Stephen Quick

Use Varnish with Nginx and Ubuntu

January 27, 2015

Feels like I haven’t updated this blog in a while, so I’ll add a tutorial that I learned about a bit ago when trying to address speeds with Drupal.

For starters this was done on an Ubuntu VM. From this website, follow the tutorial to install Varnish:

apt-get install apt-transport-https
curl | apt-key add -
echo "deb precise varnish-4.0" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/varnish-cache.list
apt-get update
apt-get install varnish

Edit this file: /etc/default/varnish, under Alternative 2, configure the beginning port :6082 to be :80 like below:

DAEMON_OPTS="-a :80 \
         -T localhost:6082 \
         -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl \
         -S /etc/varnish/secret \
         -s malloc,256m"

Next edit the file located at /etc/varnish/default.vcl. Change to port to from 80 to 8080 like below:

backend default {
    .host = "";
    .port = "8080";
    .connect_timeout = 60s;
    .first_byte_timeout = 60s;
    .between_bytes_timeout = 60s;
    .max_connections = 800;

Now the next step would be to edit the port used by nginx. Each server(it you have it configured that way) would need to be switched from 80 to 8080. The location of my config files are /etc/nginx/sites-available.


If you’re using this on a vagrant and have ports forwarded, for example I use homestead for laravel, you will need to change the forwarded port from 8000 to 8080, otherwise it won’t work properly, and nginx will likely not show your sites.

Finished, now test:

To test, you can run varnishstat, and that should give you data live as you access the domain affected by varnish.

Stephen Quick

Written by Stephen Quick, a software developer based in Houston, Texas.