varnishtest man page

varnishtest — Test program for Varnish


varnishtest [-hikLlqvW] [-b size] [-D name=val] [-j jobs] [-n iter] [-t duration] file [file ...]


The varnishtest program is a script driven program used to test the Varnish Cache.

The varnishtest program, when started and given one or more script files, can create a number of threads representing backends, some threads representing clients, and a varnishd process. This is then used to simulate a transaction to provoke a specific behavior.

The following options are available:

-b size

Set internal buffer size (default: 512K)

-D name=val      Define macro for use in scripts


Show help


Set PATH and vmod_path to find varnish binaries in build tree

-j jobs

Run this many tests in parallel


Continue on test failure


Always leave temporary vtc.*


Leave temporary vtc.* if test fails

-n iterations

Run tests this many times

-p name=val      Pass parameters to all varnishd command lines


Quiet mode: report only failures

-t duration

Time tests out after this long


Verbose mode: always report test log


Enable the witness facility for locking

file             File to use as a script

If TMPDIR is set in the environment, varnishtest creates temporary vtc.* directories for each test in $TMPDIR, otherwise in /tmp.


The vtc syntax is documented at length in vtc(7). Should you want more examples than the one below, you can have a look at the Varnish source code repository, under bin/varnishtest/tests/, where all the regression tests for Varnish are kept.

An example:

varnishtest "#1029"

server s1 {
        expect req.url == "/bar"
        txresp -gzipbody {[bar]}

        expect req.url == "/foo"
        txresp -body {<h1>FOO<esi:include src="/bar"/>BARF</h1>}

} -start

varnish v1 -vcl+backend {
        sub vcl_backend_response {
                set beresp.do_esi = true;
                if (bereq.url == "/foo") {
                        set beresp.ttl = 0s;
                } else {
                        set beresp.ttl = 10m;
} -start

client c1 {
        txreq -url "/bar" -hdr "Accept-Encoding: gzip"
        expect resp.bodylen == 5

        txreq -url "/foo" -hdr "Accept-Encoding: gzip"
        expect resp.bodylen == 21
} -run

When run, the above script will simulate a server (s1) that expects two different requests. It will start a Varnish server (v1) and add the backend definition to the VCL specified (-vcl+backend). Finally it starts the c1-client, which is a single client sending two requests.

Testing a Build Tree

Whether you are building a VMOD or trying to use one that you freshly built, you can tell varnishtest to pass a vmod_path to varnishd instances started using the varnish -start command in your test case:

varnishtest -p vmod_path=... /path/to/*.vtc

This way you can use the same test cases on both installed and built VMODs:

server s1 {...} -start

varnish v1 -vcl+backend {
    import wossname;

} -start


You are not limited to the vmod_path and can pass any parameter, allowing you to run a build matrix without changing the test suite. You can achieve the same with macros, but then they need to be defined on each run.

You can see the actual varnishd command lines in test outputs, they look roughly like this:

exec varnishd [varnishtest -p params] [testing params] [vtc -arg params]

Parameters you define with varnishtest -p may be overriden by parameters needed by varnishtest to run properly, and they may in turn be overriden by parameters set in test scripts.

There's also a special mode in which varnishtest builds itself a PATH and a vmod_path in order to find Varnish binaries (programs and VMODs) in the build tree surrounding the varnishtest binary. This is meant for testing of Varnish under development and will disregard your vmod_path if you set one.

If you need to test your VMOD against a Varnish build tree, you must install it first, in a temp directory for instance. With information provided by the installation's pkg-config(1) you can build a proper PATH in order to access Varnish programs, and a vmod_path to access both your VMOD and the built-in VMODs:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/path/to/install/lib/pkgconfig

BINDIR="$(pkg-config --variable=bindir varnishapi)"
SBINDIR="$(pkg-config --variable=sbindir varnishapi)"

VMODDIR"$(pkg-config --variable=vmoddir varnishapi)"

varnishtest -p vmod_path="$VMOD_PATH" ...

See Also


The varnishtest program was developed by Poul-Henning Kamp <> in cooperation with Varnish Software AS.  This manual page was originally written by Stig Sandbeck Mathisen <> and updated by Kristian Lyngstøl <>.

Referenced By