Slow Mercurial clone

I recently set up a Mercurial server (Windows, Apache, ActiveDirectory and hgweb.wsgi). However, cloning our 1Gb repository took an hour or more and often failed.

The only information in the Apache log was

mod_wsgi (pid=1234: Exception occurred processing WSGI script
IOError: failed to write data  

The solution was to disable compression by adding the following lines to hgweb.config

preferuncompressed = true  

By default, Mercurial will compress everything before sending it down the pipe. This makes sense if you have a powerful server and a slow network, but the opposite was true for us - Mercurial’s hosted on an old dual-core Windows VM connected to a 1Gb corporate LAN.

Cloning takes under 5 mintues after the configuration change.