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How to See the HTTP Message Exchange between browser and Tomcat?

Alec Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2004
Posts: 569
Hi all,

I am studying Servlet and JSP programming. I am using Tomcat in win98. Is
there anyway I can tap the normal HTTP message exchanged between IE and
Tomcat? (for studying purpose e.g. to tell how cookie is used for session

Thx for your advice.
Dale Seng
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2004
Posts: 275
Google "naviscope". A few years ago it was around for free, and worked well. It's a proxy server that you load on your local machine and it shows you more http header stuff than you can shake a stick at.

Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3323
1. You can use 'tcpmon' utility from Apache Axis framework. [more details ...]

2. Another option could be to use WebSphere Studio Application Developer and it's excellent 'TCP/IP Monitoring Server' [more details ...]


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Ture Hefner

Joined: Nov 14, 2004
Posts: 18
I like to use PuTTY to sniff HTTP response headers:

I learned how to use PuTTY to sniff HTTP request/response when I was reading the O'Reilly book for Struts. It is mentioned somewhere in the introductory chapters. If you install PuTTY then you can configure a session to hit your Tomcat server. Use the PuTTY GUI to configure these settings for your session:

close window on exit: never
You can turn on logging if you want.

Type your HTTP request into a textpad and copy it to get it into your buffer so you can quickly paste it when you open a connection to your server. Something like this:

GET /Beer-v1/form.html HTTP/1.1
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac )S X Mach-O; en-US; rv1.4) Gecko/20030624 Netscape/7.1
Accept: text/html
Accept-Language: en-us
Accept-Encoding: gzip,deflate
Accept-Charset: ISO-8859-1,utf-8;q=0.7,*;q=0.7
Keep-Alive: 300
Connection: keep-alive

Hit the "Open" button on the PuTTY gui to open a connection to your web server.

Paste your request into the window that pops up by right-clicking the mouse
and then hit return a few times (you need a blank line to end the request, I think).

If you set PuTTY to "close window on exit = never" then you will see the HTTP response in the window:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
ETag: W/"540-1100387127031"
Last-Modified: Sat, 13 Nov 2004 23:05:27 GMT
Content-Type: text/html
Content-Length: 540
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2004 22:37:40 GMT
Server: Apache-Coyote/1.1

<h1 align="center">Beer Selection Page</h1>
<form method="post" action="">
Select beer characteristics<p>
<select name="color" size="1">
<input type="submit">

I agree. Here's the link:
subject: How to See the HTTP Message Exchange between browser and Tomcat?
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