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Tech:Users who log in don't stay logged in

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The entire city of Albuquerque broke out into dramatic jubilatory celebration upon fixing this thrice-damned bug

Moved from en:Wikitravel:Bug reports by Evan

What happens[edit]

I'm not certain if this is a bug in the Wiki software, my browser (Netscape 8.1 on Win 2K SP 2) or some error I'm making, but I have some strange symptoms. I am Pashley and I've asked the login software to remember me, but currently:

  • top of screen shows "Pashley my talk preferences my watchlist my contributions log out". I'd been assuming I was logged in because it shows my login name.
  • my talk takes me to the Pashley talk page
  • my watchlist takes me to a page for the IP address. Naturally, it is empty.
  • my contributions take me to a page for the IP address. The contributions there are mine, so I guess I have not been getting logged in.

If I log out and try to log in again, it knows it should log me in as Pashley, but will not accept the password I remember.

I have asked several times to have the password mailed to me, but nothing has arrived. I'm not sure what address I signed up with, so I have checked them all.

If I try the four tildes, it gives 10:44, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

What is wrong?

There's definitely something flaky with cookies -- I can log in fine and stay logged in for a while, but I seem to get kicked out much faster than usual. The site also feels slower then normal — then again, we hit a new record of 888k hits yesterday... 10:59, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

I just tried again and it worked this time Pashley 11:02, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

Yesterday afternoon I had to reinitialize the user accounts of about 100 users, since they'd been compromised by a bug introduced during the MediaWiki upgrade. Your user account was one of those. While I was working on the accounts (I had to restore them from backup and reset the 'user token' field), they didn't work for login. I'm sorry about the problems. See en:Wikitravel:11 April 2006 for more info.
I agree that the upgrade seems to have introduced some instability in the cookie situation, and I'll take some time to look into it. Probably the smartest thing to do if you're having problems is to clear your cookies for, and log in from scratch.
Performance has been a problem since I had to clear the caches after the upgrades. (I just cleared them again a few minutes ago.) As time goes on and the cache gets full again, you should see better response times. --Evan 11:16, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

Add another one for the login issues. Some parts (the top bar and some edits) show me as logged in, others (watchlist) show me by IP. Sometimes the tildes work, sometimes not. Clearing cookies, logging out and in, etc, are not effective. 00:56, 24 April 2006 (EDT) (it's doing it again, this is en:user:jordanmills)

Not effective at all? Do you have cookies disabled or something? I did some more cookie-juggling and I think the Javascript that sets up the "personal links" across the top of the page do a better job evaluating whether or not you're actually logged in. --Evan 14:40, 27 April 2006 (EDT)
Evan, I'm logged out almost every time I quit my browser (Safari 2.0.3). Happens on multiple machines from multiple locations. Will switch to Firefox for a while to see if problem is browser-specific.SHC 21:27, 7 May 2006 (EDT)
Happens with Firefox, too. I've cleared cookies, but to no avail. SHC 21:36, 7 May 2006 (EDT)
So, I've tried to fix up the way cookies are sent and handled on the client side. I don't think it will keep people logged in, but it should avoid the situation where your name appears in the upper-righthand corner of the screen, but you're not actually logged in.
I'd like to hear if people are having a problem with this still. --Evan 20:16, 29 May 2006 (EDT)
My laptop is holding login fine while on the road this evening. Yesterday, the desktop was a little squirrelly on my home network (DSL to the outside world), but seemed fine this morning. I'm running Safari 2.0.3 on both machines. --SHC 21:40, 29 May 2006 (EDT)

What happens[edit]

Copied from en:Pub:

Log out times[edit]

It seems to me that I can barely finish an edit without needing to log in again. Is there any way to lengthen the time before automatic log out? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 17:19, 5 March 2007 (EST)

