Frequently Asked Questions

How do you create a raw disk for the cache if all your disks have mounted file systems?

Create a large file on filesystem (with dd(1)) and mount it as loopback device. This is accomplished with losetup(8) on Linux, lofiadm(1m) on Solaris and Illumos, and mdconfig(8) on FreeBSD.

How do disk I/O errors affect the cache and what does Traffic Server do when a cache disk fails?

If a disk drive fails five successive I/O operations, then Traffic Server considers the drive inaccessible and removes the entire disk from the cache. Normal cache operations continue for all other Traffic Server disk drives.

If a client disconnects during the time that Traffic Server is downloading a large object, is any of the object saved in the cache?

When a client disconnects during an HTTP operation, Traffic Server can continue to download the object from the origin server, using the background fill feature. It will continue downloading based on the proxy.config.http.background_fill_active_timeout and proxy.config.http.background_fill_completed_threshold settings.

Can Traffic Server cache Java applets, JavaScript programs, or other application files like VBScript?

Yes, Traffic Server can store and serve Java applets, JavaScript programs, VBScripts, and other executable objects from its cache according to the freshness and cacheability rules for HTTP objects. Traffic Server does not execute the applets, scripts, or programs. These objects run entirely client-side (the system which originated the request for the objects), and do not execute on the server.

In Squid- and Netscape-format log files, what do the cache result codes mean?

This is described in detail in the Logging Cache Results documentation.

What is recorded by the cqtx field in a custom log file?

  • In forward proxy mode, the cqtx field records the complete client request in the log file (for example, GET HTTP/1.0).
  • In reverse proxy mode, the cqtx field records the hostname or IP address of the origin server because Traffic Server first remaps the request as per map rules in the remap.config file.

Does Traffic Server refresh entries in its host database after a certain period of time if they have not been used?

By default, the Traffic Server host database observes the time-to-live (ttl) values set by name servers. You can reconfigure Traffic Server to ignore the ttl set by name servers and use a specific Traffic Server setting instead. Alternatively, you can configure Traffic Server to compare the ttl value set by the name server with the ttl value set by Traffic Server, and then use either the lower or the higher value.

Refer to proxy.config.hostdb.ttl_mode for more info.

Can you improve the look of your custom response pages by using images, animated .gifs, and Java applets?

No, because Traffic Server can only respond to clients with a single text or HTML document. As a workaround, however, you can provide references on your custom response pages to images, animated .gifs, Java applets, or objects other than text which are located on a web server. Add links in the body_factory template files in the same way you would for any image in an HTML document (i.e., with the full URL in the SRC attribute).

Can Traffic Server run in forward proxy and reverse proxy modes at the same time?

Yes. When you enable reverse proxy mode, Traffic Server remaps incoming requests according to the map rules in remap.config. All other requests that do not match a map rule are served in forward proxy mode.

If you want to run in reverse proxy only mode (wherein Traffic Server does not serve requests that fail to match a map rule), then you must set the configuration variable proxy.config.url_remap.remap_required to 1 in records.config.

How do I enable forward proxy mode

Please refer to the Forward Proxy documentation.

How do I interpret the Via: header code?

The Via header string can be decoded with the Via Decoder Ring.

The Via header is an optional HTTP header added by Traffic Server and other HTTP proxies. If a request goes through multiple proxies, each one appends its Via header content to the end of the existing Via header. Via header content is for general information and diagnostic use only and should not be used as a programmatic interface to Traffic Server. The header is cached by each intermediary with the object as received from its downstream node. Thus, the last node in the list to report a cache hit is the end of the transaction for that specific request. Nodes reported earlier were from a previous transaction.

