Recipe 6.4 Limiting Upload Size


With more and more web hosting services allowing customers to upload documents, uploads may become too large. With a little creativity, you can put a limit on uploads by using the security capabilities of the server.


Assume you want to put a limit on uploads of ten thousand (10,000) bytes. Here's how you could do that for your /upload location:

SetEnvIf Content-Length "^[1-9][0-9]{4,}" upload_too_large=1 <Location /upload>     Order Deny,Allow     Deny from env=upload_too_large     ErrorDocument 403 /cgi-bin/remap-403-to-413 </Location>

You can tailor the response by making the /cgi-bin/remap-403-to-413 script look something like this:

#! /usr/local/bin/perl # # Perl script to turn a 403 error into a 413 IFF # the forbidden status is because the upload was # too large. # if ($ENV{'upload_too_large'}) {     #     # Constipation!     #     print <<EOHT Status: 413 Request Entity Too Large Content-type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-length: 84 Sorry, but your upload file exceeds the limits set forth in our terms and conditions. EOHT } else {     #     # This is a legitimate "forbidden" error.     #     my $uri = $ENV{'REDIRECT_REQUEST_URI'};     my $clength = 165 + length($uri);     print <<EOHT Status: 403 Forbidden Content-type: text/html; charset=iso-8859-1 Content-length: $clength <html>  <head>   <title>Forbidden</title>  </head>  <body>   <h1>Forbidden</h1>   <p>   You don't have permission to access $uri   on this server.   </p>  </body> </html> EOHT } exit(0);


This script is invoked when a request results in a 403 Forbidden error (which is what the Deny directive causes if it's triggered). It checks to see if it's a real forbidden condition, or whether the upload file is too large, displaying an appropriate error page.

Note that both paths issue a Status CGI response header field; this is necessary to propagate the correct status back to the client. Without this, the status code would be 200 OK because the script would have been invoked successfully, which is hardly the appropriate status. An incorrect status code may cause the browser to report to the user that the file was uploaded successfully, which might generate confusion, as this may be in conflict with the message of the error page.

Actually there is a status value that corresponds to "you sent me something too large" (413), so we remap the Deny's 403 (Forbidden) status to it.

The same Content-length field is used to indicate the amount of data included in a POST request, such as from a web form submission, so be careful not to set your maximum too low or your forms may start getting this error!

See Also

  • Chapter 9

Apache Cookbook
Apache Cookbook: Solutions and Examples for Apache Administrators
ISBN: 0596529945
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 215

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