During the day, almost every day, I get a handful of 408 Request Timeout pages when doing stuff on Stack Overflow or Meta Stack Overflow.

Is this an Australia thing, or are others experiencing this intermittently?

  • Same here, very occasionally (like 2-3 times in 14 days).
    – Pekka
    Feb 24, 2011 at 0:24
  • @Pekka, the thing is I get it on no other sites, so I blame haproxy or something
    – waffles
    Feb 24, 2011 at 0:26
  • 2
    @waffles I've never seen it anywhere else than on SO and MSO (although I'm not entirely sure about the latter)
    – Pekka
    Feb 24, 2011 at 0:27
  • 1
    I get it on SO occasionally too, don't know that I've ever noticed it on meta (also in Sydney)
    – Jon
    Feb 24, 2011 at 0:55
  • 1
    +1. I'm US-based and get this on SO periodically. Thought it was just a bad connection on my part. Feb 24, 2011 at 7:10
  • Happens around once a week over here.. May 15, 2011 at 13:33
  • Just saw several of them here (London, UK) - first ones ever. Looks like they happen when posting.
    – Oded
    May 30, 2011 at 20:30
  • Get that error few times a week. I just hit F5 and it disapear.
    – user150926
    Jul 15, 2011 at 5:51
  • @waffles - Are you seeing these again recently? I'm hitting them 10 - 15 times per day over the last two weeks.
    – Tim Post
    Aug 13, 2011 at 18:48
  • @TimPost: I'm hitting them 20-25 times a day. Is there any progress? :) Oct 7, 2013 at 18:26
  • 1
    @AmalMurali I'm seeing these far less often now, but I will take a look.
    – Tim Post
    Oct 7, 2013 at 22:52
  • I've gotten a bunch of these today, from various different SE sites.
    – Barmar
    Apr 18, 2014 at 22:17
  • The same here, except that it is probably several times more worse than @Amal Murali mentioned May 25, 2014 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


We send our web logs to SQL so we can query them. It turns out that we have a bug that prevents 408s from being logged to SQL.

I did take several random samples of 10,000,000 requests each from our raw logs and have found ~ 30 per 10,000,000 requests that come through as 408. HAProxy records termination states, for all of them I have found they are logged as "cR--" which means:

c : the client-side timeout expired while waiting for the client to
            send or receive data.
R : the proxy was waiting for a complete, valid REQUEST from the client
            (HTTP mode only). Nothing was sent to any server.

Since 99.99972% of the requests sampled don't have this problem, for now I am going to regard these as a negligible error. If you are receiving a lot more of these over a long period of time (i.e. more that 30 for every 10 million requests you make) I think there is likely a client side issue.

However, since it is possible that my samples are missing spurts of 408s I will do more extensive research when our 408s are part of queryable logs (should be a week or two, the person who maintains our logging system is on vacation at the moment). I will also look closely at the IPs of people who are reporting the issue to see if I can get any more detail -- but right now it is hard with raw data due to the size of it.

Update May 26, 2014:
It is possible this related to tcp-reconnect in modern browsers and our client timeout settings in haproxy. I'm going to have our latest SRE member Shane Madden investigate this now that I have a reasonable hypothesis.

Update May 28, 2014:
Shane has investigated and this should now be resolved for Chrome users, see answer on 408 Request Time-outs still continues. Anyone else seeing these issues, let us know.

  • about a minute ago, here on meta. IP 220.239.101.xxx
    – Jon
    Mar 5, 2011 at 7:21
  • I've had this a lot recently, mostly when browsing on my iphone via 3G but occasionally on wifi. Only affects stackexchange sites and I've just had 3 in a row. My current IP address is 82.132.210.xxx Mar 5, 2011 at 22:59
  • IP is 109.171.83.xx, a few minutes ago. Most of the time this is happening once every 4-10 minutes or so of active browsing. (Rarely it stops 408ing for an hour or two, though.) I guess, it is somehow related to the provider (overall connection here appears to be not very stable), however, there are no problems with other sites. Jun 15, 2011 at 17:28
  • @Kyle, still get this every few days. Just had it about 2 minutes ago on SO. IP is 59.167.129.xxx
    – Jon
    Jul 12, 2011 at 11:23
  • I saw several of these (2-3) yesterday and today, after months of no sightings. I'm on a 3G mobile connection (which is pretty stable though - I don't think that's the reason)
    – Pekka
    Jul 14, 2011 at 9:48
  • I have not seen this issue ever since the first router reboot. I suspect it is resolved now
    – waffles
    Jul 14, 2011 at 23:53
  • @waffles: Just happened to me on (everyone else: please don't DDOS my Netgear router :( :P )
    – Matt
    Jul 16, 2011 at 18:12
  • yeah @Matt I thought it was over but got it again yesterday
    – waffles
    Jul 16, 2011 at 23:24
  • I just got this error and my IP is
    – Zian Choy
    Jul 22, 2011 at 5:39
  • I'd add that I see this ~6-7 times a week.
    – Kev
    Aug 13, 2011 at 19:26
  • I got one of these right now on StackOverflow if you wanted something to go look for in your logs.
    – Kev
    Aug 27, 2011 at 18:16
  • And another one right now when trying to view this page: stackoverflow.com/questions/7212605/…
    – Kev
    Aug 28, 2011 at 13:33
  • And another one right now accessing: stackoverflow.com/admin
    – Kev
    Aug 28, 2011 at 14:44
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    I can report that I've been getting a few of these on SE, not too many though.
    – hichris123
    May 26, 2014 at 16:39
  • 1
    I've reproduced this and confirmed that at least the 408s that I'm getting are exactly what are being discussed in the HAProxy blog post. Bug has been filed for Chrome and we'll be testing the suggested workaround within the next couple days. Is anyone seeing these 408s consistently on a good internet connection, and not using Chrome? May 26, 2014 at 23:16

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