The web proxy in ClearOS is a high-performance proxy caching server for web clients, supporting HTTP, FTP and some lesser known protocols. The software not only saves bandwidth and speeds up access time, but also gives administrators the ability to track web usage via web-based reports.
If you are new to ClearOS and/or setting up a proxy server, you may want to refer to the Guide to Setting up Web Proxy, Content Filter and Access Control Guide.
If your system does not have this app available, you can install it via the Marketplace.
You can find this feature in the menu system at the following location:
<navigation>Gateway|Content Filter and Proxy|Web Proxy</navigation>
If you would like to require a username/password for web access, you can enable user authentication.
In transparent mode, all web requests from the local network automatically pass through the proxy. The advantage: no configuration changes are required on the workstations. The disadvantage: secure web sites (HTTPS) can not flow through the proxy.
Since network traffic needs to be intercepted before going out the Internet, this his mode is only available when ClearOS is configured as a gateway.
The Performance Level indicates the size of network that your system can support. The Community Edition is designed for home/small networks and is already optimized for 10 users or less. The Professional Edition does automatic optimization based on available system resources.
If you have a fast WAN link or slow HDD you should consider disabling the disk cache. There are more details in the Optimizing Performance for Proxy and Content filter guide. On new installs this is now disabled by default.
The maximum size on your hard disk to use for the proxy server cache.
Any file (image, web page, PDF, etc) above the maximum object size will still go through the proxy but will not be cached. Large files (for instance, a movie file) can take up a lot of space in your proxy cache. If you have a cache size of 2 Gb and two people happen to download 1 Gb files at the same time, then these two files would replace everything else in your cache. You can limit the maximum object size to prevent this kind of scenario.
If you want to limit downloads of large files (for instance, movies) you can set a maximum size. Any file above this size limit will get blocked.
In some circumstances, you may need to by-pass the proxy server. Typically, this is required for web sites that are not proxy-friendly. Some notable examples:
You can use the following format for the bypass:
If you are running the proxy in non-transparent mode, then you also have to adjust your web browser's proxy server settings. The web site or IP address that you add to the ClearOS web proxy bypass list should also be added to your browser's proxy exception list. See the Non-Transparent Proxy and Content Filter Bypass guide.
Some sites, especially those with logins, do not play well with the proxy and need to be exempted. You may be able to spot these by using the guide here to look for DENIED messages. Then try whitelisting the resulting FQDN.
In non-transparent mode, you must change the settings on all the web browsers running on your local network. The following describes the steps for configuring Internet Explorer, but other browsers have similar procedures. In Internet Explorer
In the Proxy Server settings box, specify your ClearOS IP address and the proxy port (see next section). You may not be able to access websites on your system or local network unless you select bypass proxy server for local addresses.
Which Port Should I Use?
So which port should be configured in your web browser's proxy settings?
There appears to have been a change to how Windows Update works and additional settings may be needed on the Windows machines. From this Microsoft document, you can force Windows Update to use the proxy settings from the Internet Options with the following command in your Windows machines:
netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie
Alternatively you can set the proxy explicitly with:
netsh winhttp set proxy ProxyServerName:PortNumber
Change the ProxyServerName to your ClearOS LAN FQDN or IP address. Similarly set the PortNumber to 3128 or 8080 as detailed in the section above.
From the Squid Web Proxy FAQ:
Question: Can I make my regular FTP clients use a Squid cache?
Answer: It's not possible. Squid only accepts HTTP requests.
If you see the message Requested web page or file is too large in your web browser, change the Maximum Download File Size parameter described above.