RADIUS stands for Remote Authentication Dial In User Service. RADIUS is a protocol specified by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) working group. There are two specifications that make up the RADIUS protocol suite: Authentication and Accounting. These specifications aim to centralize authentication, configuration, and accounting for dial-in services to an independent server.
You probably used RADIUS to get online to surf the web if you obtain access through a dialup account. Your communications software sent your username and password to a terminal server. The terminal server in turn sent this information to a RADIUS server. The RADIUS daemon running on that server then queried a RADIUS user database, in order to determine if you were authorized to login to the system you called.
RADIUS systems are composed of the RADIUS daemon (radiusd), and four files on the Unix host: clients, dictionary, users, and logfile. The users file contains specific information about authorized users. The clients file contains information about devices that are authorized to make RADIUS requests.
RADIUS is also available for NT machines.
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