I originally posted this at http://www.318.com/TechJournal
Remote Authentication Dial In User Service (RADIUS) can help to take the security of your wireless network to the next level beyond standard WPA authentication. Prior to Leopard RADIUS communications could be obtained using Elektron or OpenRADIUS running on OS X – but in Leopard no 3rd party software is required beyond Leopard Server. So how difficult is it to setup RADIUS on Leopard? You be the judge after reading this quick walkthrough. For the purpose of this walkthrough we are going to assume that you are using the Advanced Mac OS X Server style.
Before you begin this walkthrough, make sure that the server is running Open Directory and that the forward and reverse DNS information for the server is correct.
The first step to using RADIUS is to enable it. To do this, open Server Admin, click on the name of the server in the SERVERS list and click on the Services tab. Find RADIUS in the services list and place a checkmark in the box to the left of it. When you click on Save then you should see RADIUS in the SERVERS list.
Now that RADIUS has been enabled, letâ€™s select a certificate. For the use of this walkthrough weâ€™re going to use the default certificate that comes with OS X Server. Click on RADIUS under the SERVERS list and then click on the Settings button. Click on the RADIUS Certificate drop-down menu and select the Default certificate. Click on the Edit Allowed Usersâ€¦ button.
By default all users of the OS X Server will have access to authenticate to the wireless network setup, so here we are going to click on the For Selected Services below Radio Button. Then click on RADIUS in the Service list. Now click on Allow Only Users and Groups Below and then click on the + sign. Now drag the users and groups into the Name list from the Users and Groups window. Once all users that should have access to your new wireless environment have been enabled, click on the Save button.
From here, click on RADIUS and click on the Start RADIUS button in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. RADIUS is now ready to accept authentication. The next step is to configure an AirPort to work with RADIUS. To do this, click on the Base Stations button in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Now click on Browse and select the first base station of your new wireless environment from the list of found base stations. Enter the password for the AirPort and click on Save. Wait for the AirPort to complete its restart and then you should be able to log in from a client.
To log in from a client, select the name of the wireless network from the wireless networks list and enter the username and password to the environment. The first time you do so you will get a second dialog asking you to enter the 802.1x username and password. Enter the same username and password and click on OK. If you click on the â€œUse this Password Onceâ€ checkbox then this password will not be saved for future use.
Thatâ€™s it, youâ€™re done. Now this setup may be a little more complicated than WPA personal or WEP 128, but itâ€™s far more secure and should be considered for any AirPort environment that has an OS X Server. While the default certificate will work for clients, things are often easier from a deployment and interoperability perspective if you purchase a certificate from a CA such as Thawte. Also, this has all been tested in a pure Mac OS X Leopard environment, not with an OD structure based on Tiger. More on that as time goes onâ€¦