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Java and FTP Problems with Proxy

Posted on 2007-08-10
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
Hi all,

We just deployed a WebWasher proxy/url filter in our environment. The proxy provides the only path to the internet; the default route otherwise is an MPLS cloud which contains no entry into the internet. Users connect to the proxy via a very simple proxy.pac file that points specific source IP addresses to the proxy server. We are having the following issues with 95% of the users that use the proxy/proxy pac:

1.) Java applets do not function
2.) FTP is not available

The remaining 5% of users are able to user java and ftp.

When I run a packet capture against a PC that fails (during an FTP download and the opening of a java applet), I clearly see that the PC goes directly out to the internet, bypassing the proxy altogether (which, as I stated above, will not work because of routing).

Anyone have any ideas on this? To me, it sounds like a desktop issue, but I can't identify what is causing it.
Note: Computers are all Windows XP. I vefied that java setting are set to "use browser settings."

Thanks!
MeadeMan
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Question by:meade470
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by:giltjr
ID: 19674751
What are the settings on the desktops that don't work?  Are they using proxy or proxy.pac?  Do they have the same "bypass" options coded as computers that work?
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by:meade470
ID: 19675640
The settings on all the computers are the same: they all use the proxy pac file. The proxy pac is the same as well.
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by:giltjr
ID: 19675689
Do they all use the same exact proxy pac, or do they all use an exact copy?

Meaning, is there only one proxy pac file that they all get via file share, or is there one master copy that gets copied to each indvidual comptuer?

If each computer has its own copy of the same master file, then I would check to make sure it has not been altered.  Also, since proxy pac files are javascript files you can actually add  alerts to them to trace where you are within the scritp.  So you could add alerts to see if the script is flowing the way you think it should.
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by:meade470
ID: 19677783
Thanks for the comments!

I am 99% certain all PC's are using the same proxy pac (it comes from a file share).

As far as this: "Also, since proxy pac files are javascript files you can actually add  alerts to them to trace where you are within the scritp.  So you could add alerts to see if the script is flowing the way you think it should."

This sounds very interesting. Can you send a example or a link with an example?

Thanks!!
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by:justchat_1
ID: 19678274
Make sure java is configured to use a proxy server:
http://www.java.com/en/download/help/proxy_setup.xml

I noticed that "use browser settings" is checked but how is the default browser currently configured (aka proxy settings)?
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by:giltjr
ID: 19678866
I seem to remember a few issues with Java and "use browser settings".  With IE there are few ways to specify/get proxy settings and I beleive that it only worked with one of them.

You can specify to use a specific proxy pac file from a specific locataion.  If the file was not avalaible then you can't do anything as it will bypass the proxy for everything.  The "specific" location can be a file on the users hard drive, a file from a file server or even a url pointing to a web server.

You can have IE autodetect a proxy, I do not think Java worked with this.

You can have a special file that is a MS unique file that is like a proxy pac file, but has a bunch of MS only stuff in it.  This did not work with Java.
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by:meade470
ID: 19678912
Thanks everyone for the comments. I have verfied the following conditions are true in our environment:

1.) The java applet fails when the proxy pac file is used.
2.) The java applet succeeds when the proxy pac is avoided and web traffic is sent directly to the proxy.

Our proxy pac file is so simple that (looks only for source subnet) that this seems to be buggy behavior. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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by:giltjr
ID: 19678931
I need to see if I can find my notes.  I know I had major issues attempting to use Java and proxy.pac files.  However I thought my issues were due to the fact that we were using a SOCKS server and not a proxy server.

You may want to check:

http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=6346688

which deals with a bug in Java where the pac does not work and:

http://bugs.sun.com/bugdatabase/view_bug.do?bug_id=5067959

the second one deal with the unqiue MS configuration file I refered to earlier, it is a "ins" file.
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by:meade470
ID: 19679147
Thanks again for comments.

giltjr: I have seen these links--thanks for sending them.

I have recently verified the following:

1.) Java works when using the proxy pac with Firefox.
2.) Java does NOT work when using the proxy pac with Internet Explorer.

So, the Java problem seems isolated to using Internet Explorer with the proxy pac (remember that Java works when using Internet Explorer straight to the proxy, bypassing the proxy pac).

Weird. I have tried adjusting some of the "Advanced Settings" in Internet Explorer, but none of my changes have worked.

Thanks!
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giltjr earned 2000 total points
ID: 19680132
I did some more searching and there seems to be a re-occuring theme of Java and IE having issues with this.

I know that I have had other Java and IE interaction problems.  Such as configuring a JVM instance to start with specific memory sizes; it works with Firefox, but not IE.
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