Varnish Enterprise

Changes (Varnish Cache 4.1)

Varnish Cache 4.1.11 (2019-02-11)

Changes since 4.1.10:

  • Reintroduce the req.grace variable, change keep behavior. The use of req.grace is documented on the same page as grace is documented.

Bugs fixed

  • On startup, tell what Varnish version this is (2661)
  • Ban lurker should back off on seeing a busy object (2681)
  • Fix http_resp_size documentation (2684)
  • Panic on return (retry) of a conditional fetch (2700)
  • Set the task arguments under the lock (2719)
  • Stabilize the test case b000064.vtc for real (2751)
  • cache_req_body panics when Transient is full (2831)

Varnish Cache 4.1.10 (2018-04-25)

Changes since 4.1.9:

  • New counter added: cache_hit_grace (see 2455)
  • Doc: Specify that time_firstbyte is in seconds (see 2456)
  • Fix issue #1799 for keep (2519)
  • New way of calculating TTLs in VCL (2555)
  • Added n_lru_limited counter (see 2569)

Bugs fixed

  • 1772 - Honor first_byte_timeout for recycled backend connections
  • 2135 - Limit Backend Connection retries to a single retry
  • 2450 - Pass delivery abandoned does not qualify as an error
  • 2495 - Avoid leaking an OH ref on reembark failure
  • 2502 - objcore reference count leak
  • 2530 - Varnish shouldn't test gunzip for range responses
  • 2582 - Assert error in http1_minimal_response()
  • 2609 - Fix memory leak of vary string on stevedore alloc fail

Varnish Cache 4.1.9 (2017-11-14)

Changes since 4.1.8:

  • Added bereq.is_bgfetch which is true for background fetches.
  • Add the vtc feature ignore_unknown_macro.
  • Expose to VCL whether or not a fetch is a background fetch (bgfetch)
  • Ignore req.ttl when keeping track of expired objects (see 2422)
  • Move a cli buffer to VSB (from stack).
  • Use a separate stack for signals.

Bugs fixed

  • 2337 and 2366 - Both Upgrade and Connection headers are needed for WebSocket now
  • 2372 - Fix problem with purging and the n_obj_purged counter
  • 2373 - VSC n_vcl, n_vcl_avail, n_vcl_discard are gauge
  • 2380 - Correct regexp in examples.
  • 2390 - Straighten locking wrt vcl_active
  • 2429 - Avoid buffer read overflow on vcl_backend_error and -sfile
  • 2492 - Use the idle read timeout only on empty requests

Varnish Cache 4.1.8 (2017-08-02)

Changes since 4.1.7:

  • Update in the documentation of timestamps

Bugs fixed

  • 2379 - Correctly handle bogusly large chunk sizes (VSV00001)

Varnish Cache 4.1.7 (2017-06-28)

Changes since 4.1.7-beta1:

  • Add extra locking to protect the pools list and refcounts
  • Don't panic on a null ban

Bugs fixed

  • 2321 - Prevent storage backends name collisions

Varnish Cache 4.1.7-beta1 (2017-06-15)

Changes since 4.1.6:

  • Add -vsl_catchup to varnishtest
  • Add record-prefix support to varnishncsa

Bugs fixed

  • 1764 - Correctly honor nuke_limit parameter
  • 2022 - varnishstat -1 -f field inclusion glob doesn't allow VBE backend fields
  • 2069 - Health probes fail when HTTP response does not contain reason phrase
  • 2118 - "varnishstat -f MAIN.sess_conn -1" produces empty output
  • 2219 - Remember to reset workspace
  • 2320 - Rework and fix varnishstat counter filtering
  • 2329 - Docfix: Only root can jail

Varnish Cache 4.1.6 (2017-04-26)

  • Introduce a vxid left hand side for VSL queries. This allows matching on records matching a known vxid.
  • Environment variables are now available in the standard VMOD; std.getenv()
  • Add setenv command to varnishtest

Bugs fixed

  • 2200 - Dramatically simplify VEV, fix assert in vev.c
  • 2216 - Make sure Age is always less than max-age
  • 2233 - Correct check when parsing the query string
  • 2241 - VSL fails to get hold of SHM
  • 2270 - Newly loaded auto VCLs don't get their go_cold timer set
  • 2273 - Master cooling problem
  • 2275 - If the client workspace is almost, but not quite exhausted, we may not be able to get enough iovec's to do Chunked transmission.
  • 2295 - Spinning loop in VBE_Poll causes master to kill child on CLI timeout
  • 2301 - Don't attempt to check if varnishd is still running if we have already failed.
  • 2313 - Cannot link to varnishapi, symbols missing

Varnish Cache 4.1.5 (2017-02-09)

  • No code changes since 4.1.5-beta2.

Varnish Cache 4.1.5-beta2 (2017-02-08)

Changes since 4.1.5-beta1:

  • Update devicedetect.vcl

Bugs fixed

  • 1704 - Reverted the docfix and made the fech_failed counter do what the documentation sais it should do
  • 1865 - Panic accessing beresp.backend.ip in vcl_backend_error
  • 2167 - VCC will not parse a literal negative number where INT is expected
  • 2184 - Cannot subtract a negative number

Varnish Cache 4.1.5-beta1 (2017-02-02)

Changes since 4.1.4:

Bugs fixed

  • 1704 - (docfix) Clarify description of fetch_failed counter
  • 1834 - Panic in workspace exhaustion conditions
  • 2106 - 4.1.3: Varnish crashes with "Assert error in CNT_Request(), cache/cache_req_fsm.c line 820"
  • 2134 - Disable Nagle's algorithm also for backend connections.
  • 2148 - varnishncsa cannot decode Authorization header if the format is incorrect.
  • 2168 - Compare 'bereq.backend' / 'req.backend_hint' myDirector.backend() does not work
  • 2178 - 4.1 branch does not compile on FreeBSD
  • 2188 - Fix vsm_free (never incremented)
  • 2190 - (docfix)varnishncsa: The %r formatter is NOT equivalent to...
  • 2197 - ESI parser panic on malformed src URL

Varnish Cache 4.1.4 (2016-12-01)

Changes since 4.1.4-beta3:

Bugs fixed

  • 2035 - varnishd stalls with two consecutive Range requests using HTTP persistent connections

Varnish Cache 4.1.4-beta3 (2016-11-24)

Changes since 4.1.4-beta2:

  • Include the current time of the panic in the panic output
  • Keep a reserve of idle threads for vital tasks

Bugs fixed

  • 1874 - clock-step related crash
  • 1889 - (docfix) What does -p flag for backend.list command means
  • 2115 - VSM temporary files are not always deleted
  • 2129 - (docfix) stack overflow with >4 level esi

Varnish Cache 4.1.4-beta2 (2016-10-13)

Bugs fixed

  • 1830 - VSL API: "duplicate link" errors in request grouping when vsl_buffer is increased
  • 2010 - varnishadm CLI behaving weirdly
  • 2017 - varnishncsa docfix: "%r" field is wrong
  • 2107 - (docfix) HEAD requests changed to GET

Varnish Cache 4.1.4-beta1 (2016-09-14)

Changes since 4.1.3:

  • [varnishhist] Various improvements
  • [varnishtest] A cmd feature for custom shell-based checks
  • Documentation improvements (do_stream, sess_herd, timeout_linger, thread_pools)
  • [varnishtop] Documented behavior when both -p and -1 are specified

Bugs fixed

  • 2027 - Racy backend selection
  • 2024 - panic vmod_rr_resolve() round_robin.c line 75 (be) != NULL
  • 2011 - VBE.*.conn (concurrent connections to backend) not working as expected
  • 2008 - Assert error in VBE_Delete()
  • 2007 - Update documentation part about CLI/management port authentication parameter
  • 1881 - std.cache_req_body() w/ return(pipe) is broken

Varnish Cache 4.1.3 (2016-07-06)

Changes since 4.1.3-beta2:

  • Be stricter when parsing request headers to harden against smuggling attacks.

Varnish Cache 4.1.3-beta2 (2016-06-28)

Changes since 4.1.2-beta1:

  • New parameter vsm_free_cooldown. Specifies how long freed VSM memory (shared log) will be kept around before actually being freed.
  • varnishncsa now accepts -L argument to configure the limit on incomplete transactions kept. (Issue 1994)

Bugs fixed

  • 1984 - Make the counter vsm_cooling act according to spec
  • 1963 - Avoid abort when changing to a VCL name which is a path
  • 1933 - Don't trust dlopen refcounting

Varnish Cache 4.1.3-beta1 (2016-06-15)

Changes since 4.1.2:

  • varnishncsa can now access and log backend requests. (PR #1905)
  • [varnishncsa] New output formatters %{Varnish:vxid}x and %{VSL:Tag}x.
  • [varnishlog] Added log tag BackendStart on backend transactions.
  • On SmartOS, use ports instead of epoll by default.
  • Add support for TCP Fast Open where available. Disabled by default.
  • [varnishtest] New synchronization primitive barriers added, improving coordination when test cases call external programs.

Bugs fixed

  • 1971 - Add missing Wait_HeapDelete
  • 1967 - [ncsa] Remove implicit line feed when using formatfile
  • 1955 - 4.1.x sometimes duplicates Age and Accept-Ranges headers
  • 1954 - Correctly handle HTTP/1.1 EOF response
  • 1953 - Deal with fetch failures in ved_stripgzip
  • 1931 - Allow VCL set Last-Modified to be used for I-M-S processing
  • 1928 - req->task members must be set in case we get onto the waitinglist
  • 1924 - Make std.log() and std.syslog() work from vcl_{init,fini}
  • 1919 - Avoid ban lurker panic with empty olist
  • 1918 - Correctly handle EOF responses with HTTP/1.1
  • 1912 - Fix (insignificant) memory leak with mal-formed ESI directives.
  • 1904 - Release memory instead of crashing on malformed ESI
  • 1885 - [vmodtool] Method names should start with a period
  • 1879 - Correct handling of duplicate headers on IMS header merge
  • 1878 - Fix a ESI+gzip corner case which had escaped notice until now
  • 1873 - Check for overrun before looking at the next vsm record
  • 1871 - Missing error handling code in V1F_Setup_Fetch
  • 1869 - Remove temporary directory iff called with -C
  • 1883 - Only accept C identifiers as acls
  • 1855 - Truncate output if it's wider than 12 chars
  • 1806 - One minute delay on return (pipe) and a POST-Request
  • 1725 - Revive the backend_conn counter

Varnish Cache 4.1.2 (2016-03-04)

  • [vmods] vmodtool improvements for multiple vmods in a single directory.

Bugs fixed

  • 1860 - ESI-related memory leaks
  • 1863 - Don't reset the oc->ban pointer from BAN_CheckObject
  • 1864 - Avoid panic if the lurker is working on a ban to be checked.

