Tag Archives: github

Display and filter traffic at the varnish level: vlogdump

Haven’t written much in the last few months. The reason is that I’ve been at work building the Opera Discover service backend, that we launched on Opera mobile for Android just a few days ago.

A few weeks before, during the first stress test sessions of Discover, I wrote this little tool called vlogdump that Opera allowed me to put up on github. The main purpose, besides learning awk :-) is to display and filter traffic coming into your varnish daemon..

vlogdump is not meant to replace varnishlog but I know that sometimes varnishlog gives me too much output to deal with, especially if I want to pinpoint a single client or a single request. I know that the varnishlog that ships with varnish 3.0.x is way better in this regard, but we’re using 2.1.x, and that version of varnishlog is not as capable.

vlogdump is easier to look at than varnishlog, but at the same time it conveys much more information than varnishncsa or the typical access.log format.

Here’s an example of output:

$ varnishlog | vlogdump -v only_misses=1 => GET /assets/e85ed0a7b1b87120a0a2bfa025531c6733a48802 HTTP/1.0 MISS
            <= 200 OK 28.432 ms => GET /assets/5a9e9440c5c85e8dc5d65e03e15c95e390901fa7 HTTP/1.0 MISS
            <= 200 OK 36.905 ms => GET /icons/categories/te/icon32x32-technology.png HTTP/1.0 MISS
            <= 304 Not Modified 0.589 ms => GET /api/fetch/article-preview/?client=2&language=en-GB HTTP/1.1 MISS
            <= 301 MOVED PERMANENTLY 8.381 ms => GET /assets/c3830e95b717761005e26ce49ebab253e0ccb40b HTTP/1.0 MISS
            <= 200 OK 291.354 ms => GET /api/category?client=2&language=en-GB HTTP/1.1 MISS
            <= 200 OK 58.025 ms   ...

Another interesting example.

Show request and response headers of transactions that resulted in cache hits and had request headers (any of them) matching "Android":

$ varnishlog | vlogdump -v show_req_headers=1 -v show_resp_headers=1 -v req_headers_match=Android -v only_hits=1 => GET /api/category/?... HTTP/1.1 HIT
            <= 200 OK         0.088 ms
   req.http.Accept = application/json;version=1
   req.http.Accept-Encoding = gzip
   req.http.Host = ...opera.com
   req.http.Connection = Keep-Alive
   req.http.User-Agent = Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; Android 4.1.2; GT-N7100 Build/JZO54K) AppleWebKit/537.31 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/26.0.1410.58 Mobile Safari/537.31 OPR/14.0.1074.57768
   beresp.http.Server = Apache
   beresp.http.Content-Encoding = gzip
   beresp.http.Content-Type = application/json
   beresp.http.Vary = Accept-Encoding, Origin
   beresp.http.Content-Length = 4217
   beresp.http.Date = Sat, 25 May 2013 07:59:53 GMT
   beresp.http.X-Varnish = 1611090407 1611007435
   beresp.http.Age = 267
   beresp.http.Via = 1.1 varnish
   beresp.http.Connection = keep-alive

Now that you're eager to try it :-), you can do so in a few commands, and assuming you have the right awk installed:

wget -q -Ovlogdump https://raw.github.com/cosimo/vlogdump/master/vlogdump
varnishlog | ./vlogdump [options]

The documentation lists all the available options.

You can do more interesting things:

  • display request or response headers for each transaction
    (-v show_req_headers=1, -v show_resp_headers=1)
  • show only requests slower than 200ms (vlogdump -v only_slow=200)
  • show only cache misses or hits (-v only_hits=1 or only_misses=1)
  • show only transactions where the URL matches regexp X
    (-v url_match='X' or -v url_match='!X' for negative match)
  • show only transactions where the HTTP status code was X
    (-v only_status=X)
  • show only transactions where the request or response headers match a given regular expression (-v req_headers_match=Blah, -v resp_headers_match=Error)

You can also combine most of these options together. That is very useful when you are interested in a small fraction of the traffic, but you want to see the whole in-flight transactions.

