default.vcl insufficient

Tim Kientzle tim at
Thu Dec 4 01:08:47 CET 2008

Varnish's startup error messaging seems slightly broken.
It took me a while to track down why varnish wasn't starting
for me, since it just silently exited with nothing to the
console and nothing to the varnishlog.

By trial and error, I figured out that I needed an explicit -a
option (why can't this be set in the VCL?).  I then found this
in the source code:

In mgt_child.c, around line 245:
         if (open_sockets() != 0) {
		.... <snip> ...
                     "Child start failed: could not open sockets");

And REPORT0 calls both fprintf(stderr) and syslog().
So now I know to look in syslog.  But I'm not sure why
the fprintf(stderr) went nowhere.  This seems to be before
the child is forked and stdio redirected.


On Dec 3, 2008, at 3:51 PM, Tim Kientzle wrote:

> According to the "Getting Started" guide on the website, I should be
> able to just run varnish with the default VCL, but that doesn't
> actually work.  I get this error:
>  "No backends or directors found in VCL program, at least one is
> necessary.
>   VCL compilation failed"
> I recommend that the "backend default" definition in default.vcl be
> uncommented in order to make it easier for people to get started.
> Tim
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