Varnish Cache 4.1.2-beta2 (2016-02-25)

  • [vmods] Passing VCL ACL to a vmod is now possible.
  • [vmods] VRT_MINOR_VERSION increase due to new function: VRT_acl_match()
  • Some test case stabilization fixes and minor documentation updates.
  • Improved handling of workspace exhaustion when fetching objects.

Bugs fixed

  • 1858 - Hit-for-pass objects are not IMS candidates

Varnish Cache 4.1.2-beta1 (2016-02-17)

  • Be stricter when parsing a HTTP request to avoid potential HTTP smuggling attacks against vulnerable backends.
  • Some fixes to minor/trivial issues found with clang AddressSanitizer.
  • Arithmetic on REAL data type in VCL is now possible.
  • improvements to allow vmods for 4.0 and 4.1 to share a source tree.
  • Off-by-one in WS_Reset() fixed.
  • "https_scheme" parameter added. Enables graceful handling of compound request URLs with HTTPS scheme. (Bug 1847)

Bugs fixed

  • 1739 - Workspace overflow handling in VFP_Push()
  • 1837 - Error compiling VCL if probe is referenced before it is defined
  • 1841 - Replace alien FD's with /dev/null rather than just closing them
  • 1843 - Fail HTTP/1.0 POST and PUT requests without Content-Length
  • 1844 - Correct ENUM handling in object constructors
  • 1851 - Varnish 4.1.1 fails to build on i386
  • 1852 - Add a missing VDP flush operation after ESI:includes.
  • 1857 - Fix timeout calculation for session herding.

Varnish Cache 4.1.1 (2016-01-28)

  • No code changes since 4.1.1-beta2.

Varnish Cache 4.1.1-beta2 (2016-01-22)

  • Improvements to VCL temperature handling added. This opens for reliably deny warming a cooling VCL from a VMOD.

Bugs fixed

  • 1802 - Segfault after VCL change
  • 1825 - Cannot Start Varnish After Just Restarting The Service
  • 1842 - Handle missing waiting list gracefully.
  • 1845 - Handle whitespace after floats in test fields

Varnish Cache 4.1.1-beta1 (2016-01-15)

Changes since 4.1.0:

  • Format of "ban.list" has changed slightly.
  • [varnishncsa] -w is now required when running deamonized.
  • [varnishncsa] Log format can now be read from file.
  • Port fields extracted from PROXY1 header now work as expected.
  • New VCL state "busy" introduced (mostly for vmod writers).
  • Last traces of varnishreplay removed.
  • If-Modified-Since is now ignored if we have If-None-Match.
  • Zero Content-Length is no longer sent on 304 responses.
  • vcl_dir and vmod_dir now accept a colon separated list of directories.
  • Nested includes starting with "./" are relative to the including VCL file now.

Bugs fixed

  • 1796 - Don't attempt to allocate a V1L from the workspace if it is overflowed.
  • 1794 - Fail if multiple -a arguments return the same suckaddr.
  • 1763 - Restart epoll_wait on EINTR error
  • 1788 - ObjIter has terrible performance profile when busyobj != NULL
  • 1798 - Varnish requests painfully slow with large files
  • 1816 - Use a weak comparison function for If-None-Match
  • 1818 - Allow grace-hits on hit-for-pass objects, [..]
  • 1821 - Always slim private & pass objects after delivery.
  • 1823 - Rush the objheader if there is a waiting list when it is deref'ed.
  • 1826 - Ignore 0 Content-Lengths in 204 responses
  • 1813 - Fail if multiple -a arguments return the same suckaddr.
  • 1810 - Improve handling of HTTP/1.0 clients
  • 1807 - Return 500 if we cannot decode the stored object into the resp.*
  • 1804 - Log proxy related messages on the session, not on the request.
  • 1801 - Relax IP constant parsing

Varnish Cache 4.1.0 (2015-09-30)

Changes since 4.1.0-beta1:

  • Documentation updates.
  • Stabilization fixes on testcase p00005.vtc.
  • Avoid compiler warning in zlib.
  • Bug 1792: Avoid using fallocate() with -sfile on non-EXT4.

Varnish Cache 4.1.0-beta1 (2015-09-11)

Changes since 4.1.0-tp1:

  • Redhat packaging files are now separate from the normal tree.
  • Client workspace overflow should now result in a 500 response instead of panic.
  • [varnishstat] -w option has been retired.
  • libvarnishapi release number is increased.
  • Body bytes sent on ESI subrequests with gzip are now counted correctly.
  • [vmod-std] Data type conversion functions now take additional fallback argument.

Bugs fixed

  • 1777 - Disable speculative Range handling on streaming transactions.
  • 1778 - [varnishstat] Cast to integer to prevent negative values messing the statistics
  • 1781 - Propagate gzip CRC upwards from nested ESI includes.
  • 1783 - Align code with RFC7230 section 3.3.3 which allows POST without a body.

Varnish Cache 4.1.0-tp1 (2015-07-08)

Changes between 4.0 and 4.1 are numerous. Please read the upgrade section in the documentation for a general overview.

Changes from 4.0.3-rc3 to 4.0.3 (2015-02-17)

  • No changes.

Changes from 4.0.3-rc2 to 4.0.3-rc3 (2015-02-11)

  • Superseded objects are now expired immediately.

Bugs fixed

  • 1462 - Use first/last log entry in varnishncsa.
  • 1539 - Avoid panic when expiry thread modifies a candidate object.
  • 1637 - Fail the fetch processing if the vep callback failed.
  • 1665 - Be more accurate when computing client RX_TIMEOUT.
  • 1672 - Do not panic on unsolicited 304 response to non-200 bereq.

Changes from 4.0.3-rc1 to 4.0.3-rc2 (2015-01-28)

Changes since 4.0.3-rc1:

  • Assorted documentation updates.

Bugs fixed

  • 1479 - Fix out-of-tree builds.
  • 1566 - Escape VCL string question marks.
  • 1616 - Correct header file placement.
  • 1620 - Fail miss properly if out of backend threads. (Also 1621)
  • 1628 - Avoid dereferencing null in VBO_DerefBusyObj().
  • 1629 - Ditch rest of waiting list on failure to reschedule.
  • 1660 - Don't attempt range delivery on a synth response

Changes from 4.0.2 to 4.0.3-rc1 (2015-01-15)

Changes since 4.0.2:

  • Support older autoconf (< 2.63b) (el5)
  • A lot of minor documentation fixes.
  • bereq.uncacheable is now read-only.
  • obj.uncacheable is now readable in vcl_deliver.
  • [varnishadm] Prefer exact matches for backend.set_healthy. Bug 1349.
  • Hard-coded -sfile default size is removed.
  • [packaging] EL6 packages are once again built with -O2.
  • [parameter] fetch_chunksize default is reduced to 16KB. (from 128KB)
  • Added std.time() which converts strings to VCL_TIME.
  • [packaging] packages now Provide strictABI (gitref) and ABI (VRT major/minor) for VMOD use.

Bugs fixed

  • 1378 - Properly escape non-printable characters in varnishncsa.
  • 1596 - Delay HSH_Complete() until the storage sanity functions has finished.
  • 1506 - Keep Content-Length from backend if we can.
  • 1602 - Fix a cornercase related to empty pass objects.
  • 1607 - Don't leak reqs on failure to revive from waitinglist.
  • 1610 - Update forgotten varnishlog example to 4.0 syntax.
  • 1612 - Fix a cornercase related to empty pass objects.
  • 1623 - Fix varnishhist -d segfault.
  • 1636 - Outdated paragraph in Vary: documentation
  • 1638 - Fix panic when retrying a failed backend fetch.
  • 1639 - Restore the default SIGSEGV handler during pan_ic
  • 1647 - Relax an assertion for the IMS update candidate object.
  • 1648 - Avoid partial IMS updates to replace old object.
  • 1650 - Collapse multiple X-Forwarded-For headers

Changes from 4.0.2-rc1 to 4.0.2 (2014-10-08)

New since 4.0.2-rc1:

  • [varnishlog] -k argument is back. (exit after n records)
  • [varnishadm] is now listed in help.

Changes from 4.0.1 to 4.0.2-rc1 (2014-09-23)

New since 4.0.1:

  • [libvmod-std] New function strstr() for matching substrings.
  • server.(hostname|identity) is now available in all VCL functions.
  • VCL variable type BYTES was added.
  • workspace_client default is now 9k.
  • [varnishstat] Update interval can now be subsecond.
  • Document that reloading VCL does not reload a VMOD.
  • Guru meditation page is now valid HTML5.
  • [varnishstat] hitrate calculation is back.
  • New parameter group_cc adds a GID to the grouplist of VCL compiler sandbox.
  • Parameter shm_reclen is now an alias for vsl_reclen.
  • Workspace overflows are now handled with a 500 client response.
  • VCL variable type added: HTTP, representing a HTTP header set.
  • It is now possible to return(synth) from vcl_deliver.
  • [varnishadm] now has a -v option that output the complete set of VCL and included VCL files.
  • RHEL7 packaging (systemd) was added.
  • [libvmod-std] querysort() fixed parameter limit has been lifted.
  • Fix small memory leak in ESI parser.
  • Fix unreported race/assert in V1D_Deliver().

Bugs fixed

  • 1553 - Fully reset workspace (incl. Vary state) before reusing it.
  • 1551 - Handle workspace exhaustion during purge.
  • 1591 - Group entries correctly in varnishtop.
  • 1592 - Bail out on workspace exhaustion in VRT_IP_string.
  • 1538 - Relax VMOD ABI check for release branches.
  • 1584 - Don't log garbage/non-HTTP requests. [varnishncsa]
  • 1407 - Don't rename VSM file until child has started.
  • 1466 - Don't leak request structs on restart after waitinglist.
  • 1580 - Output warning if started without -b and -f. [varnishd]
  • 1583 - Abort on fatal sandbox errors on Solaris. (Related: 1572)
  • 1585 - Handle fatal sandbox errors.
  • 1572 - Exit codes have been cleaned up.
  • 1569 - Order of symbols should not influence compilation result.
  • 1579 - Clean up type inference in VCL.
  • 1578 - Don't count Age twice when computing new object TTL.
  • 1574 - std.syslog() logged empty strings.
  • 1555 - autoconf editline/readline build issue.
  • 1568 - Skip NULL arguments when hashing.
  • 1567 - Compile on systems without SO_SNDTIMEO/SO_RCVTIMEO.
  • 1512 - Changes to bereq are lost between v_b_r and v_b_f.
  • 1563 - Increase varnishtest read timeout.
  • 1561 - Never call a VDP with zero length unless done.
  • 1562 - Fail correctly when rereading a failed client request body.
  • 1521 - VCL compilation fails on OSX x86_64.
  • 1547 - Panic when increasing shm_reclen.
  • 1503 - Document return(retry).
  • 1581 - Don't log duplicate Begin records to shmlog.
  • 1588 - Correct timestamps on pipelined requests.
  • 1575 - Use all director backends when looking for a healthy one.
  • 1577 - Read the full request body if shunted to synth.
  • 1532 - Use correct VCL representation of reals.
  • 1531 - Work around libedit bug in varnishadm.

