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How to install FreeRadius Server on Ubuntu Server 12.04


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Here are the commands I used to get the Free Radius Server installed on my Ubuntu Server 12.04 for the purpose of authenticating on my Cisco Hardware using RADIUS credentials.

Install the necessary applications

sudo apt-get install mysql-client mysql-server

sudo apt-get install freeradius freeradius-utils freeradius-mysql

sudo apt-get install php5 php-pear php5-gd php-DB

Test Radius

radtest [user] localhost testing123

radtest user1 supersecret localhost 1812 testing123[/code]

[i](of course it will fail because you haven't added any users yet)[/i]

[b]Add Radius User[/b]

sudo nano /etc/freeradius/users


user1 Cleartext-password := "supersecret"

Service-Type = NAS-Prompt-User,

cisco-avpair = "shell:priv-lvl=15"

sudo service freeradius restart

(go to test radius section and try again)

Add Clients

sudo nano /etc/freeradius/clients.conf


client {





sudo service freeradius restart

(NOTES: secret=pre-shared key, shortname=can be anything, nastype=other,cisco,livingston,etc)

Configure Cisco IOS Client ( to authenticate with Radius Server (

config t

username ciscoadmin secret ciscopwd

aaa new-model

aaa authentication login AUTH group radius local enable

aaa authentication login default radius local

aaa authorization exec default radius local

enable secret pass#1234

radius-server host auth-port 1812 key network

line vty 0 5

login authentication AUTH

copy run start


aaa authentication banner x




aaa authentication username-prompt USER=>

aaa authentication password-prompt PASSWORD=>

aaa authentication fail-message Login Incorrect L




aaa authentication fail-message # Login Incorrect #

copy run start

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So close... I had only a few objectives

  1. Central user management for Cisco control = RADIUS or TACACS (which I prefer RADIUS because it works on more than Cisco stuff)
  2. Set and Pass on privilege set (0-15) per user = RADIUS or TACACS
  3. Show who logged in where and what commands where issued (All I see is TACACS doing that, not so much RADIUS)

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You may want to check out TACACS...

Believe me, I would love RADIUS to work as well since so many applications utilize RADIUS for authentication but honesty you can't beat TACACS (or tac_plus) for authentication for Cisco hardware. Especially when you want to limit what commands can be used. TACACS goes way above and beyond just using the privilege level set.

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