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I'm running GeoServer 2.4 and I've created a layer that I'm using WFS to download as shapefile (or, rather a zip file with shapefiles). This works fine, and a request like:

http://localhost:8080/geoserver/bw/ows?service=WFS&version=1.0.0&request=GetFeature&typeName=ns:layeroutputFormat=SHAPE-ZIP&

Returns a zip-file containing the shapefile(s) I requested. No problem. The only problem is that this file contains a wfsrequest.txt file that I'm rather sure my users won't need or worse, be confused by.

After digging a bit around in the GeoServer documentation I've found this page which says that I can use FreeMarker templates to customize the zip-file. But, for the life of me I cannot figure out where to put the FreeMarker template file and what it's filename should be!

In addition it seems to me that the only thing the template let's me configure is the name of the text file, not it's content or if it's included or not.

Any pointers to where to place this template and what I can do with it?

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Try calling the file shapezip.ftl and put it in the most appropriate of the places described at http://docs.geoserver.org/stable/en/user/tutorials/freemarker.html#template-lookup

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