There is an Apache server on Solaris that is sending 'Transfer-Encoding: chunked' and not sending the 'Content-Length' header that I have in my PHP (used for downloading files). Do you know a way to prevent this?



I have tried the directive

 SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI get_file\.php$ no-gzip dont-vary

and now I get a file with the same file size of the original, but the file is corrupted. Here are the headers received from the server:

GET /output_file_download.php?fileID=130 HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20090729 Firefox/3.5.2 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)
Accept: text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8
Accept-Language: en-gb,en;q=0.5
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive
Cookie: user_id=7C%25R; intrauser=kE06Ub%238+2dHT%29U0t%28B%2A; intrakey=rtacconi; PHPSESSID=5a3f8edff822474f3b95b6a6e5c87ad2

HTTP/1.x 200 OK
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 2009 10:02:05 GMT
Server: Apache
Expires: 0
Cache-Control: private
Pragma: public
Content-Description: File Transfer
Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=alfresco-logo.gif
Content-Transfer-Encoding: binary
Content-Length: 2401
Keep-Alive: timeout=15, max=500
Connection: Keep-Alive
Content-Type: application/octet-stream

  • I had this problem just now, luckily I found this question. – Sumudu Fernando Sep 23 '12 at 9:21
  • 1
    ...and I meant to add: Rather than changing the Apache config, I called "apache_setenv('no-gzip', '1');" from PHP and the issue was fixed for me. Not sure why you saw corruption but I'd suspect something in the PHP script. – Sumudu Fernando Sep 23 '12 at 9:27
  • This looks like a duplicate of…. – FuePi Jul 17 at 14:15
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Chunked output occurs when Apache doesn't know the total output size before sending, as is the case with compressed transfer (Apache compresses data into chunks when they reach a certain size, then despatches them to the browser/requester while the script is still executing). You could be seeing this because you have mod_deflate or mod_gzip active. You can verify if this is your issue here.

You can disable mod_deflate per file like so (more here)

    SetEnvIfNoCase Request_URI get_file\.php$ no-gzip dont-vary

It's best left on in general as it greatly increases the speed of data transfer.

  • Please see my question, I have updated what is going on now. – rtacconi Sep 3 '09 at 10:08

The Apache 2 output filter will automatically add a content-length header if it sees an end-of-stream marker (EOS) AND nothing has been sent yet. source code:

if (ctx->data_sent == 0 && eos) {
  ap_set_content_length(r, r->bytes_sent);

If PHP passes any data down to Apache before it sends EOS, then chunking happens. PHP uses a output buffer of 4096 bytes by default. Any page smaller than that will not get chunked.

Also check if the content is fed via gzip (mod_gzip) and gets compressed apache will then turn to chunked encoding.

  • The content is fed via gzip, so probably we can disable that module for the web site. Can this solve the problem? Thanks. – rtacconi Aug 27 '09 at 10:43
  • You could try Andy's SetEnvIfNoCase recipe.. – rkthkr Aug 27 '09 at 11:18

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