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Installing an easy HTTP proxy-cache (polipo)

Installing a http proxy cache like Polipo can be advantageous in several ways. It makes internet access faster and has a filtering utility. As Polipo is only accessible from the machine on which it is installed, there is less security risk. The Polipo http proxy-cache can be installed in easy steps on a machine with a Linux operating system. Polipo also has a separate DNS cache and does not access the operating system cache to retrieve DNS information, but it can be configured to access other cache locations if required. Installing a http proxy cache can speed up internet access to a great extent.


Installing an HTTP proxy cache on your computer can bring several advantages:
  • It allows sharing of the Internet connection
  • The cache will display pages faster, even if you do not share your connection
  • It offers an optional filtering utility.

Polipo is an efficient and lightweight HTTP proxy cache.

Quick Installation

sudo apt-get install polipo

Configure your software (e.g. web browser) to use localhost:8123 as the proxy.

Note that Polipo is accessible only from your machine, thus reducing security constraints.

Some of the configurable settings offered are:
  • Setting the memory and disk cache
  • Automatic filtering of HTTP headers such as user-agent, http-referer
  • URL filter

Allowing hosts on the LAN to connect

If your LAN is and your proxy server, edit the following file /etc/polipo/config and add the lines:
proxyAddress = ""     
allowedClients =,

Then type sudo /etc/init.d/polipo restart to take into account the new configuration.

Changing the port

To change the port on which Polipo listens, add the following proxyPort parameter to /etc/polipo/config:
proxyPort = 3128
Remember to use sudo /etc/init.d/polipo restart to apply changes.

Use a proxy server parent

If you want Polipo sends its own requests to another proxy, add the following parameter:
parentProxy = "squid.example.org: 3128"

Using an alternative DNS server

For enhanced performance, Polipo makes its own DNS resolutions without the use of the operating system.
It uses the DNS registered directly in /etc/resolv.conf.

But you can request that Polipo use other DNS servers (e.g. to use OpenDNS). Simply add the following parameter:
dnsNameServer =,

Disabling IPv6

If you are not using IPv6, add this parameter:

dnsQueryIPv6 = no

More info

Learn more: Installing an HTTP proxy server (Squid)

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