The form of the Via header is

Via: <protocol> <proxyname> (<product/version> [<via-codes>])

Value Meaning
<protocol> the scheme and version of the HTTP request
<proxyname> the configured name of the proxy server
<product/version> the Traffic Server product name and version
<via-codes> a string of alphabetic codes presenting status information about the proxy handling of the HTTP request

For example: Via: HTTP/1.0 storm (Traffic-Server/4.0.0 [cMs f ])

  • [u lH o f pS eN] cache hit
  • [u lM oS fF pS eN] cache miss
  • [uN l oS f pS eN] no-cache origin server fetch

The short status code shows the cache-lookup, server-info and cache-fill information as listed in the full status code description below. The long status code list provided in older, commercial versions of Traffic Server can be restored by setting the verbose_via_str config variable. The character strings in the via-code show [<request results>:<proxy op>] where <request results> represents status information about the results of the client request and <proxy op> represent some information about the proxy operations performed during request processing. The full via-code status format is

[u<client-info> c<cache-lookup> s<server-info> f<cache-fill> p<proxy-info> e<error-codes> : t<tunnel-info>c<cache-type><cache-lookup-result> i<icp-conn-info> p<parent-proxy> s<server-conn-info>]

u client-info

Request headers received from client. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
C cookie
E error in request
I If Modified Since (IMS)
N no-cache
S simple request (not conditional)

c cache-lookup

Result of Traffic Server cache lookup for URL. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
A in cache, not acceptable (a cache “MISS”)
H in cache, fresh (a cache “HIT”)
M miss (a cache “MISS”)
R in cache, fresh RAM hit (a cache “HIT”)
S in cache, stale (a cache “MISS”)
blank no cache lookup performed

s server-info

Response information received from origin server. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
E error in response
N not-modified
S served
blank no server connection needed

f cache-fill

Result of document write to cache. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
D cached copy deleted
U updated old cache copy
W written into cache (new copy)
blank no cache write performed

p proxy-info

Proxy operation result. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
N not-modified
R origin server revalidated
S served

e error-codes

Value is one of:

Value Meaning
A authorization failure
C connection to server failed
D dns failure
F request forbidden
H header syntax unacceptable
N no error
R cache read error
M moved temporarily
S server related error
T connection timed out

: = Separates proxy request result information from operation detail codes

t tunnel-info

Proxy-only service operation. Value is one of:

Value Meaning
A tunnel authorization
F tunneling due to a header field (such as presence of If-Range header)
M tunneling due to a method (e.g. CONNECT)
N tunneling due to no forward
O tunneling because cache is turned off
U tunneling because of url (url suggests dynamic content)
blank no tunneling

c cache-type and cache-lookup

cache result values (2 characters)

cache-type character value is one of

Value Meaning
C cache
L cluster, (not used)
P parent
S server
blank cache miss or no cache lookup

cache-lookup-result character value is one of:

Value Meaning
C cache hit, but config forces revalidate
D cache hit, but method forces revalidated (e.g. ftp, not anonymous)
H cache hit
I conditional miss (client sent conditional, fresh in cache, returned 412)
K cookie miss
M cache miss (url not in cache)
N conditional hit (client sent conditional, doc fresh in cache, returned 304)
S cache hit, but expired
U cache hit, but client forces revalidate (e.g. Pragma: no-cache)
blank no cache lookup

p parent-proxy

parent proxy connection status

Value Meaning
F connection open failed
S connection opened successfully
blank no parent proxy

s server-conn-info

origin server connection status

Value Meaning
F connection open failed
S connection opened successfully
blank no server connection

Support for HTTP Expect: Header

Traffic Server currently does not handle Expect: request headers according to the HTTP/1.1 spec.

