HUPnet - Helsinki University Public Network

Viljo Viitanen <>
University of Helsinki, IT Department


Hupnet (Helsinki University Public Network) is a free network access controller (NAC) software using WWW authentication for a NAT router/gateway based on Debian Linux, kernel 2.4. The software consists mainly of two parts, both made with Perl: a daemon running as root and login/logout cgi programs which send commands to the daemon. DHCP and DNS servers are also needed on the server.

Hupnet is meant for use on wireless networks (WLAN) but it works on cabled ethernet networks as well. Any WWW authentication method can be used on the login cgi program, especially Shibboleth, but other authentication methods such as PubCookie, LDAP and RADIUS can be used as well, the simplest being Apache "htpasswd" passwords (useful for testing the Hupnet gateway without proper authentication methods, which may be complicated to set up).

No special software is needed on the client/end user machines using a Hupnet gateway.

Getting Hupnet


(in Finnish/suomeksi)

Project page:


Hupnet was developed at the University of Helsinki ( IT Department in late 2000 and has been in production use since 2001. The first version was for 2.2 kernel and it used application level RADIUS authentication, it did not rely on the Apache authentication layer.

In early 2004 when the Finnish higher education community started to pilot Shibboleth, we at the University of Helsinki quickly realized that Shibboleth can be used as an authentication method for Hupnet to give roaming network access for members of other higher education institutions. The current Hupnet distribution is a result of a pilot project at CSC (the Finnish IT center for science, where the goal was to release 'Shibbolized' Hupnet.

There has also has been a presentation at the TERENA Networking Conference 2004 about Hupnet using Shibboleth by Mikael Linden from CSC.

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