NTLM Authentication for Java http clients

I was working to provide NTLM authentication to a RSS aggregator plugin http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/CONFEXT/RSS+aggregator+macro+plugin , in our implementation the rssaggregator needed to access rss feed from an IIS installed application within an AD intergrated setup, so our http request needed to go through NTLM authentication.

What I found out during this exercise is that if one is on the same AD domain as the server hosting the secure contents then JDK 1.5 and 1.6 does a transparent authentication at the backend, automatically transferring the login details from the http client to the server , however if the request is being made from a client outside the domain then the login details have to be provided using the username and password for the client accessing the protected resource, for that I found the Jave Authenticator class to be the best option, since you do not have to alter your existing code and just call the Authenticator before the http request and populate the authentication credentials in it. Worked really well for me.

Two exhaustive definitions of how ntlm works, and the interactions

Useful link to valid Java Implementation

Java HTTP Proxy Settings


For local networks within an organization, access to the public-domain Internet is often via a HTTP Proxy. This article talks about the HTTP proxy settings for the Java environment. I did not find a good document on the Web to describe these settings; Had to discover many of them by trial-and-error. Hence this article.


HTTP Proxy, Java Proxy Settings, Tomcat, Application Server, Servlets, HTTP Proxy Authentication for Java, Java Application Proxy Settings


  • Your Java client runs on a machine on the Local network – Private LAN. The client could be a standalone application, or a servlet hosted on a web container like Tomcat
  • Your code access an external resource using HTTP. For example, invoking an external Web Service.
  • Your HTTP call needs to tunnel through the HTTP proxy (using SOCKS authentication). Even if authentication is not required, you would still need to configure the URL and the Port of your HTTP proxy.


Use one of the methods below for your JVM proxy settings. Try an alternate method if any particular method does not work. In most cases, you should not require any change the pre-compiled Java code for proxy settings. JVM’s environment settings should be enough to fix this problem.

Command Line JVM Settings

The proxy settings are given to the JVM via command line arguments:


$ java -Dhttp.proxyHost=proxyhostURL
-Dhttp.proxyPassword=somePassword javaClassToRun

Setting System Properties in Code

Add the following lines in your Java code so that JVM uses the proxy to make HTTP calls. This would, of course, require you to recompile your Java source. (The other methods do not require any recompilation.):

System.getProperties().put("http.proxyHost", "someProxyURL");
System.getProperties().put("http.proxyPort", "someProxyPort");
System.getProperties().put("http.proxyUser", "someUserName");
System.getProperties().put("http.proxyPassword", "somePassword");

Don’t hardcode the proxy settings in your source. Read these settings from a configurable text file, so your users can configure them. You might also need to set this property:

System.getProperties().put("proxySet", "true");


System.getProperties().put("http.proxySet", "true");

Tomcat Settings: catalina.properties

Append these properties to the catalina.properties file in Tomcat: ${CATALINA_OME}/conf/catalina.properties file:


Tomcat Settings: catalina.bat

Add all the parameters defined above in the ${CATALINA_HOME}/bin/catalina.bat (for Windows) or ${CATALINA_HOME}/bin/catalina.bat (for *nix):

JAVA_OPTS="-Dhttp.proxyHost=yourProxyURL ..."

(Each option is seperated by spaces.)