Initial access requests getting dropped, successive requests succeed

Jeremy Stretch jstretch at
Fri Mar 31 19:34:11 CEST 2017

Tracing "freeradius -X" yields the following each time a request is dropped:

select(9, [4 6 7 8], NULL, NULL, NULL)  = 1 (in [6])
recvfrom(6, 0x7ffe802938d0, 4, 2, 0x7ffe802938e0, 0x7ffe802938cc) = -1
EAGAIN (Resource temporarily unavailable)
write(1, "Ready to process requests.\n", 27Ready to process requests.) = 27

Not sure what to make of that. Seems like it might be related to this bug:;msg=2 As far as
I'm aware though, nothing significant has been changed on these serves.

On Fri, Mar 31, 2017 at 10:01 AM, Jeremy Stretch <jstretch at>

> Hi folks,
> We run three FreeRADIUS servers as proxies in front of some LDAP servers
> for network authentication. These servers have been running for well over a
> year without issue until recently. Two of the three servers have started
> inexplicably dropping access requests, but still respond intermittently.
> As an isolated test, I have a Juniper switch configured to authenticate to
> one of the FreeRADIUS servers, which in turn authenticates against one
> backend LDAP server. When I try to log into the switch, tcpdump on the
> RADIUS server confirms that it receives an Access-Request packet. I've
> stopped the normal daemon and am running `freeradius -X` on the server, but
> it prints only a single line in response to the Access-Request:
>     Ready to process requests.
> It prints this same line each time a request is dropped. I can't find any
> information about what's actually happening. tcpdump confirms that
> FreeRADIUS is receiving the Access-Request packet, but it does not even
> attempt to contact the LDAP server.
> However, when I attempt to authenticate again a few seconds later (after
> the switch's first request has timed out), the RADIUS server responds
> normally with a successful authentication, with no indication (AFAICT) of
> any error. I can log out and immediately log back in with no problems, but
> if I wait for more than a few seconds, the request gets dropped again. Even
> stranger, this only appears to affect the primary and secondary server;
> forcing authentication requests to the tertiary server succeeds.
> To rule out LDAP as a problem, I've been trying to authenticate using an
> account defined locally on the FreeRADIUS server, but I have the same
> problem: The initial access request gets dropped; successive requests
> succeed. Here is my config from /etc/freeradius/sites-enabled/default:
>     authorize {
>         preprocess
>         suffix
>         files
>         ldap
>         expiration
>         logintime
>     }
>     authenticate {
>         Auth-Type LDAP {
>             ldap
>         }
>     }
>     preacct {
>         preprocess
>         acct_unique
>         suffix
>         files
>     }
>     accounting {
>         detail
>         unix
>         radutmp
>         exec
>         attr_filter.accounting_response
>     }
>     session {
>         radutmp
>     }
>     post-auth {
>         exec
>     }
> The three servers were originally all running v2.1.12. We upgraded the
> primary to v2.2.9 but it still has the same issue. Hard-coding the IP of
> the LDAP server didn't help, so it doesn't appear to be related to DNS, nor
> do there appear to be any disk or memory issues.
> I'm really at a loss for what to try next, other than blowing them away
> and rebuilding all three servers. Any pointers are much appreciated.
> Jeremy

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