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From Richard Crawford <>
Subject Re: [users@httpd] Delivering huge documents
Date Wed, 09 Mar 2005 19:02:28 GMT
Noah wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 09, 2005 at 10:31:21AM -0800, Richard Crawford wrote:
>>We're having a problem delivering very large pdf documents to our 
>>website users.  I'm not sure that this is something I can address in the 
>>httpd configuration, but I've toyed with the TimeOut directive in 
>>httpd.conf.  Am I on the right track?
> What exactly is the problem and what (if any) effect is this having on
> Apache? =)

Sorry I wasn't clear.  Got interrupted and sent the earlier message off 
in a hurry.

We have a document which is a 1.5MB PDF document.  For some of our 
visitors, the download seems to stop before the full document is 
delivered.  I haven't been able to identify any common issues among the 
visitors who are having the problems (though I suspect they're on a 
dialup connection).  The PDF itself seems to be have no problems, since 
it's delivered just fine over broadband connections.  This issue appears 
to be browser-independent as well.  I've also confirmed that the 
affected users are using the most recent version of Acrobat Reader as well.

I had wondered if the TimeOut directive in my Apache httpd configuration 
might be the culprit; I knew that in earlier versions, if a document was 
too large, the TimeOut directive could cause Apache to stop delivering 
huge documents if it took longer than the amount of time defined in 
TimeOut.  However, we're using Apache 2.0.45, and our TimeOut is set to 
twenty minutes.  Just to be on the super-safe side, I set the TimeOut to 
two hours, though doing that makes me twitch.

Since we're using Cold Fusion, I also double-checked our timeout 
configuration in Cold Fusion.  It is disabled, as I set it up to be; I 
enabled it and set it to twenty minutes, but I don't think this will 
make a difference.

So, this is annoying me and it's costing us customers.  I've also set my 
KeepAliveTimout setting pretty high, but I don't know if that will have 
an impact.

So, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Richard S. Crawford
Programmer III
UC Davis Extension Distance Education Group (
2901 K Street, Suite 200C
Sacramento, CA  95816

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