One recommendation though. It is my first (last?) significant awk script :-) I know it works well, and I'm using it, but due to the way it works, I wouldn't leave it running for long periods of time, as it will slowly eat your memory keeping track of all transactions and clients.

If you have feedback or questions, feel free to comment on github or send me an email.

Report from the Varnish Users Group (VUG5) meeting in Paris – Day 1

Last week I attended the VUG5 meeting (https://www.varnish-cache.org/vug5). The following is my report of the conference Day 1, the "Users" day.


I learned a lot on (for me) gray areas of Varnish like 3.0, VMODs, ESI and various corner cases. My presentation on how we use Varnish at Opera sparked a lot of interest especially in our thumbnail service.

Day 1, VUG5 users day

Day 1 was held at La Défense, a mega business district just outside of Paris. All day was filled with presentations by Varnish Software people and a few other companies. On with the list, and my notes on the side.

Keynote: Varnish in 2020 by Poul Henning Kamp, Varnish Software

Poul runs thttpd, he's not a varnish user, so welcomes feeback from all users. That's why of the VUGs.

Varnish today is "The HTTP delivery engine". And in 2020? Hard to predict. PHK usually predicts things really badly. What we _can_ see is:

  • HTTP/2.0 Last call status just a few weeks ago
  • Google's SPDY support in Varnish? Most likely. Depends on future development and what/how many clients pick it up
  • HTTP over UDP? Lots of interest in this lately

Most likely future work on varnish:

  • Clearer split of transport and semantics
    (could speak HTTP no matter whether over UDP, TCP or SPDY)
  • Generic pluggable protocols (SPDY, f.ex.)
  • Decouple client protocol and backend protocol. Talk SPDY to client, talk HTTP to backend.

SSL in Varnish? Unlikely, just use Pound or nginx or whatever. Pound is simple and robust.

Varnish Book by Kristian Lyngstøl, Varnish Software

Expanding and improving on the existing training course material, Kristian and some contributors created a "Varnish Book", to help people starting up with Varnish. It will be is freely available at https://www.varnish-software.com/static/book/. Now there's only a cute bunny though.

Varnish + Escenic by Richard Zuidhof, Escenic?

Richard explained how he used Varnish to migrate away from the Apache/Squid/Apache sandwich and made it better/faster and his company saved a lot of money in the process.

Interesting points:

50x errors received from the backends are served doing a restart in vcl_fetch() but hitting a "dummy" backend, a sort of static version of a real backend. Something like:

  sub vcl_recv {
     if (req.restarts > 0) {
         set req.backend = dummy;
  sub vcl_fetch {
     if (beresp.status == 500) {
        return (restart); # Or whatever this is

Also talked about various timeouts, like:

    .first_byte_timeout = 1s;
    .between_bytes_timeout = 1s;

and how he needed to reset them back to 120s/180s for some of their pages to work.

He said: a timeout event from backend should cause Varnish to fall back to stale content. Not the case currently.
Varnish will abort the fetch operation. So pay attention.

Mobile device detection by Lasse Karsten, Varnish Software

Talked about various libraries and ways to detect mobile devices, including:

  • libvarnish-deviceatlas
  • … others I didn't write down in time

Basically it was a way to survey how many people
use this technology and say that Varnish Software has a
commercial solution but they are going to open source
it Soon(tm), or something along these lines.

I was a bit distracted because I was having problems with the laptop and my presentation
was coming up, so… I plan to go back to this presentation once the slides are up.

ESI and Varnish by Federico Schwindt, RBS

Summary of how RBS is using ESI for an internal website used by RBS employees.

Basically the service is composed of various "boxes", small windows in the page with some information that depends on location, department or other things, and they use Varnish to cache those small boxes and ESI to compose the final page.