I'm afraid Wikitravel's session management is getting more and more terrible for months, which makes editing more and more difficult, if not impossible... In many language versions I am kicked out so frequently, repeatedly and unpredictably. I also see "session disconnected and your edit didn't saved" error (I don't know the exact English message because I use Japanese user interface) so often when I post. It's not rare that I see this error over ten times before I manage to post once successfully; so is this post. Things are much better with IE6 than with Firefox2, though. --Episteme 11:45, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Ahem. I'm sure this isn't too much of an issue for admins who are patrolling and moving through a lot of pages quickly, but the quick automated log out times are really frustrating when you are working between uploading images on Shared and researching new content for articles—or, for that matter, doing work on wikitravel while ostensibly busy at the workplace. I find I have to log myself back in about once per hour--is there any way to lengthen this time or to stay logged in? This was my main gripe when I got started here and it's developed into a full blown peeve. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 18:20, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Hmmm... for some reason I used to get this a bit more before, but now I can stay logged in for days... I haven't had to re-login for like 2 weeks now. Including on Shared, and on Hindi. Does it have to do with the browser? I don't think there's an auto-logout feature on here, is there? I use Safari, and it's been great... and I don't think I have to relogin when using Firefox either, it seems alright too... Not sure what the problem is then... – cacahuate talk 21:03, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
it plagues me on multiple computers (macs, pcs...) and on Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Netscape. :*( --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:15, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Sometimes when I know I will be logged out before I save an edit I click the "Show preview" button, which seems to keep me logged in longer than normal and if you need to click it again... go ahead. It seems to work for me. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 21:37, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah, I do that and I try to keep refreshing my watchlists, but you can see how this might develop into a peeve. As it was, despite my best efforts, I had to log myself back in today to en & shared well over a dozen times. --Peterfitzgerald Talk 21:39, 30 April 2007 (EDT)
I am having similar problems—I don't seem to be able to stay logged in on any computer on any browser for longer than a half-hour. My "solution" has been to keep a tab open in which I keep refreshing my wachlist or recent changes, but this obviously doesn't work when working on multiple language versions/shared. This is really a very frustrating problem. --Peterfitzgerald 14:43, 20 June 2007 (EDT)
Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!!!! --Peter, who has been logged out yet again as of 21:48, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I've been getting this too recently. Highly annoying... Jpatokal 14:02, 8 October 2007 (EDT)

One thing that would be useful to know is if the people who are having this problem checked the "remember me" box on login. In theory you should see this problem if you didn't and should be fine if you did, but we all know how theory tends to work out in practice. (I figure that you have checked it since its an obvious move and Pashley said he did -- I just don't like to make assumptions). KevinSours 12:06, 9 October 2007 (EDT)

For the record I'm on a Mac using Safari and I can stay logged in for like 2 months with no problems... are all of the people having this problem using the same browser? – cacahuate talk 01:38, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

When it happens[edit]

What I've been seeing. Since I've been looking at this I've noticed the following.

  1. Logged in directly and remember me set -- no problems
  2. Logged in directly -- times out
  3. Logged in via open id -- times out

Does this match what other people are seeing? KevinSours 11:13, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

Me too. As to #1 case, I'm kicked out once in a while on ja: and shared:; maybe I can stay logged in for several weeks. And as to #3 case, I'm kicked out every time on en:; maybe within about 30 minutes from the last operation (the last server access). -- Tatata 22:01, 10 October 2007 (EDT)
For the record the timeout is 24 minutes KevinSours 15:13, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

OpenID logouts are still occurring for users on the Russian version; one of the Russian users also is experiencing the OpenID log-out blues on :de. As the liaison, I communicate to you that they are frustrated by this problem. --Peter Talk 11:30, 27 March 2008 (EDT)

Thanks for reporting back. Tech is looking into this issue right now and I am following up with them to see if it's a change across all WT sites, not just :en.JuCo 21:22, 27 March 2008 (EDT)
This should work across all WT sites now. JuCo 18:36, 28 March 2008 (EDT)

Happening again, in a big way[edit]

This problem is back with a vengeance—I can't spend 20 minutes on Wikitravel without being logged out (although after being logged out the first time, and then logging back in, it usually doesn't kick me out again for a while). As an administrator, this is extremely annoying. I'll open up a whole bunch of tabs to deal with vandals, or other administrative work, and then I'll get to the tabs to see that I've been logged out, will need to re-log in, then refresh each and every tab to do things as routine as reverts or marking revisions as patrolled. This problem seems to occur with greater frequency when doing a lot of rapid edits (again, this really frustrates admin work), but will likely happen anyway. I think it's a problem on all language versions—it is at least on :ru, :es, :en, and Shared. --Peter 11:25, 7 July 2009 (EDT) (of course, I was auto-logged out for this comment...)

