ffproxy.quick(1) filtering HTTP/HTTPS proxy server quick introduction


ffproxy is a filtering HTTP/HTTPS proxy server. It is able to filter by host, URL, and header. Custom header entries can be filtered and added. It can even drop its privileges and optionally chroot(2) to some directory. Logging to syslog(3) is supported, as is using another auxiliary proxy server. An HTTP accelerator feature (acting as a front-end to an HTTP server) is included. Contacting IPv6 servers as well as binding to IPv6 is supported and allows transparent IPv6 over IPv4 browsing (and vice versa).

This manual describes how to set up a basic HTTP proxy installation. It is assumed that you already have compiled the program or installed it via port or package.


The program comes with default configuration files that contain both examples and suggested entries. You can simply copy them to a directory of your choice. This directory will become the program's working directory.
mkdir /var/ffproxy
tar cf - db/ html/ | ( cd /var/ffproxy ; tar xf - )
cp sample.config /var/ffproxy/ffproxy.conf

Above example would install all needed files to /var/ffproxy which is ffproxy's default working directory.


The proxy now has its own working directory. By default, ffproxy does not change UID/GID after start. For security reasons we want to enable it. You have two choices know: Either use existing UID/GID or add custom UID/GID for ffproxy. See adduser(8) or useradd(8), depending on your system, on how to create new IDs.

Edit ffproxy.conf and change the lines containing uid and gid

# change UID and GID
# to use, both uid and gid must be set
# (disabled by default)
#uid proxy
#gid proxy
uid _ffproxy
gid _ffproxy

In addition to changing UID and GID, ffproxy should be executed change-rooted to its working directory. So we change chroot_dir and db_files_path in the configuration file

# change root to (only in connection with uid and gid change)
# (disabled by default)
chroot_dir /var/ffproxy
# path to db/ and html/ directories
# (default: /var/ffproxy)
db_files_path .

db_files_path must be changed, too, since that is relative to new root. Finally, we copy /etc/resolv.conf to ffproxy's home to enable DNS in chroot and chown /var/ffproxy so the proxy's master process can write its PID file

mkdir /var/ffproxy/etc
cp /etc/resolv.conf /var/ffproxy/etc/
chmod 750 /var/ffproxy
chown _ffproxy._ffproxy /var/ffproxy


By default, nobody is allowed to connect to ffproxy. Let's say, we want to provide LAN users a filtering proxy to shut down malicous content coming from the Internet. So the proxy has to be listening on the local network interface only. We change bind_ipv4 and bind_ipv6 appropiately in ffproxy.conf
bind_ipv4 martyr.burden.eu.org
bind_ipv6 martyr.burden.eu.org

Additionally, we have to change db/access.ip By, for example,


we allow to use our proxy.


Last step is starting ffproxy. Keep in mind that we run the program change-rooted to /var/ffproxy, so files are relative to new root.
cd /var/ffproxy ; /usr/local/bin/ffproxy -f ffproxy.conf

starts ffproxy. Now test if it works correctly. If not, change ffproxy.conf and/or read ffproxy(8) ffproxy.conf5

ffproxy is not running as daemon right know. If everything seems to work, simply shut down the proxy by pressing CTRL-C, set `daemonize yes' in the configuration file and start ffproxy again.


The proxy allows transparent operation, that is, HTTP traffic is redirect to the proxy which simulates a HTTP server so that the users don't have to specify a proxy server. Consider forced usage of a proxy server as well. To do that, you will have to configure your NAT accordingly. On OpenBSD you'll want a line like
rdr on rl0 proto tcp from any to any port 80 -> port 8080

in /etc/pf.conf See your NAT's documentation for details on how to do this.


This manual documents ffproxy 1.6 (2005-01-05).