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Keep Alive / persistent connections - Printable Version

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Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-04-2010 10:24 PM

Just found this very handy tool. Great stuff!

Run a test here http://www.webpagetest.org/result/100504_NQ/.

Apart from some obvious ones, it states that none of the files have a Keep Alive header. Afaik they do, and Firebug confirms this (see attached image for global.css; others are similar).

Any thoughts/ideas Huh


RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - green-watch.org - 05-04-2010 10:31 PM

Hey Ruud,

If the website is on your own server, try going to Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

Right click your website on the left and click properties.

Make sure "Enable HTTP Keep-Alives" is checked.

I have a Windows server. This worked for me except for coldfusion pages. I am still working on that part.

Travis Walters

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-04-2010 10:41 PM

Hey Travis,
Thanks for the respons.

I use a shared hoster who uses Apache 2.x. So can not tweak as much as I might like (but it keeps me also from breaking it...).


RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - pmeenan - 05-04-2010 11:09 PM

Ping the support line for your hosting provider. It's not uncommon for there to be a BrowserMatch line in the httpd.conf that inadvertently disables keep alives for all IE versions (it's usually in there for IE6 SSL reasons or something like that). That's usually why it looks fine in Firefox but not IE.

Probably worth checking your .htaccess if you have one to make sure the BrowserMatch line isn't in there as well.


RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-05-2010 05:57 AM

Hey Pat,

Awaiting answer from my hoster. Will post here when they come back and if it is solved.

PS afaik this setting is not available in htaccess files; only on server configuration level.

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - pmeenan - 05-05-2010 06:13 AM

The keep alive setting isn't available in .htaccess but you can break it in .htaccess. Since it's working in fiirefox the global setting is fine but somewhere there is a BrowserMatch rule that is disabling keep-alive for IE.

BrowserMatch "MSIE 4\.0b2;" nokeepalive downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0

is a sample from the apache docs that will force IE 4.0b2 to get HTTP 1.0 responses and no keep alives. It's probably some variattion of a similar line done for different reasons but it's catching more browsers than it should because the browser string is probably being applied to all IE versions (either in their config or one of your .htaccess files).

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-05-2010 05:50 PM

thanks for the support sofar.

Checked my htaccess files, and no trace there. Has to be at server level.

Waiting for my hoster to come back and let you know.

BTW great tool is Fiddler2 that allows to fiddle (duh) with the headers etc and shows very nicely what happens with an User Agent set to IE or not. Runs with IE and FF.

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-06-2010 09:42 PM

Ok. Got respons back from hoster that they do have the setting as in Patrick's reply.

Afaik that should ONLY affect IE4 User Agents, and not anything else. Correct?
In my situation it does close the connection for IE8 for example. What should they be looking for, or what should be changed?

BTW the hoster is very reluctant to change 'a standard setup' and points towards a VPS solution they have. Not what I want of course, since it should work properly with those IE versions that support correctly persistent connections.

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - pmeenan - 05-06-2010 10:15 PM

Can you have them provide ALL of the BrowserMatch lines from their httpd.conf that include MSIE? If I had to guess, they don't have the exact line I posted and theirs is accidentally whacking ALL versions of IE.

I understand their aversion to changing the standard config but on the flipside, it also means that persistent connections are broken for ALL of their customers.

RE: Keep Alive / persistent connections - Der Rudi - 05-07-2010 05:41 PM

According to my hoster these are all BowserMatch settings in their server configuration:

BrowserMatch "Mozilla/2" nokeepalive
BrowserMatch "MSIE 4\.0b2;" nokeepalive downgrade-1.0 force-response-1.0
BrowserMatch "RealPlayer 4\.0" force-response-1.0
BrowserMatch "Java/1\.0" force-response-1.0
BrowserMatch "JDK/1\.0" force-response-1.0

Looks like a real out of the box installation and I see no indication here why IE gets its connections closed. BTW they use Apache 2.

Any other ideas left, or should I live with it?