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Cache Rules

Beta

Use Cache Rules to customize cache properties of your HTTP requests. For example, create a rule to specify how long to cache a resource in the Cloudflare edge network.

​​ Availability

The following table describes Cache Rules availability per plan.

FreeProBusinessEnterprise

Availability

YesYesYesYes

Number of rules

102550125

​​ Order and priority

Cache rules are unique, unlike Page Rules. This is how they are applied:

  1. Cache Rules are stackable. This means that multiple matching rules will be combined and applied. So if multiple cache rules match the same URL, then the features set in those cache rules will all be applied.

  2. If you have conflicting settings, then ordering matters and rules will be applied in the order they appear in your Cloudflare dashboard, from bottom to top. For example, if the top rule is set to cache everything on example.com/images/* and the bottom rule is set to bypass cache on example.com/*, then because we apply rules from bottom to top, cache will be bypassed for all URLS that match example.com/*.

​​ Create Cache Rules in the dashboard

To create a new cache rule:

  1. Log in to the Cloudflare dashboard and select your account and domain.
  2. Go to Caching > Cache Rules.
  3. Select Create cache rule.
  4. Enter a descriptive name for the rule in Rule name.
  5. Under When incoming requests match, define the rule expression. Use the Field drop-down list to choose an HTTP property (refer to Available fields for the list of available fields). For each request, the value of the property you choose for Field is compared to the value you specify for Value using the operator selected in Operator.
  6. Under Then, in the Cache status section, select Bypass cache, if matching requests will bypass cache and fetch a response from the origin server or Eligible for cache if requests will be eligible for cache. Note that proper origin cache-control headers are also required for cache eligibility.
  1. If you select Eligible for cache, you can customize the following options:
Edge TTL

Select Respect origin if matching requests will respect cache headers received from the origin server, or Override origin. If you wish to override the Edge TTL value, you need to select how long you want to cache resources in the Cloudflare edge network.

  • In Status code TTL you can define the cache time-to-live (TTL) duration for one or more response status codes received from the origin server. This setting can be applied to a Single code status code, to a Greater than or Less than status code or to a Range of status codes. For more information, refer to Status code TTL.
Browser TTL

Select if you want to Respect origin or Override origin. If you wish to override the browser TTL value, define how long resources cached by client browsers will remain valid. For more information, refer to Browser Cache TTL.

Cache Key

Define the request components used to define a custom cache key. A cache key is an identifier that Cloudflare uses for a file stored in the cache. These are the options that you can customize:

  • You can switch on or off Cache by device type, Cache deception armor, and Ignore query string order.
  • In the Query string section, you can select All query string parameters, All query string parameters except and enter an exception, Only these parameters and enter the parameters, or Ignore query string.
  • In the Headers section, you can include headers names and their values, check the presence of another header, and Include origin header.
  • In the Cookie section, you can include cookie names and their values, and check the presence of another cookie.
  • In the Host section, you can select Use original host and Resolved host.
  • In the User section, you can select Device type, Country, and Language.
Serve stale content

Enable or disable serving stale content while updating from the origin server. If serving stale content is disabled, origin cache-control headers will be used to tell Cloudflare how to handle content from the origin.

Respect Strong ETags

Turn on or off byte-for-byte equivalency checks between the Cloudflare cache and the origin server. When enabled, Cloudflare will use strong ETag header validation to ensure that resources in the Cloudflare cache and on the origin server are byte-by-byte identical. If disabled, Cloudflare converts ETag headers into weak ETag headers.

Origin error page pass-thru

Turn on or off Cloudflare error pages generated from issues sent from the origin server. If enabled, this setting triggers error pages issued by the origin.

  1. To save and deploy your rule, select Deploy. If you are not ready to deploy your rule, select Save as Draft.

​​ Available fields

These are the fields available for Cache Rule expressions:

  • Cookie - http.cookie
  • Hostname - http.host
  • Referer - http.referer
  • SSL/HTTPS - ssl
  • URI Full - http.request.full_uri
  • URI - http.request.uri
  • URI Path - http.request.uri.path
  • URI Query String - http.request.uri.query
  • User Agent - http.user_agent
  • X-Forwarded-For - http.x_forwarded_for

Refer to Fields for reference information on these fields.

​​ Create Cache Rules via API

Use the Rulesets API to create a Cache Rule via API.

When creating a Configuration Rule via API, make sure you:

  • Set the rule action to set_cache_settings.
  • Define the parameters in the action_parameters field according to the settings you wish to override for matching requests.
  • You deploy the cache rule to the http_request_cache_settings phase entry point ruleset.

​​ Create a Cache Rule

  1. Use the List existing rulesets method to obtain the list of rules already present in the http_request_cache_settings phase entry point ruleset.
  2. If the phase ruleset does not exist, create it using the Create ruleset method with the zone-level endpoint. In the new ruleset properties, set the following values:
    • kind: zone
    • phase: http_request_cache_settings
  3. Alternatively, you can also use the Update ruleset method to add a Cache Rule to the list of ruleset rules.