  • They can't find a way to also keep the fully composed page as a cache object.
  • Invalidation logic is complex because of inter-dependent content between different boxes.

Interesting: they use a HTTP header sent by the backend to instruct Varnish on when to do ESI processing, so ESI is not a on/off as a whole, but it can be triggered on specific pages. This is very cool because it could also solve the development/production setup problem I had always feared when using ESI. With that I mean the complication of using development environments with ESI, where every dev installation needs a ESI-aware varnish.

Varnish at Opera by me

I talked about how we use Varnish in our projects. I mentioned a few Varnish extensions I worked on, including varnish-accept-language and varnish-geoip, plus other tools like http-cuke.

There were plenty of real world examples of VCL configuration we use in the various projects. I also talked about the varnish puppet module we wrote, that comes with a bunch of interesting customizations and fixes, included in the puppet-modules repository on Github.

If you're interested, slides are published here:


I got lots of feedback and questions about our picture thumbnail service, so I'll probably write more about it soon.

Security with VCL by Kacper Wysocki, Redpill Linpro

Easily one of the best talks of the day. Kacper explained his security.vcl project. Here's a few highlights, but it's really interesting, I hope slides will be up soon.

  • Wrote modsec rules parser and converter to VCL
  • Eduardo Scarpellini, Master thesis, OWASP, worked on a varnish-firewall project, similar in scope, and did a in-depth research, finding that out of the OWASP top broken apps, he could automatically block 73% of XSS and SQL injections.
  • security.vcl is now used in ~10 sites with lots of traffic
  • Drawback compared to mod-security is that no POST data can be analyzed (yet)
  • In the future, we will see a merge of security.vcl and varnish-firewall projects.

Varnish modules by Kristian Lyngstøl, Varnish Software

I don't remember much, but I think Kristian basically tried to get more people to use VMODs, and said there's now a nice page where a list of known VMODs is kept:


and you can register your own VMODs and have them listed.

Stay tuned for the "Day 2, Developers day" part.

Perl client for Etsy statsd, improved and released v0.02 on CPAN

Sometimes bugs reported on the CPAN issue tracker are the perfect excuse to improve your code. In this case, my client module for Etsy statsd service, Net::Statsd, got an update because of this ticket, RT#74172.

As with all my recent CPAN module, when a new bug is filed against it, I try to create a specific test case. Sometimes it's quite hard to do, but this time wasn't, even though I had to refactor the existing code. This allowed me to improve the testability of the code in the process, so thanks to the reporter of that ticket :)

I still haven't managed to test my own code with the statsd service, and hook it up to Graphite. Soon :-)

As usual, code is up on Github:


And on CPAN too:

Have fun!

Kicking Jenkins with monit

We've been using Jenkins to build and test all our projects for a good part of this year now. I think Jenkins is one of the very few Java projects I've seen and worked with that actually works and it's a real pleasure to use. Except every now and then it seems to crash without reason..

I haven't had time to dig into this problem yet. I've only seen the frontend Apache process logging errors because it cannot connect to the Tomcat backend on port 8080. My theory so far is that Jenkins tries to auto-update and crashes, or maybe there's a runaway test run that brings everything down…

Time is really limited these days, and I have heard good things about monit, I decided to try it to see if we could have Jenkins kicked when it dies for some reason. In this way we can avoid cases where the test suites haven't been running for a day or two and nobody noticed… :-|

So, long story short, here's the quick and dirty monit recipe to kick Apache + Jenkins (this is on Debian Squeeze):

check process jenkins with pidfile /var/run/jenkins/jenkins.pid
  start program = "/etc/init.d/jenkins start" with timeout 90 seconds
  stop program  = "/etc/init.d/jenkins stop"
  if failed host my.host.name port 8080 protocol http
     and request "/"
     then restart

check process apache with pidfile /var/run/apache2.pid
  start program = "/etc/init.d/apache2 start" with timeout 60 seconds
  stop program  = "/etc/init.d/apache2 stop"
  if failed host my.host.name port 80 protocol http
     and request "/"
     then restart

And, just for kicks, a complete Monit module for puppet up on Github. Have fun!

