skip to navigation
skip to content

plone.recipe.varnish 1.0rc6

Buildout recipe to install varnish

Latest Version: 2.2.0

Varnish recipe for buildout

plone.recipe.varnish is a zc.buildout recipe to install Varnish. Even though the name contains the name Plone, there is nothing Plone specific about this recipe: it works for non-Zope sites just as well.

Configuring it is very simple. For example:

recipe = zc.recipe.cmmi
url =

recipe = plone.recipe.varnish:instance
daemon = ${buildout:directory}/parts/varnish-build/sbin/varnishd
bind =
backends =
cache-size = 1G

This configures two buildout parts: varnish-build which will download, compile and install varnish and varnish-instance which runs Varnish, configured to listen on for requests, using a 1 gigabyte cache and sending requests to a backend at

Wrappers for all the varnish commands are created in the bin directory of your buildout.

Virtual hosting

Varnish supports virtual hosting by selecting a different backend server based on headers on the incoming request. You can configure the backends through the backends option:

backends =

This will generate a configuration which sends all traffic for the host to a backend server running on port 8000 while all traffic for the host is send to port 9000.

Zope 2 hosting (with Virtual Host Monster)

If you are using Zope 2 as backend server you will need to rewrite the URL so the Zope Virtual Host Monster (VHM) can generate correct links for links in your pages. This can be done either by a web server such as Apache or nginx (placed either in front or behind Varnish) but can also be done by Varnish itself.

The three options are described below.

Option 1 (rewrites after Varnish):

If generating these VHM-style URLs in a proxy behind Varnish (or if using VHM’s ‘mapping’ feature), no extra Varnish configuration is needed. Just make sure the “backends” option directs the traffic to the proxy.

Option 2 (rewrites before Varnish):

If generating these VHM-style URLs in a proxy in-front of Varnish, no extra Varnish configuration is needed as long as the original hostname is still retained in the URL. If the hostname is not retained, you can tell Varnish to direct requests based on the “path” instead of the hostname. For example:

backends =

This will generate a configuration which sends all traffic for any request whose path starts with “/VirtualHostBase/http/” to a backend server running at on port 8000, while request paths starting with “/VirtualHostBase/http/” are sent to port 9000.

Option 3 (rewrites within Varnish):

To have Varnish generate these VHM-style URLs, you can use the zope2_vhm_map option. Here is an example:

zope2_vhm_map =

This tells us that the domain should be mapped to the location /plone in the backend. By combining this with the information from the backends option a varnish configuration will be generated that maps URLs correctly.

plone.recipe.varnish:build reference

This recipe is obsolete and will be removed, please use zc.recipe.cmmi instead

The plone.recipe.varnish:build recipe takes care of downloading Varnish, compiling it on your system and installing it in your buildout.

You may need some packages that are not yet installed on your system. On Debian-like systems you at least need to install libncurses-dev.

If you are running on an OS/X system a patch to fix a linking error will be automatically applied. More information on the bug and patch can be found at .

It can be configured with any of these options:

URL for an archive containing the Varnish sources. Either url or svn has to be specified.
URL for a subversion repository containing Varnish sources. Either url or svn has to be specified.
The location of a shared Varnish installation directory. Useful when building multiple Varnish instances. A shared Varnish build can be stored separate from the buildout instance. This directive must be defined in ~/.buildout/default.cfg similar to the “zope-directory” and “eggs-directory” directives. The default is to build Varnish in a subfolder of the buildout ‘parts’ directory.

Please note that the configuration generated by this recipe requires Varnish 2.0-beta1 later.

plone.recipe.varnish:instance reference

The plone.recipe.varnish:instance recipe create a Varnish configuration file and creates a wrapper script inside your buildout that will start Varnish with the correct configuration.

Please note that the configuration generated by this recipe requires Varnish 1.1.1 or later.

It can be configured with any of these options:

The path of the varnish daemon to use. Defaults to bin/varnishd inside your buildout, which is the executable created by the plone.recipe.varnish:build recipe.
Specify whether the varnish daemon should run in ‘daemon’ or ‘foreground’ mode. The latter is useful when varnish is run by service supervision tools like daemontools or runit. Defaults to ‘daemon’.
The size of the cache (limited to 2G on 32bit systems).
Hostname and port on which Varnish will listen for requests. Defaults to
Path for a Varnish VCL configuration to use. If you use this option you can not use the backends, zope2_vhm_map or verbose-headers options .

