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From André Warnier>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] http-equiv="refresh" ignored?
Date Tue, 07 Oct 2008 18:50:57 GMT wrote:
> On 10/7/08, Kynn Jones <> wrote:
>> Thanks for your help.
>> ... SNIP ...
>> In retrospect, I wish there had been an easier way for me to inspect the
>> requests sent by each browser.  I asked our sysadmin if there was a way to
>> configure Apache temporarily (i.e. only for debugging purposes) to record
>> all requests verbatim, but he did not know how to do this.
>> What browser-independent Apache tools are there for this type of analysis?
>> ... SNIP ...
>> TIA!
>> Kynn
> I do not know any Apache tools for troubleshooting network
> communications.  Others may have suggestions.
> Network sniffers|analyzers and tools for Windows and/or *nix
> tcpdump (*nix): logs all communications.
> WireShark (forked from Ethereal): logs/analyzes all communications
> telnet (*nix): Talk to any port.
> ssh (*nix): Talk to any port including encryption.
> Hyperterminal: Windows standard telnet program.
> putty: Windows client for telnet and ssh.
> The (poorly-named for enterprises) WireShark is probably best to see
> every communication -- includes ACKs and other control packets so you
> should understand (or will quickly learn) the intricacies of TCP/IP.
> WireShark logs every communication so filter by IP Address and packet
> type to isolate relevant communications.
> ssh (for *nix) and putty (for Windows) let you specify a port and type
> commands.  I have used these to troubleshoot SMTP and HTTP issues.
> You need to type the entire request.  For HTTP, this includes the GET
> or POST, headers, and content (for POST).  Changing the User-Agent
> header will show responses for different browsers.
> You should probably use both.  Use WireShark to learn everything the
> browsers are sending, then use a easier-to-control less-detailed
> client for testing.
> solprovider
Apart from the good recommendations above, may I suggest three 
additional tools :
1) not browser-independent since it is a Firefox add-on, but try the 
LiveHttpHeaders add-on.  Very easy to use, and it will show all the HTTP 
headers sent by Firefox when making a request, and all the HTTP headers 
returned by the server in the response.  You can also save the captured 
headers in a text file for easier later comparisons.
2) install perl on you workstation, and use the "lwp-request" program 
that comes with it.
That is a command-line utility program which allows you to compose a 
HTTP request with all the headers you want, and see the entire dialog 
between itself and the server (including headers, content if you wish, 
re-directs, whatever).  I find this an invaluable tool when debugging 
apparently weird HTTP issues.
3) This one takes some additional expertise :
Install perl and mod_perl on the server, and create your own Apache perl 
add-on module to pre-process (or call it "filter", although you do not 
modify anything) all requests and all responses, dumping the HTTP 
headers to some logfile.
That is probably the most powerful technique of all, because not only 
can you see what happens, but you can also easily modify any aspect of 
the request and/or the response to test things out.
That is my personal Swiss-army knife for Apache issues of all kinds.

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