I keep seeing HAProxy configuration examples with a two-argument syntax. Indeed, the default configuration file supplied with 1.4.18 contains this:

listen  appli1-rewrite
    cookie  SERVERID rewrite
    balance roundrobin
    server  app1_1 cookie app1inst1 check inter 2000 rise 2 fall 5
    server  app1_2 cookie app1inst2 check inter 2000 rise 2 fall 5
    server  app1_3 cookie app1inst3 check inter 2000 rise 2 fall 5
    server  app1_4 cookie app1inst4 check inter 2000 rise 2 fall 5

I am noticing a complete lack of any bind option, so am I to believe that this is a shorthand for bind?

The HAProxy documentation (http://haproxy.1wt.eu/download/1.5/doc/configuration.txt) contains one unrelated example with this syntax, but does not specify, document or explain it anywhere.

The documentation simply shows listen <name>:

All proxy names must be formed from upper and lower case letters, digits,
'-' (dash), '_' (underscore) , '.' (dot) and ':' (colon). ACL names are
case-sensitive, which means that "www" and "WWW" are two different proxies.

(i.e. no spaces, so this clearly isn't just part of the name)

Is there any official documentation for this syntax?


  • This is confusing the hell out of me too. It seems almost completely undocumented syntax, so why is it so commonly used?! – Adam Spiers Apr 4 '17 at 22:06

I think I just cracked this by finding this answer on superuser.com. In HAProxy 1.3.x, the deprecated reference manual said:

2) Declaration of a listening service

Service sections start with the 'listen' keyword :

    listen <instance_name> [ <IP_address>:<port_range>[,...] ]

By 1.4, this manual no longer existed, but it seems that this syntax continued to be accepted for backwards compatibility. In 1.6, a listen section without a bind directive started to generate warnings.

So the answer is that it's old syntax which shouldn't be used any more.

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