Changes from 4.0.0 to 4.0.1 (2014-06-24)

New since 4.0.0:

  • New functions in vmod_std: real2time, time2integer, time2real, real.
  • Chunked requests are now supported. (pass)
  • Add std.querysort() that sorts GET query arguments. (from libvmod-boltsort)
  • Varnish will no longer reply with "200 Not Modified".
  • Backend IMS is now only attempted when last status was 200.
  • Packaging now uses find-provides instead of find-requires. [redhat]
  • Two new counters: n_purges and n_obj_purged.
  • Core size can now be set from /etc/sysconfig/varnish [redhat]
  • Via header set is now RFC compliant.
  • Removed "purge" keyword in VCL. Use return(purge) instead.
  • fallback director is now documented.
  • %D format flag in varnishncsa is now truncated to an integer value.
  • persistent storage backend is now deprecated.
  • Added format flags %I (total bytes received) and %O (total bytes sent) for varnishncsa.
  • python-docutils >= 0.6 is now required.
  • Support year (y) as a duration in VCL.
  • VMOD ABI requirements are relaxed, a VMOD no longer have to be run on the same git revision as it was compiled for. Replaced by a major/minor ABI counter.

Bugs fixed

  • 1269 - Use correct byte counters in varnishncsa when piping a request.
  • 1524 - Chunked requests should be pipe-able.
  • 1530 - Expire old object on successful IMS fetch.
  • 1475 - time-to-first-byte in varnishncsa was potentially dishonest.
  • 1480 - Porting guide for 4.0 is incomplete.
  • 1482 - Inherit group memberships of -u specified user.
  • 1473 - Fail correctly in configure when rst2man is not found.
  • 1486 - Truncate negative Age values to zero.
  • 1488 - Don't panic on high request rates.
  • 1489 - req.esi should only be available in client threads.
  • 1490 - Fix thread leak when reducing number of threads.
  • 1491 - Reorder backend connection close procedure to help test cases.
  • 1498 - Prefix translated VCL names to avoid name clashes.
  • 1499 - Don't leak an objcore when HSH_Lookup returns expired object.
  • 1493 - vcl_purge can return synth or restart.
  • 1476 - Cope with systems having sys/endian.h and endian.h.
  • 1496 - varnishadm should be consistent in argv ordering.
  • 1494 - Don't panic on VCL-initiated retry after a backend 500 error.
  • 1139 - Also reset keep (for IMS) time when purging.
  • 1478 - Avoid panic when delivering an object that expires during delivery.
  • 1504 - ACLs can be unreferenced with vcc_err_unref=off set.
  • 1501 - Handle that a director couldn't pick a backend.
  • 1495 - Reduce WRK_SumStat contention.
  • 1510 - Complain on symbol reuse in VCL.
  • 1514 - Document storage.NAME.free_space and .used_space [docs]
  • 1518 - Suppress body on 304 response when using ESI.
  • 1519 - Round-robin director does not support weight. [docs]

Changes from 4.0.0 beta1 to 4.0.0 (2014-04-10)

New since 4.0.0-beta1:

  • improved varnishstat documentation.
  • In VCL, req.backend_hint is available in vcl_hit
  • ncurses is now a dependency.

Bugs fixed

  • 1469 - Fix build error on PPC
  • 1468 - Set ttl=0 on failed objects
  • 1462 - Handle duplicate ReqURL in varnishncsa.
  • 1467 - Fix missing clearing of oc->busyobj on HSH_Fail.

Changes from 4.0.0 TP2 to 4.0.0 beta1 (2014-03-27)

New since TP2:

  • Previous always-appended code called default.vcl is now called builtin.vcl. The new example.vcl is recommended as a starting point for new users.
  • vcl_error is now called vcl_synth, and does not any more mandate closing the client connection.
  • New VCL function vcl_backend_error, where you can change the 503 prepared if all your backends are failing. This can then be cached as a regular object.
  • Keyword "remove" in VCL is replaced by "unset".
  • new timestamp and accounting records in varnishlog.
  • std.timestamp() is introduced.
  • stored objects are now read only, meaning obj.hits now counts per objecthead instead. obj.lastuse saw little use and has been removed.
  • builtin VCL now does return(pipe) for chunked POST and PUT requests.
  • python-docutils and rst2man are now build requirements.
  • cli_timeout is now 60 seconds to avoid slaughtering the child process in times of high IO load/scheduling latency.
  • return(purge) from vcl_recv is now valid.
  • return(hash) is now the default return action from vcl_recv.
  • req.backend is now req.backend_hint. is beresp.storage_hint.

Bugs fixed

  • 1460 - tools now use the new timestamp format.
  • 1450 - varnishstat -l segmentation fault.
  • 1320 - Work around Content-Length: 0 and Content-Encoding: gzip gracefully.
  • 1458 - Panic on busy object.
  • 1417 - Handle return(abandon) in vcl_backend_response.
  • 1455 - vcl_pipe now sets Connection: close by default on backend requests.
  • 1454 - X-Forwarded-For is now done in C, before vcl_recv is run.
  • 1436 - Better explanation when missing an import in VCL.
  • 1440 - Serve ESI-includes from a different backend.
  • 1441 - Incorrect grouping when logging ESI subrequests.
  • 1434 - std.duration can now do ms/milliseconds.
  • 1419 - Don't put objcores on the ban list until they go non-BUSY.
  • 1405 - Ban lurker does not always evict all objects.

Changes from 4.0.0 TP1 to 4.0.0 TP2 (2014-01-23)

New since from 4.0.0 TP1

  • New VCL_BLOB type to pass binary data between VMODs.
  • New format for VMOD description files. (.vcc)

Bugs fixed

  • 1404 - Don't send Content-Length on 304 Not Modified responses.
  • 1401 - Varnish would crash when retrying a backend fetch too many times.
  • 1399 - Memory get freed while in use by another thread/object
  • 1398 - Fix NULL deref related to a backend we don't know any more.
  • 1397 - Crash on backend fetch while LRUing.
  • 1395 - End up in vcl_error also if fetch fails vcl_backend_response.
  • 1391 - Client abort and retry during a streaming fetch would make Varnish assert.
  • 1390 - Fix assert if the ban lurker is overtaken by new duplicate bans.
  • 1385 - ban lurker doesn't remove (G)one bans
  • 1383 - varnishncsa logs requests for localhost regardless of host header.
  • 1382 - varnishncsa prints nulls as part of request string.
  • 1381 - Ensure vmod_director is installed
  • 1323 - Add a missing boundary check for Range requests
  • 1268 - shortlived parameter now uses TTL+grace+keep instead of just TTL.
  • Fix build error on OpenBSD (TCP_KEEP)
  • n_object wasn't being decremented correctly on object expire.
  • Example default.vcl in distribution is now 4.0-ready.

Open issues

  • 1405 - Ban lurker does not always evict all objects.

Changes from 3.0.7-rc1 to 3.0.7 (2015-03-23)

  • No changes.

Changes from 3.0.6 to 3.0.7-rc1 (2015-03-18)

  • Requests with multiple Content-Length headers will now fail.
  • Stop recognizing a single CR (r) as a HTTP line separator. This opened up a possible cache poisoning attack in stacked installations where sslterminator/varnish/backend had different CR handling.
  • Improved error detection on master-child process communication, leading to faster recovery (child restart) if communication loses sync.
  • Fix a corner-case where Content-Length was wrong for HTTP 1.0 clients, when using gzip and streaming. Bug 1627.
  • More robust handling of hop-by-hop headers.
  • [packaging] Coherent Redhat pidfile in init script. Bug 1690.
  • Avoid memory leak when adding bans.

Changes from 3.0.6rc1 to 3.0.6 (2014-10-16)

  • Minor changes to documentation.
  • [varnishadm] Add termcap workaround for libedit. Bug 1531.

Changes from 3.0.5 to 3.0.6rc1 (2014-06-24)

  • Document storage.<name>.* VCL variables. Bug 1514.
  • Fix memory alignment panic when http_max_hdr is not a multiple of 4. Bug 1327.
  • Avoid negative ReqEnd timestamps with ESI. Bug 1297.
  • %D format for varnishncsa is now an integer (as documented)
  • Fix compile errors with clang.
  • Clear objectcore flags earlier in ban lurker to avoid spinning thread. Bug 1470.
  • Patch embedded jemalloc to avoid segfault. Bug 1448.
  • Allow backend names to start with if, include or else. Bug 1439.
  • Stop handling gzip after gzip body end. Bug 1086.
  • Document %D and %T for varnishncsa.

Changes from 3.0.5 rc 1 to 3.0.5 (2013-12-02)


  • Always check the local address of a socket. This avoids a crash if server.ip is accessed after a client has closed the connection. Bug #1376

Changes from 3.0.4 to 3.0.5 rc 1


  • Stop printing error messages on ESI parse errors
  • Fix a problem where Varnish would segfault if the first part of a synthetic page was NULL. Bug #1287
  • If streaming was used, you could in some cases end up with duplicate content headers being sent to clients. Bug #1272
  • If we receive a completely garbled request, don't pass through vcl_error, since we could then end up in vcl_recv through a restart and things would go downhill from there. Bug #1367
  • Prettify backtraces on panic slightly.


  • Correct an error where -m, -c and -b would interact badly, leading to lack of matches. Also, emit BackendXID to signify the start of a transaction. Bug #1325


  • Handle input from stdin properly. Bug #1314

Changes from 3.0.4 rc 1 to 3.0.4 (2013-06-14)


  • Set the waiter pipe as non-blocking and record overflows. Bug #1285
  • Fix up a bug in the ACL compile code that could lead to false negatives. CVE-2013-4090. Bug #1312
  • Return an error if the client sends multiple Host headers.

Changes from 3.0.3 to 3.0.4 rc 1


  • Fix error handling when uncompressing fetched objects for ESI processing. Bug #1184
  • Be clearer about which timeout was reached in logs.
  • Correctly decrement n_waitinglist counter. Bug #1261
  • Turn off Nagle/set TCP_NODELAY.
  • Avoid panic on malformed Vary headers. Bug #1275
  • Increase the maximum length of backend names. Bug #1224
  • Add support for banning on http.status. Bug #1076
  • Make hit-for-pass correctly prefer the transient storage.


  • If -m, but neither -b or -c is given, assume both. This filters out a lot of noise when -m is used to filter. Bug #1071


  • Improve tab completion and require libedit/readline to build.