Specifies the backend or backends which will process the (uncached) requests. The syntax for backends:

[<hostname>][/<path>]:<ip address>:<port>

The optional ‘hostname’ and ‘path’ allows you to do virtual hosting. If multiple backends are specified then each backend must include either a hostname or path (or both) so that Varnish can direct the matching request to the appropriate backend. Defaults to

Defines a virtual host mapping for Zope servers. This is a list of hostname:ZODB location entries which specify the location inside Zope where the website for a virtual host lives.
Varnish VCL configuration: a http-response header line X-Varnish-Action is set for debugging purposes. It shows a hit, why it bypass/fetch from backend and if if the object was inserted into cache. Possible values: on or off (default).
If specified sets the hostname and port on which Varnish will listen for commands using its telnet interface.
The name of the user varnish should switch to before accepting any requests. Defaults to nobody.
The name of the group varnish should switch to before accepting any request. This defaults to the main group for the specified user.


1.0rc6 (2008-09-22)

  • Deprecate plone.recipe.varnish:build in favour of zc.recipe.cmmi: it does not make sense to duplicate its logic here. [wichert]
  • Add feature to enable verbose headers in varnish.vcl. This is primary interesting for debugging of cache-settings. See README.txt. [jensens]
  • Deal better with sources which do not have executable-bits set or are svn exports. [wichert]
  • The 1.0rc5 release was broken and has been retracted. Currently the trunk is only usable with the Varnish 2.0-beta1 and later. [hannosch]

1.0rc5 (2008-04-27)

  • Pipe is evil: it pipes the whole connection to the backend which means varnish will no longer process any further requests if HTTP pipelining is used. Switch to using pass instead. [wichert]
  • Add a default_ttl of zero seconds to the Varnish runner to avoid a Varnish bug with the handling of an Expires header with a date in the past. [newbery]
  • Merged branches/newbery-hostnamepath. [newbery]
  • We don’t need to include Accept-Encoding in the hash. Varnish takes care of Vary negotiation already. [newbery]

1.0rc4 (2008-03-18)

  • Fixed typos / whitespace. [hannosch]
  • Varnish 1.1.2 is out. [wichert]
  • Merged witsch-foreground-support back to trunk. [witsch]
  • Use a pidfile. [wichert]

1.0rc3 (2007-09-02)

  • Fixed a bug where options[“location”] was being used before it was being set. [rocky]
  • Made the module name determination a little more robust during createVarnishConfig so that recipes that specify version deps still work. [rocky]
  • Do not use defaults for user and group. [wichert]
  • We do need the parts: we use it for the file storage. [wichert]

1.0rc2 (2007-08-29)

  • Add an option to use an existing configuration file. [wichert]
  • Remove hardcoded caching for images, binaries, CSS and javascript. This should be done by the backend server or a custom varnish configuration. [wichert]
  • Add Accept-Encoding to the cache key so we can handle compressed content. [wichert]
  • Test if a bin-directory exists. This allows us to compile varnish 1.0 which does not have an sbin directory. [wichert]

1.0rc1 (2007-08-27)

  • Document the OSX bugfix we apply when building varnish. [wichert]
  • Add a dummy update method to prevent needless recompiles. [wichert]
  • Update for Varnish 1.1.1. [wichert]

1.0b2 (2007-08-25)

  • When building from svn, we need to run [optilude]
  • Refactor the recipe: there are now separate recipes to build and configure Varnish. This makes it possible to reconfigure varnish without having to recompile with as well as using an already installed varnish. [wichert]
  • Move the OSX patching code into a separate method. [wichert]
  • Use pass for non-GET/HEAD requests. This makes a bit more sense and fixes a login problem for Plone sites. [wichert]
  • Reorganize a bit for readability. [wichert]
  • Support Python 2.3 as well. [wichert]
  • Make it possible to specify the user and group as well. [wichert]
  • Do not create the source directory - we move the extracted source in its place later. [wichert]
  • If running on OS X, patch libtool as described in and [optilude]
  • VCL is not C. You need the curlies even on single-line if statements. [optilude]
  • This rewriting style only works on Zope 3 - Zope 3 reinvented that wheel. [wichert]
  • Add support for If-Modified-Since and If-None-Match requests. Thanks to newbery for the suggstions. [wichert]
  • Explicitly mention that there is nothing Plone or Zope specific about this recipe. [wichert]

1.0b1 (2007-08-04)

  • More documentation. [wichert]
  • Ignore the port information in the host header. [wichert]
  • Use the port varnish is bound to in the VHM mapping. [wichert]
  • Define all default values centrally. [wichert]
  • Add support for Zope virtual hosts. [wichert]
  • Add support for virtual hosting. [wichert]
  • Initial import of Varnish recipe. [wichert]
File Type Py Version Uploaded on Size (md5) Source 2008-09-22 22KB