A collection of useful sysctl snippets packaged as a puppet module

Recently I learned from Marco about /etc/sysctl.d, a folder where you can drop in files instead of changing /etc/sysctl.conf directly. That gave me the idea of building a puppet module for sysctl:


The idea is to assemble a collection of useful sysctl snippets. I started with the usual things we use everywhere:

  • LVS Direct Routing

    # LVS directives for Direct Routing
    # http://www.linuxvirtualserver.org/VS-DRouting.html
    net.ipv4.conf.lo.arp_ignore = 1
    net.ipv4.conf.lo.arp_announce = 2
    net.ipv4.conf.all.arp_ignore = 1
    net.ipv4.conf.all.arp_announce = 2
  • TCP performance tuning
    # TCP/IP performance optimization settings compared to debian defaults
    # from http://varnish.projects.linpro.no/wiki/Performance
    #net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 32768 61000
    net.ipv4.ip_local_port_range = 1024 65536
    # net.core.rmem_max = 131071
    net.core.rmem_max = 16777216
    # net.core.wmem_max = 131071
    net.core.wmem_max = 16777216
    # net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 87380 4194304
    net.ipv4.tcp_rmem = 4096 87380 16777216
    # net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 16384 4194304
    net.ipv4.tcp_wmem = 4096 65536 16777216
    # net.ipv4.tcp_fin_timeout = 60
    net.ipv4.tcp_fin_timeout = 20
    # net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 1000
    net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 30000
    # net.ipv4.tcp_no_metrics_save = 0
    net.ipv4.tcp_no_metrics_save = 1
    # net.core.somaxconn = 128
    net.core.somaxconn = 262144
    # net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies = 0
    net.ipv4.tcp_syncookies = 1
    # net.ipv4.tcp_max_orphans = 65536
    net.ipv4.tcp_max_orphans = 262144
    # net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog = 1024
    net.ipv4.tcp_max_syn_backlog = 262144
    # net.ipv4.tcp_synack_retries = 5
    net.ipv4.tcp_synack_retries = 3
    # net.ipv4.tcp_syn_retries = 5
    net.ipv4.tcp_syn_retries = 3

I'm interested in both baseline settings to be applied by default everywhere (ex. vm.swappiness = <n>), and special-purpose settings to be "attached" to server roles, like db, file servers, http servers, etc… I'd love to hear from you.

Migration of VCL configuration from Varnish 2.0 to 2.1

Recently we migrated most of our services from Varnish 2.0 to 2.1.
I'd like to explain what we changed with code (VCL) examples side by side,
in case anyone still needs to migrate to 2.1 and needs some help as well :-)

req., bereq., beresp., and obj.

Usually this naming difference in VCL is not really explained. They say "x has been renamed to y"
and you should change the name. That's kind of annoying. In reality, yes, the names changed, and at first
it is annoying, but trying to understand why they changed allows them to stick
in your mind very easily.

In vcl_fetch(), obj. is now beresp.. Why?
Because vcl_fetch() is the part of the request stage where Varnish has
already performed a request against a backend and got a response from it. That means that
if you refer to obj. in vcl_fetch(), it really means that your
touching the backend response, hence beresp..

Similarly in vcl_pipe(), that is executed when the result of vcl_recv()
is to switch to pipe mode. In that case, however, Varnish hasn't made the request
to the backend yet, so if you used obj. in vcl_pipe() you really meant
to change the request that was going to be made to the backend, hence bereq..

