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From Tom Browder <>
Subject [users@httpd] Log problem with REMOTE_USER containing spaces
Date Sun, 17 Jul 2011 19:10:15 GMT
I am a new apache2 user and have started mining my access logs (with
Perl progs) for certain info.  I have had great success using the
Parse::AccessLogEntry module from, but I have had a few
instances where it bombed on the default extended common format.

In those cases I found that a user tried to enter a $REMOTE_USER name
with spaces (e.g., "Joe Lee") and the resulting log parse bombed
because the log format does not have the %u protected by quotes.  I'm
sorry to say I've deleted those lines in the access log so I don't
know what return code was shown, but the error log shows "Digest: user
`Joe Lee' in realm `realm' not found" (name and realm disguised here).

I  can think of several solutions, but where does the real problem lie?

My thoughts:

1.  I can put quotes around the "%u" which will work for me, but now I
have to mod the parser to always expect it.
2.  Should the Apache log format be changed?  Is it a bug, or should
it become a new, named log format?
3.  Can such a user name be filtered by Apache and replace the space
with the http URL space encoding '%20' or '+'?
4.  Should the auth modules reject such names?

So far it has just been an irritant, but I would like to know is this
my problem alone, or is it something for an upstream solution?  If
it's my problem, suggested fixes will be appreciated.

Thanks and best regards,


Thomas M. Browder, Jr.
Niceville, Florida

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