Growl for Windows - Proxy Support

Introduction

For basic operation, Growl for Windows (GfW) does not need to make connections to external servers, so proxies do not present a problem. However, a few functions in GfW do require external communication, including:

  • Checking for application updates
  • Forwarding to iPhone (Prowl)
  • Forwarding to Twitter
In most cases, GfW will automatically detect the proxy settings from Internet Explorer and work with no changes.

If however your proxy is not configured in IE or your proxy requires custom authentication, GfW allows you to override the default proxy settings.

Basics

To override the default proxy settings, the first step is to make sure GfW is not running.

Once GfW is not running, locate the 'proxy.config' file in the GfW installation folder - Example:

C:\Program Files\Growl for Windows\proxy.config

Open the 'proxy.config' file and follow the instructions below depending on which values you need to override. When you are done, save the file and restart GfW. You can do a manual 'Check for Updates' to confirm that the settings are working properly.

Custom Proxy Address

If your proxy is not configured in Internet Explorer's proxy configuration settings, you can specify the proxy address in GfW's custom proxy settings.

The <ProxyAddress> element allows you to specify the address and port of the proxy in the format:

http://address:port - Example: <add key="ProxyAddress" value="http://myproxy.com:8080"/>

If your proxy does not require authentication or uses your default Windows credentials, then you do not need to override the other settings.

Custom Authentication

If your proxy requires authentication other than your default Windows credentials, you can set your credentials in GfW's custom proxy settings as well.

The <ProxyUsername>, <ProxyPassword>, and <ProxyDomain> elements allow you to override the default credentials that GfW will use to authenticate against your proxy. Example:

<add key="ProxyUsername" value="user"/>
<add key="ProxyPassword" value="pass"/>
<add key="ProxyDomain" value="domain"/>

If required by your proxy, you can use the custom proxy address overrides in conjunction with the custom authentication overrides for a completely customized proxy configuration.

Troubleshooting

If you have set up your proxy.config file but GfW is still not able to access external addresses, there could be two causes:

  1. The proxy information you entered is incorrect, or...
  2. The proxy is disallowing GfW's requests
It is helpful to determine where the root cause is in order to arrive at the solution.

Determining if the proxy configuration is correct

To determine if GfW's proxy settings are properly configured, you can enable some diagnostic logging.

These instructions require (a small bit of) technical know-how. If you do not like poking around in log files or launching programs from the command line, you should skip these steps.

By default, logging and debug output are disabled and since it is more of a developer-oriented setting, there there is no UI to turn them on. If you want to enable logging and debug output, you must launch Growl with the following command line parameters:
Growl.exe /log:true /debug:true

Once Growl is running, do some tests that would invoke the proxy access, such as checking for application updates. As you do the tests, Growl will log some information about what it is doing internally that may be helpful in determing what is going on. Once your tests are complete, close Growl completely.

To view the log files, go to '%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Growl\2.0.0.0' (on XP; the path on Vista is similar but slightly different). There should be a file called 'debug.txt'. This file will contain a lot of various information, including what was logged when GfW tried to access any external resources.

9/3/2009 11:04:46 AM Proxy required to access 'http://www.growlforwindows.com/gfw/updates/gfw2.manifest?v=2.0.0.20' - 
                     using proxy at 'http://superman:808/'
9/3/2009 11:04:46 AM Proxy authentication not required or is using default credentials
    
9/3/2009 11:07:23 AM Proxy required to access 'http://www.growlforwindows.com/gfw/updates/gfw2.manifest?v=2.0.0.20' - 
                     using proxy at 'http://myproxy.com:8080/'
9/3/2009 11:07:23 AM Proxy authentication required - using username 'MyUser' and domain 'MyDomain'
    

The various log entries will indicate if a proxy is required to access the external resource, and if so, what proxy values are being used by GfW. Make sure these values are correct and re-edit the file is necessary.

Determining if your proxy is disallowing your requests

If the log files show that Growl for Windows is properly configured to access your proxy server, but it is still unable to access external resources, the problem is downstream of Growl and out of the scope of this document. Some proxies may block sites based on company policy (especially relevant for forwarding to Twitter) or have other internal restrictions that prevent connecting. You will have to talk to your network administrator in order to determine the cause of the problem.