Difference between revisions of "CoovaChilli"

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[[Category:Administration:Remote Access]]

Revision as of 19:40, 10 May 2010


Daniel B. from Firewall Services


Contrib 9:
The latest version of smeserver-coova-chilli is available in the SME repository, click on the version number(s) for more information.
Contrib 9:
The latest version of coova-chilli is available in the SME repository, click on the version number(s) for more information.


CoovaChilli is a (GNU GPL) captive portal based on chillispot. It will allow your SME in server and gateway mode to have a third interface. On this new interface, you can plug AP(s) or switchs, and chilli daemon will act as a dhcp server. Every clients connected on this new "lan" will have to authenticate themeself before coova-chilli allows traffic to pass. Once authenticated, clients will have only web access (http/https). Of course, you can customize firewall rules to allow more access, but I recommend the use of a VPN for full Internet access.

The default is to use SME accounts for the authentication, but you can easily add users at the radius level which will only have web access. (a guest account can be enabled/disabled with a key in the db)

You can also control the bandwidth used.

smeserver-coova-chilli integrates coova-chilli on your server. There's no panel for the configuration for now, but the it's quite easy with some db commands.


  • Server in server&gateway mode
  • a 3rd network interface

The first step is to add a third network card on your server.

Warning.png Warning:
When rebooting, if you have several identical NICs, it is possible that the server has swapped two of them, so you may have to reconfigure your Internal/External interface (login as admin, then configure this server). Once that's finished, you should have a new 'eth2' card not configured (it's ok, you do not need to configure it).


  • install the rpms
yum --enablerepo=smecontribs install smeserver-coova-chilli
  • Enable the service

By default, the service is turned off, but the rest of the config should be fine for most installations. To enable the service:

db configuration setprop chilli status enabled
signal-event chilli-update
  • Check that the daemon is running
ps aux | grep chilli

which should return something like this:

root 10726 0.7 0.1 5884 2152? Ss Apr07 6:50 /usr/sbin/chilli
  • Create a group

In the server-manager, create a group called "chilli", and place in this group all users of the system that you want to give access to the wifi network (or anything you've pluged on eth2).

  • Attach an AP

The final step is to connect an AP on the NIC. I'm talking about a AP and not a router. If you have a WiFi router, it is possible to make it work if these conditions are met:

    • Dhcp is disabled on the router
    • Lan ports and wireless interface are bridged
    • Connect a lan port to eth2

You can also connect a switch to eth2, and add as many AP you want.

  • Login

Connect a client, and try to open a web page, you should be redirected on a page like this one:


Or like this if guest access is enabled


List of db parameters

  • TCPPort: a port where chilli daemon is listening, normally you do not need to change it
  • access: Please, let this private. Setting public, which wouldn't be usefull at all, will open chilli daemon on the WAN port, which can be dangerous.
  • defidletimeout: the defined period of inactivity of a client (no traffic) before disconnect (in seconds).
  • defsessiontimeout: maximum duration of a session. After this time (in seconds, as defidletimeout), the client must reconnect
  • dhcpif: the physical interface to use, in most cases, it will be eth2
  • dhcpstart: where to start assigning IPs (DHCP range)
  • dhcpend: where to stop assigning IPs
  • dns1 and dns2: gives clients the dns servers to use. Here I have placed two public DNS servers.

They should work for everyone, but you can replace them by example by your ISP's DNS

  • net: the network range to use. The server uses the first IP available from the network (and thus default and provide clients with addresses in this range.
  • status: there's no trap that defined the state of service, and whether it should be started when the server boots up.
  • tundev: defines the tun interface to use (chilli mask the real interface eth2 and the system sees the traffic as comming from a tun interface).

By default, tun0, you can change if tun0 is already used for a VPN for example.

