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NorthStar users are authenticated in one of three ways, selectable by the admin: Local authentication, LDAP authentication against an LDAP server, or, as of NorthStar Controller Release 5.1.0, Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service (RADIUS) authentication. Access the Authentication Settings window by navigating to Administration > Authentication (admin only). Click the radio button beside the authentication method of your choice. If there are additional settings for your selection, those fields appear when you click the radio button.


If users are authenticated by an LDAP or RADIUS server, they are not affected by NorthStar user management functions. This is true for all users except the admin.

Local authentication—The default authentication method is Local authentication, meaning that user information is store in the local database. There are no additional settings associated with this selection.

User authentication against an LDAP server—You can specify that users are to be authenticated using an external LDAP server rather than the default local authentication. This enables in-house authentication. The client sends an authentication request to the NorthStar Controller, which forwards it to the external LDAP server. Once the LDAP server accepts the request, NorthStar queries the user profile for authorization and sends the response to the client.

Figure 1 shows the Authentication Settings window with the LDAP server option selected. The fields are described in Table 1.

Figure 1: Authentication Settings: LDAP
Authentication Settings:

Table 1: LDAP Authentication Settings Field Descriptions



Security Level

Required. Use the drop-down menu to select SSL or None.

Server Host

Required. Name of the server host. For example:

Server Port

Required. Port number between 1 and 65000. The default port for LDAP is 636.

Base DN

Base distinguished name (DN). The root tree for LDAP searches. For example: dc=company,dc=com.

User Search Base

The sub tree for LDAP searches for a specific user. For example: ou=people,dc=company,dc=com. If this field is not set, the LDAP authentication module searches from the base DN.

User Search Filter

The attribute for searching for a user. If not specified, “cn” is used. Some Active Directory servers might use “sAMAccountName”. Certain OpenLDAP servers use “uid” if “cn” is not supported.

Group Search Base

(placeholder for future use)

Group Search Filter

(placeholder for future use)

Group Membership Attribute

The attribute in the user record for extracting group membership. Use “memberOf” on Active Directory servers and “member” for OpenLDAP servers.

Manager DN

LDAP account (in full DN) for querying a user record for password verification and group association. Used when the server is not configured with anonymous binding (query without a password).

Manager Password

Password for the user specified in the Manager DN field.

Server Certificate Verification

Click the check box to indicate the certificate of the server is to be validated.

User Group Mapping

Maps group names to permission type (full access or read-only). Enter a group name (typically, a part of the full DN in the LDAP user record) and click Add. For each group name, click in the Full or Read-Only field to select the group’s permission type. For example, in this DN: dc=infra_admin,ou=admin,dc=company,dc=com, the group is infra_admin. You would enter infra_admin in the Group Name field, click Add, and then click either Full or View for the infra_admin group.

Click Test Connection to attempt a connection with the LDAP server. If the Manager DN and Manager Password fields are populated, the system also tries to run a bind command to test the manager credentials. Click Save to complete the configuration. Click Reload to discard unsaved changes and return to the server settings.

RADIUS authentication—You can specify that users are to be authenticated using a RADIUS server. The NorthStar server sends authentication requests to the RADIUS server; the RADIUS server authenticates or rejects the requests. The settings associated with this option must coincide with the RADIUS server configuration.

Figure 2 shows the authentication settings for RADIUS authentication. The fields are described in Table 2.

Figure 2: Authentication Settings: RADIUS
Authentication Settings:

Table 2: RADIUS Authentication Settings Field Descriptions



Server Host

Required. IP address of the RADIUS server.

Server Port

Required. Port number between 1 and 65000. The default port for RADIUS is 1812.

Shared Secret

Required. String known only to the RADIUS server and RADIUS client. Used to secure communication.