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Fix for Connection Reset on POST

Posted by Armin Ronacher on 2011-06-03 @ 14:20 and filed in Deployment

You might notice that if you start not accessing .form or .files on incoming POST requests, some browsers will honor this with a connection reset message. This can happen if you start rejecting uploads that are larger than a given size.

Some WSGI servers solve that problem for you, others do not. For instance the builtin Flask webserver is pretty dumb and will not attempt to fix this problem.

Thankfully it's easy to fix this in a WSGI middleware. But first we have to figure out why it's actually happening. The reason this happens is that the browser will have queued up quite some bytes sent and will not start reading from the socket unless it transmitted everything to the server. Because the server however is not accepting the data, it's not responding.

The fix is to actually read all the bytes on the server and discarding them.

This can do the trick for you:

from werkzeug.wsgi import LimitedStream

class StreamConsumingMiddleware(object):

    def __init__(self, app):
        self.app = app

    def __call__(self, environ, start_response):
        stream = LimitedStream(environ['wsgi.input'],
                               int(environ['CONTENT_LENGTH'] or 0))
        environ['wsgi.input'] = stream
        app_iter = self.app(environ, start_response)
            for event in app_iter:
                yield event
            if hasattr(app_iter, 'close'):

To apply the middleware in Flask, do this:

app.wsgi_app = StreamConsumingMiddleware(app.wsgi_app)

What does this do? We wrap the stream in a LimitedStream. This class in Werkzeug internally keeps track of how many bytes were consumed and will not read past the given limit (The CONTENT_LEGNTH). The call to exhaust() will start exhausting all bytes after the application provided the response. The downside of this solution is that your application must not not read bytes in a streamed response.

This snippet by Armin Ronacher can be used freely for anything you like. Consider it public domain.