Regex Revalidate Plugin

This plugin allows for the creation of rules which match regular expressions against mapped URLs to determine if and when a cache object revalidation should be forced.


This plugin’s intended use is the selective forcing of revalidations on cache objects which are not yet marked as stale in Traffic Server but which may have been updated at the origin - without needing to alter cache control headers, preemptively purge the object from the cache manually, or adjust the global cache revalidation settings (such as fuzz times) used by other plugins.

Forced cache revalidations may be as specifically or loosely targeted as a regular expression against your origin URLs permits. Thus, individual cache objects may have rules created for them, or entire path prefixes, or even any cache objects with a particular file extension.

Revalidate count stats for MISS and STALE are recorded under plugins


To make this plugin available, you must enable experimental plugins when building Traffic Server:

./configure --enable-experimental-plugins


This plugin is enabled via the plugin.config configuration file, with two required arguments: the path to a rules file, and the path to a log file: -c <path to rules> -l <path to log>

The rule configuration file format is described below in Revalidation Rules.

By default The plugin regularly (every 60 seconds) checks its rules configuration file for changes and it will also check for changes when traffic_ctl config reload is run. If the file has been modified since its last scan, the contents are read and the in-memory rules list is updated. Thus, new rules may be added and existing ones modified without requiring a service restart.

The configuration parameter –disable-timed-updates or -d may be used to configure the plugin to disable timed config file change checks. With timed checks disabled, config file changes are checked are only when traffic_ctl config reload is run.: -d -c <path to rules> -l <path to log>

The configuration parameter –state-file or -f may be used to configure the plugin to maintain a state file with the last loaded configuration. Normally when ATS restarts the epoch times of all rules are reset to the first config file load time which will cause all matching assets to issue new IMS requests to their parents for matching rules.

This option allows the revalidate rule “epoch” times to be retained between ATS restarts. This state file by default is placed in var/trafficserver/<filename> but an absolute path may be specified as well. Syntax is as follows: -d -c <path to rules> -f <path to state file>

Revalidation Rules

Inside your revalidation rules configuration, each rule line is defined as a regular expression followed by an integer which expresses the epoch time at which the rule will expire:

<regular expression> <rule expiry, as seconds since epoch> [type MISS or default STALE]

Blank lines and lines beginning with a # character are ignored.

Matching Expression

PCRE style regular expressions are supported and should be used to match against the complete remapped URL of cache objects (not the original client-side URL), including protocol scheme and origin server domain.

Rule Expiration

Every rule must have an expiration associated with it. The rule expiration is expressed as an integer of seconds since epoch (equivalent to the return value of time(2)), after which the forced revalidation will no longer occur.


By default any matching asset will have its cache lookup status changed from HIT_FRESH to HIT_STALE. By adding an extra keyword MISS at the end of a line the asset will be marked MISS instead, forcing a refetch from the parent. Use with care as this will increase bandwidth to the parent. During configuration reload, any rule which changes it type will be reloaded and treated as a new rule.


Matches Only Post-Remapping

The regular expressions in revalidation rules see only the final, remapped URL in a transaction. As such, they cannot be used to distinguish between two client-facing URLs which are mapped to the same origin object. This is due to the fact that the plugin uses TS_HTTP_CACHE_LOOKUP_COMPLETE_HOOK.

Removing Rules

While new rules are added dynamically (the configuration file is checked every 60 seconds for changes), rule lines removed from the configuration file do not currently lead to that rule being removed from the running plugin. In these cases, if the rule must be taken out of service, a service restart may be necessary.

State File

The state file is not meant to be edited but is of the format:

<regular expression> <rule epoch> <rule expiry> <type>


The following rule would cause the cache object whose origin server is origin.tld and whose path is /images/foo.jpg to be revalidated by force in Traffic Server until 6:47:27 AM on Saturday, November 14th, 2015 (UTC):

http://origin\.tld/images/foo\.jpg 1447483647

Note the escaping of the . metacharacter in the rule’s regular expression.

Alternatively the following rule would case a refetch from the parent:

http://origin\.tld/images/foo\.jpg 1447483647 MISS