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Looks like new Firefox cache temporary redirection

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We are using Firefox as company standard web browser. Starting from version 4 we have problems that looks like Firefox cache IP address assigned with domain name too long.

We have main site with DNS wildcard, ex. ourcompany.com, so queries like: www.ourcompany.com, sales.ourcompany.com or lorem.ipsum.ourcompany.com redirects to our main site. Site is configured as one of virtual hosts on our web server - there is also default web site with temporary redirect to our main site (to catch all requests). This site is available from everywhere.

We have also some intranet sites as subdomains of in.ourcompany.com, ex. crm.in.ourcompany.com, someapp.in.ourcompany.com. These domain names are visible only from our internal networks. When asking from external networks you will get IP of our main site (thanks too wildcard - like above).

To access our internal apps from external networks we use VPN app - these configuration works fine for us for few years.

Starting from Firefox 4 when user enters intranet site before he connect via VPN - he is landing on our external main site (this works as it should). Then he realizes that he needs VPN, he's connecting via VPN and still getting our main site.

These behavior is quite problematic because of another example: user have some internal sites setup as Home page (starting page). He tooks his notebook to home and connects to Internet for private usage. When starting Firefox intranet sites are trying to load but they're redirected to our main site - then user may surf on net. Next day when he's in our LAN network Firefox remembers these redirection an still opening our external site.

It's not DNS issue :

  1. ipconfig /flushdns - don't work
  2. restarting Firefox - don't work
  3. disabling internal Firefox DNS cache don't works (network.dnsCacheExpiration (integer) = 0, network.dnsCacheEntries (integer) = 0)

private mode - sometime works clearing history and cache - works always

Looks like Firefox cache temp redirection and is using these cache even a few hour later. Clearing browser history every time when using VPN is really annoying for our users.

How to make Firefox 4/5 to behave like 3.6.x in such case?

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I'm not an expert on this but I read on mxr that the list of cachable redirects for 3.6 and 4 is the same. So you really need to give more info to get an answer. Like which redirects this is about, what you use for cache-control. Maybe you can enable http logging on Firefox from the commandline and see what Firefox is doing. Without log, everything is only guessing.

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Thanks for your reply.

This is example log: http://pastebin.pl/a7aead315d5b5e50419b4925604075d4

Could you help me with interpretation?

P.S. Strange URLS like www.myorganization.comvhd are results of rewriting rules on www.myorganization.com site - this site don't know syntax of internal apps URLS so they are rewrited in such way.

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Sorry I can not help you a lot with this log. I only know following: from line 152 you can see how Firefox basically works: first it checks if there is information in the cache from previous requests. On line 153-156 the contents of the cache is analyzed then Firefox has to make a decision: do we use it or not? this is called validation: if the contents of the cache is not good, we have to go to the server again.So to see why Firefox is using the cache or not, you look for "validating based on". When firefox is really reading from the cache, you see "using cached copy of". On line 154 you see that the cache has a normal page httpstatuscode 200. A http redirect has a statuscode of 300-399. If there is a http-redirect, firefox will look for a header called location. The location has the new uri. Then firefox will do this cycle again (check cache, check validation, read from cache or do GET request)