Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Please Don't Use Port 80 (Unless You Are My Web Server)

I recently went to run a sample app which used port 80 for its web UI. Despite the fact that this strikes me as a horrible default(1. port 80 is the default for a web server so if you have one you can expect conflicts, 2. linux users can't touch port 80 unless they are root), I was shocked to find that something on my Windows XP laptop was already using that port. No web server was up and I only had a few programs running. I decided to go the old-fashioned route and popped open a command prompt:

> netstat -ao
ProtoLocal AddressForeign AddressStatePID

> tasklist /?
> tasklist /FI "PID eq 5108"
Image NamePIDSession NameSession#Mem Usage
Skype.exe5108Console043,008 K


So it turns out this has been a "feature" of skype for a very long time. To their credit, this was insanely easy to turn off (Tools->Advanced->Connection and uncheck "Use port 80 and 443 as alternatives for incoming connection"). But I'm still shocked/amazed that this would be on by default.
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