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.


All TLS versions, no SSLv3 (deprecated). See config file setting tls-protos.


enable SSLv3 (deprecated). See config file setting tls-protos.


Sets allowed ciphers (Default: "")


Sets OpenSSL engine (Default: "")


Prefer server list order


Enable client proxy mode


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


--frontend=[HOST]:PORT[+CERT]     Frontend [bind] (default is "[*]:8443") (Note: brackets are mandatory in endpoint specifiers.)


Number of worker processes (Default: 1)


Set listen backlog size (Default: 100)


TCP keepalive on client socket (Default: 3600)


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


Sets chroot directory (Default: "")


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


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


Be quiet; emit only error messages (deprecated in favor of log-level)


Log level. 0=silence, 1=err, 2=info/debug


Send log message to a logfile instead of stderr/stdout


Send log message to syslog in addition to stderr/stdout


Syslog facility to use (Default: "daemon")


Fork into background and become a daemon; this also sets the --quiet option (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 line before actual data (PROXY v1 only) (Default: off)


Sets the protocols for ALPN/NPN negotiation, given by a comma separated list. If this is not set explicitly, ALPN/NPN will not be used. Requires OpenSSL 1.0.1 for NPN and OpenSSL 1.0.2 for ALPN.


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


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


Test configuration and exit


PID file


Print program version and exit


This help message


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

Referenced By