  • Reopen log file if Varnish is restarted.


  • Handle file descriptors above 64k (by ignoring them). Prevents a crash in some cases with corrupted shared memory logs.
  • Add %D and %T support for more timing information.


  • Documentation updates.
  • Fixes for OSX
  • Disable PCRE JIT-er, since it's broken in some PCRE versions, at least on i386.
  • Make libvarnish prefer exact hits when looking for VSL tags.

Changes from 3.0.2 to 3.0.3 (2012-08-20)


  • Fix a race on the n_sess counter. This race made varnish do excessive session workspace allocations. Bug #897.
  • Fix some crashes in the gzip code when it runs out of memory. Bug #1037. Bug #1043. Bug #1044.
  • Fix a bug where the regular expression parser could end up in an infinite loop. Bug #1047.
  • Fix a memory leak in the regex code.
  • DNS director now uses port 80 by default if not specified.
  • Introduce idle_send_timeout and increase default value for send_timeout to 600s. This allows a long send timeout for slow clients while still being able to disconnect idle clients.
  • Fix an issue where <esi:remove> did not remove HTML comments. Bug #1092.
  • Fix a crash when passing with streaming on.
  • Fix a crash in the idle session timeout code.
  • Fix an issue where the poll waiter did not timeout clients if all clients were idle. Bug #1023.
  • Log regex errors instead of crashing.
  • Introduce pcre_match_limit, and pcre_match_limit_recursion parameters.
  • Add CLI commands to manually control health state of a backend.
  • Fix an issue where the s_bodybytes counter is not updated correctly on gunzipped delivery.
  • Fix a crash when we couldn't allocate memory for a fetched object. Bug #1100.
  • Fix an issue where objects could end up in the transient store with a long TTL, when memory could not be allocated for them in the requested store. Bug #1140.
  • Activate req.hash_ignore_busy when req.hash_always_miss is activated. Bug #1073.
  • Reject invalid tcp port numbers for listen address. Bug #1035.
  • Enable JIT for better performing regular expressions. Bug #1080.
  • Return VCL errors in exit code when using -C. Bug #1069.
  • Stricter validation of acl syntax, to avoid a crash with 5-octet IPv4 addresses. Bug #1126.
  • Fix a crash when first argument to regsub was null. Bug #1125.
  • Fix a case where varnish delivered corrupt gzip content when using ESI. Bug #1109.
  • Fix a case where varnish didn't remove the old Date header and served it alongside the varnish-generated Date header. Bug #1104.
  • Make saint mode work, for the case where we have no object with that hash. Bug #1091.
  • Don't save the object body on hit-for-pass objects.
  • n_ban_gone counter added to count the number of "gone" bans.
  • Ban lurker rewritten to properly sleep when no bans are present, and otherwise to process the list at the configured speed.
  • Fix a case where varnish delivered wrong content for an uncompressed page with compressed ESI child. Bug #1029.
  • Fix an issue where varnish runs out of thread workspace when processing many ESI includes on an object. Bug #1038.
  • Fix a crash when streaming was enabled for an empty body.
  • Better error reporting for some fetch errors.
  • Small performance optimizations.


  • Support for tn in varnishncsa format strings.
  • Add new format: %{VCL_Log:foo}x which output key:value from std.log() in VCL.
  • Add user-defined date formatting, using %{format}t.


  • resp.body is now available for inspection.
  • Make it possible to test for the absence of an HTTP header. Bug #1062.
  • Log the full panic message instead of shortening it to 512 characters.


  • Add json output (-j).


  • Documentation updates.
  • Bump minimum number of threads to 50 in RPM packages.
  • RPM packaging updates.
  • Fix some compilation warnings on Solaris.
  • Fix some build issues on Open/Net/DragonFly-BSD.
  • Fix build on FreeBSD 10-current.
  • Fix libedit detection on *BSD OSes. Bug #1003.

Changes from 3.0.2 rc 1 to 3.0.2 (2011-10-26)


  • Make the size of the synthetic object workspace equal to http_resp_size and add workaround to avoid a crash when setting too long response strings for synthetic objects.
  • Ensure the ban lurker always sleeps the advertised 1 second when it does not have anything to do.
  • Remove error from vcl_deliver. Previously this would assert while it will now give a syntax error.


  • Add default values for some fields when logging incomplete records and document the default values.


  • Documentation updates
  • Some Solaris portability updates.

Changes from 3.0.1 to 3.0.2 rc 1 (2011-10-06)


  • Only log the first 20 bytes of extra headers to prevent overflows.
  • Fix crasher bug which sometimes happened if responses are queued and the backend sends us Vary. Bug #994.
  • Log correct size of compressed when uncompressing them for clients that do not support compression. Bug #996.
  • Only send Range responses if we are going to send a body. Bug #1007.
  • When varnishd creates a storage file, also unlink it to avoid leaking disk space over time. Bug #1008.
  • The default size of the -s file parameter has been changed to 100MB instead of 50% of the available disk space.
  • The limit on the number of objects we remove from the cache to make room for a new one was mistakenly lowered to 10 in 3.0.1. This has been raised back to 50. Bug #1012.
  • http_req_size and http_resp_size have been increased to 8192 bytes. This better matches what other HTTPds have. Bug #1016.


  • Allow relational comparisons of floating point types.
  • Make it possible for vmods to fail loading and so cause the VCL loading to fail.


  • Fixed crash when client was sending illegal HTTP headers.
  • %{Varnish:handling} in format strings was broken, this has been fixed.


  • Documentation updates
  • Some Solaris portability updates.

Changes from 3.0.1 rc 1 to 3.0.1 (2011-08-30)


  • Fix crash in streaming code.
  • Add fallback director, as a variant of the round-robin director.
  • The parameter http_req_size has been reduced on 32 bit machines.


  • Disallow error in the vcl_init and vcl_fini VCL functions.


  • Fixed crash when using -X.
  • Fix error when the time to first byte was in the format string.


  • Documentation updates

Changes from 3.0.0 to 3.0.1 rc 1 (2011-08-24)


  • Avoid sending an empty end-chunk when sending bodyless responsed.
  • http_resp_hdr_len and http_req_hdr_len were set to too low values leading to clients receiving HTTP 400 Bad Request errors. The limit has been increased and the error code is now HTTP 413 Request entity too large.
  • Objects with grace or keep set were mistakenly considered as candidates for the transient storage. They now have their grace and keep limited to limit the memory usage of the transient stevedore.
  • If a request was restarted from vcl_miss or vcl_pass it would crash. This has been fixed. Bug #965.
  • Only the first few clients waiting for an object from the backend would be woken up when object arrived and this lead to some clients getting stuck for a long time. This has now been fixed. Bug #963.
  • The hash and client directors would mistakenly retry fetching an object from the same backend unless health probes were enabled. This has been fixed and it will now retry a different backend.


  • Request specific variables such as client.* and server.* are now correctly marked as not available in vcl_init and vcl_fini.
  • The VCL compiler would fault if two IP comparisons were done on the same line. This now works correctly. Bug #948.


  • Add support for logging arbitrary request and response headers.
  • Fix crashes if hitmiss and handling have not yet been set.
  • Avoid printing partial log lines if there is an error in a format string.
  • Report user specified format string errors better.


  • varnishlog -r now works correctly again and no longer opens the shared log file of the running Varnish.


  • Various documentation updates.
  • Minor compilation fixes for newer compilers.
  • A bug in the ESI entity replacement parser has been fixed. Bug #961.
  • The ABI of vmods are now checked. This will require a rebuild of all vmods against the new version of Varnish.

Changes from 3.0 beta 2 to 3.0.0 (2011-06-16)


  • Avoid sending an empty end-chunk when sending bodyless responsed.


  • The synthetic keyword has now been properly marked as only available in vcl_deliver. Bug #936.


  • Fix crash if the secret file was unreadable. Bug #935.
  • Always exit if varnishadm can't connect to the backend for any reason.

Changes from 3.0 beta 1 to 3.0 beta 2


  • thread_pool_min and thread_pool_max now each refer to the number of threads per pool, rather than being inconsistent as they were before.
  • 307 Temporary redirect is now considered cacheable. Bug #908.
  • The stats command has been removed from the CLI interface. With the new counters, it would mean implementing more and more of varnishstat in the master CLI process and the CLI is single-threaded so we do not want to do this work there in the first place. Use varnishstat instead.


  • VCL now treats null arguments (unset headers for instance) as empty strings. Bug #913.
  • VCL now has vcl_init and vcl_fini functions that are called when a given VCL has been loaded and unloaded.
  • There is no longer any interpolation of the right hand side in bans where the ban is a single string. This was confusing and you now have to make sure bits are inside or outside string context as appropriate.
  • Varnish is now stricter in enforcing no duplication of probes, backends and ACLs.


  • varnishncsa now ignores piped requests, since we have no way of knowing their return status.


  • The std module now has proper documentation, including a manual page

Changes from 2.1.5 to 3.0 beta 1

Upcoming changes

  • The interpretation of bans will change slightly between 3.0 beta 1 and 3.0 release. Currently, doing ban("req.url == req.url") will cause the right hand req.url to be interpreted in the context of the request creating the ban. This will change so you will have to do ban("req.url == " + req.url) instead. This syntax already works and is recommended.