  • uamallowed: A list of host that will be accessible before authentication. It can be a simple list of host, or a list of the form host:port, or protocol:host, or protocol:host:port


db configuration setprop chilli uamallowed tcp:contribs.org:80,udp:
  • uamsecret: a shared secret between the login page and chilli daemon (to encrypt the password). As for radiussecret, the secret is randomly generated for each installation.
  • AllowedServices: a list of services which will be accessible for chilli clients (see What authenticated users have access to ?)
  • AllowedOutgoing: a list of allowed proto/host/port for the client (see What authenticated users have access to ?)
  • RedirectToChilli: a list of IP address which will be redirected to your server. By default, InternalIP and ExternalIP are already redirected to your server. But in some situation (like if your Public IP isn't the same as ExternalIP), this setting can be usefull
db configuration setprop chilli RedirectToChilli,
  • WebRequests: direct/squid. Clients will get web access directly or through squid. The default is direct. You can set it to squid if you want to log request, to save some bandwidth, or to filter pages (with squidguard or dansguardian).
  • guestAccess: enabled/disabled. If enabled, a radius user will be added with name = guest, password = guest, and a button will be displayed on the login page so guests only have to click on it to get logged in.
  • guestDownLink: if guestAccess is enabled, this will limit the downlink bandwidth for guest user (in kbps)
  • guestUpLink: if guestAccess is enabled, this will limit the uplink bandwidth for guest user (in kbps)
  • noc2c: can be enabled or disabled (default is enabled). If enabled, clients will get a /32 netmask, and a special route will be added so they can contact the gateway. This prevent direct client to client communication. Note that it's a layer 3 isolation, a better way to prevent client to client is a layer 2 isolation, some AP and switch provides this.

After you've changed the configuration, just run the command

signal-event chilli-update

it'll re-generate the necessary files and restart needed services.

The login page

The login page is a mix of the CGI provided with chillispot and some modifications of other login pages. You can customize it.

  • /etc/e-smith/templates/etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf/98chilli  : This file is the template for apache, you can create a custom-template if you want to modify it (add php support, etc...)
  • /opt/chilli/cgi-bin/hotspot-login.cgi  : This is the main CGI, you can customize it, it won't be overriden on upgrades.
  • /opt/chilli/hotspotlogin-conf.pl  : This file contains some configuration for the hotspot (domain name, contact info, uamsecret, guestaccess). This file is templetized, so if you need to make some change, you should create a custom-template for /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/opt/chilli/hotspotlogin-conf.pl
  • /opt/chilli/lang  : This directory contains language files. English and French are provided, but you can add other if you want (contact me if you make a new translation, I'll integrate it in the package). You can edit all the language file, they won't be overriden on upgrades.
  • /opt/chilli/css/sme.css  : This CSS file is used to choose the background color, font class, logo etc... It can be customized, it won't be overriden on upgrades

The authorized group(s)

By default, only members of the group "chilli" have access to the portal. You can change this behavior (rename the authorized group, add WiFi account without SME account, allow only some users, allow several groups, restrict the bandwidth up and down ... etc)

To do so, follow the procedure:

  • Create a folder in templates-custom:
mkdir -p /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/raddb/users
  • and copy the original template
cp -a /etc/e-smith/templates/etc/raddb/users/40chilli /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/raddb/users
  • Now, you can edit it. By default it looks like this:
if ((($chilli{'status'} || 'disabled) eq 'enabled') &&
       ($chilli{'guestAccess'} || disabled) eq 'enabled'){
       my $downlink = $chilli{'guestDownLink'} || '400';
       my $uplink = $chilli{'guestUpLink'} || '64';
       $downlink = $downlink * 1000;
       $uplink = $uplink * 1000;
       $OUT =<<END;
guest NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: = Local User-Password == 'guest'
      WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Down = $downlink, WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Up = $uplink
if (($chilli{'status'} || 'disabled') eq' enabled ') {
   $OUT = <<END;
DEFAULT Group == "chilli", NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: = unix
# WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Down = 512000, WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Up = 128000

