Dictionary File Compatibility

The dictionary files format is not standardized across RADIUS servers. While there may be similarities from one server to another, they cannot, in general, be copied "as is" from one RADIUS server to another.

It is very important to use the correct dictionaries. If the wrong dictionaries are used, the server may not properly interpret local configuration, or generate the correct response for the NAS.The format of the RADIUS dictionary files is not currently standardized, although most are simple variants of the original Livingston format defined in 1992. Because of the differences in format, a server’s dictionary files may be incompatible with different versions of the same RADIUS server software; one server’s dictionary files can also be incompatible with another server’s dictionary files.

If the server does not have access to the correct vendor-specific attributes and dictionaries, it cannot correctly process any VSAs it receives for that vendor.

Servers require access to a vendor dictionary to understand vendor attributes.

Some servers may not contain all the necessary dictionary files because each vendor defines their own dictionaries and chooses when to inform the server vendor of those changes. Thus, if a server does not include dictionaries for a particular vendor, contact that vendor, and not the organization that supplied the RADIUS server.