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RProxy is a reverse proxy server written with performance and scale in mind.


Building and installing

Building with all dependencies compiled and statically linked

  1. cd build
  3. make

Build using system-wide dependencies

  1. cd build
  2. cmake ..
  3. make


DownstreamThe HTTP server or servers which sit behind RProxy
UpstreamThe HTTP client which makes request directly to the RProxy server
RewriteA URI which is translated from a client URI and transformed into another URI sent to ta Downstream
HTTP PipeliningA technique in which multiple requests can be sent to a single HTTP server connection.


  • HTTP pipelining to reduce connection overhead to a downstream (this reduces latency of a full handshake per-request to a downstream)
  • Easily take downstream servers out of rotation.
  • Various methods of load-balancing client-requests to a downstream.
  • Full SSL support: including TLS false start, x509 verification, certificate caching, session caching, and all commonly used SSL configuration options.
  • Transparent URI rewriting.
  • Various X-Header configurations including options for added extended TLS fields.
  • Upstream and downstream thresholding (to reduce memory for slow/blocking downstream connections)
  • Per-downstream backlog, and backlog timeout management.
  • Flexible logging configuration.
  • Optional memory optimizations on systems which support mallopt()
  • Very low memory usage with optimal configuration.
  • It's really @#$@#$r* fast.


RProxy global configuration options may be defined outside of other sub-directives:

    daemonize  = true
    user       = nobody
    group      = nobody
    memtrim-sz = 0
    max-nofile = 10000
  • daemonize if set to true, the server will run in the background. (default: false)
  • user user the server will run as
  • group group the server will run as
  • memtrim-sz if your system supports mallopt, sets minimum size (in bytes) of the top-most, releasable chunk that will cause sbrk to be called with a negative argument in order to return memory to the system.
  • max-nofile if your system supports set/getrlimits, this sets the maximum number of file-descriptors which can be open. It is suggested this be set to a very high number. (default: 100000). ** To adjust global limits, on OSX sudo launchctl limit maxfiles 590000 590000, on Linux: add * hard nofile 590000 to your /etc/security/limits.conf

RProxy server configuration contains one or more "server" directives. Each of these directives define how a single front-end proxy should behave. A basic server configuration contains the following types of information:

  • What address and port to bind to.
  • How many listener threads to spawn.
  • Optional SSL configuration directives.
  • Optional request logging configuration directives.
  • One or more URI rewrite configuration directives.
  • One or more Downstream configuration directives.
    server {
        addr    = ""
        port    = 443
        backlog = 1024
        threads = 4

        read-timeout    = 60
        write-timeout   = 32
        pending-timeout = 10
        max-pending     = 50
        lb-method       = rtt

        logging {
            # See Logging Configuration

        headers {
            # See Header Configuration

        ssl {
            # See SSL Configuration

        rewrite {
            # See URI Rewrite Configuration

        downstream {
            # See Downstream Configuration

        downstream {
            # See Downstream Configuration
  • addr is the IP address to bind
  • port is the TCP port to bind
  • backlog is the backlog passed to listen()
  • threads the number of request worker threads to spawn
  • read-timeout seconds to wait for an Upstream connection to make a request.
  • write-timeout seconds to wait for a blocking write to an Upstream connection.
  • pending-timeout seconds to wait for a downstream connection to be available for a connection before a 503 is returned.
  • max-pending the number of concurrent requests in a pending state.
  • lb-method the method which is used for load-balancing. The following methods are available
    • rtt (default) based on prior requests, chooses a downstream connection from all configured downstreams with the lowest Round Trip Time.
    • roundrobin will send each request to a different configured downstream.
    • most-idle chooses the downstream with the most idle connections.
    • none simply chooses the first available connection it can find (no calculation of sorts).

Downstream Configuration.

One or more downstreams can be configured. Each downstream is directly tied to the parent server, this allows for a user to balance upstream client requests over multiple downstream servers.

Inside each downstream directive contains the following types of information:

  • The IP address of the downstream server.
  • The TCP Port of the downstream server.
  • The number of connections to always maintain to support HTTP pipelining.
  • Retry configuration which is used to reconnect to a downstream the proxy considers to be unavailable.
  • Timeouts and Thresholding.
    downstream {
        addr           =
        port           = 80
        connections    = 10
        high-watermark = 5242880
        read-timeout   = 0
        write-timeout  = 2

        retry {
            # See Downstream Retry Configuration
  • addr is the IP address of the Downstream.
  • port is the TCP port of the Downstream.
  • connections the number of connections to always keep established to the downstream.
  • high-watermark if a downstream's write-buffer goes over this number, the upstream processing is paused until all data has been writen to the downstream. This helps with slow xfer to a downstream so that memory usage does not blow up. As soon as all data has been written, the upstream is resumed.
  • read-timeout seconds to wait for reading data from a downstream when an upstream request is made.
  • write-timeout seconds to wait for data to be written to a downstream when an upstream request is made.

