Size of a request header field exceeds server limit

inetpro asked:

Here’s an interesting case of a client getting the a “400 Bad Request” error and seemingly unable to view a drupal home page hosted on Ubuntu 12.04.3 LTS using Apache/2.2.22:

Bad Request
Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.

Packet sniffing output:

...
T 2013/09/02 15:23:10.458167 ###.###.###.###:40027 -> ###.###.###.###:80 [A]
GET / HTTP/1.0.
If-None-Match: "1363160742-0", "1363165573-1", "1363175854-1", "1363175854-0", "1363179616-0", "1363181811-0", "1363239319-1", "1363255903-0", "1363259282-0", "1363263398-1", "1363274564-0", "1363329642-0", "1363332613-1", "1363333851-0", "1363599826-0", "1363678909-0", "1363684227-1", "1363699732-0", "1363755181-0", "1363765691-1", "1363767178-0", "1363780208-0", "1363787589-0", "1363795259-1", "1363852409-1", "1363863225-1", "1363928115-0", "1363951793-0", "1363951793-1", "1364133610-1", "1364187608-1", "1364187608-0", "1364203083-0", "1364208174-0", "1364214930-0", "1364219815-0", "1364274441-1", "1364280930-0", "1364280930-1", "1364286055-1", "1364298840-0", "1364298840-1", "1364360674-0", "1364364356-1", "1364381508-0", "1364385520-1", "1364460734-0", "1364882595-1", "1364903271-0", "1364967946-0", "1364967946-1", "1364981713-0", "1364985142-1", "1364992835-1", "1365061578-0", "1365065290-1", "1365076128-0", "1365141088-1", "1365167701-0", "1365171024-0", "1365402404-1", "1365402404-0", "1365411731-1", "1365416882-0", "1365476715-0", "1365487578-0", "1365488880-1", "1365503922-1", "1365514224-1", "1365579101-0", "1365580320-0", "1365582817-0", "1365584926-0", "1365589524-0", "1365608307-0", "1365649987-0", "1365682295-0", "1365685083-0", "1365770532-1", "1365770532-0", "1365844566-0", "1365996619-1", "1366093719-1", "1366093719-0", "1366115408-0", "1366180275-1", "1366186431-0", "1366196476-0", "13662669
...

At this stage I am not 100% sure whether it is just limited to a specific client but the error was reported by a user with the following user agent string:

Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_7_5) AppleWebKit/534.57.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1.7 Safari/534.57.7

Now the question remains what to do, is it a server issue or just a misbehaving client?

My answer:


This is going to be an issue with the user’s proxy server keeping too many variants of the cached page (old versions of squid would do this, for instance). Have them upgrade or remove the proxy server, clear their browser cache, and try again.

It could also be your caching reverse proxy, if you are running one.


View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.