hitch - Man Page

high performance TLS proxy


hitch [OPTIONS] [PEM]


Hitch is a network proxy that terminates TLS/SSL connections and forwards the unencrypted traffic to some backend. It's designed to handle 10s of thousands of connections efficiently on multicore machines.

Hitch has very few features -- it's designed to be paired with an intelligent backend like Varnish Cache. It maintains a strict 1:1 connection pattern with this backend handler so that the backend can dictate throttling behavior, maximum connection behavior, availability of service, etc.

The only required argument is a path to a PEM file that contains the certificate (or a chain of certificates) and private key. It should also contain DH parameter if you wish to use Diffie-Hellman cipher suites.

Command Line Arguments


Load configuration from specified file.  See hitch.conf(5) for details.


Specifies which SSL/TLS protocols to use.  Available tokens are SSLv3, TLSv1.0, TLSv1.1, TLSv1.2 and TLSv1.3. (Default "TLSv1.2 TLSv1.3")

-c --ciphers=SUITE

Sets allowed ciphers (Default: "EECDH+AESGCM:EDH+AESGCM:AES256+EECDH:AES256+EDH")

-e --ssl-engine=NAME

Sets OpenSSL engine (Default: "")

-O --prefer-server-ciphers[=on|off]

Prefer server list order (Default: "off")


Enable client proxy mode

-b --backend=[HOST]:PORT

Backend endpoint (default is "[]:8000") The -b argument can also take a UNIX domain socket path E.g. --backend="/path/to/sock"

-f --frontend=[HOST]:PORT[+CERT]

Frontend listen endpoint (default is "[*]:8443") (Note: brackets are mandatory in endpoint specifiers.)

-n --workers=NUM

Number of worker processes (Default: 1)

-B --backlog=NUM

Set listen backlog size (Default: 100)

-k --keepalive=SECS

TCP keepalive on client socket (Default: 3600)

-R --backend-refresh=SECS

Periodic backend IP lookup, 0 to disable (Default: 0)


Enable client-side TCP Fast Open. (Default: off)

-r --chroot=DIR

Sets chroot directory (Default: "")

-u --user=USER

Set uid/gid after binding the socket (Default: "")

-g --group=GROUP

Set gid after binding the socket (Default: "")

-q --quiet[=on|off]

Be quiet; emit only error messages (deprecated, use 'log-level')

-L --log-level=NUM

Log level. 0=silence, 1=err, 2=info/debug (Default: 1)

-l --log-filename=FILE

Send log message to a logfile instead of stderr/stdout

-s --syslog[=on|off]

Send log message to syslog in addition to stderr/stdout


Syslog facility to use (Default: "daemon")


Fork into background and become a daemon (Default: off)


Write 1 octet with the IP family followed by the IP address in 4 (IPv4) or 16 (IPv6) octets little-endian to backend before the actual data (Default: off)


Write HAProxy's PROXY v1 (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol line before actual data (Default: off)


Write HAProxy's PROXY v2 binary (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol line before actual data (Default: off)


Equivalent to --write-proxy-v2. For PROXY version 1 use --write-proxy-v1 explicitly


Proxy HAProxy's PROXY (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol before actual data (PROXYv1 and PROXYv2) (Default: off)


Abort handshake when client submits an unrecognized SNI server name (Default: off)


Sets the protocols for ALPN/NPN negotiation, provided as a list of comma-separated tokens.


Set OCSP staple cache directory This enables automated retrieval and stapling of OCSP responses (Default: "/var/lib/hitch/")

-t --test

Test configuration and exit

-p --pidfile=FILE

PID file

-V --version

Print program version and exit

-h --help

This help message


Hitch was originally called stud and was written by Jamie Turner at Bump.com.

Referenced By