varnishd

HTTP accelerator daemon

Manual section:1

SYNOPSIS

varnishd [-a [name=][address][:port][,PROTO]] [-b host[:port]] [-C] [-d] [-F] [-f config] [-h type[,options]] [-I clifile] [-i identity] [-j jail[,jailoptions]] [-l vsl[,vsm]] [-M address:port] [-n name] [-P file] [-p param=value] [-r param[,param...]] [-S secret-file] [-s [name=]kind[,options]] [-T address[:port]] [-t TTL] [-V] [-W waiter]

varnishd [-x parameter|vsl|cli|builtin|optstring]

varnishd [-?]

DESCRIPTION

The varnishd daemon accepts HTTP requests from clients, passes them on to a backend server and caches the returned documents to better satisfy future requests for the same document.

OPTIONS

Basic options

-a <[name=][address][:port][,PROTO]>
 

Listen for client requests on the specified address and port. The address can be a host name ("localhost"), an IPv4 dotted-quad ("127.0.0.1"), or an IPv6 address enclosed in square brackets ("[::1]"). If address is not specified, varnishd will listen on all available IPv4 and IPv6 interfaces. If port is not specified, port 80 (http) is used. At least one of address or port is required.

Name is referenced in logs. If name is not specified, "a0", "a1", etc. is used. An additional protocol type can be set for the listening socket with PROTO. Valid protocol types are: HTTP/1 (default), and PROXY.

Multiple listening addresses can be specified by using different -a arguments.

-b <host[:port]>
 Use the specified host as backend server. If port is not specified, the default is 8080. -b can be used only once, and not together with -f.
-f config

Use the specified VCL configuration file instead of the builtin default. See VCL for details on VCL syntax.

If a single -f option is used, then the VCL instance loaded from the file is named "boot" and immediately becomes active. If more than one -f option is used, the VCL instances are named "boot0", "boot1" and so forth, in the order corresponding to the -f arguments, and the last one is named "boot", which becomes active.

Either -b or one or more -f options must be specified, but not both, and they cannot both be left out, unless -d is used to start varnishd in debugging mode. If the empty string is specified as the sole -f option, then varnishd starts without starting the worker process, and the management process will accept CLI commands. You can also combine an empty -f option with an initialization script (-I option) and the child process will be started if there is an active VCL at the end of the initialization.

When used with a relative file name, config is searched in the vcl_path. It is possible to set this path prior to using -f options with a -p option. During startup, varnishd doesn't complain about unsafe VCL paths: unlike the varnish-cli(7) that could later be accessed remotely, starting varnishd requires local privileges.

-n name Specify the name for this instance. This name is used to construct the name of the directory in which varnishd keeps temporary files and persistent state. If the specified name begins with a forward slash, it is interpreted as the absolute path to the directory.

Documentation options

For these options, varnishd prints information to standard output and exits. When a -x option is used, it must be the only option (it outputs documentation in reStructuredText, aka RST).

-?

Print the usage message.
-x parameter Print documentation of the runtime parameters (-p options), see List of Parameters.
-x vsl Print documentation of the tags used in the Varnish shared memory log, see VSL.
-x cli Print documentation of the command line interface, see varnish-cli.
-x builtin Print the contents of the default VCL program builtin.vcl.
-x optstring Print the optstring parameter to getopt(3) to help writing wrapper scripts.

Operations options

-F Do not fork, run in the foreground. Only one of -F or -d can be specified, and -F cannot be used together with -C.
-T <address[:port]>
 Offer a management interface on the specified address and port. See varnish-cli for documentation of the management commands. To disable the management interface use none.
-M <address:port>
 Connect to this port and offer the command line interface. Think of it as a reverse shell. When running with -M and there is no backend defined the child process (the cache) will not start initially.
-P file Write the PID of the process to the specified file.
-i identity Specify the identity of the Varnish server. This can be accessed using server.identity from VCL and with VSM_Name() from utilities. If not specified the output of gethostname(3) is used.
-I clifile Execute the management commands in the file given as clifile before the the worker process starts, see CLI Command File.

Tuning options

-t TTL Specifies the default time to live (TTL) for cached objects. This is a shortcut for specifying the default_ttl run-time parameter.
-p <param=value>
 Set the parameter specified by param to the specified value, see List of Parameters for details. This option can be used multiple times to specify multiple parameters.
-s <[name=]type[,options]>
 

Use the specified storage backend. See Storage Backend section.

This option can be used multiple times to specify multiple storage files. Name is referenced in logs, VCL, statistics, etc. If name is not specified, "s0", "s1" and so forth is used.

