I have the following setup:

[Windows PC1] ---------|            |
                       | Linux Box  |----------[Internet]
[Windows PC2] ---------|____________|
                       [RADIUS server]

I would like to activate 802.1x authentication on the Windows PCs, and have the Linux Box play the role of a 802.1x authenticator (blocking all access to the Internet until the Windows PCs have properly authenticated themselves using the 802.1x protocol, and the Linux Box checks the credentials by interrogating the RADIUS server).

I could theoretically insert a 802.1x-capable switch between the Windows PCs and the Linux Box, but this setup is embedded and the hardware cannot be changed.

Apparently the OpenWRT project solved the problem somehow, so there must be an open-source solution somewhere, but I simply cannot find it. The only links I find are for the Open1X project (http://open1x.sourceforge.net/), but the Docs link is dead.

Help, please? :-)


Apparently OpenWRT's 802.1x authenticator is proprietary. I am now looking a hostapd: it includes a 802.1x authenticator, but it handles wireless access control... does anyone know if it can control a wired access?

2 Answers 2


If you know that OpenWRT implements this, then I would definitely ask on the OpenWRT forums. The devs are there and might be able to point you to the relevant part of the code. Wrapping it up and deploying it is another matter, it might not be packaged for non-OpenWRT usage. But it should have a GPL-compatible license and be available in a public repository.


  • Hi. I was hoping that an "off-the-shelf" open source package existed somewhere, but apparently not. Too bad. Anyway, you're right, I'll ask the OpenWRT people. Perhaps the code is sufficiently well isolated for me to extract it (and perhaps make a package out of it). Thanks for your answer.
    – MiniQuark
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:45
  • It seems that the 802.1x authenticator within OpenWRT is actually proprietary.
    – MiniQuark
    Aug 11, 2011 at 16:29

You should look at packet-fence. It's an integrated NAC (Network Access Control) application running on linux. PacketFence Home Site

  • 1
    Hi, thanks for the link. Unfortunately, after checking the documentation, PacketFence does not play the role of the 802.1x authenticator. It does not speak 802.1x at all, it just includes a RADIUS server (FreeRADIUS). So it plays the role of the authentication server, not the authenticator (ie. access controller, or NAS). Thanks anyway.
    – MiniQuark
    Aug 11, 2011 at 9:41

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