Let's see the changes we had to make:

 sub vcl_fetch {
-    set obj.ttl = 88s;
-    set obj.grace = 10m;
-    set obj.http.X-My-Opera = "http://youtube.com/watch?v=br79xGSpgF4";
+    set beresp.ttl = 88s;
+    set beresp.grace = 60m;
+    set beresp.http.X-dramatic = "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKxw";


 sub vcl_pipe {
     # Streaming files too (see related vcl_recv() rule).
     # We need to close the request, or varnish remains in pipe
     # mode for the entire session with that client.
-    set req.http.connection = "close";
+    set bereq.http.connection = "close";

Backend probes and .initial

Backend probing allows Varnish to detect that backends are either "healthy"
or "sick". The probe VCL config block allows to tweak how this should work. In
particular, .threshold is the number of successful probes that are necessary
for Varnish to consider a backend healthy. .interval is the number of seconds
between one probe and the following one.

As an example, you can define that a backend should be considered working
(healthy) when it answers successfully to at least 3 probes, with an interval of
10 seconds between each probe. In Varnish 2.0.4, this means that if restarted,
Varnish will wait 3 times 10 = 30 seconds before serving any requests
from that backend
, because all backends were considered dead (sick) at startup.

In 2.1 this limitation is removed by introducing an .initial attribute
in the probe block. .initial is the number of probes considered successful
when the service is started, or the backend is added, and there's no information about it.
The default value is assumed to be equal to .threshold, so backends are considered
healthy as soon as they are introduced.

I think you can understand from these tiny details how well Varnish is engineered.
This just makes sense, doesn't it? :-) Here's the diff from 2.0 to 2.1:

 backend nginx {
     .host = "localhost";
     .port = "8080";
-    # Disabled to avoid the 15s startup
-    # 2.0.4-5 doesn't have .initial
-    #
-    #.probe = {
-    #  .url = "/ping.html";
-    #    .interval = 5s;
-    #    .timeout = 1s;
-    #    .window = 5;
-    #    .threshold = 3;
-    #}
+    .probe = {
+        .url = "/ping.html";
+        .interval = 10s;
+        .timeout = 2s;
+        .window = 10;
+        .threshold = 3;
+        .initial = 3;
+    }

And in vcl_recv():

 sub vcl_recv {


-    #----------
-    # DISABLED: Only enable when .probe block above is enabled
-    #----------
     # Detect broken backends and keep serving requests if possible
-    #if (! req.backend.healthy) {
-    #    set req.grace = 10m;
-    #} else {
-    #    set req.grace = 5s;
-    #}
+    if (! req.backend.healthy) {
+        set req.grace = 60m;
+    } else {
+        set req.grace = 5s;
+    }

Regular expression matching

Another "big" difference is the use in 2.1 of a Perl-compatible regular expression engine,
(PCRE) instead of the POSIX-style regex matching that used to be in 2.0.
This is a good change for me, as I'm pretty much used to Perl regex and I know next to nothing
about POSIX.

This change actually created a subtle problem that I caught only with a thorough testing
of our configurations. We use regex matching in a few places in our VCL configuration,
usually to analyze cookies
and set special "flags" that are then used to force
a HTTP Vary header, to make Varnish store different cached versions of the same

One of these cases is the language cookie, where we store a sticky
user preference about site language. Here's how the code changed:

  # STD: Sticky language cookie
  if (req.http.Cookie ~ "language=") {
      set req.http.X-Language =
-         regsub(req.http.Cookie, "^.*?language=([^;]*?);*.*$", "1");
+         regsub(req.http.Cookie, "^.*?language=([^;]*);*.*$", "1");


  # Mobile view cookie
  if (req.http.Cookie ~ "mobile=") {
-     set req.http.X-Mobile = 
-         regsub(req.http.Cookie, "^.*?mobile=([^;]*?);*.*$", "1");
+     set req.http.X-Mobile =
+         regsub(req.http.Cookie, "^.*?mobile=([^;]*);*.*$", "1");

In case you find it difficult to spot the change, it's the removal of the *?
(non-greedy star) operator. Non-greedy matching was used in 2.0, POSIX matching, to make
sure that the * didn't match too many characters, and thus eat part of other cookies. Except
POSIX regex matching does NOT have a non-greedy star operator. I just
didn't know that, and it's of course a bug, but it had worked perfectly so far… WTF???

