Getting Started with Varnish

The following how-to describes a simple standard setup.


Please note that Varnish requires additional configuration depending on the CMS. If in doubt, contact us and we will try to help to select the best approach.

Install Varnish

In this example we use the minimal example which installs Varnish with default settings. We install Varnish with the following Custom JSON Server Level Configuration.

  "varnish::ensure": "present"


A backend server (also known as origin) is the server providing the content Varnish will cache. In this how-to we assume that you already have a website set up that acts as a backend.

To ensure that Varnish can use your website as backend, we change the following settings:

For this we set the following configuration within the Custom JSON Website Level Configuration:

 "listen_ip": "",
 "listen_port": "8080",
 "ipv6_listen_ip": "::1",
 "ipv6_listen_port": "8080"


The version cached by Varnish is automatically made available on localhost on port 8022. For this to be publicly available, we need to create a new website that acts as a frontproxy.

Create a new Website with the following settings:

  • Type: Proxy

  • Hostnames: Same as for the backend

  • Proxy Pass:

  • Optional: Enable Auto SSL


Varnish decides what needs to be cached based on HTTP headers. It’s worth taking a closer look to make sure that caching really works with your setup. Some CMS systems have their own manuals and extensions, which make the use of varnish easier.