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The FreeRADIUS Server Project is a high performance and highly
configurable GPL'd free RADIUS server. The server is similar in some
respects to Livingston's 2.0 server. While FreeRADIUS started as a
variant of the Cistron RADIUS server, they don't share a lot in common
any more. It now has many more features than Cistron or Livingston,
and is much more configurable.
FreeRADIUS is an Internet authentication daemon, which implements
the RADIUS protocol, as defined in RFC 2865 (and others). It allows
Network Access Servers (NAS boxes) to perform authentication for
dial-up users. There are also RADIUS clients available for Web
servers, firewalls, Unix logins, and more. Using RADIUS allows
authentication and authorization for a network to be centralized, and
minimizes the amount of re-configuration which has to be done when
adding or deleting new users.
Please see the main web page ( for more
To install the server, please see the INSTALL file in this
Run the server in debugging mode, (radiusd -X) and READ the output.
We really can't emphasize this enough.
Read the FAQ. Many questions are answered there.
Read the configuration files. Many parts of the server have NO
documentation, other than comments in the configuration file.
Search the mailing lists. There is a Google link on the bottom of
the page:
Type some key words into the search box, and you should find
discussions about common problems and solution.
See 'doc/README' for more information about FreeRADIUS.
There is now an O'Reilly book available, which we recommend highly:
It contains information about RADIUS in general, and FreeRADIUS in
For other RADIUS information, the Livington internet site had a lot
of information on radius online. Unfortunately Livingston, and the
site, don't exist anymore but there's a copy of the site still at:
Especially worth a read is the "RADIUS for Unix administrators guide"
We understand that the server may be difficult to configure,
install, or administer. It is, after all, a complex system with many
different configuration possibilities. If you have any comments, bug
reports, problems, or concerns, please send them to the
'freeradius-users' list (see the URL above). We will do our best to
answer your questions, to fix the problems, and to generally improve
the server in any way we can.
What you should NOT do is complain that the developers aren't
answering your questions quickly enough, or fixing the problems
quickly enough, or that they're being mean for telling you to do some
work yourself. FreeRADIUS is the cumulative effort of many years of
work by many people, and you've gotten it for free. No one gets paid
to work on FreeRADIUS, and no one is getting paid to answer your
questions. This is free software, and the only way it gets better is
if you contribute work back to the project.
We will note that the people who complain the loudest about the
developers being mean usually can't program, can't write
documentation, won't pay others to do that work, demand that their
every desire be satisifed immediately by the developers for free, and
worst of all, don't understand why their attitude is unproductive.
They seem to believe that because they've received something (the
server) for free, that they have every right to demand more free
support and development from the list. That's simply not true.
So please submit bug reports, suggestions, or patches. That
feedback gives the developers a guide as to where they should focus
their work. If you like the server, feel free to mail the list and
say so.
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