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TACACS (User Formatting)

IXP Manager can generate formatted lists of user information. The best example of this is for TACACS.

TACACS is used in most IXPs to manage access to switching and routing devices:

  • to allow staff access to these devices with administrative privileges;
  • to allow limited / full access to vendor support / TAC personnel;
  • to allow member user access to services such as the route collector.

IXP Manager comes with a flexible template for generating the user section of a TACACS file.

Generating TACACS Configuration

You can use the IXP Manager API to get the user section of a TACACS file using the following endpoint formats (both GET and POST requests work):{priv}{priv}/{template}


And example of a user in the response is:

user=joebloggs {
    login = des "$2y$10$pHln5b4DrPj3uuhgfg45HeWEQLK/3ngRxYgYppbnYzleJ.9EpLAN."

Optional Parameters

You can optionally POST any of the following to change elements of the default template:

  • template: only relevant when you want to specify a specific template without a privilege.
  • priv: same as above.
  • users: a comma-separated list of usernames to return rather than all / all based on privilege.
  • bcrypt: IXP Manager stores bcrypt hashes with the prefix 2y. Some systems, such as TACACS+ on FreeBSD, require 2a. If you set bcrypt=2a, this substitution will be made before the data is returned.
  • group: we put all users in the admin group in the default template. You can change that here.

An example of changing these parameters is:

curl --data "users=bob,alice&group=god&bcrypt=2a" -X POST \
    -H "Content-Type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded" \
    -H "X-IXP-Manager-API-Key: my-ixp-manager-api-key" \

Templates / Skinning

You can use skinning to make changes to the bundled default template or, preferably, add your own.

Let's say you wanted to add your own template called mytemplate1 and your skin is named myskin. The best way to proceed is to copy the bundled example:

mkdir -p resources/skins/myskin/api/v4/user/formatted
cp resources/views/api/v4/user/formatted/default.foil.php resources/skins/myskin/api/v4/user/formatted/mytemplate1.foil.php

You can now edit this template as required. The only constraint on the template name is it can only contain characters from the classes a-z, 0-9, -. NB: do not use uppercase characters.

All variables available in the template can be seen in the default template.

Setting Up TACACS

This section explains how to set up TACACS with IXP Manager. We assume you already have an understanding of TACACS.

Generating / Updating TACACS

At INEX, we use a script that:

  • includes the header and footer information for the conf file;
  • pulls the user details from IXP Manager (specific users);
  • validates the config;
  • compares to current;
  • reloads / restarts tac_plus if required.

You can find that script in this directory. Alter it to suit your own purposes.

Last update: August 20, 2020