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Technically, what is the difference between the way of hosting (on the server) of

  • a file that can be paused while downloading and resumed again, and
  • a file that needs to be downloaded in one go?
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migrated from superuser.com Aug 12 '10 at 23:08

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You might get a better answer at Server Fault or Pro Webmasters. –  ChrisF Aug 12 '10 at 20:33
    
I'd say server settings, so I think that you should heed ChrisF's advice. A link to SF question here would be welcome. –  AndrejaKo Aug 12 '10 at 20:45
    
This is something to do with HTTP headers (content-range IIRC), but the guys on server fault should have a better answer. –  wtaniguchi Aug 12 '10 at 20:55
    
I've started the migration process, so if 4 others agree the question will be moved. –  ChrisF Aug 12 '10 at 21:04
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The server would need to support the ability to serve partial content and handle partial requests. Most modern web servers are able to handle it unless you are using something that you built in-house.

You can get more information by reading this Apache document and the relevant RFCs. From the document linked - an example of a response.

HTTP/1.1 206 Partial Content
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 06:25:24 GMT
Last-Modified: Wed, 15 Nov 1995 04:58:08 GMT
Content-type: multipart/byteranges; boundary=THIS_STRING_SEPARATES

--THIS_STRING_SEPARATES
Content-type: application/pdf
Content-range: bytes 500-999/8000

...the first range...
--THIS_STRING_SEPARATES
Content-type: application/pdf
Content-range: bytes 7000-7999/8000

...the second range
--THIS_STRING_SEPARATES--
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A common one is a lack of a content-size or content-range header. Perhaps the author forgot to set one in their download script?

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