Varnish not completely loading page from IE 7 browser

Bacion, Ray Ray.Bacion at
Thu Feb 3 20:00:56 CET 2011

Hello, we have installed Varnish on one of our RedHat 5 Linux machines.   I have pasted the configuration below.    I did remove the real hostnames and IP addresses from the configuration.

The configuration works fine with Mozilla for sites I have defined, but on IE 7 the "hostname1" site does not completely load.   I see the favicon.ico and the title of the page, but the site continues to load without completing or sometimes completing after a long time (minute plus) to load.   The second site "shared_73_165" loads just fine.

Please note a week ago I had the same sites defined, but IE had problems loading the "shared_73_165" site but loaded the "hostname1" site just fine.   I assume there is some slight difference in the configuration between this week and last to make this change occur, but I don't know what it would be.    Mozilla has always loaded both sites fine.

I am having trouble identifying the root cause of the problem.   Can anyone help me with trying to determine why IE 7 is taking so long to complete the loading of the page if it completes at all?

I can also add that a when I look at the varnishncsa output I see that with IE 7 that not all of the elements on the HTML page are being requested, but through Mozilla I do see all the requests.   I can also tell you both sites work fine if I bypass Varnish.   It also does appear that IE 8 has the same issue although I have not tested with it as much as I have IE 7.

Any help that someone can provide would be appreciated?

backend hostname1
backend shared_73_165

sub vcl_recv
  # Set Backend Server
  if ( ~ "^"     || ~ "^")              { set req.backend = hostname1;  }
  else                                                                                                                                                                       { set req.backend = shared_73_165; }

  # Set HTTP Header NS-Client-IP so Apache can log client's IP address.
  set req.http.NS-Client-IP = client.ip;

  # If HTTP Header Cache-Contro="no-cache" then purge any cache page that may exist for that URL and pass request on.
  if (req.http.Cache-Control ~ "no-cache") { purge_url(req.url); return(pass); }

  # If request is not a valid HTTP Method pipe it to the backend it is not cacheable.
  if (req.request!="GET"    && req.request!="HEAD"    && req.request!="PUT"     && req.request!="POST" &&
      req.request!="TRACE"  && req.request!="OPTIONS" && req.request!="DELETE")
  { return (pipe); }  /*Non-RFC2616*/

  # If request is not a GET or a HEAD then pass it through since its not cacheable.
  if (req.request!="GET" || req.request!="HEAD") { return (pass); }

  # Unset cookies on Drupal specific files that should be cached.
  if (req.url ~ "^/(files|misc|sites|themes|modules)/" || req.url ~ "\.(txt|ico)$") { unset req.http.Cookie; }

  # If request requires Authentication or has a Cookie then it is not cacheable.
  if (req.http.Authorization || req.http.Cookie) { return (pass); }

  # Normalize and compress content if Encoding starts with gzip or defalte but do not compress binary files.
  # @see:
  if (req.http.Accept-Encoding) {
    if    (req.url ~ "\.(jpg|png|gif|gz|tgz|bz2|tbz|mp3|ogg)$") { remove req.http.Accept-Encoding; }
    elsif (req.http.Accept-Encoding ~ "gzip")   {set req.http.Accept-Encoding = "gzip"; }
    elsif (req.http.Accept-Encoding ~ "deflate"){set req.http.Accept-Encoding = "deflate"; }
    else                                        {unset req.http.Accept-Encoding; }

  # If requested page is currently being processed on another thread to a backend server,  server cached page if its not older than 30s.
  set req.grace = 30s;

  # Fall back to the default vcl_recv which will call the return(lookup);

sub vcl_pipe
  set req.http.connection = "close";
  # Fall back to the default vcl_pipe which will call return(pipe);

sub vcl_fetch
  # If the response from the backend is not a 200, 203, 300, 301, 302, 404 or 410.
  if (!beresp.cacheable) { return (pass); }
Raymond Bacion

ITSD Operating System Group
Phone: (573) 522-1468
Fax :    (573) 522-1384
Email:  Ray.Bacion at


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