Clients such as cURL automatically send Expect: for POST requests with large POST bodies, with a 1 second timeout if a 100 Continue response is not received. To avoid the timeout when using cURL as a client to Traffic Server, you can turn off the Expect: header:

curl -H"Expect:"

Or with the C (libcurl) library from within your own applications:

struct curl_slist *header_list=NULL;
header_list = curl_slist_append(header_list, "Expect:");
curl_easy_setopt(my_curlp, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, header_list);

Or with the PHP cURL library:

curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HTTPHEADER, array('Expect:'));

Troubleshooting Tips

The throughput statistic is inaccurate

Traffic Server updates the throughput statistic after it has transferred an entire object. For larger files, the byte count increases sharply at the end of a transfer. The complete number of bytes transferred is attributed to the last 10-second interval, although it can take several minutes to transfer the object. This inaccuracy is more noticeable with a light load. A heavier load yields a more accurate statistic.

You are unable to execute Traffic Control commands

traffic_ctl commands do not execute under the following conditions:

When the traffic_manager process is not running

Check to see if the traffic_manager process is running by entering the following command:

pgrep -l traffic_manager

If the traffic_manager process is not running, then enter the following command from the Traffic Server bin directory to start it:

When you are not executing the command from $TSHome/bin
If the Traffic Server bin directory is not in your path, then prepend the Traffic Control commands with ./ (for example, ./traffic_ctl -h).

When multiple Traffic Server installations are present and you are not executing the Traffic Control command from the active Traffic Server path specified in ``/etc/trafficserver``

You observe inconsistent behavior when one node obtains an object from another node in the cluster

As part of the initial system preparation, you must synchronize the clocks on all nodes in your cluster. Minor time differences do not cause problems, but differences of more than a few minutes can affect Traffic Server operation.

You should run a clock synchronization daemon such as xntpd. To obtain the latest version of xntpd, go to

Web browsers display an error document with a ‘data missing’ message

A message similar to the following might display in web browsers:

Data Missing

This document resulted from a POST operation and has expired from the cache. You can repost the form data to recreate the document by pressing the Reload button.

This is a Web browser issue and not a problem specific to (or caused by) Traffic Server. Because Web browsers maintain a separate local cache in memory and/or disk on the client system, messages about documents that have expired from cache refer to the browser’s local cache and not to the Traffic Server cache. There is no Traffic Server message or condition that can cause such messages to appear in a web browser.

Traffic Server does not resolve any websites

The browser indicates that it is contacting the host and then times out with the following message:

The document contains no data; Try again later, or contact the server's Administrator...

Make sure the system is configured correctly and that Traffic Server can read the name resolution file:

  • Check if the server can resolve DNS lookups by issuing the nslookup command (for example, nslookup
  • Check if the resolv.conf(5) file contains valid IP addresses for your DNS servers.
  • On some systems, if the resolv.conf(5) file is unreadable or has no name server entry, then the operating system uses localhost as a name server. Traffic Server, however, does not use this convention. If you want to use localhost as a name server, then you must add a name server entry for or in the resolv.conf(5) file.
  • Check that the Traffic Server user account has permission to read the resolv.conf(5) file. If it does not, then change the file permissions to rw-r--r-- (644).

‘Maximum document size exceeded’ message in the system log file

The following message appears in the system log file:

WARNING: Maximum document size exceeded

A requested object was larger than the maximum size allowed in the Traffic Server cache, so Traffic Server provided proxy service for the oversized object but did not cache it. To set the object size limit for the cache, modify the proxy.config.cache.max_doc_size variable in the records.config file. If you do not want to limit the size of objects in the cache, then set the document size to 0 (zero).

‘DrainIncomingChannel’ message in the system log file

The following messages may appear in the system log file:

Feb 20 23:53:40 louis traffic_manager[4414]: ERROR ==> [drainIncomingChannel] Unknown message: 'GET HTTP/1.0'
Feb 20 23:53:46 louis last message repeated 1 time
Feb 20 23:53:58 louis traffic_manager[4414]: ERROR ==> [drainIncomingChannel] Unknown message: 'GET HTTP/1.0'

These error messages indicate that a browser is sending HTTP requests to one of the Traffic Server cluster ports, either rsport (default port 8088) or mcport (default port 8089). Traffic Server discards these requests. This error does not cause any Traffic Server problems. The misconfigured browser must be reconfigured to use the correct proxy port. Traffic Server clusters should ideally be configured to use a separate network interface and cluster on a private subnet, so that client machines have no access to the cluster ports.