  • Add streaming on pass and miss. This is controlled by the beresp.do_stream boolean. This includes support for compression/uncompression.
  • Add support for ESI and gzip.
  • Handle objects larger than 2G.
  • HTTP Range support is now enabled by default
  • The ban lurker is enabled by default
  • if there is a backend or director with the name default, use that as the default backend, otherwise use the first one listed.
  • Add many more stats counters. Amongst those, add per storage backend stats and per-backend statistics.
  • Syslog the platform we are running on
  • The -l (shared memory log file) argument has been changed, please see the varnishd manual for the new syntax.
  • The -S and -T arguments are now stored in the shmlog
  • Fix off-by-one error when exactly filling up the workspace. Bug #693.
  • Make it possible to name storage backends. The names have to be unique.
  • Update usage output to match the code. Bug #683
  • Add per-backend health information to shared memory log.
  • Always recreate the shared memory log on startup.
  • Add a vcl_dir parameter. This is used to resolve relative path names for vcl.load and include in .vcl files.
  • Make it possible to specify -T :0. This causes varnishd to look for a free port automatically. The port is written in the shared memory log so varnishadm can find it.
  • Classify locks into kinds and collect stats for each kind, recording the data in the shared memory log.
  • Auto-detect necessary flags for pthread support and VCC_CC flags. This should make Varnish somewhat happier on Solaris. Bug #663
  • The overflow_max parameter has been renamed to queue_max.
  • If setting a parameter fails, report which parameter failed as this is not obvious during startup.
  • Add a parameter named shortlived. Objects whose TTL is less than the parameter go into transient (malloc) storage.
  • Reduce the default thread_add_delay to 2ms.
  • The max_esi_includes parameter has been renamed to max_esi_depth.
  • Hash string components are now logged by default.
  • The default connect timeout parameter has been increased to 0.7 seconds.
  • The err_ttl parameter has been removed and is replaced by a setting in default.vcl.
  • The default send_timeout parameter has been reduced to 1 minute.
  • The default ban_lurker sleep has been set to 10ms.
  • When an object is banned, make sure to set its grace to 0 as well.
  • Add and panic.clear CLI commands.
  • The default http_resp_hdr_len and http_req_hdr_len has been increased to 2048 bytes.
  • If vcl_fetch results in restart or error, close the backend connection rather than fetching the object.
  • If allocating storage for an object, try reducing the chunk size before evicting objects to make room. Bug #880
  • Add restart from vcl_deliver. Bug #411
  • Fix an off-by-up-to-one-minus-epsilon bug where if an object from the backend did not have a last-modified header we would send out a 304 response which did include a Last-Modified header set to when we received the object. However, we would compare the timestamp to the fractional second we got the object, meaning any request with the exact timestamp would get a 200 response rather than the correct 304.
  • Fix a race condition in the ban lurker where a serving thread and the lurker would both look at an object at the same time, leading to Varnish crashing.
  • If a backend sends a Content-Length header and we are streaming and we are not uncompressing it, send the Content-Length header on, allowing browsers to diplay a progress bar.
  • All storage must be at least 1M large. This is to prevent administrator errors when specifying the size of storage where the admin might have forgotten to specify units.



  • Add an -m $tag:$regex parameter, used for selecting some transactions. The parameter can be repeated, in which case it is logically and-ed together.


  • varnishadm will now pick up the -S and -T arguments from the shared memory log, meaning just running it without any arguments will connect to the running varnish. Bug #875
  • varnishadm now accepts an -n argument to specify the location of the shared memory log file
  • add libedit support


  • reopen shared memory log if the varnishd process is restarted.
  • Improve support for selecting some, but not all fields using the -f argument. Please see the documentation for further details on the use of -f.
  • display per-backend health information


  • Report error if called with -i and -I as they do not make any sense for varnishncsa.
  • Add custom log formats, specified with -F. Most of the Apache log formats are supported, as well as some Varnish-specific ones. See the documentation for further information. Bug #712 and bug #485


  • add -l and -L switches which leave /tmp/vtc.* behind on error and unconditionally respectively.
  • add -j parameter to run tests in parallell and use this by default.


  • add -p $period parameter. The units in varnishtop were previously undefined, they are now in requests/period. The default period is 60 seconds.


  • group requests by default. This can be turned off by using -O
  • the -o parameter is now a no-op and is ignored.


  • Add a std vmod which includes a random function, log, syslog, fileread, collect,


  • Change string concatenation to be done using + rather than implicitly.
  • Stop using %xx escapes in VCL strings.
  • Change req.hash += value to hash_data(value)
  • Variables in VCL now have distinct read/write access
  • bereq.connect_timeout is now available in vcl_pipe.
  • Make it possible to declare probes outside of a director. Please see the documentation on how to do this.
  • The VCL compiler has been reworked greatly, expanding its abilities with regards to what kinds of expressions it understands.
  • Add, beresp.backend.ip and beresp.backend.port variables. They are only available from vcl_fetch and are read only. Bug #481
  • The default VCL now calls pass for any objects where beresp.http.Vary == "*". Bug #787
  • The log keyword has been moved to the std vmod.
  • It is now possible to choose which storage backend to be used
  • Add variables storage.$name.free_space, storage.$name.used_space and storage.$name.happy
  • The variable req.can_gzip tells us whether the client accepts gzipped objects or not.
  • purge is now called ban, since that is what it really is and has always been.
  • req.esi_level is now available. Bug #782
  • esi handling is now controlled by the beresp.do_esi boolean rather than the esi function.
  • beresp.do_gzip and beresp.do_gunzip now control whether an uncompressed object should be compressed and a compressed object should be uncompressed in the cache.
  • make it possible to control compression level using the gzip_level parameter.
  • obj.cacheable and beresp.cacheable have been removed. Cacheability is now solely through the beresp.ttl and beresp.grace variables.
  • setting the obj.ttl or beresp.ttl to zero now also sets the corresponding grace to zero. If you want a non-zero grace, set grace after setting the TTL.
  • return(pass) in vcl_fetch has been renamed to return(hit_for_pass) to make it clear that pass in vcl_fetch and vcl_recv are different beasts.
  • Add actual purge support. Doing purge will remove an object and all its variants.


  • libvarnishapi has been overhauled and the API has been broken. Please see git commit logs and the support tools to understand what's been changed.
  • Add functions to walk over all the available counters. This is needed because some of the counter names might only be available at runtime.
  • Limit the amount of time varnishapi waits for a shared memory log to appear before returning an error.
  • All libraries but libvarnishapi have been moved to a private directory as they are not for public consumption and have no ABI/API guarantees.


  • Python is now required to build
  • Varnish Cache is now consistently named Varnish Cache.
  • The compilation process now looks for kqueue on NetBSD
  • Make it possible to use a system jemalloc rather than the bundled version.
  • The documentation has been improved all over and should now be in much better shape than before

Changes from 2.1.4 to 2.1.5 (2011-01-25)


  • On pass from vcl_recv, we did not remove the backends Content-Length header before adding our own. This could cause confusion for browsers and has been fixed.
  • Make pass with content-length work again. An issue with regards to 304, Content-Length and pass has been resolved.
  • An issue relating to passed requests with If-Modified-Since headers has been fixed. Varnish did not recognize that the 304-response did not have a body.
  • A potential lock-inversion with the ban lurker thread has been resolved.
  • Several build-dependency issues relating to rst2man have been fixed. Varnish should now build from source without rst2man if you are using tar-balls.
  • Ensure Varnish reads the expected last CRLF after chunked data from the backend. This allows re-use of the connection.
  • Remove a GNU Make-ism during make dist to make BSD happier.
  • Document the log, set, unset, return and restart statements in the VCL documentation.
  • Fix an embarrassingly old bug where Varnish would run out of workspace when requests come in fast over a single connection, typically during synthetic benchmarks.
  • Varnish will now allow If-Modified-Since requests to objects without a Last-Modified-header, and instead use the time the object was cached instead.
  • Do not filter out Content-Range headers in pass.
  • Require -d, -b, -f, -S or -T when starting varnishd. In human terms, this means that it is legal to start varnishd without a Vcl or backend, but only if you have a CLI channel of some kind.
  • Don't suppress Cache-Control headers in pass responses.
  • Merge multi-line Cache-Control and Vary header fields. Until now, no browsers have needed this, but Chromium seems to find it necessary to spread its Cache-Control across two lines, and we get to deal with it.
  • Make new-purge not touch busy objects. This fixes a potential crash when calling VRT_purge.
  • If there are everal grace-able objects, pick the least expired one.
  • Fix an issue with varnishadm -T :6082 shorthand.
  • Add bourn-shell like "here" documents on the CLI. Typical usage: vcl.inline vcl_new << 42 backend foo {...} sub vcl_recv {...} 42
  • Add CLI version to the CLI-banner, starting with version 1.0 to mark here-documents.
  • Fix a problem with the expiry thread slacking off during high load.


  • Remove no longer existing -L option.

Changes from 2.1.3 to 2.1.4


  • An embarrasing typo in the new binary heap layout caused inflated obj/objcore/objhdr counts and could cause odd problems when the LRU expunge mechanism was invoked. This has been fixed.
  • We now have updated documentation in the reStructuredText format. Manual pages and reference documentation are both built from this.
  • We now include a DNS director which uses DNS for choosing which backend to route requests to. Please see the documentation for more details.
  • If you restarted a request, the HTTP header X-Forwarded-For would be updated multiple times. This has been fixed.
  • If a VCL contained a % sign, and the CLI command was used, varnishd would crash. This has been fixed.
  • When doing a pass operation, we would remove the Content-Length, Age and Proxy-Auth headers. We are no longer doing this.
  • now has a string representation, making it easier to construct Expires headers in VCL.
  • In a high traffic environment, we would sometimes reuse a file descriptor before flushing the logs from a worker thread to the shared log buffer. This would cause confusion in some of the tools. This has been fixed by explicitly flushing the log when a backend connection is closed.
  • If the communication between the management and the child process gets out of sync, we have no way to recover. Previously, varnishd would be confused, but we now just kill the child and restart it.
  • If the backend closes the connection on us just as we sent a request to it, we retry the request. This should solve some interoperability problems with Apache and the mpm-itk multi processing module.
  • varnishd now only provides help output the current CLI session is authenticated for.
  • If the backend does not tell us which length indication it is using, we now assume the resource ends EOF at.
  • The client director now has a variable client.identity which is used to choose which backend should receive a given request.
  • The Solaris port waiter has been updated, and other portability fixes for Solaris.
  • There was a corner case in the close-down processing of pipes, this has now been fixed.
  • Previously, if we stopped polling a backend which was sick, it never got marked as healthy. This has now been changed.
  • It is now possible to specify ports as part of the .host field in VCL.
  • The synthetic counters were not locked properly, and so the sms_ counters could underflow. This has now been fixed.
  • The value of obj.status as a string in vcl_error would not be correct in all cases. This has been fixed.
  • Varnish would try to trim storage segments completely filled when using the malloc stevedore and the object was received chunked encoding. This has been fixed.
  • If a buggy backend sends us a Vary header with two colons, we would previously abort. We now rather fix this up and ignore the extra colon.
  • req.hash_always_miss and req.hash_ignore_busy has been added, to make preloading or periodically refreshing content work better.


  • varnishncsa would in some cases be confused by ESI requests and output invalid lines. This has now been fixed.


  • varnishlog now allows -o and -u together.


  • varnishtop would crash on 32 bit architectures. This has been fixed.


  • Regex inclusion and exclusion had problems with matching particular parts of the string being matched. This has been fixed.

Changes from 2.1.2 to 2.1.3


  • Improve scalability of critbit.
  • The critbit hash algorithm has now been tightened to make sure the tree is in a consistent state at all points, and the time we wait for an object to cool off after it is eligible for garbage collection has been tweaked.
  • Add log command to VCL. This emits a VCL_log entry into the shared memory log.
  • Only emit Length and ReqEnd log entries if we actually have an XID. This should get rid of some empty log lines in varnishncsa.
  • Destroy directors in a predictable fashion, namely reverse of creation order.
  • Fix bug when ESI elements spanned storage elements causing a panic.
  • In some cases, the VCL compiler would panic instead of giving sensible messages. This has now been fixed.
  • Correct an off-by-one error when the requested range exceeds the size of an object.
  • Handle requests for the end of an object correctly.
  • Allow tabulator characters in the third field of the first line of HTTP requests
  • On Solaris, if the remote end sends us an RST, all system calls related to that socket will return EINVAL. We now handle this better.


