Installing Varnish with Apache on Ubuntu can be a daunting task for those unfamiliar with the process. However, when done correctly, it has the potential to greatly improve website performance and reduce server load.

This article will provide detailed instructions on how to install Varnish alongside Apache in an Ubuntu environment, as well as some best practices for optimizing its use. Crucial steps such as configuring the web server and setting up caching rules will also be discussed.

For websites that experience high traffic volumes or require lightning-fast loading times, installing Varnish is often the preferred option due to its ability to dramatically increase page speeds. Utilizing a reverse proxy cache like Varnish helps offload requests from your web servers by allowing users’ browsers to store frequently accessed content locally instead of repeatedly sending requests over the internet.

Furthermore, because this type of caching stores static files closer to end-users than origin servers do, response times are significantly improved.

This tutorial aims to walk readers through each step necessary for successfully integrating Varnish into an existing Apache setup running on Ubuntu Linux machines. It is assumed that the reader has prior knowledge of basic system administration tasks such as creating user accounts and editing configuration files via command line tools like nano or vi. With these prerequisites met, let’s jump right in!


Overview Of Varnish And Apache

Varnish is a web application accelerator, also known as a caching HTTP reverse proxy. It acts as an intermediary between the user and the server, reducing load time by storing static content such as images, stylesheets and JavaScript files.

Apache is an open source web server that can be used to serve dynamic content from databases or scripting languages. When combined with Varnish, Apache serves only dynamic requests while Varnish handles all other types of requests for improved performance.

Apache and Varnish work together to provide optimal web page delivery for users. With the two applications installed in tandem on Ubuntu servers, administrators are able to efficiently manage website traffic and enable faster loading times for users.


Requirements For Installation

Before installing Varnish with Apache on Ubuntu, there are a few requirements that must be met. A Linux system running Ubuntu is required for the installation of both programs. Additionally, both Apache and Varnish need to be in the latest version available for each program. Lastly, root access will be needed during the installation process, so an administrator account is necessary.

To install Varnish and Apache together as one package, apt-get can be used to download them from the official repositories. Once downloaded, they will have to be configured properly before use.

The configuration files may include setting up port numbers or defining certain parameters such as cache size and timeout values; these settings should be researched prior to making any changes. After successful completion of this step, it would then be possible to start using Varnish and Apache together on the given Linux system.


Download And Install Varnish

Varnish is a web acceleration tool that can be used with Apache on Ubuntu. The installation process begins by downloading the latest version of Varnish from its official website. It is important to ensure that the download file has been saved in an appropriate location such as ‘Downloads’ folder.

Once downloaded, it should be extracted and moved into a directory which will contain all of the necessary configuration files for running Varnish.

The next step involves configuring Varnish to work with Apache. This requires creating a new virtual host file for Apache and entering the required information about the proxy port, backend server address and other details related to Varnish.

After this has been completed, Apache needs to be restarted so that these changes take effect. Finally, it is recommended to test if everything is working correctly by checking the access log within varnishd command line interface or viewing HTTP requests being served up through Varnish cache instead of directly from Apache server.


Configuring Apache To Work With Varnish

Once Varnish is installed on an Ubuntu system, the next step is to configure Apache to work with it. This involves editing a few configuration files and restarting services for changes to take effect.

First, edit the /etc/apache2/ports.conf file and change the Listen directive from “Listen 80” to “Listen”, which will tell Apache to listen only on the local loopback interface rather than all interfaces so that outside requests are handled by Varnish instead of Apache directly.

Additionally, add a new line setting up another port like “NameVirtualHost *:6081” or something similar. Next, open the Virtual Hosts configuration in /etc/apache2/sites-available/, where you should already have at least one virtual host configured such as or on port 8080 (or whatever port was chosen earlier). If not, create a new virtual host here and set its Server Name parameter accordingly before moving on.

After these steps are completed and saved, both Apache and Varnish need to be restarted for changes to take effect; this can be done using respective commands like sudo service apache2 restart and sudo service varnish restart respectively on any Linux distribution running systemd init manager .


Testing The Setup

The installation of Varnish with Apache on Ubuntu requires testing to ensure proper configuration. To test the setup, it is necessary to check for several components.

  • Ensure that port 8080 and 6081 have been opened in UFW using netstat command.
  • Check if the Apache server is running properly by visiting localhost or in a browser window.
  • Test whether Varnish is processing requests correctly by accessing the website from an HTTP request while monitoring incoming connections through varnishlog utility tool.
  • Determine whether caching works as expected by checking headers of responses received when reloading pages multiple times in a row using curl utility tool.
  • Finally, review statistics generated by the Varnish Cache dashboard to make sure everything is working as intended according to configured parameters.

In summary, these steps are essential for verifying that Varnish and Apache servers have been set up properly and will provide desired performance results once deployed into production environment.


Troubleshooting Tips

When troubleshooting varnish with Apache on Ubuntu, there are several steps to take. Firstly, check the Varnish configuration file and make sure all settings are correct. This includes ensuring that the port number is correctly set in both the server block and the virtual host section of the config file.

Additionally, verify that any custom parameters have been specified correctly for better performance tuning. Secondly, examine system logs for errors related to installation or start up issues. It may be necessary to review log files from both Apache and Varnish servers as well as ones from third party applications such as MySQL and PHP if they are being used alongside them.

If any problems are identified, appropriate corrective measures should be taken before proceeding further with testing. Once these diagnostics tasks have been completed successfully, it will be possible to test the functionality of Varnish with Apache on Ubuntu and ensure that it meets expectations.



The installation of Varnish and Apache on Ubuntu is an important part of setting up a web server. This process requires downloading, configuring, testing and troubleshooting the software to ensure that it is properly set up for optimal performance. In this article we have discussed how to install Varnish with Apache on Ubuntu by outlining all the necessary steps for successful completion.

By following the instructions in this article, users can be confident that their web server setup will run with maximum efficiency and reliability. When everything has been configured correctly, users can test the system to ensure that it works as expected. If any problems arise during the configuration or testing phase then there are several troubleshooting tips provided which should help identify the source of the issue quickly and resolve it.

Overall, users who want to take advantage of both Varnish’s caching capabilities along with Apache’s scalability should find this guide useful when installing these programs together on Ubuntu systems. With careful attention given to each step outlined here, users should soon have their web servers running optimally in no time at all!