Stop that F5 Key From Refreshing the Page

No, not “us” F5, the F5 key on the keyboard. You know, the one you hit relentlessly to refresh the page (well, the one I hit relentlessly during NFL games to update my fantasy football stats). Anyway, I was perusing the forums today, trying to catch up from a week attending our very excellent annual sales conference, and I noticed a thread that had to be shared.

The Question

Is there a way of preventing users from using the F5 button to refresh a web page? – DevCentral user ringoseagull (nice handle, btw!)

The Solution

F5er and very active forum patrolman nitass posted back within 30 minutes with a solution, featuring iRules of course! We’ve seen javascript insert iRules before, but this is a pretty handy use case, so I thought I’d share.

  if {[HTTP::version] eq "1.1"} {
    if { [HTTP::header is_keepalive] } {
      HTTP::header replace "Connection" "Keep-Alive"
    HTTP::version 1.0
  if {[HTTP::header Content-Type] starts_with "text/"} {
    STREAM::expression "@@@"

This iRule uses the stream profile to find the head tag and insert the javascript necessary to control the F5 keycode behavior. Curl testing shows the javascript successfully delivered:

[root@ve1023:Active] config # curl -i
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Dat e: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 15:24:33 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS)
Last-Modified: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 14:48:14 GMT
ETag: "4183e4-3e-9c564780"
Accept-Ranges: bytes
Connection: close
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

This is 101 host.


Nice work, nitass!

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Published Nov 16, 2011
Version 1.0

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