date: 2009-09-13 18:08:26+00:00


categories: - Debian/Ubuntu - Howto - Networks - RADIUS - Security - Wifi

WPA/WPA2 Enterprise on your wired or wireless network. Tested under Debian Lenny (server side) and Mac OS X 10.6, Windows XP and Android 2.2, Ubuntu 10.10 (client side)


This step is not needed anymore, starting from Debian Squeeze Freeradius comes with TLS support. Please, do not build stuff on your production server. Build on a dedicated build machine and then install the resulting packages on the production server.

If you are running Debian Lenny on i386, you can skip the build steps and grab the packages at this address :

Let's proceed...

Install the necessary packages :

apt-get install dpkg-dev fakeroot

Download the source :

cd /root mkdir freeradius-tls cd freeradius-tls apt-get source freeradius

Make the changes :

Edit /root/freeradius-tls/debian/rules :

and change --with by --without for eap_tls, eap_ttls, eap_peap and openssl

Just as : --with-rlm_eap_tls --with-rlm_eap_ttls --with-rlm_eap_peap --without-rlm_eap_tnc --without-rlm_otp --with-rlm_sql_postgresql_lib_dir=pg_config --libdir--with-rlm_sql_postgresql_include_dir=pg_config --includedir--with-openssl --without-rlm_eap_ikev2 --without-rlm_sql_oracle --without-rlm_sql_unixodbc

Then, comment the following : for pkg in ${pkgs} ; do if dh_shlibdeps -p $$pkg -- -O 2>/dev/null | grep -q libssl; then echo "$$pkg links to openssl" ; exit 1 ; fi ; done

Edit /root/freeradius-tls/debian/control : On the line beginning by "Build-Depends" Add the folowing : ", libssl-dev" at the end of the line (without the quotes)

Install dev libraries : apt-get install libssl-dev debhelper libgdbm-dev libiodbc2-dev libkrb5-dev libldap2-dev libltdl3-dev libmysqlclient15-dev libpam0g-dev libpcap-dev libperl-dev libpq-dev libsasl2-dev libsnmp-dev python-dev

Build freeradius : dpkg-buildpackage -rfakeroot

Building will end by a warning message, this is not important.

Put the packages on hold to avoid upgrading with a non-TLS version of FreeRADIUS :

echo "freeradius hold" | dpkg --set-selections echo "libfreeradius2 hold" | dpkg --set-selections echo "freeradius-common hold" | dpkg --set-selections

Install the packages we've just built : dpkg --install freeradius_2.0.4+dfsg-6_i386.deb freeradius-common_2.0.4+dfsg-6_all.deb libfreeradius2_2.0.4+dfsg-6_i386.deb


Creating the CA

apt-get install openssl

Edit /etc/ssl/openssl.cnf

[ CA_default ] dir = ./PKI

Edit /usr/lib/ssl/misc/


Then type :

cd /etc/ssl /usr/lib/ssl/misc/ -newca

Set a challenge password and a passphrase. This is needed. The CA created will be copied to the server and clients later on.

Optional : if you have Windows XP clients

Create /etc/openssl/PKI/xpextensions



Server certificate signing request :

cd /etc/ssl openssl req -new -nodes -keyout PKI/server_key.pem -out PKI/server_req.pem -days 730 -config openssl.cnf

Set a challenge password

Sign the server certificate request : cd /etc/ssl openssl ca -config openssl.cnf -policy policy_anything -out PKI/server_cert.pem -infiles PKI/server_req.pem

Then : cp PKI/server_cert.pem PKI/server_cert.pem-backup

Edit server_cert.pem Remove everything before the line -----BEGIN CERTIFICATE----- (this is needed for winxp clients)

Next : cat PKI/server_key.pem PKI/server_cert.pem > PKI/server_keycert.pem

Create a client certificate signing request : openssl req -new -keyout PKI/client_key.pem -out PKI/client_req.pem -days 730 -config openssl.cnf

You MUST specify a Common Name (CN).

Sign client cert request :

Windows xp client : openssl ca -config openssl.cnf -policy policy_anything -out PKI/client_cert.pem -extensions xpclient_ext -extfile PKI/xpextensions -infiles PKI/client_req.pem Mac OS X / Linux / Android client : openssl ca -config openssl.cnf -policy policy_anything -out PKI/client_cert.pem -infiles PKI/client_req.pem

Export P12 certs :

Windows and Mac clients : openssl pkcs12 -export -in PKI/client_cert.pem -inkey PKI/client_key.pem -out PKI/client_cert.p12 -clcerts

Android clients : openssl pkcs12 -export -in PKI/client_cert.pem -inkey PKI/client_key.pem -certfile PKI/cacert.pem -name "Wifi" -out PKI/client_cert.p12

You don't need to export P12 certificates for Linux (smart OS, eh ?)


Do : mkdir /etc/freeradius/certs/ cp /etc/ssl/PKI/cacert.pem /etc/freeradius/certs/cacert.pem cp /etc/ssl/PKI/server_keycert.pem /etc/freeradius/certs/server_keycert.pem

Then : cd /etc/freeradius/certs openssl dhparam -check -text -5 512 -out dh dd if=/dev/urandom of=random count=2 chown freerad dh chmod o-w dh

Next : cp /etc/freeradius/eap.conf /etc/freeradius/eap.conf-default

/etc/freeradius/eap.conf :

<code>eap {
        default_eap_type = tls
        timer_expire     = 60
        ignore_unknown_eap_types = no
        cisco_accounting_username_bug = no         

        tls {          
                certdir = ${confdir}/certs
                cadir = ${confdir}/certs
                private_key_password = whatever
                private_key_file = ${certdir}/server_keycert.pem
                certificate_file = ${certdir}/server_keycert.pem
                CA_file = ${cadir}/cacert.pem
                dh_file = ${certdir}/dh
                random_file = ${certdir}/random
                fragment_size = 1024
                include_length = yes
                check_cert_cn = %{User-Name}
                cipher_list = "DEFAULT"
} </code>

Edit /etc/freeradius/clients.conf

We will consider the access-point that will authenticate users against the RADIUS server has the IP :

<code>client localhost {
        ipaddr =
        secret          = testing123
        require_message_authenticator = no
        nastype     = other     # localhost isn't usually a NAS...

client {
        secret = suchasecurepassword
        shortname = linksys

Start FreeRADIUS :

The first time it is recommended to launch with the following command, this gives a lot of output. freeradius -X -f

When everything is fine and clients are happy, start the service the usual way : /etc/init.d/freeradius start

Set up wifi access point for authentication against our new RADIUS server

It depends on your hardware here. You must usually go under the security panel of your device, where you can specify the IP/hostname and port of the RADIUS server, and the password (in our example : suchasecurepassword).

Make sure your firewall lets the Wi-Fi access point talk to FreeRADIUS on port UDP/1812.

Configure clients

You'll need the following files for the following platforms :

Mac OS X : P12 certificate (cert + private key), PEM CA certificate Windows XP : P12 certificate (cert + private key), PEM CA certificate Android 2.2 : P12 certificate (cert + private key + CA) (see Linux Ubuntu 10.10 (Network Manager) : PEM certificate, PEM private key, PEM CA certificate

**This post is a stripped down version of the following howto by my colleague Jérôme : **