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I want to cache pages on my nginx site for fast retrieval. Let's say every 5 hours I want to expire all the cache and have it recreated. Will Varnish make calls to the web-server and recreate cache on it's own or will it have to wait till a user requests a page?

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No, Varnish does not generate requests that re-create its caches.

You need to make a manual refresh of the pages in order to get the cache warm.

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varnishd - HTTP accelerator daemon, it's not it's job to handle those kind of things, but what you can do is schedule a cron job (using curl, wget, etc) that would trigger hitting pages that you like and Varnish will cache them.

curl:

[alexus@wcmisdlin02 ~]$ curl --help | grep -- '--silent'
 -s/--silent        Silent mode. Don't output anything
[alexus@wcmisdlin02 ~]$ 

wget:

[alexus@wcmisdlin02 ~]$ wget --help | grep -- '--quiet'
  -q,  --quiet               quiet (no output).
[alexus@wcmisdlin02 ~]$ 
  • curl or wget? I don't need the results, I just have to "call" the page and have it triggered without transferring content – Jimbotron Aug 27 '14 at 20:24
  • @Jimbotron you can always redirect redirect output to >/dev/null) – alexus Aug 27 '14 at 21:19
  • Yes I can do that but it's still a waste of data transfer. Is there no way to call and abandon request? – Jimbotron Aug 28 '14 at 20:51
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    @Jimbotron it's not a waste as Varnish need to preserve a copy of it for next serve it for next user, if something you just doing work on behalf of user, so that user doesn't have to wait for the backend. – alexus Aug 28 '14 at 20:54

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