-l <vsl> Specifies size of the space for the VSL records. Scaling suffixes like 'K' and 'M' can be used up to (G)igabytes. Default is 80 Megabytes.

Security options

-r <param[,param...]>
 Make the listed parameters read only. This gives the system administrator a way to limit what the Varnish CLI can do. Consider making parameters such as cc_command, vcc_allow_inline_c and vmod_path read only as these can potentially be used to escalate privileges from the CLI.
-S secret-file Path to a file containing a secret used for authorizing access to the management port. If not provided a new secret will be drawn from the system PRNG. To disable authentication use none.
-j <jail[,jailoptions]>
 Specify the jailing mechanism to use. See Jail section.

Advanced, development and debugging options

-d

Enables debugging mode: The parent process runs in the foreground with a CLI connection on stdin/stdout, and the child process must be started explicitly with a CLI command. Terminating the parent process will also terminate the child.

Only one of -d or -F can be specified, and -d cannot be used together with -C.

-C Print VCL code compiled to C language and exit. Specify the VCL file to compile with the -f option. Either -f or -b must be used with -C, and -C cannot be used with -F or -d.
-V Display the version number and exit. This must be the only option.
-h <type[,options]>
 Specifies the hash algorithm. See Hash Algorithm section for a list of supported algorithms.
-W waiter Specifies the waiter type to use.

Hash Algorithm

The following hash algorithms are available:

-h critbit self-scaling tree structure. The default hash algorithm in Varnish Cache 2.1 and onwards. In comparison to a more traditional B tree the critbit tree is almost completely lockless. Do not change this unless you are certain what you're doing.
-h simple_list A simple doubly-linked list. Not recommended for production use.
-h <classic[,buckets]>
 A standard hash table. The hash key is the CRC32 of the object's URL modulo the size of the hash table. Each table entry points to a list of elements which share the same hash key. The buckets parameter specifies the number of entries in the hash table. The default is 16383.

Storage Backend

The following storage types are available:

-s <default[,size]>
 The default storage type resolves to umem where available and malloc otherwise.
-s <malloc[,size]>
 malloc is a memory based backend.
-s <umem[,size]>
 umem is a storage backend which is more efficient than malloc on platforms where it is available.
-s <file,path[,size[,granularity[,advice]]]>
 

The file backend stores data in a file on disk. The file will be accessed using mmap.

The path is mandatory. If path points to a directory, a temporary file will be created in that directory and immediately unlinked. If path points to a non-existing file, the file will be created.

If size is omitted, and path points to an existing file with a size greater than zero, the size of that file will be used. If not, an error is reported.

Granularity sets the allocation block size. Defaults to the system page size or the filesystem block size, whichever is larger.

Advice tells the kernel how varnishd expects to use this mapped region so that the kernel can choose the appropriate read-ahead and caching techniques. Possible values are normal, random and sequential, corresponding to MADV_NORMAL, MADV_RANDOM and MADV_SEQUENTIAL madvise() advice argument, respectively. Defaults to random.

-s <persistent,path,size>
 Persistent storage. Varnish will store objects in a file in a manner that will secure the survival of most of the objects in the event of a planned or unplanned shutdown of Varnish. The persistent storage backend has multiple issues with it and will likely be removed from a future version of Varnish.

Jail

Varnish jails are a generalization over various platform specific methods to reduce the privileges of varnish processes. They may have specific options. Available jails are:

-j solaris Reduce privileges(5) for varnishd and sub-process to the minimally required set. Only available on platforms which have the setppriv(2) call.
-j <unix[,user=`user`][,ccgroup=`group`][,workuser=`user`]>
 

Default on all other platforms when varnishd is started with an effective uid of 0 ("as root").

With the unix jail mechanism activated, varnish will switch to an alternative user for subprocesses and change the effective uid of the master process whenever possible.

The optional user argument specifies which alternative user to use. It defaults to varnish.

The optional ccgroup argument specifies a group to add to varnish subprocesses requiring access to a c-compiler. There is no default.

The optional workuser argument specifies an alternative user to use for the worker process. It defaults to vcache.

-j none last resort jail choice: With jail mechanism none, varnish will run all processes with the privileges it was started with.

Management Interface

If the -T option was specified, varnishd will offer a command-line management interface on the specified address and port. The recommended way of connecting to the command-line management interface is through varnishadm.

The commands available are documented in varnish-cli.

