Incomplete HTTP request body sent to upstream

Maxim Dounin mdounin at
Wed Nov 19 15:10:00 UTC 2014


On Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 02:13:41PM +0100, Roman Borschel wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm experiencing an issue whereby nginx and the upstream server get into
> disagreement about the state of the HTTP interaction, apparently caused by
> nginx not transmitting the complete request body. The scenario is as
> follows, using nginx as a reverse proxy with upstream keepalive:
> 1. Client sends a POST request to nginx with a Content-Length header and a
> relatively large body, i.e. spanning many TCP segments.
> 2. Nginx forwards the request line and headers and starts forwarding the
> body to the upstream server.
> 3. While nginx is still sending, the upstream server responds early with a
> 409 based on information in the request headers, without consuming the body.
> 4. Nginx eventually stops sending the body, i.e. it does not transmit the
> full number of bytes as specified in the Content-Length, presumably because
> of the server response.
> 5. Nginx reuses the same upstream connection for a different request, in
> this case a GET request.
> 6. The upstream server does not see this as a new HTTP request, as it is
> still awaiting more data according to the Content-Length.
> At this point the client who sent the GET request and nginx wait for a
> response while the upstream server is waiting for more data until one of
> them hits a timeout (whichever has the lowest timeout) which eventually
> results in the connection being closed.
> According to RFC2616, 8.2.2 [1] if the request contained a Content-Length
> and the client (nginx in this case) ceases to transmit the body (due to an
> error response) the client (nginx) would have to close the connection,
> which does not happen.
> I am reasonably certain that the client is always transmitting the full
> body as the problem does not occur when the client talks directly to the
> upstream server and an otherwise identical request/response pattern (i.e.
> an early error response).
> Can someone clarify on whether this is expected behaviour / as designed on
> behalf of nginx?

This is a bug, currently keepalive connections cache doesn't know 
about the fact that nginx stopped sending the body early and the 
connection shouldn't be cached.  Some earlier discussion and 
an attempt to fix this can be found in the thread here:

Trivial workaround is to disable use of keepalive connections 
(actually, this is the default) if your backend behaves this way.

Maxim Dounin

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