In the above configuration, a single server instance will connect to "" on port 80, with a max of 10 persistent connections.

Downstream Retry Configuration

When a downstream has been marked as down (thus having been closed), this configuration is used to determine when the proxy should attempt to re-establish the connection. If the pending data-to-write-buffer goes over 5242880 bytes (5MB), rproxy will stop reading data from the upstream until all data has been written to the downstream. Finally, if it takes more than 2 seconds to write any data to the downstream, the connection to both the downstream will be terminated, while the upstream is returned a 503 response.

    retry {
        seconds  = 0
        useconds = 5000

In the above configuration, when the downstream connection is down the proxy will attempt to reconnect every 0.5000 seconds.

Server SSL configuration

Each front-facing server configuration can be SSL enabled, which allows SSL operations to be offloaded at the proxy.

    ssl {
        enabled = true
        cert    = server.crt
        key     = server.key
        ca          = /path/to/cafile
        capath  = /path/to/cadir
        ciphers = "RC4+RSA:HIGH:+MEDIUM:+LOW"

        protocols-on  = { TLS1 }
        protocols-off = { SSLv2, SSLv3 }

        verify-peer       = true
        enforce-peer-cert = true
        verify-depth      = 4
        context-timeout   = 172800

        cache-enabled = true
        cache-size    = 1024
        cache-timeout = 60
  • enabled if set to true, SSL is enabled, otherwise SSL is disabled.
  • cert the servers SSL cert
  • key the servers private SSL key
  • ca a specific CA file
  • capath relative path to search for valid CA's
  • ciphers accepted ciphers
  • protocols-(on|off) the SSL options for enabling or disabling SSL specific protocols. Options: SSLv2, SSLv3, TLSv1, or ALL
  • verify-peer enables peer verification
  • enforce-peer-cert if true, a client is rejected if it does not supply a client certificate.
  • cache-enabled turn on SSL cache
  • cache-size maximum size of the SSL cache
  • cache-timeout time in seconds to expire entires in the SSL cache
  • context-timeout set timeout for (OpenSSL >= 1.0) session timeouts.

Downstream Rewrite Configuration

One or more URI rewrite configurations must be defined in order to establish a mapping between upstream requests to a downstream request.

    rewrite {
        src = "^(/dir/).*"
        dst = "/derp/"

The src directive is a regular expression (with at least one match) that would be rewritten to the downstream dst. Here is an example of what happens using the above configuration.

When an upstream client makes this request to the proxy:

GET /dir/something/file.html HTTP/1.1

The proxy will rewrite the request to the downstream connection as:

GET /derp/something/file.html HTTP/1.1

Server Logging Configuration

Each server can be configured with different log types and formats. A format is a special string which represents a piece of data in a request. These special strings are encapsulated inside {}. All other non-defined characters will be treated as text to be included within the log.

There are currently two log types, each with their own specific options.

  • file informs rproxy to log to the file filename
  • syslog informs rproxy to log using syslog to using the facility
    logging {
        enabled  = true
        format   = "{SRC} {PROXY} [{TS}] \"{METH} {URI} {PROTO}\" - {STATUS} - \"{REF}\" - \"{UA}\" - \"{HOST}\" {US_HDR}:'Accept-Encoding' - {DS_HDR}:'Content-Type'"
        type     = file
        filename = /var/log/access.log
        # facility = local0
Format StringDefinition
{SRC}The clients IP address.
{PROXY}Downstream IP:PORT which was used to service the request.
{TS}Timestamp for when the request was serviced.
{UA}Clients User-Agent.
{METH}HTTP method
{URI}Full URI the client requested.
{PROTO}HTTP protocol
{STATUS}HTTP response status code
{REF}Clients Referrer
{HOST}The value of the Host header from the client
{DS_SPORT}The source port of the downstream connection
{US_SPORT}The source port of the upstream connection
{US_HDR}:'header-name'Display the value of the specified request header. Note the header-name must be encapsulated between single quotes.
{DS_HDR}:'header-name'Display the value of the specified response header. Note the header-name must be encapsulated between single quotes.
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