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Features supported by squid proxy server
 

Features supported by squid proxy server

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Squid is a widely-used proxy cache for Linux and UNIX platforms. The chapter discusses its configuration, the settings required to get it running, how to configure the system to do transparent ...

Squid is a widely-used proxy cache for Linux and UNIX platforms. The chapter discusses its configuration, the settings required to get it running, how to configure the system to do transparent proxying, how to gather statistics about the cache's use with the help of programs like Calamaris and cachemgr, and how to filter web contents with squidGuard.

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    Features supported by squid proxy server Features supported by squid proxy server Presentation Transcript

    • Features supported byFeatures supported by squid proxysquid proxy serverserver
    • Proxy Server: Squid  Squid is a widely-used proxy cache for Linux and UNIX platforms. The chapter discusses its configuration, the settings required to get it running, how to configure the system to do transparent proxying, how to gather statistics about the cache's use with the help of programs like Calamaris and cachemgr, and how to filter web contents with squidGuard.
    • Squid as Proxy Cache  Squid acts as a proxy cache. It behaves like an agent that receives requests from clients, in this case web browsers, and passes them to the specified server. When the requested objects arrive at the agent, it stores a copy in a disk cache.  The main advantage of this becomes obvious as soon as different clients request the same objects: these are served directly from the disk cache, much faster than obtaining them from the Internet. At the same time, this results in less network traffic and thus saves bandwidth.
    • Squid covers a wide range of features, including distributing the load over intercommunicating hierarchies of proxy servers, defining strict access control lists for all clients accessing the proxy, and allowing or denying access to specific web pages. It also can also produce data about web usage patterns, for example, statistics about the most-visited web sites.
    •  Squid is not a generic proxy. It proxies normally only HTTP connections. It does also support the protocols FTP, Gopher, SSL, and WAIS, but it does not support other Internet protocols, such as Real Audio, news, or video conferencing. Because Squid only supports the UDP protocol to provide communication between different caches, many other multimedia programs are not supported.
    • Getting Squid  Squid is available in several forms from Squid's official website, various Squid mirrors worldwide, and software repositories of almost all the popular operating systems. Squid is also shipped with many Linux/Unix distributions.
    •  There are various versions and releases of Squid available for download from Squid's official website. To get the most out of a Squid installation its best to check out the latest source code from a Version Control System (VCS) so that we get the latest features and fixes. But be warned, the latest source code from a VCS is generally leading edge and may not be stable or may not even work properly. Though code from a VCS is good for learning or testing Squid's new features, you are strongly advised not to use code from a VCS for production deployments.
    • Time for action – identifying the right version  A list of available versions of Squid is maintained at http://www.squid- cache.org/Versions/. For production environments, we should use versions listed under the Stable Versions section only. If we want to test new Squid features in our environment or if we intend to provide feedback to the Squid community about the new version, then we should be using one of the Beta Versions.
    • As we can see in the preceding screenshot, the website contains the First Production Release Date and Latest Release Date for the stable versions. If we click on any of the versions, we are directed to a page containing a list of all the releases in that particular version
    • For every release, along with a release date, there are links for downloading compressed source archives. Different versions of Squid may have different features. For example, all the features available in Squid version 2.7 may or may not be available in newer versions such as Squid 3.x. Some features may have been deprecated or have become redundant over time and they are generally removed. On the other hand, Squid 3.x may have several new features or existing features in an improved and revised manner. Therefore, we should always aim for the latest version, but depending on the environment, we may go for stable or beta version. Also, if we need specific features that are not available in the latest version, we may choose from the available releases in a different branch.
    • Methods of obtaining Squid  After identifying the version of Squid that we should be using for compiling and installation, let's have a look at the ways in which we can obtain Squid release 3.1.10.  Using source archives  Compressed source archives are the most popular way of getting Squid. To download the source archive, please visit Squid download page, http://www.squid- cache.org/Download/. This web page has links for downloading the different versions and releases of Squid, either from the official website or available mirrors worldwide. We can use either HTTP or FTP for getting the Squid source archive.
    • Time for action – downloading Squid  Let's go to the web page http://www.squid- cache.org/Versions/.  Now we need to click on the link to Version 3.1, as shown in the following screenshot:
    •  We'll be taken to a page displaying the various releases in version 3.1. The link with the display text tar.gz in the Download column is a link to the compressed source archive for Squid release 3.1.10, as shown in the following screenshot:
    •  To download Squid 3.1.10 using the web browser, just click on the link.  Alternatively, we can use wget to download the source archive from the command line as follows: wget http://www.squid-cache.org/Versions/v3/3.1/squid-3.1.10.tar.gz
    • Installing Squid  Squid can be installed using the source code we obtained in the previous section, using a package manager which, in turn, uses the binary package available for our operating system. Let's have a detailed look at the ways in which we can install Squid.
    • Installing Squid from source code  Installing Squid from source code is a three step process:  Select the features and operating system- specific settings.  Compile the source code to generate the executables.  Place the generated executables and other required files in their designated locations for Squid to function properly.
    • Compiling Squid  Compiling Squid is a process of compiling several files containing C/C++ source code and generating executables. Compiling Squid is really easy and can be done in a few steps. For compiling Squid, we need an ANSI C/C++ compliant compiler. If we already have a GNU C/C++ Compiler (GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) and g++, which are available on almost every Linux/Unix-based operating system by default), we are ready to begin the actual compilation.
    • Why compile?  Compiling Squid is a bit of a painful task compared to installing Squid from the binary package. However, we recommend compiling Squid from the source instead of using pre-compiled binaries. Let's walk through a few advantages of compiling Squid from the source:
    •  While compiling we can enable extra features, which may not be enabled in the pre-compiled binary package.  When compiling, we can also disable extra features that are not needed for a particular environment. For example, we may not need Authentication helpers or ICMP support.  configure probes the system for several features and enables or disables them accordingly, while pre-compiled binary packages will have the features detected for the system the source was compiled on.  Using configure, we can specify an alternate location for installing Squid. We can even install Squid without root or super user privileges, which may not be possible with pre-compiled binary package.
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