CLI Command File

The -I option makes it possible to run arbitrary management commands when varnishd is launched, before the worker process is started. In particular, this is the way to load configurations, apply labels to them, and make a VCL instance active that uses those labels on startup:

vcl.load panic /etc/varnish_panic.vcl
vcl.load siteA0 /etc/varnish_siteA.vcl
vcl.load siteB0 /etc/varnish_siteB.vcl
vcl.load siteC0 /etc/varnish_siteC.vcl
vcl.label siteA siteA0
vcl.label siteB siteB0
vcl.label siteC siteC0
vcl.load main /etc/varnish_main.vcl
vcl.use main

Every line in the file, including the last line, must be terminated by a newline or carriage return.

If a command in the file is prefixed with '-', failure will not abort the startup.

RUN TIME PARAMETERS

Run Time Parameter Flags

Runtime parameters are marked with shorthand flags to avoid repeating the same text over and over in the table below. The meaning of the flags are:

  • experimental

    We have no solid information about good/bad/optimal values for this parameter. Feedback with experience and observations are most welcome.

  • delayed

    This parameter can be changed on the fly, but will not take effect immediately.

  • restart

    The worker process must be stopped and restarted, before this parameter takes effect.

  • reload

    The VCL programs must be reloaded for this parameter to take effect.

  • experimental

    We're not really sure about this parameter, tell us what you find.

  • wizard

    Do not touch unless you really know what you're doing.

  • only_root

    Only works if varnishd is running as root.

Default Value Exceptions on 32 bit Systems

Be aware that on 32 bit systems, certain default values are reduced relative to the values listed below, in order to conserve VM space:

  • workspace_client: 16k
  • http_resp_size: 8k
  • http_req_size: 12k
  • gzip_stack_buffer: 4k
  • thread_pool_stack: 64k

List of Parameters

This text is produced from the same text you will find in the CLI if you use the param.show command:

accept_filter
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on
  • Flags: must_restart

Enable kernel accept-filters.

acceptor_sleep_decay
  • Default: 0.9
  • Minimum: 0
  • Maximum: 1
  • Flags: experimental

If we run out of resources, such as file descriptors or worker threads, the acceptor will sleep between accepts. This parameter (multiplicatively) reduce the sleep duration for each successful accept. (ie: 0.9 = reduce by 10%)

acceptor_sleep_incr
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Maximum: 1.000
  • Flags: experimental

If we run out of resources, such as file descriptors or worker threads, the acceptor will sleep between accepts. This parameter control how much longer we sleep, each time we fail to accept a new connection.

acceptor_sleep_max
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.050
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Maximum: 10.000
  • Flags: experimental

If we run out of resources, such as file descriptors or worker threads, the acceptor will sleep between accepts. This parameter limits how long it can sleep between attempts to accept new connections.

auto_restart
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Automatically restart the child/worker process if it dies.

backend_idle_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 1.000

Timeout before we close unused backend connections.

ban_cutoff
  • Units: bans
  • Default: 0
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: experimental

Expurge long tail content from the cache to keep the number of bans below this value. 0 disables.

When this parameter is set to a non-zero value, the ban lurker continues to work the ban list as usual top to bottom, but when it reaches the ban_cutoff-th ban, it treats all objects as if they matched a ban and expurges them from cache. As actively used objects get tested against the ban list at request time and thus are likely to be associated with bans near the top of the ban list, with ban_cutoff, least recently accessed objects (the "long tail") are removed.

This parameter is a safety net to avoid bad response times due to bans being tested at lookup time. Setting a cutoff trades response time for cache efficiency. The recommended value is proportional to rate(bans_lurker_tests_tested) / n_objects while the ban lurker is working, which is the number of bans the system can sustain. The additional latency due to request ban testing is in the order of ban_cutoff / rate(bans_lurker_tests_tested). For example, for rate(bans_lurker_tests_tested) = 2M/s and a tolerable latency of 100ms, a good value for ban_cutoff may be 200K.

ban_dups
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Eliminate older identical bans when a new ban is added. This saves CPU cycles by not comparing objects to identical bans. This is a waste of time if you have many bans which are never identical.

ban_lurker_age
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

The ban lurker will ignore bans until they are this old. When a ban is added, the active traffic will be tested against it as part of object lookup. Because many applications issue bans in bursts, this parameter holds the ban-lurker off until the rush is over. This should be set to the approximate time which a ban-burst takes.

ban_lurker_batch
  • Default: 1000
  • Minimum: 1

The ban lurker sleeps ${ban_lurker_sleep} after examining this many objects. Use this to pace the ban-lurker if it eats too many resources.

ban_lurker_holdoff
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.010
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: experimental

