How to fix “ Unexpected EOF while trying to read response from server”

When you’re dealing with network-based apps in Java, running into an EOFException is a common hiccup. It’s Java’s way of telling you that it reached the end of a file or stream sooner than it thought it would. You’ll usually see this pop up in your logs as “ Unexpected EOF while trying to read the response from server”, which means something went wrong while data was being passed back and forth between a client and a server.

Let’s understand the common causes behind this error and explore strategies to address it effectively.

Common Causes of EOFException

The root of this problem can usually be traced back to one of several sources:

  1. Mismatched Expectations: The EOFException occurs because the client attempts to read more data than the server has sent. This indicates a mismatch in the expected data protocol between the client and server.
  2. Server Side Issue: A known cause where the server terminates a connection or stops transmitting data unexpectedly. This could be due to an error on the server, or the server might have deliberately closed the connection for some reason.
  3. Network Problems: The reliability of the network connection between the client and the server is crucial. Any instability or temporary disruptions can interrupt the data stream, leading to an EOFException.
  4. Aggressive Timeouts: Both client and server have timeout settings to prevent endless waiting on non-responsive connections. If these timeouts are too short, they might close the connection before all data has been transmitted.

Simulating the Problem

We can replicate the issue to understand better about the exception. It involves setting up a simple client-server application in Java. This application will consist of a server that sends a predefined set of data to a client. The client will attempt to read more data than the server has sent, leading to an EOFException.

Step 1: Server Code

First, we’ll write a basic server that listens on a socket, accepts a client connection, sends a short message, and then closes the connection abruptly.


public class DataServer {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try (ServerSocket serverSocket = new ServerSocket(5000)) {
            System.out.println("Server started. Listening on port 5000.");

            try (Socket connectionSocket = serverSocket.accept();
                 DataOutputStream dos = new DataOutputStream(connectionSocket.getOutputStream())) {
                System.out.println("Client connected.");

                // Sending a fixed number of integers
                for (int i = 1; i <= 5; i++) {
                System.out.println("Data sent to client.");
            } catch (IOException e) {
        } catch (IOException e) {

Step 2: Client Code

Next, The client will attempt to read more integers than the server has sent, causing an EOFException.


public class DataClient {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try (Socket socket = new Socket("localhost", 5000);
             DataInputStream dis = new DataInputStream(socket.getInputStream())) {
            System.out.println("Connected to server.");

            try {
                // Attempting to read more data than available
                for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
                    int number = dis.readInt();
                    System.out.println("Received number: " + number);
            } catch (EOFException e) {
                System.out.println("EOFException caught: End of stream reached unexpectedly.");
        } catch (IOException e) {

Replicating the Issue

  1. Save the Server code as and client code as
  2. compile the files using the command “javac” And “javac
  3. This will generate a class file DataServer.class and DataClient.class
  4. Now we can start the server and client program in a separate window
    • Run the Server: Start the DataServer program “java DataServer
    • Run the Client: Start the DataClient program “java DataClient

NOTE: Make sure you have Java installed before executing this code, else it won’t work 🙂

% java -version
java version ""

Expected Outcome

The server will send 5 integers to the client. However, the client will attempt to read 10 integers, leading to an EOFException after the fifth integer because the client tries to read beyond the end of the data stream. The client will catch this exception and print a message indicating that the end of the stream was reached unexpectedly.



% java DataServer
Server started. Listening on port 5000.
Client connected.


 % java DataClient
Connected to server.
Received number: 1
Received number: 2
Received number: 3
Received number: 4
Received number: 5
EOFException caught: End of stream reached unexpectedly.

Diagnosing and Solving the Issue

With the below approach, We can able to easily identify the issue and resolve it

Handle ERROR in Code: Implement a logic to count the data and send it, So that the Client will be aware of the data.

Review Server/Client Logs: We usually begin by checking the server’s and client logs for any errors or warnings that could indicate why the connection was closed. This can provide valuable clues about the root cause.

Ensure Protocol Compliance: Make sure that the communication protocol between the client and server is clearly defined and adhered to. Any discrepancy in message formats or lengths can lead to misunderstandings and, consequently, exceptions.

Check Network Stability: Check the network connection between the client and server. Network diagnostics tools can help identify any points of failure or instability that may be affecting data transmission.


We can try ping or telnet to check if the client can able to connect the <server>:<port>

ping <hostname>

telnet <hostname> <port>

Adjust Timeout Settings: If timeouts appear to be the culprit, consider adjusting them to more generous durations. Make sure the server and client timeout matches and not doing prematurely termination

Implement Robust Error Handling: On the client side, ensure there is logic in place to catch and handle EOFException gracefully. This could involve retry mechanisms or detailed logging to facilitate troubleshooting.


The Unexpected EOF while trying to read response from server is a common occurrence in networked applications, often signaling issues in data transmission. By understanding its causes and implementing strategic fixes, developers can ensure smoother communication between clients and servers

Happy Learning !!

Jerry Richard
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