  • The -X parameter didn't work correctly. This has been fixed.

Changes from 2.1.1 to 2.1.2


  • When adding Range support for 2.1.1, we accidentally introduced a bug which would append garbage to objects larger than the chunk size, by default 128k. Browsers would do the right thing due to Content-Length, but some load balancers would get very confused.

Changes from 2.1.1 to 2.1.1


  • The changelog in 2.1.0 included syntax errors, causing the generated changelog to be empty.
  • The help text for default_grace was wrongly formatted and included a syntax error. This has now been fixed.
  • varnishd now closes the file descriptor used to read the management secret file (from the -S parameter).
  • The child would previously try to close every valid file descriptor, something which could cause problems if the file descriptor ulimit was set too high. We now keep track of all the file descriptors we open and only close up to that number.
  • ESI was partially broken in 2.1.0 due to a bug in the rollback of session workspace. This has been fixed.
  • Reject the authcommand rather than crash if there is no -S parameter given.
  • Align pointers in allocated objects. This will in theory make Varnish a tiny bit faster at the expense of slightly more memory usage.
  • Ensure the master process process id is updated in the shared memory log file after we go into the background.
  • HEAD requests would be converted to GET requests too early, which affected pass and pipe. This has been fixed.
  • Update the documentation to point out that the TTL is no longer taken into account to decide whether an object is cacheable or not.
  • Add support for completely obliterating an object and all variants of it. Currently, this has to be done using inline C.
  • Add experimental support for the Range header. This has to be enabled using the parameter http_range_support.
  • The critbit hasher could get into a deadlock and had a race condition. Both those have now been fixed.

varnishsizes -----------~

  • varnishsizes, which is like varnishhist, but for the length of objects, has been added..

Changes from 2.0.6 to 2.1.0


  • Persistent storage is now experimentally supported using the persistent stevedore. It has the same command line arguments as the file stevedore.

  • obj.* is now called beresp.* in vcl_fetch, and obj.* is now read-only.

  • The regular expression engine is now PCRE instead of POSIX regular expressions.

  • req.* is now available in vcl_deliver.

  • Add saint mode where we can attempt to grace an object if we don't like the backend response for some reason.

    Related, add saintmode_threshold which is the threshold for the number of objects to be added to the trouble list before the backend is considered sick.

  • Add a new hashing method called critbit. This autoscales and should work better on large object workloads than the classic hash. Critbit has been made the default hash algorithm.

  • When closing connections, we experimented with sending RST to free up load balancers and free up threads more quickly. This caused some problems with NAT routers and so has been reverted for now.

  • Add thread that checks objects against ban list in order to prevent ban list from growing forever. Note that this needs purges to be written so they don't depend on req.*. Enabled by setting ban_lurker_sleep to a nonzero value.

  • The shared memory log file format was limited to maximum 64k simultaneous connections. This is now a 32 bit field which removes this limitation.

  • Remove obj_workspace, this is now sized automatically.

  • Rename acceptors to waiters

  • vcl_prefetch has been removed. It was never fully implemented.

  • Add support for authenticating CLI connections.

  • Add hash director that chooses which backend to use depending on req.hash.

  • Add client director that chooses which backend to use depending on the client's IP address. Note that this ignores the X-Forwarded-For header.

  • varnishd now displays a banner by default when you connect to the CLI.

  • Increase performance somewhat by moving statistics gathering into a per-worker structure that is regularly flushed to the global stats.

  • Make sure we store the header and body of object together. This may in some cases improve performance and is needed for persistence.

  • Remove client-side address accounting. It was never used for anything and presented a performance problem.

  • Add a timestamp to bans, so you can know how old they are.

  • Quite a few people got confused over the warning about not being able to lock the shared memory log into RAM, so stop warning about that.

  • Change the default CLI timeout to 10 seconds.

  • We previously forced all inserts into the cache to be GET requests. This has been changed to allow POST as well in order to be able to implement purge-on-POST semantics.

  • The CLI command stats now only lists non-zero values.

  • The CLI command stats now only lists non-zero values.

  • Use daemon(3) from libcompat on Darwin.

  • Remove vcl_discard as it causes too much complexity and never actually worked particularly well.

  • Remove vcl_timeout as it causes too much complexity and never actually worked particularly well.

  • Update the documentation so it refers to sess_workspace, not http_workspace.

  • Document the -i switch to varnishd as well as the server.identity and server.hostname VCL variables.

  • purge.hash is now deprecated and no longer shown in help listings.

  • When processing ESI, replace the five mandatory XML entities when we encounter them.

  • Add string representations of time and relative time.

  • Add locking for n_vbe_conn to make it stop underflowing.

  • When ESI-processing content, check for illegal XML character entities.

  • Varnish can now connect its CLI to a remote instance when starting up, rather than just being connected to.

  • It is no longer needed to specify the maximum number of HTTP headers to allow from backends. This is now a run-time parameter.

  • The X-Forwarded-For header is now generated by vcl_recv rather than the C code.

  • It is now possible to not send all CLI traffic to syslog.

  • It is now possible to not send all CLI traffic to syslog.

  • In the case of varnish crashing, it now outputs a identifying string with the OS, OS revision, architecture and storage parameters together with the backtrace.

  • Use exponential backoff when we run out of file descriptors or sessions.

  • Allow setting backend timeouts to zero.

  • Count uptime in the shared memory log.

  • Try to detect the case of two running varnishes with the same shmlog and storage by writing the master and child process ids to the shmlog and refusing to start if they are still running.

  • Make sure to use EOF mode when serving ESI content to HTTP/1.0 clients.

  • Make sure we close the connection if it either sends Connection: close or it is a HTTP/1.0 backend that does not send Connection: keep-alive.

  • Increase the default session workspace to 64k on 64-bit systems.

  • Make the epoll waiter use level triggering, not edge triggering as edge triggering caused problems on very busy servers.

  • Handle unforeseen client disconnections better on Solaris.

  • Make session lingering apply to new sessions, not just reused sessions.


  • Make use of the new uptime field in the shared memory log rather than synthesizing it from the start time.


  • Exit at the end of the file when started with -d.


  • varnishadm can now have a timeout when trying to connect to the running varnishd.
  • varnishadm now knows how to respond to the secret from a secured varnishd

Changes from 2.0.5 to 2.0.6


  • 2.0.5 had an off-by-one error in the ESI handling causing includes to fail a large part of the time. This has now been fixed.
  • Try harder to not confuse backends when sending them backend probes. We half-closed the connection, something some backends thought meant we had dropped the connection. Stop doing so, and add the capability for specifying the expected response code.
  • In 2.0.5, session lingering was turned on. This caused statistics to not be counted often enough in some cases. This has now been fixed.
  • Avoid triggering an assert if the other end closes the connection while we are lingering and waiting for another request from them.
  • When generating backtraces, prefer the built-in backtrace function if such exists. This fixes a problem compiling 2.0.5 on Solaris.
  • Make it possible to specify the per-thread stack size. This might be useful on 32 bit systems with their limited address space.
  • Document the -C option to varnishd.

Changes from 2.0.4 to 2.0.5


  • Handle object workspace overruns better.
  • Allow turning off ESI processing per request by using set req.esi = off.
  • Tell the kernel that we expect to use the mmap-ed file in a random fashion. On Linux, this turns off/down readahead and increases performance.
  • Make it possible to change the maximum number of HTTP headers we allow by passing --with-max-header-fields=NUM rather than changing the code.
  • Implement support for HTTP continuation lines.
  • Change how connections are closed and only use SO_LINGER for orderly connection closure. This should hopefully make worker threads less prone to hangups on network problems.
  • Handle multi-element purges correctly. Previously we ended up with parse errors when this was done from VCL.
  • Handle illegal responses from the backend better by serving a 503 page rather than panic-ing.
  • When we run into an assertion that is not true, Varnish would previously dump a little bit of information about itself. Extend that information with a backtrace. Note that this relies on the varnish binary being unstripped.
  • Add a session_max parameter that limits the maximum number of sessions we keep open before we start dropping new connections summarily.
  • Try to consume less memory when doing ESI processing by properly rolling back used workspace after processing an object. This should make it possible to turn sess_workspace quite a bit for users with ESI-heavy pages.
  • Turn on session_linger by default. Tests have shown that session_linger helps a fair bit with performance.
  • Rewrite the epoll acceptor for better performance. This should lead to both higher processing rates and maximum number of connections on Linux.
  • Add If-None-Match support, this gives significant bandwidth savings for users with compliant browsers.
  • RFC2616 specifies that ETag, Content-Location, Expires, Cache-Control and Vary should be emitted when delivering a response with the 304 response code.
  • Various fixes which makes Varnish compile and work on AIX.
  • Turn on TCP_DEFER_ACCEPT on Linux. This should make us less suspecible to denial of service attacks as well as give us slightly better performance.
  • Add an .initial property to the backend probe specification. This is the number of good probes we pretend to have seen. The default is one less than .threshold, which means the first probe will decide if we consider the backend healthy.
  • Make it possible to compare strings against other string-like objects, not just plain strings. This allows you to compare two headers, for instance.
  • When support for restart in vcl_error was added, there was no check to prevent infinte recursion. This has now been fixed.
  • Turn on purge_dups by default. This should make us consume less memory when there are many bans for the same pattern added.
  • Add a new log tag called FetchError which tries to explain why we could not fetch an object from the backend.
  • Change the default srcaddr_ttl to 0. It is not used by anything and has been removed in the development version. This will increase performance somewhat.


  • varnishtop did not handle variable-length log fields correctly. This is now fixed.
  • varnishtop previously did not print the name of the tag, which made it very hard to understand. We now print out the tag name.

Changes from 2.0.3 to 2.0.4


  • Make Varnish more portable by pulling in fixes for Solaris and NetBSD.
  • Correct description of -a in the manual page.
  • Ensure we are compiling in C99 mode.
  • If error was called with a null reason, we would crash on Solaris. Make sure this no longer happens.
  • Varnish used to crash if you asked it to use a non-existent waiter. This has now been fixed.
  • Add documentation to the default VCL explaining that using Connection: close in vcl_pipe is generally a good idea.
  • Add minimal facility for dealing with TELNET option negotiation by returning WONT to DO and DONT requests.
  • If the backend is unhealthy, use a graced object if one is available.
  • Make server.hostname and server.identity available to VCL. The latter can be set with the -i parameter to varnishd.
  • Make restart available from vcl_error.
  • Previously, only the TTL of an object was considered in whether it would be marked as cacheable. This has been changed to take the grace into consideration as well.
  • Previously, if an included ESI fragment had a zero size, we would send out a zero-sized chunk which signifies end-of-transmission. We now ignore zero-sized chunks.
  • We accidentally slept for far too long when we reached the maximum number of open file descriptors. This has been corrected and accept_fd_holdoff now works correctly.
  • Previously, when ESI processing, we did not look at the full length, but stopped at the first NULL byte. We no longer do that, enabling ESI processing of binary data.


