Roger Kristiansen <roger.kristiansen@gmail.com>, Kai Bjørnenak <kai.bjornenak@cc.uit.no>


Aug. 4, 2005

Last changed

May 23, 2008

The Radius tool makes FreeRADIUS accounting logs browseable and searchable. It consists of a backend to log accounting data directly from FreeRADIUS into NAV’s PostgreSQL database, and a frontend to browse/search the data on the web.



This following file listing seems to bit somewhat out of date.


What you are probably reading right now :]


How to install the radius accounting subsystem


Modified version of navclean.py, that also handles the radius accounting table. Should probably me made to also handle the log table, or dropped all together.


radius.log parser that inserts data into the database.


Script for creating the accounting table


Script for creating the log table


Script for creating the users needed for the modules to work.


Cheetah Template for the accounting upload/download charts.


Module compiled from AcctChartsTemplate.tmpl


Template for the accounting search page.


Module compiled from AcctChartsTemplate.tmpl


Template for the accounting session details page.


Module compiled from AcctDetailTemplate.tmpl


Template for the error log search page.


Module compiled from LogTemplate.tmpl


Template for the error log details page.


Module compiled from LogDetailTemplate.tmpl


The handler, and a few classes for performing SQL queries, and some Exception classes


A few helper functions used throughout the templates


Configuration variables


Entry for NAV’s menu system


Apache .htaccess file, setting up handler etc.


This module was made by someone not too familiar with Python, and who had never touched either NAV or Cheetah before the project started. If you see something that seems awkward, don’t hesitate to suggest a better way to do it.

It should be pretty obvious that we have ripped extensively from NAV’s MachineTracker subsystem, and at the time writing this, even the graphics in the tables are from MachineTracker.

There have yet to be confirmed reports on this stuff working (or even being tried) on any other setup than what it was developed on, which is:

  • NAV v3.3.3

  • PostgreSQL 7.4.8

  • Python 2.4

Please tell us about successful installs on other setups.


See separate installation instructions for configuring your FreeRADIUS server to log accounting data to NAV.


The visual part of the Radius accounting subsystem consists of 3 main sections; a search page, a page for displaying details about a specific session, a page top users in terms of traffic and a search page for the error log.

Search page

Hopefully it will be pretty self explanatory. You choose your search criteria and click the search button. The sessions that get matched are all sessions that “touch” your specified time interval in any way. At the bottom of the page, you will get a summary for your search, giving you the total amount of uploaded/downloaded data for all sessions matching your search criterias. This feature is currently made a bit useless from the duplicate sessions in the database (see Known Issues).

In the search results, you will sometimes see sessions whose Session Stop field contains text in stead of the actual stop time. Here is an explanation of what they mean:

“Still Active”

This doesn’t guarantee 100% that this session is still active, but it does mean that the session has not yet timed out and that the radius server is waiting for reauthentication/confirmation for this session.

“Timed Out”

This means that the session was abandoned without any explicit stop message reaching the radius server, and that the server no longer considers this session active.

For this feature to work correctly, the variable REAUTH_TIMEOUT in radius_config.py must be set correctly

There are links from Username, Realm, Assigned IP and NAS IP to new searches. I.e. clicking on a username will show all sessions for this user, using the already specified time interval. A click on a session id will bring up all available details for that session.

Take care when searching for large time intervals, so you don’t trash your DB server.

Details page

Displays all the details about a session, as specified in the list called LOG_DETAILSFIELDS in radius_config.py.

Charts page

Displays top upload, top download, and top overall bandwidth hog for as many days back as the user specifies. The default is a week (7 days).

This chart will lie a little, since it sums up all sessions that ended within the specified number of days. The reason for doing this is that we only get any numbers on how much data the user has sent/received when the session ends. Thus there is really no way to know for sure, just from the radius accounting log, when during the session the data was transferred.

Of course, we could always limit the search to sessions that only started inside our search interval, but then a lot of long sessions might slip under the radar.

Making Changes

If you want to make changes in the html, you will have to edit the corresponding .tmpl file, and make a python module of it with cheetah c <templatename>.

Known Issues

Accounting module: Duplicate entries for some sessions

Sometimes, when a Start message is immediately followed by an Alive message for the same session, FreeRADIUS inserts the session into the database twice, the only difference between them seem to be a few hundreds of a second on the Start time. This seems to be caused by the following scenario:

  1. FreeRADIUS receives a Start packet and inserts a new entry/session in the db

  2. FreeRADIUS receives an Alive packet for the same session immediately after the Start packet, and queries the database to see if the unique-session-id already exists.

  3. The query doesn’t return anything, since postgresql hasn’t had time to complete the INSERT-query for the Start packet, and accounting_update_query_alt is thus run, inserting a new row.

How to get around this? I’m not quite sure. Maybe someone with more experience with (Postgre)SQL could look at some kind of table locking, if this wouldn’t slow down the server too much. Another solution suggested by one of FreeRADIUS’ developers was using rlm_sql_log in FreeRADIUS to output a file with SQL queries, and post-processing them. I haven’t had the time to play around with any of this.

FreeRADIUS encoding

This module does not handle FreeRADIUS’ way of encoding characters with UTF-8 gracefully. Norwegian characters ÆØÅ and cyrilic characters get replaced by their octal representation on the form \xxx\xxx. To give an example the octal representation \303\246 is the norwegian character æ. I suspect this bug also affects characters with accents and other special characters.


  • Create useful links to other parts of NAV or new searches. Feedback on how people use the information on this page would be useful for knowing what to link to.