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Problem loading www.msnbc.msn.com behind Smoothwall resolved

The msnbc.msn.com website used to load with a blank page for me. No mention of this bug on the smoothwall forums but, it has bit me using both smoothwall 2.0 and 3.0 (which I just upgraded to this past weekend). I had to widen my google search a bit and finally found this lone post on the Endian firewall bug tracker that described my troubles.  Turns out to be a problem with the interaction of Squid 2.6 with MSNBC’s web server. (So, actually, it’s not a smoothwall problem, per se.  I also had advanced proxy installed – on both the 2.0 and 3.0 installs – and the default web proxy install on smoothwall initially appeared to not have the problem.  I didn’t leave the default install running long enough to confirm if the site repeatedly worked fine.)

So, for a smoothwall 3.0 install, with the advanced proxy plug-in (using Squid 2.6.STABLE20 in my case), here is the fix:

Open the include.acl file located at /var/smoothwall/proxy/advanced/acls in your favorite editor.  Drop in the following lines at the bottom (and after any other acls that may already be in the file):

#fix for msnbc.msn.com chunked
acl chunked dstdomain .msnbc.msn.com
header_access Accept-Encoding deny chunked
#fix for msnbc.msn.com chunked

Restart the advanced proxy and you’re good to go!

Make sure you put your acl mods in the include.acl file only.  The squid.conf file and other acl files are managed by the web interface and will be overwritten the next time you “save” from the smoothwall web interface.

UPDATE:  found this post that implies this should only be a problem on Squid 3.0 installs.  Hmm…

UPDATE 2:  to confirm this is the same problem, you should see a message like this “Oversized chunk header on port 46294, url http://www.msnbc.msn.com/” in your /var/log/squid/cache.log

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