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A RADIUS authentication backend for Django

Project description


django-radius enables you to authenticate your Django users against one or many
RADIUS servers easily.

RADIUS Authentication Backend

The standard RADIUS backend (`radiusauth.backends.RADIUSBackend`) allows you to
authenticate against a single RADIUS server easily, and is used by adding it to
the `AUTHENTICATION_BACKENDS` parameter in your project's settings file:


This will first attempt to authenticate a user with the traditional Django
model-based system, and failing that, the RADIUS server.

The RADIUS server is specified in the settings file also, with the following

RADIUS_SERVER = 'localhost'

When a user is successfully authenticated via the RADIUS backend, a `User`
object is created in Django's built-in auth application with the same username.
This user's password is set to the password which they logged into the RADIUS
server with, so that they will be able to login with their "cached"
credentials, even if the RADIUS server is down. All activity within the Django
project can then be linked to this `User` object via foreign keys etc.

This is why the `RADIUSBackend` appears *before* the Django `ModelBackend` - so
that when users change their passwords on the RADIUS system, they are still
able to login to the Django application (and their cached credentials are

This is the quickest and easiest way to enable simple, single-server RADIUS
authentication for your Django project.

Realm-Based RADIUS Authentication for Multiple RADIUS Servers

For a more advanced system, you might want to authenticate users with different
RADIUS servers, depending upon some arbitrary condition.

This might seem contrived, but the idea is to separate "realms" of users by,
for example, the URL they access your project with. People browsing to might need to authenticate against one RADIUS
server, whilst people using might need to
authenticate against another.

The realm-based RADIUS authentication backend
(`radiusauth.backends.RADIUSRealmBackend`) expects to be provided with an extra
argument when authenticating a user: the realm in which they belong.
The realm is used to determine which RADIUS server to contact when verifying
the user's credentials - though this logic is up to the developer to implement
by overriding the `get_server` method.

As with thee standard RADIUS backend, a `User` object is created in the Django
auth application when a user successfully logs into the system. With the
realm-based backend, however, the username is set to the string returned by the
`construct_full_username` method, which is supplied with the username and the
realm. By default, this method returns a string in the format
<username>@<realm> to avoid clashes in the Django user database. You should be
aware of this fact when displaying usernames in templates etc., as users might
be confused by a username which looks similar to an email address, but is
clearly not.

### Customised Functionality

The `get_server` method of the backend class is used to determine which RADIUS
server to authenticate against. This can be customised by extending the
`RADIUSRealmBackend` class, and implementing this method. `get_server` takes
one argument: the realm which is passed to the `authenticate` method.

By default, the `RADIUSRealmBackend` simply returns the RADIUS server details
specified in the project's settings file.

To use your customised version of the `RADIUSRealmBackend`, just specify it in
your settings file as above:


### Example Project

Here is an example of how a project might be constructed to authenticate to two
different RADIUS servers.


from radiusauth.backends import RADIUSRealmBackend

'': ('', 1812, 'S3kr3T'),
'': ('', 1812, 'p@55w0Rd'),

class MyRADIUSBackend(RADIUSRealmBackend):
def get_server(self, realm):
if realm in RADIUS_SERVERS:
return RADIUS_SERVERS[realm]
return None


from django import forms

from django.contrib.auth import authenticate
from django.contrib.auth.forms import AuthenticationForm

class RADIUSAuthenticationForm(AuthenticationForm):
def __init__(self, realm, request, *args, **kwargs):
super(UserAuthenticationForm, self).__init__(request, *args, **kwargs)
self.realm = realm

def clean(self):
username = self.cleaned_data.get('username')
password = self.cleaned_data.get('password')

if self.realm and username and password:
self.user_cache = authenticate(realm=self.realm,
if self.user_cache is None:
raise forms.ValidationError(
'Please enter a correct username and password. '
'Note that both fields are case-sensitive.')
elif not self.user_cache.is_active:
raise forms.ValidationError('This account is inactive.')
return self.cleaned_data

def get_user(self):
return self.user_cache


from django.conf.urls.defaults import patterns, url

from myproject.users.forms import RADIUSAuthenticationForm

urlpatterns = patterns('django.contrib.auth.views',

url(r'^login/$', 'login',
{'authentication_form': RADIUSAuthenticationForm},




The custom authentication form above is then instantiated with a `realm`
argument (determined by some other means) which is then passed to Django's
`authenticate` method. The `RADIUSRealmBackend` can then use this value to
determine which RADIUS server to use when validating the user's credentials.

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