a caching ocsp proxy. It accepts ocsp requests from any client, e.g. an ssl-webserver, and forwards the request to the corresponding ocsp responders or returns the ocsp response from cache. Can be used to mitigate unreliable ocsp responders that are, as required by murphy's law, always down when needed.
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a caching ocsp proxy


If your servers are configured to do ocsp stapling, the server checks whether or not it has a valid (aka: signed) ocsp response for the requested certificate and, if so, attaches that ocsp-response to its certificate on each client request.

That ocsp response can be and usually is cached by the server. Unfortunately, some server's caching mechanisms aren't meant to survive a server reboot, not even a service restart, and it happens that the server asks for a fresh ocsp response when the cached ocsp response has expired. If, in this situation, the ocsp responder is down (hi, letsencrypt), bad things happen. Worst case: the website is no longer reachable.

Now ocsp_proxy sits between the ocsp requestor and the ocsp responder, caching both the request and the response in a redis db.


ocsp_proxy is a simple perl-driven http server which accepts ocsp requests, which usually are something like:

Host: ocsp.yourcahere.example:80
Content-Type: application/ocsp-request
Content-Length: 123


and forwards them to the corresponding servers, storing the ocsp response in the database and passing it to the client. Once in a while (i.e. every 30mins) ocsp_proxy checks its cache for freshness. It re-requests the ocsp responses from the ocsp responders every day and, if we're past the validity's half time, every hour. This way we (should) always have a fresh ocsp response in our cache. Yay.


install all dependent perl modules, install redis, take a look at perldoc ./ocsp_proxy.pl and have fun. To make apache httpd use the proxy, add this to your ssl config:



ocsp responses with NONCEs are, for obvious reasons, not cached, neither are requests/responses with multiple certificates. It doesn't really matter, because all ocsp responders I've seen in the wild won't return NONCEs or multiple responses.