For even more weirdness, why did I take the non-greedy star (*?) away now that it should
be supported with PCRE-matching? I removed it because otherwise the result of those
regsub() expressions are always empty!

Believe it or not, it looks exactly like 2.0 had PCRE and 2.1 has POSIX, which is
obviously not what's happening. If you know more about this and you can shed some light,
please contact me or leave a comment below.

Hope you liked this 2.0 -> 2.1 migration journey. I'm looking forward to 2.1 -> 3.0!
It's a bit more work there, because I will need to migrate my
my accept-language C extension
to the new vmod system, which I already started working on :-)

Have fun!

Fixed temporary files handling in HTTP::DAV

It's more than 3 years already that I took over maintainership for HTTP::DAV. I've been fixing several bugs, last one today (and 0.45 is just out on CPAN), and I have to say that it was a fantastic exercise, that I really suggest to anyone even moderately interested in open source development and improving their own programming skills.

Here's how it works:

  • Pick a CPAN distribution that has been put up for adoption, or one that your $work depends on (my case for HTTP::DAV)
  • Contact its author or current maintainer
  • Take a look at its RT queue (usually it's something like https://rt.cpan.org/Public/Dist/Display.html?Name=Some-Dist-Name
  • Pick whatever bug you fancy from the list
  • Write a test case for it, naming it t/RT_[ticket_number].t
  • Fix the bug in the code, and see your test case pass

That's what I've been trying to do with HTTP::DAV, that was back then completely unknown code to me. I hope the results are decent. At least there hasn't been any regression reported so far… :-)

Enjoy, https://github.com/cosimo/perl5-http-dav and https://metacpan.org/module/HTTP::DAV.

Got maintainership of Bookmarks::Parser, and gave back some Opera love to it

A new project just came in last week. We need to analyze Opera desktop builds (like this one) and extract all settings from them and populate a nice database.

We can do that quite easily since Opera stores most of its settings as either .ini or bookmarks (.adr) files.

In Perl land, we can use Config::IniFiles and Bookmarks::Parser to do most of this. We had to subclass Config::IniFiles to skip the non-standard Opera Preferences file ... first line, while Bookmarks::Parser, that includes an Opera-specific Bookmarks::Opera class, wasn't updated with all the latest Opera-specific properties we use in our Desktop builds.

Working on our first prototype of this build cataloger tool, we "patched" Bookmarks::Opera to do what we needed, but the solution that makes the most long-term sense is to bring back some love upstream, so have our patches in the CPAN version of Bookmarks::Parser. It's what makes the most sense to me anyway, so I usually always try to get in touch with the current author or maintainer.

That's what I did in this case too, with great results. I was given co-maintainer bit in less than 24 hours. Rest of the story is in the github repository now:

  • Fixed a couple of bad bugs in the Opera bookmarks parser
  • Added test cases for those bugs, plus a sample of our current Desktop build bookmarks file

Then, since I had a spare couple of hours during this weekend:

  • I fixed all bugs ever reported in the RT queue (2 LOL), which were more than 5 years old
  • Added some documentation love

So, now we'll just package the stock CPAN version of Bookmarks::Parser instead of maintaining our own patched version, plus whoever attempts to use it to work with Opera files will be happier.

Source code, as usual, up on https://github.com/cosimo/Bookmarks-Parser, and CPAN is now at v0.04.

Perl6 LWP::Simple now uses the URI module for added awesome

My little LWP::Simple module for Perl 6 is growing beyond my control. I just merged a a pull request with a patch to remove all existing URL parsing to replace it with the new URI class.

That's fantastic, because:

  • it reduces the amount of code in LWP::Simple
  • the URI module is based on the actual grammar for URIs and IPv6 addresses. Plain and simple. It doesn't adhere to the standard. It is the standard. Isn't that amazing?

