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From Marc Slemko <>
Subject Re: Apache PR#190: IdentyCheck and server accessibility
Date Mon, 24 Feb 1997 23:08:23 GMT
On Mon, 24 Feb 1997, Rodent of Unusual Size wrote:

> >From the fingers of Jerry Morrison flowed the following:
> >
> >I turned on the IdentityCheck feature make server logs more informative.
> >(The identity info has a place in the standard server log format.)
> >
> >This worked fine on our server that's inside our firewall. But it made our
> >server that's outside our firewall inaccessible, at least from inside
> >the firewall. E.g. it didn't answer requests for server info.
>     Are you sure it didn't answer, or just took a very long time to do
>     so?  If you enable IdentityCheck, the server contacts the client
>     system on port 113 to determine who's making the request.  The
>     server will wait for 60 seconds to get an answer.  If the client
>     system doesn't have a listener on that port (i.e., isn't running
>     [p]identd or a friend), the request will block for that duration.
>     If the page actually results in lots of separate requests, it may
>     appear that the server isn't answering.

60 seconds is bogus.  My vote for changing it to 10 (before 1.2, IMHO). 
It is true that there is a large overhead associated with it and it is
only useful in very limited situations, but 60 seconds is too much. 

I think a configuration directive should be added to set the time (should
be a 5 line change), but NOT before 1.2.

>     One key to detecting this is that the browser will probably display
>     a status resembling, "server foo contacted, waiting for response."
>     If you wait long enough (up to N minutes for N requests), the page
>     will probably come through, and your access_log will show "unknown"
>     for the remote-user field.
> >Perhaps the IdentityCheck feature makes it wait forever on some info that's
> >blocked by the firewall.
>     In your particular case, the problem is almost certainly that a)
>     your client isn't running an RFC1413 listener, and/or b) your
>     firewall is blocking outbound connects to port 113.  Since it works
>     when the firewall isn't in the path, the latter sounds likely. ;->

In his case, I think the firewall is preventing connects from outside to
port 113 on the client.  A "good" firewall should proxy them or send a RST
in response like I normally setup mine to do so it times out right away.

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