Varnish would not listen on port 80 on debian 11 and 12 (Bookworm)

So, before we start, I assume you have already installed Varnish the casual way, and that you have made sure you do not have something else occupying port 80, if nginx for example is listening on port 80, try this post to switch it to a different port (Changing the default port 80 on nginx), if it is a different app, just follow that app’s instructions to change it’s port before asking varnish to listen on it.

To check that port 80 is not occupied and free to use, try the following command

netstat -anpe | grep "80" | grep "LISTEN"

If for example you want to know what ports nginx is listening to, try one of the following commands

netstat -tlpn| grep nginx
ss -tlpn| grep nginx

Within the results, check if any are using port 80, mind you, a service using port 8083 for example will show up, you need to see if anything is using port 80 , Now, install varnish with the following command.

apt-get install varnish

As you may have noticed, and probably the reason why you are here, varnish will not work !

this is somewhat of an old problem, since Debian moved to systemD back with the Debian 8 release (Jessie), instead of editing the file in /etc/default/varnish, you will need to create a file in /etc/systemd/system/ and name it varnish.service, the contents of such a file should look like the following, note that is the IP varnish should be listening on, one of the IPs assigned to the machine running varnish.

So to run the following command

systemctl edit varnish.service
Description=Varnish HTTP accelerator
Documentation= man:varnishd

ExecStart=/usr/sbin/varnishd -j unix,user=vcache -F -a -T localhost:6082 -f /etc/varnish/default.vcl -S /etc/varnish/secret -s malloc,256m


Once you have added the file execute the following

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart varnish

Should i let varnish cache in RAM or switch to disk ?

Note that the configuration file above uses RAM to cache the content, My recommendation is to use DISK (Disk is cached in ram in a more dynamic and more useful way utilizing all the ram you are not using, while keeping it available to any app that needs it), but that is just me…

To switch from RAM to File system, replace the following in the above as follows

"-s malloc,512m" becomes "-s file,/path/to/cahce/file.bin,100G"

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