Archive for June, 2015

hitch-1.0.0-beta for Fedora and EPEL

Friday, June 26th, 2015

The Varnish project has a new little free software baby arriving soon: Hitch, a scalable TLS proxy. It will also be made available with support by Varnish Software as part of their Varnish Plus product.

A bit of background:

Varnish is a high-performance HTTP accelerator, widely used over the Internet. To use varnish with https, it is often fronted by other general http/proxy servers like nginx or apache, though a more specific proxy-only high-performance tool would be preferable. So they looked at stud.

hitch is a fork of stud. The fork is maintained by the Varnish development team, as stud seems abandoned by its creators, after the project was taken over by Google, with no new commits after 2012.

I wrapped hitch for fedora, epel6 and epel7, and submitted them for Fedora and EPEL. Please test the latest builds and add feedback: . The default config is for a single instance of hitch.

The package has been reviewed and was recently accepted into Fedora and EPEL (bz #1235305). Update august 2015: Packages are pushed for testing. They will trickle down to stable eventually.

Note that there also exists as a fedora package of the (old) version of stud. If you use stud on fedora and want to test hitch, the two packages may coexist, and should be able to install in parallel.

To test hitch in front of varnish, in front of apache, you may do something like this (tested on el7):

  • Install varnish, httpd and hitch
      sudo yum install httpd varnish
      sudo yum --enablerepo=epel-testing install hitch || sudo yum --enablerepo=updates-testing install hitch
  • Start apache
      sudo systemctl start httpd.service
  • Edit the varnish config to point to the local httpd, that is, change the default backend definition in /etc/varnish/default.vcl , like this:
      backend default {
        .host = "";
        .port = "80";
  • Start varnish
      sudo systemctl start varnish.service
  • Add an ssl certificate to the hitch config. For a dummy certificate,
    the certificate from the hitch source may be used:

      sudo wget -O /etc/pki/tls/private/
  • Edit /etc/hitch/hitch.conf. Change the pem-file option to use that cert
      pem-file = "/etc/pki/tls/private/"
  • Start hitch
      sudo systemctl start hitch.service
  • Open your local firewall if necessary, by something like this:
      sudo firewall-cmd --zone=public --add-port=8443/tcp
  • Point your web browser to https://localhost:8443/ . You should be greeted with a warning about a non-official certificate. Past that, you will get the apache frontpage through varnish and hitch.

    Enjoy, and let me hear about any interesting test results.


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