How long the ban lurker sleeps when giving way to lookup due to lock contention.

ban_lurker_sleep
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.010
  • Minimum: 0.000

How long the ban lurker sleeps after examining ${ban_lurker_batch} objects. Use this to pace the ban-lurker if it eats too many resources. A value of zero will disable the ban lurker entirely.

between_bytes_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

We only wait for this many seconds between bytes received from the backend before giving up the fetch. A value of zero means never give up. VCL values, per backend or per backend request take precedence. This parameter does not apply to pipe'ed requests.

cc_command
  • Default: exec clang -g -O2 -Wall -Werror -Wno-error=unused-result t-Werror t-Wall t-Wno-format-y2k t-W t-Wstrict-prototypes t-Wmissing-prototypes t-Wpointer-arith t-Wreturn-type t-Wcast-qual t-Wwrite-strings t-Wswitch t-Wshadow t-Wunused-parameter t-Wcast-align t-Wchar-subscripts t-Wnested-externs t-Wextra t-Wno-sign-compare -fstack-protector -Wno-pointer-sign -Wno-address -Wno-missing-field-initializers -pthread -fpic -shared -Wl,-x -o %o %s
  • Flags: must_reload

Command used for compiling the C source code to a dlopen(3) loadable object. Any occurrence of %s in the string will be replaced with the source file name, and %o will be replaced with the output file name.

cli_limit
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 48k
  • Minimum: 128b
  • Maximum: 99999999b

Maximum size of CLI response. If the response exceeds this limit, the response code will be 201 instead of 200 and the last line will indicate the truncation.

cli_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

Timeout for the childs replies to CLI requests from the mgt_param.

clock_skew
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 10
  • Minimum: 0

How much clockskew we are willing to accept between the backend and our own clock.

clock_step
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 1.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

How much observed clock step we are willing to accept before we panic.

connect_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 3.500
  • Minimum: 0.000

Default connection timeout for backend connections. We only try to connect to the backend for this many seconds before giving up. VCL can override this default value for each backend and backend request.

critbit_cooloff
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 180.000
  • Minimum: 60.000
  • Maximum: 254.000
  • Flags: wizard

How long the critbit hasher keeps deleted objheads on the cooloff list.

debug
  • Default: none

Enable/Disable various kinds of debugging.

none
Disable all debugging

Use +/- prefix to set/reset individual bits:

req_state
VSL Request state engine
workspace
VSL Workspace operations
waiter
VSL Waiter internals
waitinglist
VSL Waitinglist events
syncvsl
Make VSL synchronous
hashedge
Edge cases in Hash
vclrel
Rapid VCL release
lurker
VSL Ban lurker
esi_chop
Chop ESI fetch to bits
flush_head
Flush after http1 head
vtc_mode
Varnishtest Mode
witness
Emit WITNESS lock records
vsm_keep
Keep the VSM file on restart
drop_pools
Drop thread pools (testing)
slow_acceptor
Slow down Acceptor
h2_nocheck
Disable various H2 checks
vmod_so_keep
Keep copied VMOD libraries
processors
Fetch/Deliver processors
default_grace
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 10.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: obj_sticky

Default grace period. We will deliver an object this long after it has expired, provided another thread is attempting to get a new copy.

default_keep
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: obj_sticky

Default keep period. We will keep a useless object around this long, making it available for conditional backend fetches. That means that the object will be removed from the cache at the end of ttl+grace+keep.

default_ttl
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 120.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: obj_sticky

The TTL assigned to objects if neither the backend nor the VCL code assigns one.

esi_iovs
  • Units: struct iovec
  • Default: 10
  • Minimum: 3
  • Maximum: 1024
  • Flags: wizard

Number of io vectors to allocate on the thread workspace for ESI requests.

feature
  • Default: none

Enable/Disable various minor features.

none
Disable all features.

Use +/- prefix to enable/disable individual feature:

short_panic
Short panic message.
wait_silo
Wait for persistent silo.
no_coredump
No coredumps.
esi_ignore_https
Treat HTTPS as HTTP in ESI:includes
esi_disable_xml_check
Don't check of body looks like XML
esi_ignore_other_elements
Ignore non-esi XML-elements
esi_remove_bom
Remove UTF-8 BOM
https_scheme
Also split https URIs
http2
Support HTTP/2 protocol
fetch_chunksize
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 16k
  • Minimum: 4k
  • Flags: experimental

The default chunksize used by fetcher. This should be bigger than the majority of objects with short TTLs. Internal limits in the storage_file module makes increases above 128kb a dubious idea.

