Cookie problem & thanks

From: David Lee {DSL AK} <>
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 1996 14:02:33 +1300

Hi Squid Users,

Firstly, many thanks to all those who responded to my last posting on
'Memory problems' . The recommendation to link with the GNUmalloc
routines worked like a charm - problem solved. I am now able to make
better use of the memory in my system by increasing the cache_mem

My next problem is to do with 'cookies'. I am no expert on html and all
of its features, but here's what I've found so far:
There are quite a few site that create and send cookies as part of the
headers on html pages. These html pages/objects are cached by squid with
the result that all requests for that url will received the cached copy
of the html page, and thus the same cookie value. In most cases this is
not a problem for the user (it may be for the hosting site as it will
appear that all activity from that proxy server is generated by the one
browser). However, a few sites do use the cookie value for all
subsequent requests from the browser that recieved that cookie.
Specifically, the site uses the cookie value to identify
the 'shopping basket' into which a users is placing his/her selection of
cd's and tapes. Two or more people accessing cdnow through a squid proxy
server at the same time will end up using the same 'shopping basket' as
they will all receive the same cached cookie value, and thus cause a lot
of confusion. The other site that displays a similar problem (that I
know of) is, where the cookie value is used to inform
their system that you have visited the site before and registered a
login id with them.
I have tested this problem with the CERN proxy server and found that it
does not serve a cached copy of the htmp pages containing a cookie. I
have not tested the Netscape Proxy server, but believe it also works 'as
As a work-around, I am using the cache_stoplist_pattern to prevent the
caching of those specifing urls that contain cookies and which are
causing a problem. However, this solution is not satisfactory and a
general solution to all such 'problem' sites.

Question: Is there a configuration parameter that will make squid 1.1.0
not cache objects containing cookies ?
If not, can squid be modified to not cache objects with cookies ? I
realise that this would mean scanning every object for a text string to
determine whether the object should be discarded or not, and would
therefore produce a significant performance impact. How about providing
configuration options to allow for the scanning of only the first x
bytes of each url that matches a set of regexp patterns ?

Thanks for any help offered.

Received on Thu Dec 12 1996 - 17:30:17 MST

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