Alecz Alecz - 1 year ago 161
Linux Question

Python3 CGI HTTPS server fails on Unix

This Python3 CGI HTTPS server used to work a few weeks (or months) ago, but now no longer works under Linux (Ubuntu). I tried on Ubuntu 10.04 and Ubuntu 14.04 and the behavior is the same.

Now when I try to access any CGI script I am getting:

Secure Connection Failed

An error occurred during a connection to SSL received a record that exceeded the maximum permissible length. (Error code: ssl_error_rx_record_too_long)

Below is the code for the server:

import http.server
import ssl
import os

server_address = ('', 4443)
cert = os.path.abspath('./server.pem')

handler = http.server.CGIHTTPRequestHandler
handler.cgi_directories = ['/cgi-bin']

httpd = http.server.HTTPServer(server_address, handler)
httpd.socket = ssl.wrap_socket(httpd.socket, server_side=True,

print ("Server started...")

The server logs the following error:

File "/usr/lib/python3.4/", line 618, in read
v =, buffer)
ssl.SSLError: [SSL: SSLV3_ALERT_UNEXPECTED_MESSAGE] sslv3 alert unexpected message (_ssl.c:1767)

This works if I disable SSL and works fine on Windows with SSL. Tested with Python 3.4.
The strange thing is that this worked a few months back
Can anyone get this script (or any python3 CGI HTTPS server) to run on updated Linux systems?

Answer Source

I found the answer at:

The solution is to add:

http.server.CGIHTTPRequestHandler.have_fork=False # Force the use of a subprocess

before starting the server.

This is required for Mac and Unix implementation because, for efficiency reasons, they employ a fork to start the process that executes the CGI rather than creating a subprocess as used by other implementations (i.e. Windows). In a non-wrapped CGI implementation the fork works fine and the output is sent to the socket correctly, however, when the socket is SSL wrapped things go terribly wrong.

The solution is to force the Unix and Mac implementations to use a subprocess leaving the SSL socket happily working and having the Python Server transfer the output of the CGI script to the client while translating the output into SSL.

I still have no clue why this used to work!

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