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OpenRADIUS Ascfile module


Description:
Ascfile is a module that can read Livingston-style clients, users, realms, hints and huntgroups files and possibly many other ASCII tables that use lines or paragraphs as records and whitespace- or comma separated A/V pairs or bare values as fields. It uses a hash table to provide fast lookups, even for large numbers of records.
 
Usage:
The module is to be run from OpenRADIUS using an interface definition like this:
interface(name = "...",
	  prog = "ascfile [options] file...",
	  flags = Ascii + Short-Attr, 
	  sendattr = "str",
	  ...),

The 'Ascii' and 'Short-Attr' flags are required for any interface that uses this module.

The module only uses the 'str' attribute from requests sent to it; the sendattr ACL is specified for efficiency only.

All files specified on the comand line after the options are read into memory at startup. Note however that all are read into the same data structure, so the files are effectively concatenated.
 

Options:
The following command line options are provided:

-s
Read records as single lines. Without this flag, records are not ended until the module sees an empty line (paragraph end). [removed in 0.9.4; paragraphs are started by non-comment lines that start in the first column instead of ended by empty lines.]
-d
Output debugging messages on standard error (fd 2, which can be redirected by OpenRADIUS using '-o').
 
File format:
Comments are started by a # and ended by a newline.

A record consists of a key, followed by whitespace, followed by a series of A/V items, each separated by a comma or whitespace; the record is ended by a newline (-s flag) or when an empty line is encountered (without -s).

Multiple records having the same key are effectively concatenated.

An A/V item can either be a bare value or a full A/V pair. A bare value will get the attribute 'int' if the value seems numeric, 'ip' if the value is an IP address, and 'str' otherwise, to form complete pairs.

Strings that contain whitespace or commas must be quoted in double quotes.

Double quotes within quoted strings can be escaped by prepending a backslash. All other characters and escape sequences in quoted strings are sent as-is and are treated by OpenRADIUS according to the ASCII interface specification; see the module interface, paragraph 3.2.
 

Operation:
The module uses the first 'str' attribute from the request as its key, and *returns all pairs* associated with that key. That means it doesn't handle check items the way you're used to; it doesn't match them to the request but just returns them.

If you want to compare items, and use a different key such as 'DEFAULT' upon mismatch, you can add a rule to do that in the behaviour file. If you have a series of DEFAULT items, each with a check item that is the real key Framed, etc., you should rewrite it as as keyed on that item. This is much more efficient, and OpenRADIUS gives you the flexibility to have 'users' files keyed on anything, so why not take advantage of it?

This module could have been written to deal with check items the way you're used to - but I feel that the type of logic that is needed there shouldn't be placed outside the behaviour file in most cases. Also, most files will be oriented on a single key anyway, so they can be easily rewritten.

If you'd really need to have two keys, a users-type of file isn't the best solution anyway, because you end up with n x m entries that will probably all be quite similar. It's probably better to split the information across two tables. If you cannot, you can merge your check items into the key, like steve:23555443:3, and call the module from the behaviour file like this: Ascfile(str=User-Name . ":" . Calling-Station-Id . ":" . Service-Type)

After answering each request, the module checks if any of the files are newer than when they were last read, and if so, it rereads all. (Not implemented yet; just kill the module when you change any of its files - OpenRADIUS will restart it automatically).
 

Distribution:
This standard module is included with the server and installed by default.

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