fetch_maxchunksize
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 0.25G
  • Minimum: 64k
  • Flags: experimental

The maximum chunksize we attempt to allocate from storage. Making this too large may cause delays and storage fragmentation.

first_byte_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

Default timeout for receiving first byte from backend. We only wait for this many seconds for the first byte before giving up. A value of 0 means it will never time out. VCL can override this default value for each backend and backend request. This parameter does not apply to pipe.

gzip_buffer
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 32k
  • Minimum: 2k
  • Flags: experimental

Size of malloc buffer used for gzip processing. These buffers are used for in-transit data, for instance gunzip'ed data being sent to a client.Making this space to small results in more overhead, writes to sockets etc, making it too big is probably just a waste of memory.

gzip_level
  • Default: 6
  • Minimum: 0
  • Maximum: 9

Gzip compression level: 0=debug, 1=fast, 9=best

gzip_memlevel
  • Default: 8
  • Minimum: 1
  • Maximum: 9

Gzip memory level 1=slow/least, 9=fast/most compression. Memory impact is 1=1k, 2=2k, ... 9=256k.

h2_rx_window_increment
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 1M
  • Minimum: 1M
  • Maximum: 1G
  • Flags: wizard

HTTP2 Receive Window Increments. How big credits we send in WINDOW_UPDATE frames Only affects incoming request bodies (ie: POST, PUT etc.)

h2_rx_window_low_water
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 10M
  • Minimum: 65535b
  • Maximum: 1G
  • Flags: wizard

HTTP2 Receive Window low water mark. We try to keep the window at least this big Only affects incoming request bodies (ie: POST, PUT etc.)

http_gzip_support
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on
Enable gzip support. When enabled Varnish request compressed objects from the backend and store them compressed. If a client does not support gzip encoding Varnish will uncompress compressed objects on demand. Varnish will also rewrite the Accept-Encoding header of clients indicating support for gzip to:
Accept-Encoding: gzip

Clients that do not support gzip will have their Accept-Encoding header removed. For more information on how gzip is implemented please see the chapter on gzip in the Varnish reference.

http_max_hdr
  • Units: header lines
  • Default: 64
  • Minimum: 32
  • Maximum: 65535

Maximum number of HTTP header lines we allow in {req|resp|bereq|beresp}.http (obj.http is autosized to the exact number of headers). Cheap, ~20 bytes, in terms of workspace memory. Note that the first line occupies five header lines.

http_range_support
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Enable support for HTTP Range headers.

http_req_hdr_len
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 8k
  • Minimum: 40b

Maximum length of any HTTP client request header we will allow. The limit is inclusive its continuation lines.

http_req_size
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 32k
  • Minimum: 0.25k

Maximum number of bytes of HTTP client request we will deal with. This is a limit on all bytes up to the double blank line which ends the HTTP request. The memory for the request is allocated from the client workspace (param: workspace_client) and this parameter limits how much of that the request is allowed to take up.

http_resp_hdr_len
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 8k
  • Minimum: 40b

Maximum length of any HTTP backend response header we will allow. The limit is inclusive its continuation lines.

http_resp_size
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 32k
  • Minimum: 0.25k

Maximum number of bytes of HTTP backend response we will deal with. This is a limit on all bytes up to the double blank line which ends the HTTP request. The memory for the request is allocated from the backend workspace (param: workspace_backend) and this parameter limits how much of that the request is allowed to take up.

idle_send_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: delayed

Send timeout for individual pieces of data on client connections. May get extended if 'send_timeout' applies.

When this timeout is hit, the session is closed.

See the man page for setsockopt(2) under SO_SNDTIMEO for more information.

listen_depth
  • Units: connections
  • Default: 1024
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: must_restart

Listen queue depth.

lru_interval
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 2.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: experimental

Grace period before object moves on LRU list. Objects are only moved to the front of the LRU list if they have not been moved there already inside this timeout period. This reduces the amount of lock operations necessary for LRU list access.

max_esi_depth
  • Units: levels
  • Default: 5
  • Minimum: 0

Maximum depth of esi:include processing.

max_restarts
  • Units: restarts
  • Default: 4
  • Minimum: 0

Upper limit on how many times a request can restart.

max_retries
  • Units: retries
  • Default: 4
  • Minimum: 0

Upper limit on how many times a backend fetch can retry.

nuke_limit
  • Units: allocations
  • Default: 50
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: experimental

Maximum number of objects we attempt to nuke in order to make space for a object body.

pcre_match_limit
  • Default: 10000
  • Minimum: 1

The limit for the number of calls to the internal match() function in pcre_exec().

