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Project Notes

FreeRADIUS Server on MacOS


The FreeRADIUS Server is the leading open source (GNU GPLv2) implementation of RADIUS. IT claims:

  • high performance
  • scalable - sites ranging from 10 to 10 million+ users
  • highly configurable
  • multi-protocol policy server: RADIUS, DHCPv4 and VMPS
  • can authenticate users on: 802.1x (WiFi), dialup, PPPoE, VPN’s, VoIP, and many others
  • supports back-end databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Microsoft Active Directory, Apache Cassandra, Redis, OpenLDAP, and many more

Build on MacOS

Installing talloc

talloc is a pre-requisite:

  • brew install talloc
  • or install from source - handled by download_and_make

Build and Install

The steps to build and install are in ./download_and_make

Installation drops files in the following locations:

  • /usr/local/bin
  • /usr/local/sbin
  • /usr/local/var/log/radius
  • /usr/local/etc/raddb

Default locations used by the radius server are configured in /usr/local/etc/raddb/radiusd.conf.

The installation transcript for my test install is in installation_transcript.log.

Test Drive

Starting the Server

Start the server in daemon mode:

sudo /usr/local/sbin/radiusd

Or foreground debug mode:

sudo /usr/local/sbin/radiusd -X

radtest is installed in /usr/local/bin and can be used to test the server. Usage:

Usage: radtest [OPTIONS] user passwd radius-server[:port] nas-port-number secret [ppphint] [nasname]

Attempt to authenticate. I haven’t setup this user yet, so it is expected to fail:

radtest test test localhost 0 testing123
  Socket: 5
  Proto:  17
  Src IP:
    port: 63378
  Dst IP:
    port: 1812
  Code:   (1) Access-Request
  Id:   14
  Length: 74
  Vector: b567e473a0dae669f1dc49359ea4d82b
  Data:   01  06  74 65 73 74
    02  12  d9 57 d0 5f 6d 05 e4 5c a6 9d 04 a8 03 8b f9 7c
    04  06  c0 a8 00 0f
    05  06  00 00 00 00
    50  12  3d bd 55 57 9b 7f dd d1 3e 91 cd 8c 60 4d 4c 70
Sent Access-Request Id 14 from to length 74
  User-Name = "test"
  User-Password = "test"
  NAS-IP-Address =
  NAS-Port = 0
  Message-Authenticator = 0x00
  Cleartext-Password = "test"
Received Access-Reject Id 14 from to via lo0 length 20
(0) -: Expected Access-Accept got Access-Reject

That’s expected & good. It’s working!

Reviewing the server config

The defualt server site config is in /usr/local/etc/raddb/sites-enabled/default

A few things to note:

auth_log # uncommented, to enable log of authentication requests

#  Read the 'users' file.  In v3, this is located in
#  raddb/mods-config/files/authorize

Adding a user /usr/local/etc/raddb/mods-config/files/authorize. Uncomment the bob account:

# The canonical testing user which is in most of the
# examples.
bob     Cleartext-Password := "hello"
        Reply-Message := "Hello, %{User-Name}"

Restart the server, and test authentication:

$ radtest bob hello localhost 0 testing123
  Socket: 5
  Proto:  17
  Src IP:
    port: 60754
  Dst IP:
    port: 1812
  Code:   (1) Access-Request
  Id:   23
  Length: 73
  Vector: 64b3d1e258aa051f59457cfe4f5ac633
  Data:   01  05  62 6f 62
    02  12  0f 2a 46 6e ba 04 03 75 40 c6 ea f0 df 88 7a a6
    04  06  c0 a8 00 0f
    05  06  00 00 00 00
    50  12  46 47 e1 f1 00 19 04 16 c7 61 8e b2 56 df 8c 64
Sent Access-Request Id 23 from to length 73
  User-Name = "bob"
  User-Password = "hello"
  NAS-IP-Address =
  NAS-Port = 0
  Message-Authenticator = 0x00
  Cleartext-Password = "hello"
Received Access-Accept Id 23 from to via lo0 length 32
  Reply-Message = "Hello, bob"



cd freeradius-server
sudo make uninstall

Removing talloc

If installed with brew:

brew uninstall talloc

If compiled from source

cd talloc-2.1.2
sudo make uninstall

Credits and References

About LCK#208 RADIUSMacOSinfrastructure
Project Source on GitHub Return to the Project Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LittleCodingKata GitHub repository.

LittleCodingKata is my collection of programming exercises, research and code toys broadly spanning things that relate to programming and software development (languages, frameworks and tools).

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