How to enable Varnish on cPanel server?

Enable Varnish on cPanel. Varnish is a caching technology. It is a web accelerator and also referred as HTTP accelerator or reverse HTTP proxy, which will significantly enhance the performance of your website.

Varnish cache is really fast thereby, speed up the delivery depending on your architecture.

It will enhance your website’s performance. Varnish stores a copy of the page which is served by the web server the first time a user visits the website. Next time, when the user requests for the same page, varnish will serve the copy instead of serving it from the web server.

Thus, your webserver needs to handle only less traffic and there by increase the website performance and also reduce the server load.

Working of Varnish Cache

Once Varnish is installed in your server, it will listen in the port 80. Make Apache to listen in any other port other than 80. When a client requests for a page in your website, Varnish will try to serve the page from its cache memory. This is cache hit. If the page is not in its cache memory, then Varnish will request to HTTP (Apache) to serve the page and caches it for future reference.

Features of Varnish

1. Reduces the server load
2. High speed (cache + stored in RAM)
3. Useful to gain more visitors

Enable Varnish on cPanel. Installation

1. Make Apache listen in any other port other than 80. Here I am making Apache to listen in port 8080. It can be done in two ways. Either editing the httpd.conf file or editing the Tweak settings in WHM

a) Editing httpd.conf file

# vi /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf

Locate the following line in /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf file and change the port from 80 to 8080


Once edited, the Apache config file for “Listen” should be as follows:

# grep -iw listen /usr/local/apache/conf/httpd.conf


b) Editing WHM – Tweak settings

WHM > Tweak Settings > Apache non-SSL IP/port

Set the port to 8080 and save the settings.

Enable Varnish on cPanel
Enable Varnish on cPanel

2. Install Varnish repository

Download and install the varnish repository depending on your architecture. For CentOS 5 and Redhat5 use el5 whereas for CentOS 6 and Redhat6 use el6.

For me, it was el5.

# wget
# rpm -Uvh varnish-release-3.0-1.noarch.rpm

3. Install Varnish

# yum install varnish

4. Edit the configuration file for varnish /etc/sysconfig/varnish and change the value of VARNISH_LISTEN_PORT to 80

# grep VARNISH_LISTEN_PORT /etc/sysconfig/varnish

5. Edit Varnish config: /etc/varnish/default.vcl . Correct the IP address in this file to your IP address and port to 80

backend default {
  .host = "YOUR IP ADDRESS";
  .port = "80";

6. Start Varnish service on your server

# chkconfig varnish on
# service varnish start
# service varnish start
Starting Varnish Cache:                                    [  OK  ]

That’s it!!

You can check this by using the netstat command.

#netstat -plan | grep :80


# netstat -plan | grep :80
tcp        0      0        *                   LISTEN      15129/varnishd      
tcp        0      0      *                   LISTEN      12897/httpd        

Now, you can start monitor your Varnish with varnishstat

Enable Varnish on cPanel
Enable Varnish on cPanel

If you need to change your the configuration file and you can test the configuration before restarting the Varnish service by

# varnishd -C -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl

Easy way to install Memcached and memcache in a cPanel server

Install Memcached and memcache, that’s what we are discussing in this article. In website hosting industry, speed is one of the most important factor that we prefer. The website speed depends upon many factors. Of-course, the speed of the website depends upon the plugins or other third party application installed with it.

Note: While doing “yum install varnish” if you are getting libedit error, then follow the steps below:

varnish-3.0.5-1.el5.centos.x86_64 from varnish-3.0 has depsolving problems
  --> Missing Dependency: is needed by package varnish-3.0.5-1.el5.centos.x86_64 (varnish-3.0)
Error: Missing Dependency: is needed by package varnish-3.0.5-1.el5.centos.x86_64 (varnish-3.0)
 You could try using --skip-broken to work around the problem
 You could try running: package-cleanup --problems
                        package-cleanup --dupes
                        rpm -Va --nofiles --nodigest
The program package-cleanup is found in the yum-utils package.

In this case, you need to install the libedit rpm which is suitable for your architecture. You can find the rpm from

# wget
# rpm -ivh libedit-20090923-3.0_1.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm


# rpm -ivh libedit-20090923-3.0_1.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm
warning: libedit-20090923-3.0_1.el5.rf.x86_64.rpm: Header V3 DSA signature: NOKEY, key ID 6b8d79e6
Preparing...                ########################################### [100%]
   1:libedit                ########################################### [100%]


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Heba Habeeb

Working as a Linux Server Admin, Infopark, Cochin, Kerala.

27 thoughts on “How to enable Varnish on cPanel server?

  1. Awesome tutorial solved my issue. I want to know can I change listening port to any other number as some tutorial on web say change it to 82 but you said 8080 ?

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hello Salman,

      Thank you for the feedback. I am glad to know my post has helped you to solve your problem. Yes, you can make Apache listening to any other port. For my convenience, I have used here the Apache port as 8080.

  2. Hi,
    Your tutorial is very useful! I have one question: my website has a SSL certificate and it is accessed via https on port 443. Do I need to follow these steps as you described or is something different I need to do?
    And on this server I am running a WordPress Multisite Network. So my website will be the only one accessible through port 443, the others are accessed using standard 80 port.


  3. Step 5 backend_defualt{
    Two things:
    What If i have a server with 4 ip addresses? Also using port 80 didn’t work for me. I had to use 8080 which worked for some reason.

  4. Does it make sense to use Varnish for WordPress site? And I am using Cloud Flare. Can I use Varnish with it?

  5. hello

    thanks for this great tutorial – however, I am getting stuck on point number 4. varnish is installed but I dont have a file /etc/sysconfig/varnish to edit – in the sysconfig folder there is no varnish file to edit 🙁 I’m not sure what to do now

  6. Hi Thanks for great tutorial.
    I followed same steps.. Everything is ends up with success message

    But in CPanel I’m not able to view varnish cache option?

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