This directory contains scripts to create the server certificates. To make a set of default (i.e. test) certificates, simply type:

$ ./bootstrap

The openssl command will be run against the sample configuration files included here, and will make a self-signed certificate authority (i.e. root CA), and a server certificate. This "root CA" should be installed on any client machine needing to do EAP-TLS, PEAP, or EAP-TTLS.

The Microsoft XP Extensions will be automatically included in the server certificate. Without those extensions Windows clients will refuse to authenticate to FreeRADIUS.

The root CA and the XP Extensions file also contain a crlDistributionPoints attribute. The latest release of Windows Phone needs this to be present for the handset to validate the RADIUS server certificate. The RADIUS server must have the URI defined but the CA need not have…however it is best practice for a CA to have a revocation URI. Note that whilst the Windows Mobile client cannot actually use the CRL when doing 802.1X it is recommended that the URI be an actual working URL and contain a revocation format file as there may be other OS behaviour at play and future OSes that may do something with that URI.

In general, you should use self-signed certificates for 802.1x (EAP) authentication. When you list root CAs from other organisations in the ca_file, you permit them to masquerade as you, to authenticate your users, and to issue client certificates for EAP-TLS.

If you already have CA and server certificates, rename (or delete) this directory, and create a new certs directory containing your certificates. Note that the make install command will NOT over-write your existing raddb/certs directory, which means that the bootstrap command will not be run.

New Installations

We suggest that new installations use the test certificates for initial tests, and then create real certificates to use for normal user authentication. See the instructions below for how to create the various certificates. The old test certificates can be deleted by running the following command:

$ make distclean

Then, follow the instructions below for creating real certificates.

Once the final certificates have been created, you can delete the bootstrap command from this directory, and delete the make_cert_command configuration from the tls sub-section of raddb/mods-available/eap.

If you do not want to enable EAP-TLS, PEAP, or EAP-TTLS, then delete the relevant sub-sections from the raddb/mods-available/eap file.

Root Certificate

$ vi ca.cnf

Edit the input_password and output_password fields to be the password for the CA certificate.

Edit the [certificate_authority] section to have the correct values for your country, state, etc.

$ make ca

This step creates CA certificate using both RSA and ECC keys, in the respective directories.

$ make rsa/ca.der


$ make ecc/ca.der

These steps create the DER format of the self-signed certificates, which is can be imported into Windows.

Server Certificate

The following steps will let you create a server certificate for use with TLS-based EAP methods, such as EAP-TLS, PEAP, and TTLS. Follow similar steps to create an "inner-server.pem" file, for use with EAP-TLS that is tunneled inside of another TLS-based EAP method.

$ vi server.cnf

Edit the input_password and output_password fields to be the password for the server certificate.

Edit the [server] section to have the correct values for your country, state, etc. Be sure that the commonName field here is different from the commonName for the CA certificate.

$ make server

This step creates and verifies the server certificates using both RSA and ECC keys.

If you have an existing certificate authority, and wish to create a certificate signing request for the server certificate, edit server.cnf as above, and type the following command.

$ make rsa/server.csr


$ make ecc/server.csr

You will have to ensure that the certificate contains the XP extensions needed by Microsoft clients.

Client Certificate

Client certificates are used by EAP-TLS, and optionally by EAP-TTLS and PEAP. The following steps outline how to create a client certificate that is signed by the CA certificate created above. You will have to have the password for the CA certificate in the "input_password" and "output_password" fields of the ca.cnf file.

$ vi client.cnf

Edit the input_password and output_password fields to be the password for the client certificate. You will have to give these passwords to the end user who will be using the certificates.

Edit the [client] section to have the correct values for your country, state, etc. Be sure that the commonName field here is the User-Name that will be used for logins!

$ make client

The user’s certificates (RSA and ECC) will be in emailAddress.pem and emailAddress.ecc.pem, e.g. user@example.com.pem.

To create another client certificate, just repeat the steps for making a client certificate, being sure to enter a different login name for commonName, and a different password.


EAP performance for EAP-TLS, TTLS, and PEAP is dominated by SSL calculations. That is, a normal system can handle PAP authentication at a rate of 10k packets/s. However, SSL involves RSA calculations, which are very expensive. To benchmark your system, do:

$ openssl speed rsa


$ openssl speed rsa2048

to test 2048 bit keys.

That number is also the maximum number of authentications/s that can be done for EAP-TLS (or TTLS, or PEAP). Typically eh


The certificates created using this method are known to be compatible with ALL operating systems. Some common issues are:

  • Most systems now require certain OIDs in the certificates. If it doesn’t see them, it will stop doing EAP. The most visible effect is that the client starts EAP, gets a few Access-Challenge packets, and then a little while later re-starts EAP. If this happens, see the FAQ, and the comments in raddb/mods-available/eap for how to fix it.

  • Windows requires the root certificates to be on the client PC. If it doesn’t have them, you will see the same issue as above.

  • Windows XP post SP2 has a bug where it has problems with certificate chains. i.e. if the server certificate is an intermediate one, and not a root one, then authentication will silently fail, as above.

  • Some versions of Windows CE cannot handle 4K RSA certificates. They will (again) silently fail, as above.

  • In none of these cases will Windows give the end user any reasonable error message describing what went wrong. This leads people to blame the RADIUS server. That blame is misplaced.

  • Certificate chains of more than 64K bytes are likely to not work. Most clients cannot handle 64K certificate chains. Most Access Points will shut down the EAP session after about 50 round trips, while 64K certificate chains will take about 60 round trips. So don’t use large certificate chains. They will only work after everyone upgrade everything in the network.

  • All other operating systems are known to work with EAP and FreeRADIUS. This includes Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, etc. along with all known embedded systems, phones, WiFi devices, etc.