​​ Required API token permissions

The API token used in API requests to manage Cache Rules must have the following permissions:

  • Zone > Config Rules > Edit
  • Account Rulesets > Edit
  • Account Filter Lists > Edit

​​ API examples

These examples are setting all the Cache Rules of a zone to a single rule, since using these examples directly will cause any existing rules to be deleted.

Edge cache TTL

In this setting, you can choose either to respect_origin (first example) or override_origin (second example). In this first example, edge_ttl is set to respect_origin and cache TTL is set by status code 404 with a duration of 30 seconds.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"edge_ttl": {
"mode": "respect_origin",
"status_code_ttl": [
{
"status_code": 404,
"value": 30
}
]
}
}
}
]
}
'

In this second example, status_code_ttl is set to override_origin and cache TTL is set by status code 404 with a duration of 30 seconds. Instead of a single status code, you can also define a range.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"edge_ttl": {
"mode": "override_origin",
"default": 10,
"status_code_ttl": [
{
"status_code": 404,
"value": 30
}
]
}
}
}
]
}
'
Browser Cache TTL

For set_cache_settings, you can choose either to respect_origin (first example) or override_origin (second example).

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"browser_ttl": {
"mode": "respect_origin"
}
}
}
]
}
'

In this second example, override_origin is selected, so you need to define how long resources cached by client browsers will remain valid, in this case 30 seconds.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"browser_ttl": {
"mode": "override_origin",
"default": 30
}
}
}
]
}
'
Cache Key

In this example, cache_deception_armor and ignore_query_strings_order parameters are set to true. query_string is set to query all query string parameters. The header parameter is set to include header1, check presence of header_1 and the origin header is also included. The cookie parameter is set to include cookie1, check the presence of cookie_1 and the origin header is also included. The parameter host : resolved is set to false, geo, and lang are also set to false.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"cache_key": {
"ignore_query_strings_order": true,
"cache_deception_armor": true,
"custom_key": {
"query_string": {
"include": "*"
},
"header": {
"include": [
"header1"
],
"check_presence": [
"header_1"
]
},
"host": {
"resolved": false
},
"user": {
"device_type": true,
"geo": false,
"lang": false
}
"cookie": {
"include": [
"cookie1"
],
"check_presence": [
"cookie_1"
],
}
}
}
}
}
]
}
'
Serve stale content

In this example, serve_stale is set to serve stale content while updating from the origin server.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"serve_stale": {
"disable_stale_while_updating": true
}
}
}
]
}
'
Respect strong ETags

In this example, respect_strong_etags is set to true to ensure that resources in the Cloudflare cache and on the origin server are byte-by-byte identical.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"respect_strong_etags": true
}
}
]
}
'
Origin error page pass-thru

In this example, origin_error_page_passthru is set to true to trigger error pages issued by the origin.

curl -X PUT \
"https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/zones/<ZONE_ID>/rulesets/phases/http_request_cache_settings/entrypoint" \
-H "Authorization: Bearer <API_TOKEN>" \
-d '{
"rules": [
{
"description": "example-cache-rule",
"expression": "http.cookie eq \"a=b\" and http.host eq \"example.com\"",
"action": "set_cache_settings",
"action_parameters": {
"cache": true,
"origin_error_page_passthru": true
}
}
]
}
'

​​ Terraform example

The following example defines a single cache rule for a zone using Terraform. The rule configures several cache settings and sets a custom cache key for incoming requests addressed at example.net.

Terraform cloudflare_ruleset resource
# Cache rule configuring cache settings and defining custom cache keys
resource "cloudflare_ruleset" "cache_rules_example" {
zone_id = "<ZONE_ID>"
name = "Set cache settings"
description = "Set cache settings for incoming requests"
kind = "zone"
phase = "http_request_cache_settings"
rules {
action = "set_cache_settings"
action_parameters {
edge_ttl {
mode = "override_origin"
default = 60
status_code_ttl {
status_code = 200
value = 50
}
status_code_ttl {
status_code_range {
from = 201
to = 300
}
value = 30
}
}
browser_ttl {
mode = "respect_origin"
}
serve_stale {
disable_stale_while_updating = true
}
respect_strong_etags = true
cache_key {
ignore_query_strings_order = false
cache_deception_armor = true
custom_key {
query_string {
exclude = ["*"]
}
header {
include = ["habc", "hdef"]
check_presence = ["habc_t", "hdef_t"]
exclude_origin = true
}
cookie {
include = ["cabc", "cdef"]
check_presence = ["cabc_t", "cdef_t"]
}
user {
device_type = true
geo = false
}
host {
resolved = true
}
}
}
origin_error_page_passthru = false
}
expression = "(http.host eq \"example.net\")"
description = "Set cache settings and custom cache key for example.net"
enabled = true
}
}

For additional guidance on using Terraform with Cloudflare, refer to Terraform.