(See: PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT in pcre docs.)

This parameter limits how much CPU time regular expression matching can soak up.

pcre_match_limit_recursion
  • Default: 20
  • Minimum: 1

The recursion depth-limit for the internal match() function in a pcre_exec().

(See: PCRE_EXTRA_MATCH_LIMIT_RECURSION in pcre docs.)

This puts an upper limit on the amount of stack used by PCRE for certain classes of regular expressions.

We have set the default value low in order to prevent crashes, at the cost of possible regexp matching failures.

Matching failures will show up in the log as VCL_Error messages with regexp errors -27 or -21.

Testcase r01576 can be useful when tuning this parameter.

ping_interval
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 3
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: must_restart

Interval between pings from parent to child. Zero will disable pinging entirely, which makes it possible to attach a debugger to the child.

pipe_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

Idle timeout for PIPE sessions. If nothing have been received in either direction for this many seconds, the session is closed.

pool_req
  • Default: 10,100,10

Parameters for per worker pool request memory pool. The three numbers are:

min_pool
minimum size of free pool.
max_pool
maximum size of free pool.
max_age
max age of free element.
pool_sess
  • Default: 10,100,10

Parameters for per worker pool session memory pool. The three numbers are:

min_pool
minimum size of free pool.
max_pool
maximum size of free pool.
max_age
max age of free element.
pool_vbo
  • Default: 10,100,10

Parameters for backend object fetch memory pool. The three numbers are:

min_pool
minimum size of free pool.
max_pool
maximum size of free pool.
max_age
max age of free element.
prefer_ipv6
  • Units: bool
  • Default: off

Prefer IPv6 address when connecting to backends which have both IPv4 and IPv6 addresses.

rush_exponent
  • Units: requests per request
  • Default: 3
  • Minimum: 2
  • Flags: experimental

How many parked request we start for each completed request on the object. NB: Even with the implict delay of delivery, this parameter controls an exponential increase in number of worker threads.

send_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 600.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: delayed

Total timeout for ordinary HTTP1 responses. Does not apply to some internally generated errors and pipe mode.

When 'idle_send_timeout' is hit while sending an HTTP1 response, the timeout is extended unless the total time already taken for sending the response in its entirety exceeds this many seconds.

When this timeout is hit, the session is closed

shm_reclen
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 255b
  • Minimum: 16b
  • Maximum: 4084

Old name for vsl_reclen, use that instead.

shortlived
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 10.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

Objects created with (ttl+grace+keep) shorter than this are always put in transient storage.

sigsegv_handler
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on
  • Flags: must_restart

Install a signal handler which tries to dump debug information on segmentation faults, bus errors and abort signals.

syslog_cli_traffic
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Log all CLI traffic to syslog(LOG_INFO).

tcp_fastopen

NB: This parameter depends on a feature which is not available on all platforms.

  • Units: bool
  • Default: off
  • Flags:

Enable TCP Fast Open extension.

tcp_keepalive_intvl
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 75.000
  • Minimum: 1.000
  • Maximum: 100.000
  • Flags: experimental

The number of seconds between TCP keep-alive probes.

tcp_keepalive_probes
  • Units: probes
  • Default: 8
  • Minimum: 1
  • Maximum: 100
  • Flags: experimental

The maximum number of TCP keep-alive probes to send before giving up and killing the connection if no response is obtained from the other end.

tcp_keepalive_time
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 7200.000
  • Minimum: 1.000
  • Maximum: 7200.000
  • Flags: experimental

The number of seconds a connection needs to be idle before TCP begins sending out keep-alive probes.

thread_pool_add_delay
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.000
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: experimental

Wait at least this long after creating a thread.

Some (buggy) systems may need a short (sub-second) delay between creating threads. Set this to a few milliseconds if you see the 'threads_failed' counter grow too much.

Setting this too high results in insufficient worker threads.

thread_pool_destroy_delay
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 1.000
  • Minimum: 0.010
  • Flags: delayed, experimental

Wait this long after destroying a thread.

This controls the decay of thread pools when idle(-ish).

thread_pool_fail_delay
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.200
  • Minimum: 0.010
  • Flags: experimental

Wait at least this long after a failed thread creation before trying to create another thread.

Failure to create a worker thread is often a sign that the end is near, because the process is running out of some resource. This delay tries to not rush the end on needlessly.

If thread creation failures are a problem, check that thread_pool_max is not too high.

