Re: what exactly is it I failed to understand?

From: Michael Sparks <>
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 1999 20:34:34 +0100 (BST)


Squid is an HTTP proxy. (Ignore the cache bit for the mo' :-)

This means that if squid recieves an HTTP proxy request for a given URL it
will attempt to satisfy it. It *could* be argued that this means it should
only satisfy requests for URLs that start with `http://', but squid will
also accept a couple of other non HTTP protocols - such as ftp - ie URLs
that start `ftp://', and IIRC gopher (It's been a while since I last
checked the full list of non-HTTP urls it accepts :-).

Protocols it won't proxy include things like `mailto:' URLs, amongst many
others - since they're not HTTP based.

In the case of non-HTTP protocols (ftp,gopher), squid acts as a HTTP to
(ftp,gopher) gateway - that is it accepts an http request looking
something like this:


And then makes a normal ftp connection to, and grabs
/pub/, and returns the object via ftp. Similar things happen
for the other non-HTTP protocols squid can gateway. (I *think* it's just
ftp & gopher)

A true ftp proxy would allow you to type in ftp commands to be forwarded
to the remote server.

The reason why the docs with squid don't tell you how to do things like

> For
> example mail, ftp and icq.

Is because squid isn't a mail server, nor an ftp server, nor an icq
proxy/server... Essentially the FAQ says this in section 1.1 "What is

If you're running a linux box (or even if you're not but want to
read up on some of these things, and don't mind a linux-centric view)
have a wander through the Linux HOWTOs since they'll give you a good
starting point to meander through loads of other documentation.

Ones you may find useful would be the Firewall-HOWTO,
Intranet-Server-HOWTO and NET3-HOWTO. (There's probably better
info kicking about depending on what you want to do, but at least
some of those will help get you started - hopefully :-)


National & Local Web Cache Support        R: G117
Manchester Computing                      T: 0161 275 7195
University of Manchester                  F: 0161 275 6040
Manchester UK M13 9PL                     M:
On Mon, 25 Oct 1999, Arvid Gregersen wrote:
> I have recently set up squid and there are some things that seems like
> everyday knowledge to you that I don't seem to get and as far as I can
> see isn't described in the squid.conf file. For example how to use
> route other requests from clients through the server machine. For
> example mail, ftp and icq. I'm beginning to find out that squid maybe
> can't do this, because I really don't think the squid.conf file is
> THAT selfexplaning but then what can? If there is a manual covering
> these things could you tell me where it is? (I really don't think the
> faq does it out for a manual(!)) -or lead me in the right direction at
> least. I'm sorry to have taken your time with questions as petty as
> these but I hope you will take a minute to guide a person who want's
> to understand in a world where everybody else appearently already
> does.
> Arvid
> ICQ: 724069
> Homepage:
Received on Mon Oct 25 1999 - 13:43:02 MDT

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