‘No cop file’ message in the system log file

The following message appears repeatedly in the system log file:

traffic_cop[16056]: encountered "var/trafficserver/no_cop" file...exiting

The file var/trafficserver/no_cop acts as an administrative control that instructs the traffic_cop process to exit immediately without starting traffic_manager or performing any health checks. The no_cop file prevents Traffic Server from starting automatically when it has been stopped with the option:trafficserver stop command. Without this static control, Traffic Server would restart automatically upon system reboot. The no_cop control keeps Traffic Server off until it is explicitly restarted with:

trafficserver start

Traffic Server is running but no log files are created

Traffic Server only writes event log files when there is information to record. If Traffic Server is idle, then it’s possible that no log files exist.

If Traffic Server is not idle, and you still do not see log files being generated, verify the following:

  • Make sure you’re looking in the correct directory. By default, Traffic Server creates log files in the logs directory. This can be modified by changing proxy.config.log.logfile_dir in records.config.
  • Check that the log directory has read/write permissions for the Traffic Server user account. If the log directory does not have the correct permissions, then the traffic_server process will be unable to open or create log files.
  • Check that logging is enabled by checking the value of the proxy.config.log.logging_enabled variable in records.config.
  • Check that a log format is enabled. In records.config, select the standard or custom format by editing variables in the Logging Config section.

Traffic Server shows an error indicating too many network connections

By default, Traffic Server supports 8000 network connections. Half of this number is allocated for client connections and the remaining half is for origin server connections. A connection throttle event occurs when either client or origin server connections reach 90% of half the configured total limit (3600 by default). When a connection throttle event occurs, Traffic Server continues processing all existing connections but will not accept new client connection requests until the connection count falls below the limit.

Connection throttle events can occur under the following conditions:

Connection Spike
Too many client requests (enough to exceed your configured maximum connections) all reach Traffic Server at the same time. Such events are typically transient and require no corrective action if your connection limits are already configured appropriately for your Traffic Server and origin resources.
Service Overload
Client requests are arriving at a rate faster than that which Traffic Server can service them. This may indicate network problems between Traffic Server and origin servers or that Traffic Server may require more memory, CPU, cache disks, or other resources to handle the client load.

If necessary, you can adjust the maximum number of connections supported by Traffic Server by editing in records.config.


Do not increase the connection throttle limit unless the system has adequate memory to handle the client connections required. A system with limited RAM might need a throttle limit lower than the default value. Do not set this variable below the minimum value of 100.

Low memory symptoms

Under heavy load, the Linux kernel can run out of RAM. This low memory condition can cause slow performance and a variety of other system problems. In fact, RAM exhaustion can occur even if the system has plenty of free swap space.

Symptoms of extreme memory exhaustion include the following messages in the system log files (/var/log/messages):

WARNING: errno 105 is ENOBUFS (low on kernel memory), consider a memory upgrade

kernel: eth0: can't fill rx buffer (force 0)!

kernel: recvmsg bug: copied E01BA916 seq E01BAB22

To avoid memory exhaustion, add more RAM to the system or reduce the load on Traffic Server.

Config checker

Traffic Server supports the below command to validate the config offline, in order to allow the config to be pre-checked for possible service disruptions due to synatx errors:

traffic_server -Cverify_config -D<config_dir>

<config_dir> is the location of the config files to be validated.

Connection timeouts with the origin server

By default, Traffic Server will timeout after 30 seconds when contacting origin servers. If you cannot avoid such timeouts by otherwise addressing the performance on your origin servers, you may adjust the origin connection timeout in Traffic Server by changing proxy.config.http.connect_attempts_timeout in records.config to a larger value.