Use this directive to specify the time at which the Apache Web server will no longer wait to accept a response from the client. When the time specified in the Timeout directive is exceeded, the connection with the client is closed. The time specified in the Timeout directive is applicable in the following situations:

  • The time taken to receive a GET request from the client after a connection is established.
  • Time taken to receive one TCP packet after another using POST and PUT HTTP requests, where the Web server is accepting a stream of data from the client after the connection is established.
  • Time taken to receive acknowledgement for the TCP packets sent to the client after the Web server receives the request.

The time specified in the Timeout directive is applicable to all the preceding conditions. The default value specified for this directive is 300 seconds, which is more than enough time for the server to wait before closing the connection. The time specified in the Timeout directive can be safely reduced to 60 seconds. By specifying 60 seconds as the time-out period, you will avoid client connections that are particularly slow. However, 60 seconds is a long time to wait in today’s Internet atmosphere!

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