REMOTE_ADDR handling with Varnish and Load Balancers

While working with the ever present spam issue on this blog, I’ve started to have issues with many of the plugins not using the correct IP address lookup. While each plugin author can be contacted, trackbacks and comments through WordPress still have the Varnish server’s IP address.

In our vcl, in vcl_recv, we put the following:

       if (req.http.x-forwarded-for) {
           set req.http.X-Forwarded-For =
               req.http.X-Forwarded-For + ", " + client.ip;
       } else {
           set req.http.X-Forwarded-For = client.ip;

and in our wp-config.php we put:

$temp_ip = explode(',', isset($_SERVER['HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR'])
  (isset($_SERVER['HTTP_CLIENT_IP']) ?
$remote_addr = trim($temp_ip[0]);
$_SERVER['REMOTE_ADDR'] = preg_replace('/[^0-9.:]/', '', $remote_addr );

While we only need to check HTTP_X_FORWARDED_FOR in our case, this does handle things if you are behind one of a number of other proxy servers and corrects $_SERVER[‘REMOTE_ADDR’]. The ticket that was opened and later closed which would have made it very easy to overload a get_ip function says it should be fixed in the server.

in /wp-includes/comment.php:

 * We use REMOTE_ADDR here directly. If you are behind a proxy, you should ensure
 * that it is properly set, such as in wp-config.php, for your environment.
 * See {@link}

You can also use mod_rpaf if you’re using Apache which will fix this through an Apache module.

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