  • Make sure system "..." returns successfully to ensure test failures do not go unnoticed.
  • Make it possible to send NULL bytes through the testing framework.

Changes from 2.0.2 to 2.0.3


  • Handle If-Modified-Since and ESI sub-objects better, fixing a problem where we sometimes neglected to insert included objects.
  • restart in vcl_hit is now supported.
  • Setting the TTL of an object to 0 seconds would sometimes cause it to be delivered for up to one second - epsilon. This has been corrected and we should now never deliver those objects to other clients.
  • The malloc storage backend now prints the maximum storage size, just like the file backend.
  • Various small documentation bugs have been fixed.
  • Varnish did not set a default interval for backend probes, causing it to poll the backend continuously. This has been corrected.
  • Allow "true" and "false" when setting boolean parameters, in addition to on/off, enable/disable and yes/no.
  • Default to always talking HTTP 1.1 with the backend.
  • Varnish did not make sure the file it was loading was a regular file. This could cause Varnish to crash if it was asked to load a directory or other non-regular file. We now check that the file is a regular file before loading it.
  • The binary heap used for expiry processing had scalability problems. Work around this by using stripes of a fixed size, which should make this scale better, particularly when starting up and having lots of objects.
  • When we imported the jemalloc library into the Varnish tree, it did not compile without warnings. This has now been fixed.
  • Varnish took a very long time to detect that the backend did not respond. To remedy this, we now have read timeouts in addition to the connect timeout. Both the first_byte_timeout and the between_bytes_timeout defaults to 60 seconds. The connect timeout is no longer in milliseconds, but rather in seconds.
  • Previously, the VCL to C conversion as well as the invocation of the C compiler was done in the management process. This is now done in a separate sub-process. This prevents any bugs in the VCL compiler from affecting the management process.
  • Chunked encoding headers were counted in the statistics for header bytes. They no longer are.
  • ESI processed objects were not counted in the statistics for body bytes. They now are.
  • It is now possible to adjust the maximum record length of log entries in the shmlog by tuning the shm_reclen parameter.
  • The management parameters listed in the CLI were not sorted, which made it hard to find the parameter you were looking for. They are now sorted, which should make this easier.
  • Add a new hashing type, "critbit", which uses a lock-less tree based lookup algorithm. This is experimental and should not be enabled in production environments without proper testing.
  • The session workspace had a default size of 8k. It is now 16k, which should make VCLs where many headers are processed less prone to panics.
  • We have seen that people seem to be confused as to which actions in the different VCL functions return and which ones don't. Add a new syntax return(action) to make this more explicit. The old syntax is still supported.
  • Varnish would return an error if any of the management IPs listed in the -T parameter could not be listened to. We now only return an error if none of them can be listened to.
  • In the case of the backend or client giving us too many parameters, we used to just ignore the overflowing headers. This is problematic if you end up ignoreing Content-Length, Transfer-Encoding and similar headers. We now give out a 400 error to the client if it sends us too many and 503 if we get too many from the backend.
  • We used panic if we got a too large chunked header. This behaviour has been changed into just failing the transaction.
  • Varnish now supports an extended purge method where it is possible to do purge ~ "" && req.url ~ "\.png" and similar. See the documentation for details.
  • Under heavy load, Varnish would sometimes crash when trying to update the per-request statistics. This has now been fixed.
  • It is now possible to not save the hash string in the session and object workspace. This will save a lot of memory on sites with many small objects. Disabling the purge_hash parameter also disables the purge.hash facility.
  • Varnish now supports !~ as a "no match" regular expression matcher.
  • In some cases, you could get serialised access to "pass" objects. We now make it default to the default_ttl value; this can be overridden in vcl_fetch.
  • Varnish did not check the syntax of regsub calls properly. More checking has been added.
  • If the client closed the connection while Varnish was processing ESI elements, Varnish would crash while trying to write the object to the client. We now check if the client has closed the connection.
  • The ESI parser had a bug where it would crash if an XML comment would span storage segments. This has been fixed.

VCL Manual page --------------~

  • The documentation on how capturing parentheses work was wrong. This has been corrected.
  • Grace has now been documented.


  • varnishreplay did not work correctly on Linux, due to a too small stack. This has now been fixed.

Changes from 2.0.1 to 2.0.2


  • In high-load situations, when using ESI, varnishd would sometimes mishandle objects and crash. This has been worked around.


  • varnishreplay did not work correctly on Linux, due to a too small stack. This has now been fixed.

Changes from 2.0 to 2.0.1


  • When receiving a garbled HTTP request, varnishd would sometimes crash. This has been fixed.
  • There was an off-by-one error in the ACL compilation. Now fixed.

Red Hat spec file ----------------~

  • A typo in the spec file made the .rpm file names wrong.

Changes from 1.1.2 to 2.0


  • Only look for sendfile on platforms where we know how to use it, which is FreeBSD for now.
  • Make it possible to adjust the shared memory log size and bump the size from 8MB to 80MB.
  • Fix up the handling of request bodies to better match what RFC2616 mandates. This makes PUT, DELETE, OPTIONS and TRACE work in addition to POST.
  • Change how backends are defined, to a constant structural defintion style. See for the details.
  • Add directors, which wrap backends. Currently, there's a random director and a round-robin director.
  • Add "grace", which is for how long and object will be served, even after it has expired. To use this, both the object's and the request's grace parameter need to be set.
  • Manual pages have been updated for new VCL syntax and varnishd options.
  • Man pages and other docs have been updated.
  • The shared memory log file is now locked in memory, so it should not be paged out to disk.
  • We now handle Vary correctly, as well as Expect.
  • ESI include support is implemented.
  • Make it possible to limit how much memory the malloc uses.
  • Solaris is now supported.
  • There is now a regsuball function, which works like regsub except it replaces all occurrences of the regex, not just the first.
  • Backend and director declarations can have a .connect_timeout parameter, which tells us how long to wait for a successful connection.
  • It is now possible to select the acceptor to use by changing the acceptor parameter.
  • Backends can have probes associated with them, which can be checked with in VCL as well as being handled by directors which do load-balancing.
  • Support larger-than-2GB files also on 32 bit hosts. Please note that this does not mean we can support caches bigger than 2GB, it just means logfiles and similar can be bigger.
  • In some cases, we would remove the wrong header when we were stripping Content-Transfer-Encoding headers from a request. This has been fixed.
  • Backends can have a .max_connections associated with them.
  • On Linux, we need to set the dumpable bit on the child if we want core dumps. Make sure it's set.
  • Doing purge.hash() with an empty string would cause us to dump core. Fixed so we don't do that any more.
  • We ran into a problem with glibc's malloc on Linux where it seemed like it failed to ever give memory back to the OS, causing the system to swap. We have now switched to jemalloc which appears not to have this problem.
  • max_restarts was never checked, so we always ended up running out of workspace. Now, vcl_error is called when we reach max_restarts.


  • varnishtest is a tool to do correctness tests of varnishd. The test suite is run by using make check.


  • We now set the field widths dynamically based on the size of the terminal and the name of the longest field.


  • varnishstat -1 now displays the uptime too.


  • varnishncsa now does fflush after each write. This makes tail -f work correctly, as well as avoiding broken lines in the log file.
  • It is possible to get varnishncsa to output the X-Forwarded-For instead of the client IP by passing -f to it.

Build system -----------~

  • Various sanity checks have been added to configure, it now complains about no ncurses or if SO_RCVTIMEO or SO_SNDTIMEO are non-functional. It also aborts if there's no working acceptor mechanism
  • The C compiler invocation is decided by the configure script and can now be overridden by passing VCC_CC when running configure.

Changes from 1.1.1 to 1.1.2


  • When switching to a new VCL configuration, a race condition exists which may cause Varnish to reference a backend which no longer exists (see ticket #144). This race condition has not been entirely eliminated, but it should occur less frequently.
  • When dropping a TCP session before any requests were processed, an assertion would be triggered due to an uninitialized timestamp (see ticket #132). The timestamp is now correctly initialized.
  • Varnish will now correctly generate a Date: header for every response instead of copying the one it got from the backend (see ticket #157).
  • Comparisons in VCL which involve a non-existent string (usually a header which is not present in the request or object being processed) would cause a NULL pointer dereference; now the comparison will simply fail.
  • A bug in the VCL compiler which would cause a double-free when processing include directives has been fixed.
  • A resource leak in the worker thread management code has been fixed.
  • When connecting to a backend, Varnish will usually get the address from a cache. When the cache is refreshed, existing connections may end up with a reference to an address structure which no longer exists, resulting in a crash. This race condition has been somewhat mitigated, but not entirely eliminated (see ticket #144.)
  • Varnish will now pass the correct protocol version in pipe mode: the backend will get what the client sent, and vice versa.
  • The core of the pipe mode code has been rewritten to increase robustness and eliminate spurious error messages when either end closes the connection in a manner Varnish did not anticipate.
  • A memory leak in the backend code has been plugged.
  • When using the kqueue acceptor, if a client shuts down the request side of the connection (as many clients do after sending their final request), it was possible for the acceptor code to receive the EOF event and recycle the session while the last request was still being serviced, resulting in a assertion failure and a crash when the worker thread later tried to delete the session. This should no longer happen (see ticket #162.)
  • A mismatch between the recorded length of a cached object and the amount of data actually present in cache for that object can occasionally occur (see ticket #167.) This has been partially fixed, but may still occur for error pages generated by Varnish when a problem arises while retrieving an object from the backend.
  • Some socket-related system calls may return unexpected error codes when operating on a TCP connection that has been shut down at the other end. These error codes would previously cause assertion failures, but are now recognized as harmless conditions.


  • Pressing 0 though 9 while varnishhist is running will change the refresh interval to the corresponding power of two, in seconds.


  • The varnishncsa tool can now daemonize and write a PID file like varnishlog, using the same command-line options. It will also reopen its output upon receipt of a SIGHUP if invoked with -w.


  • Pressing 0 though 9 while varnishstat is running will change the refresh interval to the corresponding power of two, in seconds.

Build system -----------~

  • Varnish's <queue.h> has been modified to avoid conflicts with <sys/queue.h> on platforms where the latter is included indirectly through system headers.
  • Several steps have been taken towards Solaris support, but this is not yet complete.
  • When configure was run without an explicit prefix, Varnish's idea of the default state directory would be garbage and a state directory would have to be specified manually with -n. This has been corrected.

