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

Alec Lee
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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
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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
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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 ...]

Ture Hefner
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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
Host: www.wickedlysmart.com
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="SelectBeer.do">
Select beer characteristics<p>
<select name="color" size="1">
<input type="submit">
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