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🔗 Caching YouTube Content

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This page is ongoing development. Not least because it must keep up with youtube.com alterations. If you start to experience problems with any of these configs please first check back here for updated config.

:x: :x: :x: Google/YouTube changed their system to be more secure and due to this the article in it’s current state is not applicable. You will need to use Content Adaptation to achive YT caching and it’s not a beginner’s task.

🔗 Outline

The default configuration of squid older than 3.1 prevents the caching of dynamic content and youtube.com specifically implement several ‘features’ that prevent their flash videos being effectively distributed by caches.

This page details the publicly available tactics used to overcome at least some of this and allow caching of a lot of youtube.com content. Be advised this demonstrated configuration has a mixed success rate, it works for some but others have reported it strangely not working at all.

Each configuration action is detailed with its reason and effect so if you find one that is wrong or missing please let us know.

🔗 Partial Solution 1: Local Web Server

:information_source: A more polished, mature and expensive! version of this is available commercially as VideoCache.

*by JoshuaOSullivan*

With some luck and dodgy coding, I have managed to get youtube caching working.

My method requires a mostly normal squid setup, with a URL rewriter script which rewrites any requests destined for youtube to relay through a special caching web server script ie, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avaSdC0QOUM becomes

This script checks the URL, uses readfile() to pass them all through except those which correspond to the flvs we want to hold on to. When these .flv URLs are encountered, they are fopen()’ed to find the size of the video, and the URL is parsed to find the id of the video. These seem to be constant for the same video of the same resolution. A file name is generated of the form “id-size”. This is the file naming format I have used, it allows differentiating between videos of the same source, but different resolution, as well as ensuring videos in the cache are not corrupted (correct size -> things are probably good)

Once this filename is generated, a cache folder is searched, and if found, delivered to the user. The connection to youtube is then closed without any more data (except the headers containing file info) being downloaded. In the event the filename is not found in the folder, the video is downloaded in blocks (fread() in a while loops), and delivered to the user while simultaneously being saved to a file.

Pros of this solution:


My explanation is likely lacking, email osullijosh <at> ecs.vuw.ac.nz for any questions.

🔗 squid.conf configuration

# determine which URLs are going to be caught
acl youtube dstdomain .youtube.com

# pass requests
url_rewrite_program /etc/squid/phpredir.php
url_rewrite_access allow youtube

# leave caching up to the local web server
cache deny youtube

:information_source: /usr/bin/php may not be the correct path or name for PHP on your system. Be sure to check and update this following example as needed.

:x: also take care to remove the space between # !. It is there to avoid a wiki bug.


    # !/usr/bin/php

    while ( $input = fgets(STDIN) ) {
      // Split the output (space delimited) from squid into an array.
      $input=explode(" ",$input);
            $input= implode(" ",$input);
            echo "$input"; //URL of my web server
            echo ""; // empty line means no re-write by Squid.




            //attempt to get. a 404 shouldn't happen, but...
                    header("Status: 404 Not Found");

            //find content type and length
            foreach($http_response_header as $line){
                    else if(substr_compare($line,'Content-Length',0,14,true)==0){

            /**Youtube will detect if requests are coming form the wrong ip (ie, if only video requests are redirected, so, we must redirect all requests to youtube.
            As such, we must capture all requests t youtube. Most are unimportant, so we can pass them straight through **/

            //send content type and length

            //find youtube id;
            foreach($url_exploded as $line){
            //Get the supposed file size
            file_put_contents($logfile,"\nFound id=$id, content-type: $content_type content-length=$content_length\n",FILE_APPEND);

            //Do we have it? delivar if we do
    //Check if we have the file, and it is the correct size. incorrect size implies corruption
            if(file_exists($fname) &&filesize($fname)==$length){

            //file not in cache? Get it, send it & save it
            //no validity check, simply don't write the file if we can't open it. prevents noticeable failure/

                    echo $line;
                    if($fileptr) fwrite($fileptr,$line);
            if($fileptr) fclose($fileptr);

            function logdata($type,$what, $fname){
                    $line="@ ".time()."Cache $type url: $what file: $fname client:".$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR']."\n";

🔗 Partial Solution 2: Squid Storage De-duplication

Some private modifications of squid have apparently achieved youtube.com caching. However, there is presently no simple solution available to the general public.

To cache youtube.com files you will need to enable caching of dynamic content. Along with some other measures which technically break the HTTP standards.

***SECURITY NOTE:*** Some of the required configuration (quick_abort_min + large maximum_object_size) requires collapsed-forwarding feature to protect from high bandwidth consumption and possible cache DDoS attacks. Squid-3 do not have that feature at this time. Squid-2.7 is recommended for use with these settings.

If you require Squid-3 for features this functionality can be achieved by configuring a Squid-2.7 proxy as a cache_peer dedicated to caching and serving the media content.

🔗 Missing Pieces

This configuration is still not complete, youtube.com performs some behavior which squid as yet cannot handle by itself. Thus the private ports are variations, rather than configurations.

The combined solution to both of these is to add a feature to squid for detecting identical content and differing URL. Possibly limited by ACL to a certain site range, etc. Anyone able to donate time and/or money for this would be greatly loved by many.

UPDATE: see the storeurl_rewrite_program feature in Squid-2.7

🔗 Squid Configuration File

# REMOVE these lines from squid.conf

acl QUERY urlpath_regex cgi-bin \?
cache deny QUERY

# Break HTTP standard for flash videos. Keep them in cache even if asked not to.
refresh_pattern -i \.flv$ 10080 90% 999999 ignore-no-cache override-expire ignore-private

# Apparently youtube.com use 'Range' requests
# - not seen, but presumably when a video is stopped for a long while then resumed, (or fast-forwarded).
# - convert range requests into a full-file request, so squid can cache it
# NP: BUT slows down their _first_ load time.
quick_abort_min -1 KB

# Also videos are LARGE; make sure you aren't killing them as 'too big to save'
# - squid defaults to 4MB, which is too small for videos and even some sound files
maximum_object_size 4 GB

# Let the clients favorite video site through with full caching
# - they can come from any of a number of youtube.com subdomains.
# - this is NOT ideal, the 'merging' of identical content is really needed here
acl youtube dstdomain .youtube.com
cache allow youtube

# kept to demonstrate that the refresh_patterns involved above go before this.
# You may be missing the CGI pattern, it will need to be added if so.
refresh_pattern -i (/cgi-bin/|\?)   0   0%      0
refresh_pattern .                   0   0%   4320

🔗 See also

⚠️ Disclaimer: Any example presented here is provided "as-is" with no support
or guarantee of suitability. If you have any further questions about
these examples please email the squid-users mailing list.

Categories: ConfigExample

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