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Here is what I am trying to achieve, we want to install freeradius using a Microsoft SQL backend. I read on the internet that we need to achieve this goal using the unixodbc driver.

I am able to set up the unixodbc driver from apt-get and if I configure Freetds to use it. After the installation and configs I can run the test command:

| Connected!                            |
|                                       |
| sql-statement                         |
| help [tablename]                      |
| quit                                  |
|                                       |

This is actually working. But I found out downloading the freeradius tarbal that it can't use the rlm_sql_unixodbc driver, because in the debian/rules file they compile it using the flag:


I thought it would be easy to remove the flag from debian/rules and just build my own package using the command line:

fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc

But it is failing with error:

checking for SQLConnect in -lodbc... no
checking for sql.h... yes
configure: error: set --without-rlm_sql_unixodbc to disable it explicitly.
configure: error: ./configure failed for ./drivers/rlm_sql_unixodbc
configure: error: ./configure failed for src/modules/rlm_sql
make: *** [config.status] Error 1
dpkg-buildpackage: error: debian/rules build gave error exit status 2

Do you have any idea of what I am missing to compile it successfully?

I can also tell you that I ran these apt-get command to make sure I was having all the dependencies.

apt-get build-dep -y unixodbc freetds-bin freetds-common freetds-dev tdsodbc freeradius
apt-get install -y unixodbc freetds-bin freetds-common freetds-dev tdsodbc libssl-dev dpkg-dev


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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

After four days of hard work at searching and finding everything needed to build Freeradius with the UnixODBC drivers. I came up with that solution that finally works fine for me. This answer describes every steps I had to go throught to make my Freeradius working with a MSSQL backend using unixodbc on a Debian Squeeze server.

Compiling the Freeradius server

In order to install Freeradius using the MSSQL backend I had to recompile Freeradius using the unixodbc drivers. To enable this driver I had to modify the package provided by Freeradius.

Ensure that the source repository are available in the /etc/apt/sources.list of the server you are compiling from. If you are missing them, the error message is: E: You must put some 'source' URIs in your sources.list

A source URI start by deb-src

deb squeeze main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free # Source URI
deb squeeze/updates main contrib non-free
deb-src squeeze/updates main contrib non-free # Source URI

Before you can compile the freeradius packages you need to install the dependencies of the dependencies:

apt-get build-dep -y unixodbc unixodbc-dev freetds-bin quilt freetds-common freetds-dev \
tdsodbc freeradius libiodbc2-dev

Install dependencies packages

apt-get install -y unixodbc libiodbc2-dev freetds-bin freetds-common freetds-dev tdsodbc \
libssl-dev dpkg-dev quilt libssl-dev libpam0g-dev libmysqlclient-dev libgdbm-dev \
libsasl2-dev libperl-dev libpcap-dev python-dev libsnmp-dev libpq-dev libltdl3-dev snmp

Create the following missing symlink

ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Get the freeradius tarball

tar zxf freeradius-server-2.2.0.tar.gz
cd freeradius-server-2.2.0

Edit the debian/rules file

vim freeradius-server-2.2.0/debian/rules

Replace the --without-rlm_sql_unixodbc (approximatly line 90) by --with-rlm_sql_unixodbc

Build the Debian packages

To build the debian package make sure you installed the dependencies, then execute the following command line:

fakeroot dpkg-buildpackage -b -uc -d

ls ../


Now that you successfully built the packages, move to the parent directory and there you should fine all the debian packages you need in order to build the freeradius server with the unixodbc support.

You can install them using the dpkg command line.

dpkg -i freeradius_2.2.0+git_i386.deb freeradius-common_2.2.0+git_all.deb freeradius-utils_2.2.0+git_i386.deb \

Once I had install the freeradius packages, I stopped the service.

service freeradius stop

I tested it using the command line:

freeradius -X

Then I configured the SQL connection.

I had to configure the unixodbc driver within these three files:


Driver          = FreeTDS
Description     = ODBC connection via FreeTDS
Trace           = No
ServerName      = MSSQLServer
Database        = radius
port            = 1433
tds_version     = 7.0
language        = us_english


Description     = TDS driver (MS SQL)
Driver          = /usr/lib/odbc/
Setup           = /usr/lib/odbc/
FileUsage       = 1


    host =
    port = 1433
    tds version = 7.0

Test the connection using the isql command line

isql -v MSSQLServer your_db_username 'your_db_password'

# what you should see
| Connected!                            |
|                                       |
| sql-statement                         |
| help [tablename]                      |
| quit                                  |
|                                       |

Now is the time to configure Freeradius to use this unixodbc.

Here are the changes I made in the sql.conf file to make it work.


database = "mssql"

#  Which FreeRADIUS driver to use.
driver = "rlm_sql_unixodbc"

# Connection info:
server = "MSSQLServer"
login = "your_db_username"
password = "your_db_password"

# Database table configuration for everything except Oracle
radius_db = "radius"

$INCLUDE sql/${database}/dialup.conf

Before continuing create the /etc/freeradius/sql/mssql/ folder to hold the dialup.conf file for MSSQL.

mkdir -p /etc/freeradius/sql/mssql/

I had to take the dialup.conf file from the freeradius-mysql_2.2.0+git_i386.deb packages.

Once you have copied the file from the freeradius-mysql package copy it here /etc/freeradius/sql/mssql/dialup.conf.

To get it to work with MSSQL, edit the file and replace all the << 32 by a convert(bigint, value)

# MySQL version
'%{%{Acct-Input-Gigawords}:-0}'  << 32

# MSSQL modified version
convert(bigint, '%{%{Acct-Input-Gigawords}:-0}')

Save your file and that should be it. If you don't have the MSSQL schema please look at freeradius wiki.

I had an issue with the AcctStopTime column it was trying to insert a NULL inside it so I changed the default column type.

alter table radius.dbo.radacct
alter column AcctStopTime datetime null;

After that you can try again launching freeradius and it should collect the data in MSSQL.

freeradius -X


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/usr/lib/ is part of the package unixodbc-dev. Since you don't install it, it doesn't get created. –  gparent Nov 22 '12 at 20:37
I didn't installed it because it conflicts with the package libiodbc2-dev. I am getting this error all the time if I do:The following packages will be REMOVED: unixodbc-dev The following NEW packages will be installed: libiodbc2-dev That is the reason why I was creating the symlink by hand. If you have another way to to do it, I would be very happy to learn it. –  drivard Nov 22 '12 at 20:46
Not saying I have a way, was just pointing it out. Normally when packages conflict like that, you can substitute one for the other and they should work, but it depends on the software in question. –  gparent Nov 22 '12 at 20:53

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