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#9042 by hornerdavidk
Mon May 04, 2009 8:54 am
ooma lists news articles that mention ooma VoIP at:

The 5th option on that news page is a FierceVoIP article.

According to the FierceVoIP article where writer Doug Mohney writes about his conversation with Rich Buchanan at: ... 2009-03-19

"...The current ooma device has a 450 Mhz ARM processor onboard running Linux, a derivative version of Asterisk and a routing algorithm..."

According to
Asterisk is the world's leading open source PBXi, telephony engine, and telephony applications toolkit. Offering flexibility unheard of in the world of proprietary communications, Asterisk empowers developers and integrators to create advanced communication solutions...for free.


Asterisk is open source software released under the GNU GPL. If ooma is using a derivative version of asterisk as the FierceVoIP article states, then ooma must provide the source code just as it does with the Linux source code at
#9053 by daet
Mon May 04, 2009 10:37 am
hornerdavidk wrote:Asterisk is open source software released under the GNU GPL. If ooma is using a derivative version of asterisk as the FierceVoIP article states, then ooma must provide the source code just as it does with the Linux source code at

I suggest you read the Asterisk Licensing Terms (, partly reproduced below:

Uses for Commercial Software

While Asterisk is normally distributed as open source software under the GNU General Public License (GPLv2), that model is not appropriate for all customers, products, or markets. If you plan to sell products based on Asterisk or our other Digium software, there are significant advantages to obtaining a commercial license. If you like, you can modify or add to Digium's software and incorporate the results into your own product, without the obligation of releasing the resulting source code as specified by the GPL. You and your customers benefit from a clear commercial license, which provides legal protections that are not available under the GPL. Finally, you have the assurance that the Digium software in your product is backed by our in-house Technical Support team, including the original creators of Asterisk.

It is not difficult to imagine that Ooma purchased a commercial license for Asterisk, and by doing that does not require them to release any modifications they've made to the Asterisk (no question of GPLv2 violation). Indeed, it is to facilitate the development of Ooma-like products that Digium has different licensing models (with differing income streams) for Asterisk.

There is a larger issue here - that arises out of this being the first question you have posted to this forum, and accusatory tone you have taken in your post.

I'll bet that someone who follows the industry sufficiently to learn the Ooma uses Asterisk (as you clearly do), also knows about the different licensing models offered by Digium for Asterisk, which is also readily-available public knowledge.

Your post to the Ooma support forums is designed to fear-monger, possibly changing the minds of prospective customers, and doubts in the minds of those of us who have bought in. It is the worst sort of intellectual exercise one can engage in, and given the tone of your first post to these forums, exactly what I accuse you of doing.

And fear not, I won't be baited into a drawn-out meretricious exchange with you on this subject. We both know exactly where you stand.
#9057 by koehn
Mon May 04, 2009 11:28 am
It is entirely likely that Ooma licenses the Asterisk codebase, and thus is not bound by the terms and conditions of GPLv2. If there was a license violation going on, you can bet the Asterisk developers would have raised it by now. I saw mention of Ooma on the website, so the undoubtedly know.

Thanks for posting the link to the article and the specs; I had been wondering what the Ooma box was running under the covers.
#9059 by hornerdavidk
Mon May 04, 2009 12:11 pm
I have an ooma, it works great, and I would recommend it to anyone using another VoIP provider, and to most people with plain old telephone service.

I may have sounded a bit harsh, I should have mentioned the possibility that ooma may have a commercial license. I called ooma and asked about Asterisk and the guy I talked to said he could not even verify whether the ooma device has Asterisk. That response made me assume that ooma does not have a license but he was only a customer support representative. The GNU GPL does not clearly explain who is able to enforce GNU GPL issues, so the Asterisk developers might not even care much about ooma.
#9061 by southsound
Mon May 04, 2009 12:24 pm

It makes me feel warm and toasty when some of the great people on this board make nice with each other after a misunderstanding.

hornerdavidk, don't feel bad about seeming harsh. As others can attest, I sometimes come across that way. Of course, after viewing my avatar, they realize I couldn't posibly be that way. ;)

Welcome to the forum and to ooma! The more incredibly smart people we have on this forum, the better we can help each other and ooma corporate.
#9062 by Pandora
Mon May 04, 2009 12:27 pm
Ooma costs, hardware, and its business plan has been discussed in some detail here - ... subscriber

Ooma seems to use Level One a lot, which many claim is not a low cost provider of phone service.

My personal best guess is that over a 5 year period Ooma can expect to get about $300 per customer based on current subscription rate for premium services and an estimate of about $150 per Ooma core system. Income is heavily front loaded. Meaning after 2-3 years Ooma may have cash flow issues without sustained (and increasing) growth.

Ooma hubs use Linux, you can see the Linux source at - .

Ooma seems to use OpenVPN to handle SIP signaling, then SIP RTP and SRTP (depending on service) to handle outgoing calls. The use of OpenVPN for SIP signaling will make Ooma almost immune from any packet sniffer trying to hijack SIP credentials.

Long discussions about Ooma can be found on this forum - just search for Ooma .
#9070 by Pandora
Mon May 04, 2009 1:38 pm
hornerdavidk wrote:Pandora, how does your post relate to our discussion about Asterisk?
Asterisk is discussed in the linked thread, the Ooma linux link I provided will have the asterisk code in it.
#9072 by hornerdavidk
Mon May 04, 2009 1:52 pm
I could not find any asterisk code in either the kernel or user files. That was the first place I looked. I did not individually read every source file, but there was no Asterisk folder.
#9075 by Pandora
Mon May 04, 2009 2:27 pm
I am not a Linux person, and can only rely on others for understanding. Which is why I provided a link to a technical VOIP forum where there are people who understand Linux, asterisk, etc and where Ooma has been discussed for months.

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