HTTP Proxy Client


HTTP Proxy Client is the small set of libraries and scripts, which provides transparent access to Internet via HTTP proxy for programs, which uses TCP/IP for communication.

The list of programs includes: telnet, ftp, licq, cvs, smth else? Project implements dynamic library, that can be preloaded before program run. The library substitutes some system calls (connect(), gethostbyaddr(), gethostbyname()), with calls, which makes TCP/IP connection through HTTP proxy. This allows client programs behind HTTP proxy work with Internet without limitations.

Sort of like tsocks (which I’ve blogged about before), but for an HTTP proxy rather than a SOCKS proxy.

I have everything working through our proxy at work. These days most programs are pretty good about respecting the http_proxy environment variable, and then some others have their own funky configuration like Firefox, Eclipse, and Subversion (see here). I’m jotting down a note about httppc, because I’m sure that now I’ve said that all my programs work through the proxy, I will soon find one that doesn’t and will be searching for something like this.

Using an HTTP proxy (shown via netcat)

Ever wonder how applications talk to HTTP proxies? It’s simple really (like the rest of HTTP) – there’s a simple HTTP request method called CONNECT. It’s easily illustrated with a quick session of netcat:

$ nc -v 3128 [] 3128 (?) open : Operation now in progress

HTTP/1.0 200 Connection established

GET / HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2007 00:02:34 GMT

Nothing magical.

The above process can be done with a program, of course. The one I am most familiar with is called corkscrew. With it you can do things like:

$ corkscrew 3128 80
GET / HTTP/1.1

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 19:03:29 GMT

The corkscrew program is very useful in particular with the ProxyCommand config directive in OpenSSH as discussed in my post on using SSH though an HTTP proxy.