Indeterministic EAP error

Matthew Newton mcn4 at
Thu Oct 4 23:52:29 CEST 2012

On Thu, Oct 04, 2012 at 05:45:30PM +0200, Matthias Nagel wrote:
> WARNING: !! EAP session for state 0xABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP did not finish!
> Has anybody an idea what the reason might be?

We see it a lot less since we tweaked the EAP timers on our Cisco
Wireless Controller. You don't say what APs or system you're
using, but for example if it's the Cisco WLCs see

The issue would go /something/ like (I forget the precise details):

  User clicks connect

  (*) Types in username and password slowly

  EAP Identity Request would time out (20s or so)

  EAP session would get closed - client & controller would give up -
  error above

  User clicks login

  EAP session starts again

  either a) EAP completes and client connects

  or b) client realises that their EAP session got broken, and
  prompts the user for their password again - go back to '*'.

Then... after after a couple of times, the controller might figure
that the client has done some bad authentications, and ban them
for a minute or so.

We tweaked the timers to make the Identity Request time + max
retries longer, and disabled the automatic banning of clients from
invalid authentications. Generally now the only time we see that
error is if we restart FreeRADIUS (in which case, EAP sessions in
transit get broken, so it's the sort of thing I expect).

You still sometimes see it if a client is on the edge of a radio
cell, and moves out of range whilst connecting, for example, but
it's nothing like as often as it used to be.

In short, it's a client/NAS issue, as already stated.

Hope that helps,


Matthew Newton, Ph.D. <mcn4 at>

Systems Architect (UNIX and Networks), Network Services,
I.T. Services, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, United Kingdom

For IT help contact helpdesk extn. 2253, <ithelp at>

More information about the Freeradius-Users mailing list