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Subject DO NOT REPLY [Bug 45474] New: Reverse proxy and very first request = Invalid direct reference to form login page.
Date Thu, 24 Jul 2008 10:34:47 GMT

           Summary: Reverse proxy and very first request = Invalid direct
                    reference to form login page.
           Product: Apache httpd-2
           Version: 2.2.8
          Platform: PC
        OS/Version: Windows XP
            Status: NEW
          Severity: normal
          Priority: P2
         Component: mod_proxy

Created an attachment (id=22313)
 --> (
httpd and tomcat config files.

When using Apache httpd as a reverse proxy for two Tomcats that use FORM
authentication the first authentication (and only the first) after restart of
the servers always fails with an 'Invalid direct reference to form login page'

I can reliably repeat the error and it occurs on Firefox, IE and even using
WGET. However the weird bit is that doing the exact same steps again never
causes the error again unless the servers are shut down and restarted.

I had one moment of wonder when the problem didn't occur on a completely fresh
install, but the problem reoccurred again after I stopped and started the
servers to confirm.

The steps to reproduce are simple...

Stop all servers.
Restart Tomcat 1.
Restart Tomcat 2.
Restart Apache.
Make request to a resource that requires authentication - in my case to
Server responds with authentication request. (FORM based)
Client Authenticates.
Server responds with error 'Invalid direct reference...'

At any other time the last step is 'Server responds with resource initially
requested'. Also if you bypass the httpd side of things (go directly to the
Tomcat ports) you do not get the error even after a complete restart.

I do use simpleTcpCluster for session replication across the Tomcats and for
your info I've attached a version of the various configuration files. The
Tomcat configuration files are identical bar the required port number changes.

And yes I have commented out the JSP stuff - I don't use it. Maybe that's

All the servers are running on a single machine and this is to be its
'production' set up, but it should also be able to cope with running on
different machines.

Apache httpd version = 2.2.8
tcnative-1.dll version = 1.1.12-win32
Apache tomcat version = 6.0.16

Any help much appreciated.

Rob Stewart (

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