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Java Networking and Proxies with HTTPS

In today’s networking environments, particularly corporate ones, application developers have to deal with proxies almost as often as system administrators. In some cases the application should use the system default settings, in other cases it will we want to have a very tight control over what goes through which proxy, and, somewhere in the middle, most applications will be happy to delegate the decision to their users by providing them with a GUI to set the proxy settings, as is the case in most browsers.

There is a lot of misleading information on the internet on how to not use the proxy when using HTTPS  connections. There are 3 properties you can set to specify the proxy that will be used by the http protocol handler:

  • http.proxyHost / https.proxyHost : the host name of the proxy server
  • http.proxyPort / https.proxyPort: the port number, the default value being 80.
  • http.nonProxyHosts:a list of hosts that should be reached directly, bypassing the proxy. This is a list of patterns separated by ‘|’. The patterns may start or end with a ‘*’ for wildcards. Any host matching one of these patterns will be reached through a direct connection instead of through a proxy.

There is no https.nonProxyHosts, if your company only use https backend connections (which is highly recommended even for internal network connections) then you may have to exclude your service with something like this

-Dhttp.nonProxyHosts="localhost|127.0.0.*|" -Dhttp.proxyPort=443

For the “non proxy hosts” list, the HTTPS protocol handler will use the same as the http handler (i.e. http.nonProxyHosts).


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