It may also help to increase thread_pool_timeout and thread_pool_min, to reduce the rate at which treads are destroyed and later recreated.

thread_pool_max
  • Units: threads
  • Default: 5000
  • Minimum: 100
  • Flags: delayed

The maximum number of worker threads in each pool. The minimum value depends on thread_pool_min.

Do not set this higher than you have to, since excess worker threads soak up RAM and CPU and generally just get in the way of getting work done.

thread_pool_min
  • Units: threads
  • Default: 100
  • Maximum: 5000
  • Flags: delayed

The minimum number of worker threads in each pool. The maximum value depends on thread_pool_max.

Increasing this may help ramp up faster from low load situations or when threads have expired.

Minimum is 10 threads.

thread_pool_reserve
  • Units: threads
  • Default: 0
  • Maximum: 95
  • Flags: delayed

The number of worker threads reserved for vital tasks in each pool.

Tasks may require other tasks to complete (for example, client requests may require backend requests). This reserve is to ensure that such tasks still get to run even under high load.

Increasing the reserve may help setups with a high number of backend requests at the expense of client performance. Setting it too high will waste resources by keeping threads unused.

Default is 0 to auto-tune (currently 5% of thread_pool_min). Minimum is 1 otherwise, maximum is 95% of thread_pool_min.

thread_pool_stack
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 48k
  • Minimum: 2k
  • Flags: delayed

Worker thread stack size. This will likely be rounded up to a multiple of 4k (or whatever the page_size might be) by the kernel.

The required stack size is primarily driven by the depth of the call-tree. The most common relevant determining factors in varnish core code are GZIP (un)compression, ESI processing and regular expression matches. VMODs may also require significant amounts of additional stack. The nesting depth of VCL subs is another factor, although typically not predominant.

The stack size is per thread, so the maximum total memory required for worker thread stacks is in the order of size = thread_pools x thread_pool_max x thread_pool_stack.

Thus, in particular for setups with many threads, keeping the stack size at a minimum helps reduce the amount of memory required by Varnish.

On the other hand, thread_pool_stack must be large enough under all circumstances, otherwise varnish will crash due to a stack overflow. Usually, a stack overflow manifests itself as a segmentation fault (aka segfault / SIGSEGV) with the faulting address being near the stack pointer (sp).

Unless stack usage can be reduced, thread_pool_stack must be increased when a stack overflow occurs. Setting it in 150%-200% increments is recommended until stack overflows cease to occur.

thread_pool_timeout
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 300.000
  • Minimum: 10.000
  • Flags: delayed, experimental

Thread idle threshold.

Threads in excess of thread_pool_min, which have been idle for at least this long, will be destroyed.

thread_pools
  • Units: pools
  • Default: 2
  • Minimum: 1
  • Maximum: 32
  • Flags: delayed, experimental

Number of worker thread pools.

Increasing the number of worker pools decreases lock contention. Each worker pool also has a thread accepting new connections, so for very high rates of incoming new connections on systems with many cores, increasing the worker pools may be required.

Too many pools waste CPU and RAM resources, and more than one pool for each CPU is most likely detrimental to performance.

Can be increased on the fly, but decreases require a restart to take effect.

thread_queue_limit
  • Default: 20
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: experimental

Permitted request queue length per thread-pool.

This sets the number of requests we will queue, waiting for an available thread. Above this limit sessions will be dropped instead of queued.

thread_stats_rate
  • Units: requests
  • Default: 10
  • Minimum: 0
  • Flags: experimental

Worker threads accumulate statistics, and dump these into the global stats counters if the lock is free when they finish a job (request/fetch etc.) This parameters defines the maximum number of jobs a worker thread may handle, before it is forced to dump its accumulated stats into the global counters.

timeout_idle
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 5.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

Idle timeout for client connections.

A connection is considered idle until we have received the full request headers.

This parameter is particularly relevant for HTTP1 keepalive connections which are closed unless the next request is received before this timeout is reached.

timeout_linger
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 0.050
  • Minimum: 0.000
  • Flags: experimental

How long the worker thread lingers on an idle session before handing it over to the waiter. When sessions are reused, as much as half of all reuses happen within the first 100 msec of the previous request completing. Setting this too high results in worker threads not doing anything for their keep, setting it too low just means that more sessions take a detour around the waiter.

vcc_allow_inline_c
  • Units: bool
  • Default: off

Allow inline C code in VCL.

vcc_err_unref
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Unreferenced VCL objects result in error.

vcc_unsafe_path
  • Units: bool
  • Default: on

Allow '/' in vmod & include paths. Allow 'import ... from ...'.

