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From: William A. Rowe, Jr. (wrowerowe-clan.net)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 17:17:20 CDT
Apache 1.3.20 Released
The Apache Software Foundation and The Apache Server Project are
pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.20 of the Apache HTTP
This version of Apache is principally a security fix release which
closes a problem under the Windows and OS2 ports that would segfault
the server in response to a carefully constructed URL. It also fixes
some potential configuration quirks present in the 1.3.19 release.
A summary of the new features is given at the end of this document.
We consider Apache 1.3.20 to be the best version of Apache available
and we strongly recommend that users of older versions, especially of
the 1.1.x and 1.2.x family, upgrade as soon as possible. No further
releases will be made in the 1.2.x family.
Apache 1.3.20 is available for download from
Please see the CHANGES_1.3 file in the same directory for a full list
Binary distributions are available from
The source and binary distributions are also available via any of the
mirrors listed at
Apache 1.3.20 for Win32 and OS2 corrects a serious denial of service
vulnerability, and users are strongly discouraged from using any
previous versions on those platforms.
As of Apache 1.3.17, Win32 binary distributions are now based on the
Microsoft Installer (.MSI) technology. This change occured in order
to resolve the many problems WinME and Win2K users experienced with
the older InstallShield-based installer .exe file. While development
continues to make this new installation method more robust, questions
should be directed at the news:comp.infosystems.www.servers.ms-windows
As of Apache 1.3.12 binary distributions contain all standard Apache
modules as shared objects (if supported by the platform) and include
full source code. Installation is easily done by executing the
included install script. See the README.bindist and INSTALL.bindist
files for a complete explanation. Please note that the binary
distributions are only provided for your convenience and current
distributions for specific platforms are not always available.
For an overview of new features introduced after 1.2 please see
In general, Apache 1.3 offers several substantial improvements over
version 1.2, including better performance, reliability and a wider
range of supported platforms, including Windows 95/98 and NT (which
fall under the "Win32" label), OS2, Netware, and TPE threaded platforms.
Apache is the most popular web server in the known universe; over half
of the servers on the Internet are running Apache or one of its
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WIN32 USERS: Over the years, many users have come
to trust Apache as a secure and stable server. It must be realized
that the current Win32 code has not yet reached the levels of the Unix
version, but is of acceptable quality. Win32 stability or security
problems do not reflect on the Unix version.
Apache 1.3.20 Major changes
The primary security fix is:
* A carefully constructed URI could cause the server to segfault on
Win32 and OS2, denying access to users until the error was cleared.
This is resolved on both platforms, no server data vulnerability
was identified for this denial of service exploit.
The general bug fixes:
* Eliminate a potential segfault if an invalid floating point value
is passed to the ap_snprintf() function, on platforms supporting
isnan() and isinf().
* Fix a possible segfault at startup in the detection of a default
ServerName or IP string when no ServerName was specified.
* Fixed mod_proxy to retain empty headers, as allowed by RFC2068.
* Properly resolve the location of ndbm on Linux and some glibc2
builds, where ndbm.h is in the nonstandard db1/ subdir.
Win32 bug fixes:
* Win32 now properly handles the SSI exec cmd tag. Due to argument
parsing issues with spaces and slashes, cmd is interpreted as an
executable file, not a long command line string.
* Resolved a threading problem with WinNT/2K services, allowing
modules such as mod_jserv and mod_perl to shut down cleanly.
* Resolved stdin and stdout pipes for the parent Win32 service
process, solving bugs such as "dup2(stdin) failed" when trying
to use piped logs.
Netware specific bug fixes:
* Netware initial screen allows the -s parameter to switch to the
system console screen, warning messages during startup are now
* Netware added '.' and '..' to the directory listing so mod_autoindex
will now display the parent directory.
* NetWare now shuts down cleanly in error conditions, such as a failure
while reading the httpd.conf file.
The main new features include:
* Enhanced rotatelogs to allow a UTC offset to be specified, and
the format logfile names with human-readable date/time stamps.
* Added the NOESCAPE (NS) flag to RewriteRule, to disable *all*
normal URI escaping. Note incautious use can give unexpected
results or introduce security risks.
* Added the '\' character to RewriteRule to allow escaping of
special characters. Allows embedding of both the '$' and '%'
characters in the results, so 'foo\$1' translates to 'foo$1'
rather than 'foo\<value of $1>'.
* Added the -V flag to suexec, to display the compile-time settings
with which it was built. (Only valid for root or the HTTPD_USER
* Introduced EBCDIC conversion configuration options, controlling the
conversion based on MIME type or file suffix.
* Support for the Cygwin 1.x platform (a POSIX emulation layer for
Win32 systems, see http://www.cygwin.com). Note this is an entirely
different implementation than the native calls in the win32 port.
* Support for building modules with apxs under Win32. cygwin builders
must use a cygwin build of perl to avoid MSVC handling.
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