Also, while it's necessary to log on to each language version individually, when I get kicked off of any language version, I get kicked off all of them. (I was just kicked off on :en) --Peter 15:45, 7 July 2009 (EDT)

OpenID first-time login problems[edit]

When I try to log in with OpenID for the first time, I get most of the way there, then I can't load to complete the process of picking a nickname to use. This happens on both shared and en, and happens repeatedly. (OpenID), 12:09, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

What should happen[edit]

Given the above cases we have

  1. Appears to be working
  2. This is working as intended. We don't, by default, want to hold onto logins too long to minimize the potential for hijacked accounts (if, for example, you fail to log out when using the site on a public computer). If you want to avoid timeouts, select remember me.
  3. OpenID appear to be the real problem. I've looked through the code and I can add a "remember me" option similar to the base login form. This works with one quirk. If you are membered when you log in with OpenID you'll need to explicitly log out of that site if you want prevent access from that computer. Which means that if you log into one Wikitravel site and used OpenID to log into another you'll need to log out of both, not just the first one. This isn't a problem for me, but I thought I'd ask about it.

KevinSours 15:12, 15 October 2007 (EDT)

I think your concern about a security issue is quite right. It seems that problems of various sources are mixed up in "What happens" section of this bug report, so I think it's better to wait until someone says definitely that the current problem occurs when logged in with OpenID, before you add a "remember me" option to Special:OpenIDLogin. As for me, I just feel the period of timeout is very short. Can you make it longer within limits to avoid a security issue? -- Tatata 23:25, 15 October 2007 (EDT)
The current problem occurs with OpenID. Not only have I observed it personally, but I've confirmed that the code, as written, relies entirely on the session (which is what is timing out). I can't say that there aren't other problems involved, but I haven't seen any. We can bump the session timeout up a little, but I'm not sure now much difference that will make (I'm thinking an hour at most). However, I need to wait until we get some other things straightened out for that since that will add to the resource usage by the site.

KevinSours 11:07, 16 October 2007 (EDT)

Thank you. I see the current problem. So I left messages for three users who reported the problem this year to take a look at this page. -- Tatata 23:03, 16 October 2007 (EDT)
To clarify, I don't check the "remember me" box, because I don't want information about my password being saved on my computer for security reasons. I don't forget to log out on public terminals, so that's not a concern for me. In any rate, I think 25 minutes is a very short session timeout and I would really appreciate it if this were lengthened to an hour.
On another note, if/when this bug report closes, we should also close Tech:Random logouts, which is a report of the same problem. --Peter Talk 21:14, 18 October 2007 (EDT)

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHH HHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! --Peter, who is now banging his head against the computer because of this problem 04:07, 11 January 2008 (EST)

Oh dear. I haven't had this problem in a while though, as long as I remember to tick the "Remember me" box...? Jpatokal 09:19, 11 January 2008 (EST)
Logout time has been upped to an hour across all WT sites. So this should help resolve this issue. Can you guys check it out and, if it's fixed, move to fixed? Thanks! JuCo 18:34, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Hooray! Consider the extended session timeout confirmed from my perspective (in fact, my session endured longer than one hour w/ no activity). I'll check with the Russians whether the OpenID is working. If so, I'll be thrilled to close this one. --Peter Talk 23:53, 28 March 2008 (EDT)
Can we close this issue and take it off the list then? Let me know if you are still having problems. Thanks! Ibsteph 5:21 , 18 February 2010 (EDT)
Please see above: #Happening again, in a big way and #OpenID first-time login problems. Both comments there came after my last comment in this section. My report has not been addressed, and the problem remains. If you select "remember me" on the log-in screen, this is for the most part a non-issue (the resulting problems are at least not worth the pain of continuing the tech request). But when I'm using a public terminal, that isn't a proper option, and it is incredibly frustrating to have to re-log on to 7 or so language versions every 20 or so minutes...
I cannot personally vouch for the persistence of the OpenID problems, however, as I do not use that function. --Peter Talk 20:39, 18 February 2010 (EST)
Ok, so I guess I need to know whether enough people are still having this problem to put this into tech's active queue. Let me know . Thanks! ;-)--Ibsteph 5:00 , 22 February 2010 (EDT)
Yes, I still have the same problem. I have tried from three different computers and three different ISP's, but the problem still persists. Riggwelter 02:31, 23 February 2010 (EST)

How to fix it[edit]

Check you apache(or whatever server you are using) error logs, probably you have deleted some folder which store php data.