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Hitch - high performance TLS proxy


hitch [OPTIONS] [PEM]


Hitch is a network proxy that terminates TLS/SSL connections and forwards the unencrypted traffic to some backend. It's designed to handle 10s of thousands of connections efficiently on multicore machines.

Hitch has very few features -- it's designed to be paired with an intelligent backend like Varnish Cache. It maintains a strict 1:1 connection pattern with this backend handler so that the backend can dictate throttling behavior, maximum connection behavior, availability of service, etc.

The only required argument is a path to a PEM file that contains the certificate (or a chain of certificates) and private key. It should also contain DH parameter if you wish to use Diffie-Hellman cipher suites.


Load configuration from specified file. See hitch.conf(5) for details.
All TLS versions, no SSLv3 (deprecated). See config file setting tls-protos.
enable SSLv3 (deprecated). See config file setting tls-protos.
Sets allowed ciphers (Default: "")

Sets OpenSSL engine (Default: "")

Prefer server list order

Enable client proxy mode
--backend=[HOST]:PORT Backend [connect] (default is "[]:8000") The -b argument can also take a UNIX domain socket path E.g. --backend="/path/to/sock"
--frontend=[HOST]:PORT[+CERT] Frontend [bind] (default is "[*]:8443") (Note: brackets are mandatory in endpoint specifiers.)
Number of worker processes (Default: 1)

Set listen backlog size (Default: 100)

TCP keepalive on client socket (Default: 3600)

Periodic backend IP lookup, 0 to disable (Default: 0)

Sets chroot directory (Default: "")

Set uid/gid after binding the socket (Default: "")

Set gid after binding the socket (Default: "")

Be quiet; emit only error messages (deprecated in favor of log-level)

Log level. 0=silence, 1=err, 2=info/debug

Send log message to a logfile instead of stderr/stdout
Send log message to syslog in addition to stderr/stdout

Syslog facility to use (Default: "daemon")
Fork into background and become a daemon; this also sets the --quiet option (Default: off)
Write 1 octet with the IP family followed by the IP address in 4 (IPv4) or 16 (IPv6) octets little-endian to backend before the actual data (Default: off)
Write HaProxy's PROXY v1 (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol line before actual data (Default: off)
Write HaProxy's PROXY v2 binary (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol line before actual data (Default: off)
Equivalent to --write-proxy-v2. For PROXY version 1 use --write-proxy-v1 explicitly
Proxy HaProxy's PROXY (IPv4 or IPv6) protocol line before actual data (PROXY v1 only) (Default: off)
Sets the protocols for ALPN/NPN negotiation, given by a comma separated list. If this is not set explicitly, ALPN/NPN will not be used. Requires OpenSSL 1.0.1 for NPN and OpenSSL 1.0.2 for ALPN.
Abort handshake when client submits an unrecognized SNI server name (Default: off)
Set OCSP staple cache directory This enables automated retrieval and stapling of OCSP responses (Default: "")
Test configuration and exit

PID file

Print program version and exit

This help message


Hitch was originally called stud and was written by Jamie Turner at