Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

i am working on an HTTP server which is supposed to only allow a certain amount of connections per user. How do I gracefully tell the user that more than n connections are not permitted. I tried answering the (n+1)th request with a 403 but apparently that kills the whole download. (At least with Down them All)

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

429: Too Many Requests

seems to be the one.

share|improve this answer

Wikipedia lists a few possibilities:

503 Service Unavailable

The server is currently unavailable (because it is overloaded or down for maintenance).[2] Generally, this is a temporary state.

509 Bandwidth Limit Exceeded (Apache bw/limited extension)

This status code, while used by many servers, is not specified in any RFCs.

For FTP:

450 Requested file action not taken. File unavailable (e.g., file busy).

share|improve this answer

If the user is exceeding a user specific cap, then 429 "Too Many Requests".

But, if the user is within their individual cap (or none exists), but the server is buckling under the aggregate across all users 509 "Bandwidth Limit Exceeded" (this one is common convention, but not defined this way by an RFC).

The difference is that in the first case we have a naughty client, so 4xx series error. In the latter case, the server oversubscribed its capacity and admits defeat, so 5xx series error.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.