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When you have a varnish server infront of your Apache server, you will be reverse proxying the requests. This will mark your varnish’s servers ip as the client in apache logs. To let apache know the real client’s ip we can user mod_rpaf module needs to be loaded. Use the following steps to install mod_rpaf module on your apache server.

tar xvfz mod_rpaf-0.6.tar.gz
cd mod_rpaf-0.6
sed -ie ‘s/apxs2/apxs/’ Makefile
make rpaf-2.0
make install-2.0

Once the installation is done, we need to add the following configuration apache configuration file to enable the module.

LoadModule rpaf_module modules/

RPAFenable On
RPAFsethostname On
RPAFheader X-Forwarded-For

RPAFproxy_ips can be multiple IP address and it’s IP from your reverse proxy.


Replace with your varnish servers ips.

Add the following LogFormat to apache configuration file (httpd.conf)

LogFormat “%{X-Forwarded-For}i %l %u %t \”%r\” %>s %b \”%{Referer}i\” \”%{User-Agent}i\”” varnishcombined

In the VirtualHost entry of your domain use varnishcombined as logformat for access logs.

In varnish (3.0.x) default.vlc file under vlc_recv{} add following lines:

if (req.restarts == 0) {
if (req.http.X-Forwarded-For) {
set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = req.http.X-Forwarded-For + “, ” + client.ip;
} else {
set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = client.ip;

restart apache and httpd to finish with.

You should now start seeing the actual client’s ip in apache logs as well.

Source: varnish, stackoverflow, etc