Troubleshooting the Squid Package


The add-on packages Squid, SquidGuard and Lightsquid are deprecated in pfSense Plus and pfSense CE software due to a large number of unfixed upstream security vulnerabilities. Netgate STRONGLY recommends that users uninstall these packages. The packages will no longer function in the next major release of pfSense Plus and pfSense CE software.

Disk Usage Issues

The swap.state from Squid file can grow large and consume all available drive space. See Tuning the Squid Package for more details.

Sites not loading with splice / Error 409 in access log

As a security measure, squid will not allow a user to connect to a site that has a hostname that does not match its IP address. This prevents clients from hardcoding or altering DNS responses to evade access controls. The side effect of this, however, is that sites which employ round-robin DNS or other DNS optimizations can cause squid to block or drop connections those sites unintentionally. The squid access log will have a 409 (Conflict) error code when a connection is dropped for this reason.

This happens with sites such as Google or Facebook when the client and squid use different sources for DNS, and thus get different DNS results for the same query because the results are randomized. Even though the address for the server is valid, the disparity causes squid to drop the connection.

The solution is to have the clients use the firewall as their DNS server, so that both squid and clients use the same DNS source and the results will match.

Clear Cache

Resetting the cache in squid can often clear up issues without performing a more complicated procedure. Before performing a full reset, try clearing and resetting the cache:

mv /var/squid/cache /var/squid/cache.old
squid -z
rm -rf /var/squid/cache.old

The old cache should be moved, then reset, and then the old cache should be removed, as above, because removing the cache directory can be time consuming, and if it is moved first, then its removal will not prevent squid from being run while it is happening.

Complete Reset

When troubleshooting squid/squidGuard there are some procedures that may be followed to ensure things are completely reset.

  • Remove the packages from System > Packages on the Installed Packages tab in the proper order:

    1. Lightsquid

    2. squidGuard

    3. Squid

  • Remove the contents of the squid directory and cache:

    rm -rf /var/squid
  • Remove the Squid and related package include files:

    rm /usr/local/pkg/*squid*
    rm -rf /usr/local/etc/squid/
  • Ensure any leftover PBI symlinks are removed:

    find / -type l -lname '/usr/pbi/*' -delete
  • [Optional] Remove the settings from inside config.xml using one of the following methods:

    • From Diagnostics > Command Prompt in the PHP Execute box:

      $squid_sections = array("squid", "squidnac", "squidcache", "squidauth",
       "squidextauth", "squidtraffic", "squidupstream", "squidusers");
      foreach ($squid_sections as $sec) {
       if (is_array($config['installedpackages'][$sec]))
      write_config("Removed Squid");
    • Or to remove squid, squidguard, lightsquid, and anything else with ‘squid’ in its package name from Diagnostics > Command Prompt in the PHP Execute box:

      foreach (array_keys($config['installedpackages']) as $sec) {
       if (strpos($sec, "squid") !== false)
      write_config("Removed all squid-related settings");
    • Or backup config.xml, edit the settings out, then restore.

  • Navigate to System > Packages and on the Available Packages tab, reinstall the following packages in order:

    1. Squid

    2. squidGuard

    3. Lightsquid

See also

For assistance in solving problems, post on the Cache/Proxy category of Netgate Forum.