

107 asl menu 9.png

Choose option <G> to restart AllStarLink software and apply changes. Choose <Back>, repeat your audio test if needed.

108 diag menu g.png

At this point your node should be up and running.

Allmon2 Setup

AllMon2 is a web based portal for controlling and monitoring your node and who's connected to it.