I'm writing a RADIUS book.

I've been working on FreeRADIUS for over 7 years, and RADIUS for over a decade. In that time, RADIUS has grown substantially. The wireless market (802.1x) has exploded in recent years, making it even more important for the average administrator to have a good RADIUS reference.

The O'Reilly book is a good introduction to many of the RADIUS basics, but it's starting to show it's age. It's almost 4 years old, and covers an ancient version of the server. The goal with a new book is to discuss new features that have been developed in the last few years, and to cover additional topics that the O'Reilly book didn't cover in detail.

The current plans are to cover the following topics, in as much detail as possible:

  • RADIUS background and history,
  • RADIUS network architecture,
  • Common deployment problems,
  • Ongoing maintenance issues,
  • FreeRADIUS installation,
  • Configuring radiusd.conf,
  • Configuring the users file,
  • Server modules, including writing custom modules,
  • Whatever else I have time for, and people need.

The book is titled Deploying RADIUS because its emphasis is helping administrators set up a functional and maintainable RADIUS infrastructure. It starts off with small systems, and gradually introduces new concepts to end up at a complex installation. Rather than being a collection of template “how-to's”, the book is designed to give the administrator the experience and knowledge to solve new problems in common RADIUS deployments.

The subtitle is Practices and Principles in order to highlight my experience that most deployment problems relate to methods, rather than knowledge. A lot of RADIUS knowledge can be found online via Google searches, or in existing documentation. I would refer to much of that information as trivia, because lists of attributes don't help the average administrator in their search for meaning.

What this means is that the book will summarize my decade of experience with RADIUS, and give you, the administrator, the tools to track down the problem, find the solution, implement it, test it, and deploy it quickly with minimal errors.

Oh, and it will contain trivia, too. There are a number of little details and “gotcha's” in FreeRADIUS that aren't documented anywhere else.