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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.


Intro


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 192.168.0.0/24 and your proxy server 192.168.0.1, edit the following file /etc/polipo/config and add the lines:
proxyAddress = "192.168.0.1"     
allowedClients = 127.0.0.1, 192.168.0.0/24


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 = 208.67.222.222, 208.67.220.220

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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This document, titled "Installing an easy HTTP proxy-cache (polipo)," is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (https://ccm.net/).

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