Err_empty_response (324)

Has anyone out there seen an ERR_EMPTY_RESPONSE (HTTP 324) ? We have an internal Discourse server behind our company firewall; some coworkers in China have access to our internal network behind the firewall, and other servers (JIRA, Confluence, etc.) are fine, but for some reason they are getting this error when accessing the Discourse server. Because of the timezone difference (9 hours) it is next-to-impossible to diagnose what is going on.

324 isn’t, as far as I know, a standard HTTP response code, and it doesn’t show up in Discourse itself. Given the general shambles that is the Great Firewall of China, I’m laying the blame there as a first port of call. There’s probably some binary string in a compressed file somewhere that is the unicode codepoints for “Falun Gong”, and the GFoC is splatting the connection…


Just in general, it’s really important to determine if the Chinese clients are going through a VPN for Discourse and everything else internally or if they’re just accessing as a secure site over the wider internet. You may consider routing them through a VPN if they aren’t or using some other technology to proxy/ensure the connection isn’t being mangled outbound.

You should also try routing your non-Chinese workers through any VPN tools the Chinese users are using, to see if it’s an issue caused by VPN software or proxying connections weirdly.

Appreciate the feedback but I was going to refer them to this webpage and now I am not sure whether they will be blocked.

Thanks. I think we all use the same VPN software (Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client) in which case I used it just fine yesterday. But I’ll check.

The HTTPS on this site should make it a scootch harder for the GFoC to say “bad baby, no biscuit!”, but in general, there are known downsides to living in an authoritarian regime that doesn’t allow its citizens to access the Internet, and it can’t be up to the rest of the world to avoid using certain words which might make the censors have an attack of the vapours.

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In general I agree, but in this case I don’t. Anyway I’ll cherry-pick advice from this thread and send it to them.


I’d say the important thing to consider is if it’s a problem with an intermediary link they’re using or if it’s Discourse to them directly that’s being hit. If you’re embedding any third party CDNs (I doubt it) or anything that could trip the GFW that’s also a good place to look.

Unfortunately, it’s super hard to diagnose without being able to reproduce the problem (anyone have a VPN/proxy in China we could use?).

Did they ever figure this out?

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Good question. I am not sure. I think they got to a workaround: our company has several VPN servers and if they connected to the VPN based in China then they had the problem, but if they connected to the VPN based in the US then they did not.