Setting up Varnish for Drupal on CentOS 6

Varnish has an offical repository so let’s add it to Yum as outlined on https://www.varnish-cache.org/installation/redhat

sudo rpm --nosignature -i http://repo.varnish-cache.org/redhat/varnish-3.0/el6/noarch/varnish-release/varnish-release-3.0-1.el6.noarch.rpm
sudo yum install varnish

Set Varnish to start on system boot

sudo chkconfig varnish on

Setup DAEMON_OPTS in /etc/sysconfig/varnish, something like below. It will be commented out by default:

DAEMON_OPTS="-a :80 \
-T localhost:8080 \
-u varnish -g varnish \
-s malloc,256m"

Edit the default.vcl file. We use the following for Drupal, which Four Kitchens kindly made available.

# https://fourkitchens.atlassian.net/wiki/display/TECH/Configure+Varnish+3+for+Drupal+7

# This is a basic VCL configuration file for varnish.  See the vcl(7)
# man page for details on VCL syntax and semantics.

# TODO: Update internal subnet ACL and security.

# Define the internal network subnet.
# These are used below to allow internal access to certain files while not
# allowing access from the public internet.
# acl internal {
#  "192.10.0.0"/24;
# }

# Default backend definition.  Set this to point to your content
# server.
#
backend default {
  .host = "127.0.0.1";
  .port = "8080";
}

# Respond to incoming requests.
sub vcl_recv {
  # Use anonymous, cached pages if all backends are down.
  if (!req.backend.healthy) {
    unset req.http.Cookie;
  }

  # Allow the backend to serve up stale content if it is responding slowly.
  set req.grace = 6h;

  # Pipe these paths directly to Apache for streaming.
  #if (req.url ~ "^/admin/content/backup_migrate/export") {
  #  return (pipe);
  #}

  if (req.restarts == 0) {
    if (req.http.x-forwarded-for) {
      set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = req.http.X-Forwarded-For + ", " + client.ip;
    }
    else {
      set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = client.ip;
    }
  }

  # For global redirect
  if (req.url ~ "node\?page=[0-9]+$") {
    set req.url = regsub(req.url, "node(\?page=[0-9]+$)", "\1");
    return (lookup);
  }

  # Do not cache these paths.
  if (req.url ~ "^/status\.php$" ||
      req.url ~ "^/update\.php$" ||
      req.url ~ "^/admin$" ||
      req.url ~ "^/admin/.*$" ||
      req.url ~ "^/flag/.*$" ||
      req.url ~ "^.*/ajax/.*$" ||
      req.url ~ "^.*/ahah/.*$") {
       return (pass);
  }

  # Do not allow outside access to cron.php or install.php.
  #if (req.url ~ "^/(cron|install)\.php$" && !client.ip ~ internal) {
    # Have Varnish throw the error directly.
  #  error 404 "Page not found.";
    # Use a custom error page that you've defined in Drupal at the path "404".
    # set req.url = "/404";
  #}

  # Always cache the following file types for all users. This list of extensions
  # appears twice, once here and again in vcl_fetch so make sure you edit both
  # and keep them equal.
  if (req.url ~ "(?i)\.(pdf|asc|dat|txt|doc|xls|ppt|tgz|csv|png|gif|jpeg|jpg|ico|swf|css|js)(\?.*)?$") {
    unset req.http.Cookie;
  }

  # Remove all cookies that Drupal doesn't need to know about. We explicitly 
  # list the ones that Drupal does need, the SESS and NO_CACHE. If, after 
  # running this code we find that either of these two cookies remains, we 
  # will pass as the page cannot be cached.
  if (req.http.Cookie) {
    # 1. Append a semi-colon to the front of the cookie string.
    # 2. Remove all spaces that appear after semi-colons.
    # 3. Match the cookies we want to keep, adding the space we removed 
    #    previously back. (\1) is first matching group in the regsuball.
    # 4. Remove all other cookies, identifying them by the fact that they have
    #    no space after the preceding semi-colon.
    # 5. Remove all spaces and semi-colons from the beginning and end of the 
    #    cookie string. 
    set req.http.Cookie = ";" + req.http.Cookie;
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, "; +", ";");    
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, ";(SESS[a-z0-9]+|SSESS[a-z0-9]+|NO_CACHE)=", "; \1=");
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, ";[^ ][^;]*", "");
    set req.http.Cookie = regsuball(req.http.Cookie, "^[; ]+|[; ]+$", "");

    if (req.http.Cookie == "") {
      # If there are no remaining cookies, remove the cookie header. If there
      # aren't any cookie headers, Varnish's default behavior will be to cache
      # the page.
      unset req.http.Cookie;
    }
    else {
      # If there is any cookies left (a session or NO_CACHE cookie), do not
      # cache the page. Pass it on to Apache directly.
      return (pass);
    }
  }
}

# Set a header to track a cache HIT/MISS.
sub vcl_deliver {
  if (obj.hits > 0) {
    set resp.http.X-Varnish-Cache = "HIT";
  }
  else {
    set resp.http.X-Varnish-Cache = "MISS";
  }
}