Changes from 1.1 to 1.1.1


  • The code required to allow VCL to read obj.status, which had accidentally been left out, has now been added.
  • Varnish will now always include a Connection: header in its reply to the client, to avoid possible misunderstandings.
  • A bug that triggered an assertion failure when generating synthetic error documents has been corrected.
  • A new VCL function, purge_url, provides the same functionality as the url.purge management command.
  • Previously, Varnish assumed that the response body should be sent only if the request method was GET. This was a problem for custom request methods (such as PURGE), so the logic has been changed to always send the response body except in the specific case of a HEAD request.
  • Changes to run-time parameters are now correctly propagated to the child process.
  • Due to the way run-time parameters are initialized at startup, varnishd previously required the nobody user and the nogroup group to exist even if a different user and group were specified on the command line. This has been corrected.
  • Under certain conditions, the VCL compiler would carry on after a syntax error instead of exiting after reporting the error. This has been corrected.
  • The manner in which the hash string is assembled has been modified to reduce memory usage and memory-to-memory copying.
  • Before calling vcl_miss, Varnish assembles a tentative request object for the backend request which will usually follow. This object would be leaked if vcl_miss returned anything else than fetch. This has been corrected.
  • The code necessary to handle an error return from vcl_fetch and vcl_deliver had inadvertantly been left out. This has been corrected.
  • Varnish no longer prints a spurious "child died" message (the result of reaping the compiler process) after compiling a new VCL configuration.
  • Under some circumstances, due to an error in the workspace management code, Varnish would lose the "tail" of a request, i.e. the part of the request that has been received from the client but not yet processed. The most obvious symptom of this was that POST requests would work with some browsers but not others, depending on details of the browser's HTTP implementation. This has been corrected.
  • On some platforms, due to incorrect assumptions in the CLI code, the management process would crash while processing commands received over the management port. This has been corrected.

Build system -----------~

  • The top-level Makefile will now honor $DESTDIR when creating the state directory.
  • The Debian and RedHat packages are now split into three (main / lib / devel) as is customary.
  • A number of compile-time and run-time portability issues have been addressed.
  • The script had workarounds for problems with the GNU autotools on FreeBSD; these are no longer needed and have been removed.
  • The libcompat library has been renamed to libvarnishcompat and is now dynamic rather than static. This simplifies the build process and resolves an issue with the Mac OS X linker.

Changes from 1.0.4 to 1.1


  • Readability of the C source code generated from VCL code has been improved.
  • Equality (==) and inequality (!=) operators have been implemented for IP addresses (which previously could only be compared using ACLs).
  • The address of the listening socket on which the client connection was received is now available to VCL as the server.ip variable.
  • Each object's hash key is now computed based on a string which is available to VCL as req.hash. A VCL hook named vcl_hash has been added to allow VCL scripts to control hash generation (for instance, whether or not to include the value of the Host: header in the hash).
  • The setup code for listening sockets has been modified to detect and handle situations where a host name resolves to multiple IP addresses. It will now attempt to bind to each IP address separately, and report a failure only if none of them worked.
  • Network or protocol errors that occur while retrieving an object from a backend server now result in a synthetic error page being inserted into the cache with a 30-second TTL. This should help avoid driving an overburdened backend server into the ground by repeatedly requesting the same object.
  • The child process will now drop root privileges immediately upon startup. The user and group to use are specified with the user and group run-time parameters, which default to nobody and nogroup, respectively. Other changes have been made in an effort to increase the isolation between parent and child, and reduce the impact of a compromise of the child process.
  • Objects which are received from the backend with a Vary: header are now stored separately according to the values of the headers specified in Vary:. This allows Varnish to correctly cache e.g. compressed and uncompressed versions of the same object.
  • Each Varnish instance now has a name, which by default is the host name of the machine it runs on, but can be any string that would be valid as a relative or absolute directory name. It is used to construct the name of a directory in which the server state as well as all temporary files are stored. This makes it possible to run multiple Varnish instances on the same machine without conflict.
  • When invoked with the -C option, varnishd will now not just translate the VCL code to C, but also compile the C code and attempt to load the resulting shared object.
  • Attempts by VCL code to reference a variable outside its scope or to assign a value to a read-only variable will now result in compile-time rather than run-time errors.
  • The new command-line option -F will make varnishd run in the foreground, without enabling debugging.
  • New VCL variables have been introduced to allow inspection and manipulation of the request sent to the backend (bereq.request, bereq.url, bereq.proto and bereq.http) and the response to the client (resp.proto, resp.status, resp.response and resp.http).
  • Statistics from the storage code (including the amount of data and free space in the cache) are now available to varnishstat and other statistics-gathering tools.
  • Objects are now kept on an LRU list which is kept loosely up-to-date (to within a few seconds). When cache runs out, the objects at the tail end of the LRU list are discarded one by one until there is enough space for the freshly requested object(s). A VCL hook, vcl_discard, is allowed to inspect each object and determine its fate by returning either keep or discard.
  • A new VCL hook, vcl_deliver, provides a chance to adjust the response before it is sent to the client.
  • A new management command,, displays the VCL source code of any loaded configuration.
  • A new VCL variable, now, provides VCL scripts with the current time in seconds since the epoch.
  • A new VCL variable, obj.lastuse, reflects the time in seconds since the object in question was last used.
  • VCL scripts can now add an HTTP header (or modify the value of an existing one) by assigning a value to the corresponding variable, and strip an HTTP header by using the remove keyword.
  • VCL scripts can now modify the HTTP status code of cached objects (obj.status) and responses (resp.status)
  • Numeric and other non-textual variables in VCL can now be assigned to textual variables; they will be converted as needed.
  • VCL scripts can now apply regular expression substitutions to textual variables using the regsub function.
  • A new management command, status, returns the state of the child.
  • Varnish will now build and run on Mac OS X.


  • This is a new utility which sends a single command to a Varnish server's management port and prints the result to stdout, greatly simplifying the use of the management port from scripts.


  • The user interface has been greatly improved; the histogram will be automatically rescaled and redrawn when the window size changes, and it is updated regularly rather than at a rate dependent on the amount of log data gathered. In addition, the name of the Varnish instance being watched is displayed in the upper right corner.


  • In addition to client traffic, varnishncsa can now also process log data from backend traffic.
  • A bug that would cause varnishncsa to segfault when it encountered an empty HTTP header in the log file has been fixed.


  • This new utility will attempt to recreate the HTTP traffic which resulted in the raw Varnish log data which it is fed.


  • Don't print lifetime averages when it doesn't make any sense, for instance, there is no point in dividing the amount in bytes of free cache space by the lifetime in seconds of the varnishd process.
  • The user interface has been greatly improved; varnishstat will no longer print more than fits in the terminal, and will respond correctly to window resize events. The output produced in one-shot mode has been modified to include symbolic names for each entry. In addition, the name of the Varnish instance being watched is displayed in the upper right corner in curses mode.


  • The user interface has been greatly improved; varnishtop will now respond correctly to window resize events, and one-shot mode (-1) actually works. In addition, the name of the Varnish instance being watched is displayed in the upper right corner in curses mode.

Changes from 1.0.3 to 1.0.4


  • The request workflow has been redesigned to simplify request processing and eliminate code duplication. All codepaths which need to speak HTTP now share a single implementation of the protocol. Some new VCL hooks have been added, though they aren't much use yet. The only real user-visible change should be that Varnish now handles persistent backend connections correctly (see ticket #56).

  • Support for multiple listen addresses has been added.

  • An "include" facility has been added to VCL, allowing VCL code to pull in code fragments from multiple files.

  • Multiple definitions of the same VCL function are now concatenated into one in the order in which they appear in the source. This simplifies the mechanism for falling back to the built-in default for cases which aren't handled in custom code, and facilitates modularization.

  • The code used to format management command arguments before passing them on to the child process would underestimate the amount of space needed to hold each argument once quotes and special characters were properly escaped, resulting in a buffer overflow. This has been corrected.

  • The VCL compiler has been overhauled. Several memory leaks have been plugged, and error detection and reporting has been improved throughout. Parts of the compiler have been refactored to simplify future extension of the language.

  • A bug in the VCL compiler which resulted in incorrect parsing of the decrement (-=) operator has been fixed.

  • A new -C command-line option has been added which causes varnishd to compile the VCL code (either from a file specified with -f or the built-in default), print the resulting C code and exit.

  • When processing a backend response using chunked encoding, if a chunk header crosses a read buffer boundary, read additional bytes from the backend connection until the chunk header is complete.

  • A new ping_interval run-time parameter controls how often the management process checks that the worker process is alive.

  • A bug which would cause the worker process to dereference a NULL pointer and crash if the backend did not respond has been fixed.

  • In some cases, such as when they are used by AJAX applications to circumvent Internet Explorer's over-eager disk cache, it may be desirable to cache POST requests. However, the code path responsible for delivering objects from cache would only transmit the response body when replying to a GET request. This has been extended to also apply to POST.

    This should be revisited at a later date to allow VCL code to control whether the body is delivered.

  • Varnish now respects Cache-control: s-maxage, and prefers it to Cache-control: max-age if both are present.

    This should be revisited at a later date to allow VCL code to control which headers are used and how they are interpreted.

  • When loading a new VCL script, the management process will now load the compiled object to verify that it links correctly before instructing the worker process to load it.

  • A new -P command-line options has been added which causes varnishd to create a PID file.

  • The sendfile_threshold run-time parameter's default value has been set to infinity after a variety of sendfile()-related bugs were discovered on several platforms.


  • When grouping log entries by request, varnishlog attempts to collapse the log entry for a call to a VCL function with the log entry for the corresponding return from VCL. When two VCL calls were made in succession, varnishlog would incorrectly omit the newline between the two calls (see ticket #95).
  • New -D and -P command-line options have been added to daemonize and create a pidfile, respectively.
  • The flag that is raised upon reception of a SIGHUP has been marked volatile so it will not be optimized away by the compiler.


  • The formatting callback has been largely rewritten for clarity, robustness and efficiency.

    If a request included a Host: header, construct and output an absolute URL. This makes varnishncsa output from servers which handle multiple virtual hosts far more useful.

  • The flag that is raised upon reception of a SIGHUP has been marked volatile so it will not be optimized away by the compiler.


  • The documentation, especially the VCL documentation, has been greatly extended and improved.

Build system

  • The name and location of the curses or ncurses library is now correctly detected by the configure script instead of being hardcoded into affected Makefiles. This allows Varnish to build correctly on a wider range of platforms.
  • Compatibility shims for clock_gettime() are now correctly applied where needed, allowing Varnish to build on MacOS X.
  • The script will now correctly detect and warn about automake versions which are known not to work correctly.