Browser cookies are used in dotCMS in several ways to help you recognize repeat users and provide a personalized browsing experience based on identified user preferences. Within dotCMS, different applications set different cookies. dotCMS sets some, the Application server (e.g. Tomcat) sets some, and in addition users can set their own cookies for their own pages or sites.
- dotCMS Cookies
- Application Server Cookies
- Cookie Configuration Properties
The following cookies are created and managed by dotCMS for all sessions (both front-end and back-end):
|dmid||No||Identifies a unique site visitor over multiple site visits.|
Used for Personalization.
|opvc||Yes||Once-Per-Visit-Cookie. Re-generated each time a user visits your site.||Single session|
|sitevisitscookie (or svc)||No||Tracks the number of times a user has visited your site.|
Relies on the dmid to track the unique user.
|JSESSIONID||Yes||Conventional java application server cookie created when a user accesses a dotCMS page or the dotCMS backend. Used for storing visitor context such as langauge id and site visit information.||Single session|
The following additional cookies are created by dotCMS for back-end access:
|DWRSESSIONID||Yes||Created when a user successfully authenticates on the dotCMS backend, specifically used for AJAX and XHR request.||Single session|
|access_token||Yes/No||Created when a user logs into the backend when JWT authentication is enabled. If a user clicks “Remember Me” when logging in, this cookie will be long lived. Otherwise, it is a session cookie.||Configurable *|
(Default = 14 days)
* = The expiration for the
access_token cookie can be set using the
json.web.token.days.max.age configuration property. For more information, please see the Authentication Using JWT documentation.
You may create additional cookies of your choice and access the value of any dotCMS or application server cookies using the CookieTool Velocity viewtool. This tool allows you to use Velocity code to create cookies and set and retrieve cookie values, so you can track specific user behavior or modify what content you deliver to your users depending on your specific needs.
Application Server Cookies
In addition to the cookies created by the dotCMS application, your application server itself may generate additional cookies. For example, the Tomcat application server that ships with the default dotCMS distribution creates a
JSESSIONID session cookie for all front-end users.
For more information on cookies used by your application server, please see your application server documentation.
Cookie Configuration Properties
Three configuration properties in the dotmarketing-config.properties file control how the settings of flags in dotCMS cookies:
COOKIES_HTTP_ONLY=false # values: never|always|https COOKIES_SECURE_FLAG=never COOKIES_SESSION_COOKIE_FLAGS_MODIFIABLE=true
- It is strongly recommended that all changes to the dotmarketing-config.properties file be made through a properties extension file.
Application Server Cookie Configuration
httpOnly flag of the session cookie, is set to false by default.
httpOnly flag must be set to true to change this default behavior, regardless of the application server being used. Session cookie Handling is a slightly different between each type of application server. This property must be set to true to set all dotCMS cookies to HTTP only and helps to mitigate the risk of client side scripting when accessing a protected cookie.
The methodologies for session cookie handling in Tomcat, JBoss, and Weblogic are listed below:
httpOnly is always set to false in the
JSessionID Cookie unless you set the
useHttpOnly property to true in the Context tag of the Tomcat context.xml file (tomcat-8-0-18/conf/context.xml in the dotCMS distribution).
JBoss documentation: https://access.redhat.com/solutions/338313
Weblogic documentation: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21696267
- It is strongly recommended that all changes to the Tomcat context.xml file be made through a ROOT folder configuration plugin.
- To change how cookies are used for application servers other than Tomcat, please see the documentation for your application server.
- For more information about the
HttpOnlycookie flag, please see the OWASP