varnishd runtime parameters

Kristian Lyngstol kristian at
Tue Mar 24 08:20:50 CET 2009

On Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 05:58:58PM -0700, Tung Nguyen wrote:
> Hi guys,
> So, Im reading over an archive email thread about twitters configuration.
> It looks like they had to adjust a lot of parameters... and Im not finding
> all the parameters definitions in the varnishd man pages.  Im wondering if
> for most cases running varnish with the defaults is fine?
> Any caveats here which run time parameters should I focus on.

You can mostly run it with the defaults, yes. This depends on what sort of
usage you have though.

One notable exception is that I strongly recommend that you bring
thread_pool_min up to a decent level (reflecting how many users you
actually have. Numbers in the hundreds is normal). You'll also want to
adjust the cache size to your system, but that goes without saying. 

If you expect extremely high load, you might have to increase cli_timeout
too. I've run tests where even setting it to 15 seconds is insufficient and
causes childs to be killed off. Though for most production sites, I'd guess
5 seconds could work and 10 seconds would definitely work.

Kristian Lyngstøl
Redpill Linpro AS
Tlf: +47 21544179
Mob: +47 99014497
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