HTTP status code 206 means the server is delivering only part of the resource due to a range header sent by the client. The range header is used by tools like wget to enable resuming of interrupted downloads or split a download into multiple simultaneous streams.

The server has fulfilled the partial GET request for the resource. The request MUST have included a Range header field (section 14.35) indicating the desired range, and MAY have included an If-Range header field (section 14.27) to make the request conditional.

The response MUST include the following header fields:

  • Either a Content-Range header field (section 14.16) indicating the range included with this response, or a multipart/byteranges Content-Type including Content-Range fields for each part. If a Content-Length header field is present in the response, its value MUST match the actual number of OCTETs transmitted in the message-body.
  • Date
  • ETag and/or Content-Location, if the header would have been sent in a 200 response to the same request
  • Expires, Cache-Control, and/or Vary, if the field-value might differ from that sent in any previous response for the same variant

If the 206 response is the result of an If-Range request that used a strong cache validator (see section 13.3.3), the response SHOULD NOT include other entity-headers. If the response is the result of an If-Range request that used a weak validator, the response MUST NOT include other entity-headers; this prevents inconsistencies between cached entity-bodies and updated headers.

Otherwise, the response MUST include all of the entity-headers that would have been returned with a 200 (OK) response to the same request.

A cache MUST NOT combine a 206 response with other previously cached content if the ETag or Last-Modified headers do not match exactly, see 13.5.4.

A cache that does not support the Range and Content-Range headers MUST NOT cache 206 (Partial) responses.

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