# Code determining what to do when serving items from the Apache servers.
# beresp == Back-end response from the web server.
sub vcl_fetch {
  # We need this to cache 404s, 301s, 500s. Otherwise, depending on backend but 
  # definitely in Drupal's case these responses are not cacheable by default.
  if (beresp.status == 404 || beresp.status == 301 || beresp.status == 500) {
    set beresp.ttl = 10m;
  }

  # Don't allow static files to set cookies. 
  # (?i) denotes case insensitive in PCRE (perl compatible regular expressions).
  # This list of extensions appears twice, once here and again in vcl_recv so 
  # make sure you edit both and keep them equal.
  if (req.url ~ "(?i)\.(pdf|asc|dat|txt|doc|xls|ppt|tgz|csv|png|gif|jpeg|jpg|ico|swf|css|js)(\?.*)?$") {
    unset beresp.http.set-cookie;
  }

  # Allow items to be stale if needed.
  set beresp.grace = 6h;
}

# In the event of an error, show friendlier messages.
sub vcl_error {
  # Redirect to some other URL in the case of a homepage failure.
  #if (req.url ~ "^/?$") {
  #  set obj.status = 302;
  #  set obj.http.Location = "http://backup.example.com/";
  #}
    <h1 class="title">Page Unavailable</h1>
    <p>The page you requested is temporarily unavailable.</p>
    <p>We're redirecting you to the <a href="/">homepage</a> in 5 seconds.</p>
    <div class="error">(Error "} + obj.status + " " + obj.response + {")</div>
  </div>
</body>
</html>
"};
  return (deliver);
}

#
# Below is a commented-out copy of the default VCL logic.  If you
# redefine any of these subroutines, the built-in logic will be
# appended to your code.
# sub vcl_recv {
#     if (req.restarts == 0) {
#   if (req.http.x-forwarded-for) {
#       set req.http.X-Forwarded-For =
#       req.http.X-Forwarded-For + ", " + client.ip;
#   } else {
#       set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = client.ip;
#   }
#     }
#     if (req.request != "GET" &&
#       req.request != "HEAD" &&
#       req.request != "PUT" &&
#       req.request != "POST" &&
#       req.request != "TRACE" &&
#       req.request != "OPTIONS" &&
#       req.request != "DELETE") {
#         /* Non-RFC2616 or CONNECT which is weird. */
#         return (pipe);
#     }
#     if (req.request != "GET" && req.request != "HEAD") {
#         /* We only deal with GET and HEAD by default */
#         return (pass);
#     }
#     if (req.http.Authorization || req.http.Cookie) {
#         /* Not cacheable by default */
#         return (pass);
#     }
#     return (lookup);
# }
#
# sub vcl_pipe {
#     # Note that only the first request to the backend will have
#     # X-Forwarded-For set.  If you use X-Forwarded-For and want to
#     # have it set for all requests, make sure to have:
#     # set bereq.http.connection = "close";
#     # here.  It is not set by default as it might break some broken web
#     # applications, like IIS with NTLM authentication.
#     return (pipe);
# }
#
# sub vcl_pass {
#     return (pass);
# }
#
# sub vcl_hash {
#     hash_data(req.url);
#     if (req.http.host) {
#         hash_data(req.http.host);
#     } else {
#         hash_data(server.ip);
#     }
#     return (hash);
# }
#
# sub vcl_hit {
#     return (deliver);
# }
#
# sub vcl_miss {
#     return (fetch);
# }
#
# sub vcl_fetch {
#     if (beresp.ttl <= 0s ||
#         beresp.http.Set-Cookie ||
#         beresp.http.Vary == "*") {
#       /*
#        * Mark as "Hit-For-Pass" for the next 2 minutes
#        */
#       set beresp.ttl = 120 s;
#       return (hit_for_pass);
#     }
#     return (deliver);
# }
#
# sub vcl_deliver {
#     return (deliver);
# }
#
# sub vcl_error {
#     set obj.http.Content-Type = "text/html; charset=utf-8";
#     set obj.http.Retry-After = "5";
#     synthetic {"
# <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
# <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
#  "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd">
# <html>
#   <head>
#     <title>"} + obj.status + " " + obj.response + {"</title>
#   </head>
#   <body>
#     <h1>Error "} + obj.status + " " + obj.response + {"</h1>
#     <p>"} + obj.response + {"</p>
#     <h3>Guru Meditation:</h3>
#     <p>XID: "} + req.xid + {"</p>
#     <hr>
#     <p>Varnish cache server</p>
#   </body>
# </html>
# "};
#     return (deliver);
# }
#
# sub vcl_init {
#   return (ok);
# }
#
# sub vcl_fini {
#   return (ok);
# }

Now update your web server to serve from port 8080, and restart the server and varnish.

Download and enable the drupal varnish module:

drush dl varnish; drush en varnish -y;

Add something like the following to settings.php:

// Varnish config.
$conf['cache_backends'][] = 'sites/all/modules/contrib/varnish/varnish.cache.inc';
$conf['cache_class_cache_page'] = 'VarnishCache';
$conf['page_cache_invoke_hooks'] = FALSE;

Hopefully the site is now using Varnish, you can get some good stats using the varnishlog and varnishstat programs that are included with Varnish.

Published by

Sam

Drupal developer from Perth, Western Australia. I love programming, gaming, the Internet, growing vegetables and hiking.

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