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Apache 1.3 documentation
Access Control by URL
Apache 1.3 Dynamic Shared Object (DSO) support
Apache Content Negotiation
Apache Keep-Alive Support
Apache Multiple Log Files
Apache extra features
Apache module mod_foobar
Apache suEXEC Support
Apache suEXEC Support
Apache's Handler Use
Compiling Apache under UnixWare
Compiling and Installing Apache
Custom error responses
How Directory, Location and Files sections work
Installing Apache on TPF
Issues Regarding DNS and Apache
New features with Apache 1.1
New features with Apache 1.2
New features with Apache 1.3
PATH_INFO Changes in the CGI Environment
Server Pool Management
Setting which addresses and ports Apache uses
Source Re-organisation
Special Purpose Environment Variables
Starting Apache
Stopping and Restarting Apache
The Apache EBCDIC Port
The Apache TPF Port
Upgrading to 1.3 from 1.2
Using Apache with Microsoft Windows
Using Apache with Novell NetWare 5

Apache Keep-Alive Support

What is Keep-Alive?

The Keep-Alive extension to HTTP, as defined by the HTTP/1.1 draft, allows persistent connections. These long-lived HTTP sessions allow multiple requests to be send over the same TCP connection, and in some cases have been shown to result in an almost 50% speedup in latency times for HTML documents with lots of images.

Enabling Keep-Alive Support

Apache 1.1 comes with Keep-Alive support on by default, however there are some directives you can use to modify Apache's behavior:

Note: Apache 1.2 uses a different syntax for the KeepAlive directive.


Syntax: KeepAlive max-requests
Default: KeepAlive 5
Context: server config
Status: Core

This directive enables Keep-Alive support. Set max-requests to the maximum number of requests you want Apache to entertain per connection. A limit is imposed to prevent a client from hogging your server resources. Set this to 0 to disable support.


Syntax: KeepAliveTimeout seconds
Default: KeepAliveTimeout 15
Context: server config
Status: Core

The number of seconds Apache will wait for a subsequent request before closing the connection. Once a request has been received, the timeout value specified by the Timeout directive applies.

When Keep-Alive Is Used

In order for Keep-Alive support to be used, first the browser must support it. Many current browsers, including Netscape Navigator 2.0, and Spyglass Mosaic-based browsers (including Microsoft Internet Explorer) do. Note, however, that some Windows 95-based browsers misbehave with Keep-Alive-supporting servers; they may occasionally hang on a connect. This has been observed with several Windows browsers, and occurs when connecting to any Keep-Alive server, not just Apache. Netscape 3.0b5 and later versions are known to work around this problem.

However, Keep-Alive support only is active with files where the length is known beforehand. This means that most CGI scripts, server-side included files and directory listings will not use the Keep-Alive protocol. While this should be completely transparent to the end user, it is something the web-master may want to keep in mind.

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