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Tomcat Session Handling Problems with Windows 7 Clients

Chris DeFrank

Joined: Nov 18, 2010
Posts: 1

I recently started having trouble with some of the Tomcat sites I manage, but only with requests from Windows 7 clients (all using IE8, which doesn't seem part of the problem since IE8 XP users aren't having the problem).

What happens is that (seemingly randomly) users will receive a blank page when visiting one of the Tomcat-based sites. Any number of items have been ruled out including network issues, DNS problems, etc. The requests are making it to the Tomcat server and the failures are being logged. The only difference between a successful attempt to hit the site and a blank page is the following from stdout:

search: Tomcat session handling did not work.

This occurs immediately after a successful call to use NTLM authentication. In both success and failure, NTLM authentication is successful. When successful, the log goes on to report the application starting up, in failure the above line appears and then it just exits.

I have found no reference to the above error online or anything even close.

Does anyone have any clue what might be causing this or how to fix it?

Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 17423

Welcome to the JavaRanch, Chris!

Usually a "white page" indicates that server-side logic threw an exception.

Your "stdout" message looks funny. I'm not sure it's actually coming from Tomcat, so there may be some code in the webapp that's failing. Worse yet, some twit may have intercepted an exception, written a "log" message and then thrown away the exception details. People do that.

First off, try scanning the source code to see if you can find that message in the application source. If you're using a custom security Realm, also check its source (or get whoever wrote it to do so).

Also, try looking in the TOMCAT_HOME/logs/localhostxxxxxx logfile. Sometimes errors show up there and not in catalina.out.

An IDE is no substitute for an Intelligent Developer.
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Tomcat Session Handling Problems with Windows 7 Clients
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