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Freeradius server configuration for GovWifi
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GovWifi Frontend


This is the FreeRADIUS configuration for the GovWiFi project.

How to install and use

Currently it is not possible to run this service from inside this repository alone.

We instead recommend using the acceptance-tests repo to set up a development environment for making changes to FreeRADIUS or the healthcheck service.

Makefile targets are:

  • make test - Currently a no-op. Tests are located in the acceptance-tests repo
  • make lint - Runs linting on the healtcheck service, provided by rubocop-govuk

How it pieces together

This project has 2 main components; the RADIUS server, and the healthcheck service.

This RADIUS server is restarted daily by a separate app, the Safe Restarter.


The healthcheck service acts as an adapter to a monitoring service (Route53 Healthchecks). When hit with a HTTP call, it will send a request to the radius server to ensure it can still authorise users. To accomplish this, eapol_test is used to simulate authentication using PEAP-MSCHAPv2.

All code is located under the healthcheck directory.


FreeRadius is an implementation of the RADIUS protocol.

Our servers implement:

  • EAP-TLS (client certificate authentication)
  • PEAP-MSCHAPv2 (Protected EAP with username + password)


There are currently 5 files fetched when the service is initialised.

  • clients.conf Allows access points to communicate with the radius servers. This is generated by the GovWifi Admin service.
  • ca.pem, server.pem, server.key, comodo.pem Used to set up TLS tunnels, and authenticate clients using EAP-TLS

They are currently stored in an encrypted S3 bucket, and only the RADIUS servers are authorised to access files within the bucket.

Files are fetched once a night when the servers are restarted for updates.

High Level Process

When someone attempts to use GovWifi:

  1. The username and password is sent to the radius server
  2. Radius recieves, and sends a request to the authentication backend to fetch the known password
  3. The user password is checked against the known password
  4. the login attempt is logged in the logging backend
  5. either the user is accepted, or rejected depending on whether their password accepted.

How to contribute

  1. Fork the project
  2. Create a feature or fix branch
  3. Run the linter: make lint
  4. Run the acceptance tests
  5. Raise a pull request
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