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ssl on tomcat: making all links also https

+1 vote

I'm using apache 2.2 as front end and apache tomcat 6.0.37 as backend. I'm using mod_jk for connecting them.

The problem is. I'm using ssl certificates and configured ssl on apache. when I connect the site with https it works but when I click on an link it no more secure i.e. its not secure browsing anymore.

My requirement is as follows.

If user connects as https all the links should work as https. If the user connects as http all the links should work as http is such thing is possible?

posted Dec 4, 2013 by Meenal Mishra

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Do you mean that links on your https:// pages are http:// (i.e. non-secure) links? What does the code look like that produced your pages (e.g. static file, JSP, or servlet)?

Give us the following and we can help:

a.  configuration for all connectors. Remember to remove any sensitive information you may have in that configuration.
b.. Explain how your webapp produces link URLs. An example would be great.
Yes. I have so many http links as some of our old submitted apps used non secured http links as the apps are in use we cannot change it. I cannot use any redirect rules to convert all the http to https because of that.

We use struts for framework. And normal jsp pages. I'm not a developer so cant say much about it.

This is in my server.xml
$ cat mod_jk.conf
# Where to find
JkWorkersFile /etc/httpd/conf.d/
# Where to put jk logs
JkLogFile /var/log/httpd/mod_jk.log
# Set the jk log level [debug/error/info]
JkLogLevel info
# Select the log format
JkLogStampFormat "[%a %b %d %H:%M:%S %Y] "
# JkOptions indicate to send SSL KEY SIZE,
JkOptions +ForwardKeySize +ForwardURICompat -ForwardDirectories
# JkRequestLogFormat set the request format
JkRequestLogFormat "%w %V %T"
# Send servlet for context /examples to worker named worker1
#JkMount /examples worker1
# Send JSPs for context /examples/* to worker named worker1
JkMount /* worker1
JkShmFile /etc/httpd/logs/jk-runtime-status

$ cat /etc/httpd/conf.d/

Let me know if there is anything else i need to provide

1 Answer

+1 vote

The basic problem is that these old apps are very badly written, if they use absolute URLs to point to things on the same site.

The only real good way to do this, is to modify these apps and pages, to use relative links. Maybe you could do that with some automated script ?


Otherwise, you are going to be applying patches over patches over redirects over rewrites all over the place, and there will always be something not working, and it will be a maintenance nightmare.

What you have to think about it this :
- If *the browser* gets a html page containing a link that starts with "http://", then *the browser* is going to establish a HTTP (non-secure) connection with the server, and send that request through this connection.
- If *the browser* gets a html page containing a link that starts with "https://", then *the browser* is going to establish a HTTPS (secure) connection with the server, and pass that request through this connection.

There is nothing that the server can do, to magically change a HTTP to a HTTPS connection. (At best, the server could send back a "redirect" response).

So if your pages, server-side, originally contain links that start with "http://", you have to change those links, *inside of the pages*, before you send them to the browser. Otherwise there is little that you can do on the server side.

You can theoretically achieve this, on the server side, with a filter which examines all the outgoing pages and replaces the links in them before they go out to the browser, but as you can imagine this is very inefficient, and prone to errors.

answer Dec 5, 2013 by Kumar Mitrasen
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