vcl_cooldown
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 600.000
  • Minimum: 0.000

How long a VCL is kept warm after being replaced as the active VCL (granularity approximately 30 seconds).

vcl_dir
  • Default: /usr/local/etc/varnish:/usr/local/share/varnish/vcl

Old name for vcl_path, use that instead.

vcl_path
  • Default: /usr/local/etc/varnish:/usr/local/share/varnish/vcl

Directory (or colon separated list of directories) from which relative VCL filenames (vcl.load and include) are to be found. By default Varnish searches VCL files in both the system configuration and shared data directories to allow packages to drop their VCL files in a standard location where relative includes would work.

vmod_dir
  • Default: /usr/local/lib/varnish/vmods

Old name for vmod_path, use that instead.

vmod_path
  • Default: /usr/local/lib/varnish/vmods

Directory (or colon separated list of directories) where VMODs are to be found.

vsl_buffer
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 4k
  • Minimum: 267

Bytes of (req-/backend-)workspace dedicated to buffering VSL records. When this parameter is adjusted, most likely workspace_client and workspace_backend will have to be adjusted by the same amount.

Setting this too high costs memory, setting it too low will cause more VSL flushes and likely increase lock-contention on the VSL mutex.

The minimum tracks the vsl_reclen parameter + 12 bytes.

vsl_mask
  • Default: -VCL_trace,-WorkThread,-Hash,-VfpAcct

Mask individual VSL messages from being logged.

default
Set default value

Use +/- prefix in front of VSL tag name, to mask/unmask individual VSL messages.

vsl_reclen
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 255b
  • Minimum: 16b
  • Maximum: 4084b

Maximum number of bytes in SHM log record.

The maximum tracks the vsl_buffer parameter - 12 bytes.

vsl_space
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 80M
  • Minimum: 1M
  • Maximum: 4G
  • Flags: must_restart

The amount of space to allocate for the VSL fifo buffer in the VSM memory segment. If you make this too small, varnish{ncsa|log} etc will not be able to keep up. Making it too large just costs memory resources.

vsm_free_cooldown
  • Units: seconds
  • Default: 60.000
  • Minimum: 10.000
  • Maximum: 600.000

How long VSM memory is kept warm after a deallocation (granularity approximately 2 seconds).

vsm_space
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 1M
  • Minimum: 1M
  • Maximum: 1G

DEPRECATED: This parameter is ignored. There is no global limit on amount of shared memory now.

workspace_backend
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 64k
  • Minimum: 1k
  • Flags: delayed

Bytes of HTTP protocol workspace for backend HTTP req/resp. If larger than 4k, use a multiple of 4k for VM efficiency.

workspace_client
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 64k
  • Minimum: 9k
  • Flags: delayed

Bytes of HTTP protocol workspace for clients HTTP req/resp. Use a multiple of 4k for VM efficiency. For HTTP/2 compliance this must be at least 20k, in order to receive fullsize (=16k) frames from the client. That usually happens only in POST/PUT bodies. For other traffic-patterns smaller values work just fine.

workspace_session
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 0.50k
  • Minimum: 0.25k
  • Flags: delayed

Allocation size for session structure and workspace. The workspace is primarily used for TCP connection addresses. If larger than 4k, use a multiple of 4k for VM efficiency.

workspace_thread
  • Units: bytes
  • Default: 2k
  • Minimum: 0.25k
  • Maximum: 8k
  • Flags: delayed

Bytes of auxiliary workspace per thread. This workspace is used for certain temporary data structures during the operation of a worker thread. One use is for the IO-vectors used during delivery. Setting this parameter too low may increase the number of writev() syscalls, setting it too high just wastes space. ~0.1k + UIO_MAXIOV * sizeof(struct iovec) (typically = ~16k for 64bit) is considered the maximum sensible value under any known circumstances (excluding exotic vmod use).

EXIT CODES

Varnish and bundled tools will, in most cases, exit with one of the following codes

  • 0 OK
  • 1 Some error which could be system-dependent and/or transient
  • 2 Serious configuration / parameter error - retrying with the same configuration / parameters is most likely useless

The varnishd master process may also OR its exit code

  • with 0x20 when the varnishd child process died,
  • with 0x40 when the varnishd child process was terminated by a signal and
  • with 0x80 when a core was dumped.

HISTORY

The varnishd daemon was developed by Poul-Henning Kamp in cooperation with Verdens Gang AS and Varnish Software.

This manual page was written by Dag-Erling Smørgrav with updates by Stig Sandbeck Mathisen <ssm@debian.org>, Nils Goroll and others.