So, just clicky clicky and the pull request was merged. Running the test suite confirmed that everything still works fine passing all tests. Can it get much better than this? :)

If you want to have a look at Perl 6 code, modules.perl6.org is the place to go for inspiration. Have fun!

Using Template Toolkit with Mojolicious

For an upcoming project, I decided to try and use Mojolicious in production. That would be the first time, so I'm quite excited to see what's going to happen.

A few days ago I wrote some sample application that just loads a basic Template Toolkit template and renders it, and benchmarked it using both:

  • mod_perl and Plack::Handler::Apache2 and,
  • using starman as self-contained HTTP server running the psgi application

I have to say that I was quite impressed with the performance level of Starman. I got 1,000+ (a thousand plus) requests per second without the server even breaking a sweat. The command line, just in case, was:

starman --workers 32 ./app.psgi

Anyway, back to using TT. I found myself searching for recipes on how to use TT with Mojolicious because there wasn't a clear documented answer on how to do it, or at least I didn't find it. An example of what I came up with follows.

Step 1: the Mojolicious application class

First you have to create your application class. You should probably use the script that generate the basic skeleton for you. There's nice documentation on how to do that. My class looks like this:

package My::PSGI::App;

use strict;
use base 'Mojolicious';
use Opera::Config;

sub startup {
    my $self = shift;

    # Our internal configuration system
    my $conf = Opera::Config->new();
    my $tmpl_dir = $conf->get('Template:include_dir');
    my $cache_dir = $conf->get('Template:cache_dir');

    # Tell Mojolicious we want to load the TT renderer plugin
    $self->plugin(tt_renderer => {
        template_options => {
            # These options are specific to TT
            INCLUDE_PATH => $tmpl_dir,
            COMPILE_DIR => $cache_dir,
            COMPILE_EXT => '.ttc',
            # ... anything else to be passed on to TT should go here


    my $r = $self->routes;

    # Your routes should go here
    # ... and so on ...



To have your TT templates picked up, you only need a few more things.


When you declare that you want to load the tt_renderer plugin (see above, $self->plugin(tt_renderer=>...)), then Mojolicious will "camelize" the tt_renderer string, turn it into Mojolicious::Plugin::TtRenderer, and try to load that plugin, if available.

Turns out there was a MojoX::Renderer::TT CPAN module that also contained a class called Mojolicious::Plugin::TtRenderer. I said there was because Sebastian Riedel, the main developer of Mojolicious had in the meantime deprecated the MojoX namespace.

Since we're building the modules we want to use in production as deb packages, we would have run the risk to package MojoX::Renderer::TT to have it changed later because of this namespace conflict. To avoid this, I decided to fork its repository and put together a patch to remove the use of the MojoX:: namespace. With this, I hoped to get the thing done and hopefully picked up quickly by the maintainer of MojoX::Renderer::TT.

Turned out that he was super responsive (thanks Ask!) to merge the change and release it to CPAN, so ladies and gentlemen, I hereby announce we have Mojolicious::Plugin::TtRenderer 1.20+ out!

In fact, the old deprecated MojoX:: module is still there, just don't use it, and install Mojolicious::Plugin::TtRenderer instead.

Templates naming

Another thing you need for TT to work out of the box is that your templates should(*) be named sometemplate.html.tt. (*) probably you can deviate from this convention, I just don't know yet.

Your controller should specify TT as the renderer

UPDATE: this is not needed. If you're using:


in your main application class, then you won't need to specify format and handler in every controller.

Again, not sure it's really needed (no, it's not, read above), check before you copy/paste. Here's a simple action from one of my controllers (following the previous example):

package My::PSGI::App::Account;
use strict;
use base 'Mojolicious::Controller';
sub login {
    my $self = shift;
        template => 'path/to/template', # *without* .html.tt
        format   => 'html',
        handler  => 'tt',


That should be it: have fun!

EDIT: Thanks Robert for the suggestions.