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Question:

When using QGIS to access a WMS Service I sometimes receive a ‘failed to download capabilities’ error message. What is causing this and how can I resolve this?

 

Answer:

This issue is related to the privileges that have been granted to the User which is trying to access the WMS. The ‘User’ is defined when you Create a NEW WMS connection using the Connection Details within QGIS.

 

If this User has insufficient privileges within GeoServer then the ‘GetCapabilities’ error message is shown in QGIS.

To resolve this issue, you can either use a different User or edit the privileges for this User within GeoServer. In GeoServer use the Security > Services window to edit the Service Access Rules for your WMS. Here you can change the Method and the Roles which can access the WMS. To enable all Users to see the WMS, you can tick the option to Grant Access to Any Role.

 

Having Saved the changes and returned to QGIS, the User will now be able to Connect to the WMS Service, select a WMS layer and open that into their map.