Test program for Varnish

Manual section



varnishtest [-hikLlqvW] [-b size] [-D name=val] [-j jobs] [-n iter] [-t duration] file [file …]


The varnishtest program is a script driven program used to test the Varnish Cache.

The varnishtest program, when started and given one or more script files, can create a number of threads representing backends, some threads representing clients, and a varnishd process. This is then used to simulate a transaction to provoke a specific behavior.

The following options are available:

-b size

Set internal buffer size (default: 1M)

-D name=val Define macro for use in scripts


Show help


Find varnishd in build tree

-j jobs

Run this many tests in parallel


Continue on test failure


Always leave temporary vtc.*


Leave temporary vtc.* if test fails

-n iterations

Run tests this many times


Quiet mode: report only failures

-t duration

Time tests out after this long (default: 60s)


Verbose mode: always report test log


Enable the witness facility for locking

file File to use as a script

Macro definitions that can be overridden.

varnishd Path to varnishd to use [varnishd]

If TMPDIR is set in the environment, varnishtest creates temporary vtc.* directories for each test in $TMPDIR, otherwise in /tmp.


The script language used for Varnishtest is not a strictly defined language. The best reference for writing scripts is the varnishtest program itself. In the Varnish source code repository, under bin/varnishtest/tests/, all the regression tests for Varnish are kept.

An example:

varnishtest "#1029"

server s1 {
        expect req.url == "/bar"
        txresp -gzipbody {[bar]}

        expect req.url == "/foo"
        txresp -body {<h1>FOO<esi:include src="/bar"/>BARF</h1>}

} -start

varnish v1 -vcl+backend {
        sub vcl_backend_response {
                set beresp.do_esi = true;
                if (bereq.url == "/foo") {
                        set beresp.ttl = 0s;
                } else {
                        set beresp.ttl = 10m;
} -start

client c1 {
        txreq -url "/bar" -hdr "Accept-Encoding: gzip"
        expect resp.bodylen == 5

        txreq -url "/foo" -hdr "Accept-Encoding: gzip"
        expect resp.bodylen == 21
} -run

When run, the above script will simulate a server (s1) that expects two different requests. It will start a Varnish server (v1) and add the backend definition to the VCL specified (-vcl+backend). Finally it starts the c1-client, which is a single client sending two requests.



The varnishtest program was developed by Poul-Henning Kamp <> in cooperation with Varnish Software AS. This manual page was originally written by Stig Sandbeck Mathisen <> and updated by Kristian Lyngstøl <>.