DEFAULT Group! = "chilli", NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: Reject =
       Reply Message = "Your are not allowed member of the group"
  • If you want to replace the group "chilli" with "wifi" you only have to change Group == "chilli" by Group == "wifi". Same for Group! = "Chilli"
if ((($chilli{'status'} || 'disabled) eq 'enabled') &&
       ($chilli{'guestAccess'} || disabled) eq 'enabled'){
       my $downlink = $chilli{'guestDownLink'} || '400';
       my $uplink = $chilli{'guestUpLink'} || '64';
       $downlink = $downlink * 1000;
       $uplink = $uplink * 1000;
       $OUT =<<END;
guest NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: = Local User-Password == 'guest'
      WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Down = $downlink, WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Up = $uplink
if (($chilli{'status'} || 'disabled') eq' enabled ') {
   $OUT = <<END;
DEFAULT Group == "wifi", NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: = unix
# WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Down = 512000, WISPr-Bandwidth-Max-Up = 128000
DEFAULT Group! = "wifi", NAS-Identify == "localhost", Auth-Type: Reject =
       Reply Message = "Your are not allowed member of the group"

What authenticated users have access to ?

By default, not much.

Basically once authenticated, users have access to

  • DNS outside (udp port 53)
  • Http outwards (through squid if squid is enabled and WebRequests set to squid), http to your server
  • Https outwards and https to your SME
  • Ping outwards and your server

There are two key in the db to customize this:

  • AllowedServices will allow some services of your server to be acessible to chilli clients. For exemple, you want to make ssh and openvpn-bridge accessible:
db configuration setprop chilli AllowedServices sshd,openvpn-bridge

Services names need to correspond to those defined in the configuration db

Important.png Note:
This will just open the corresponding port(s), you need to make sure the service listen on the correct interface.

  • AllowedOutgoing will allow more outgoing traffic. It's a list of proto/host/port clients will be able to contact on the internet (These rules only apply to forwarded traffic, nothing will be allowed to the private network). Wildcard '*' (or keyword 'any') can replace host or port. Eg:
db configuration setprop AllowedOutgoing tcp:,udp:*:1194,tcp:,tcp:any:123

This will allow:

  • host on port 25 to be accessible with TCP
  • Any host will be accessible on port 1194 with udp
  • All the port of host will be accessible with tcp
  • Any host will be accessible on port 123 with tcp

Important.png Note:
proto can be tcp or udp only for now, there's now way to add icmp rules with db commands.

Bypass authentication for a list of Mac addresses

CoovaChilli has an interesting features which allow the authentication to be bypassed for a list of mac addresses. It can be useful if you want to connect devices without any browser (playstation etc...) To enable this feature, you'll have to create a custom template:

mkdir -p /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/chilli.conf
vim /etc/e-smith/templates-custom/etc/chilli.conf/99MacAuth

And put something like this

macallowed 0022431665B3
macallowed 0045EF1AF9CC

You can use one macallowed directive per mac address, or specify multiple mac addresses, separated by a comma. Once you saved this file, restart chilli with:

signal-event chilli-update

Now the devices you've specified will be able to connect without authenticating. You should see a line like this one in /var/log/messages when one of this device is connecting:

Jun 21 19:36:47 smetest coova-chilli[25483]: chilli.c: 2746: Granted MAC=00-22-47-16-29-AB with IP= access without radius auth


If the contrib doesn't work, check in the order:

  • Be sure eth2 is detected
ifconfig -a

If eth2 is not shown, you may need to load the appropriate module

  • Check if chilli daemon is running
ps aux | grep chilli

If chilli daemon is not running, try

signal-event chilli-update

If still nothing

/etc/init.d/chilli start

If you get an error, check the log /var/log/messages

  • Check tun0 (or what you have configured as tundev) is up, with a valid ip
ifconfig tun0
  • Check the client gets a ip in the range (or what ever you have configured as net)

If it's not the case, check that the AP is working properly (tcpdump on tun0 to check that your server sees dhcp requests). You can try to connect your client directly to eth2 with a crossed cable to eliminate an AP or wifi-level issue

  • Check your client can use DNS. If you get a timeout when you try to open a web page from the client, it's possible that the problem comes from some DNS issue. Try to enter an ip in your browser, even a fake on ( for example), if you see the login page, then, you should try to configure the DNS of your ISP in the db
db configuration setprop chilli dns1 <ip> dns2 <ip>


yum remove smeserver-coova-chilli coova-chilli


Please raise bugs under the SME-Contribs section in bugzilla and select the smeserver-coova-chilli component or use this link