Restoring original visitor IPs - Option 1: Installing mod_cloudflare

Learn how to install mod_cloudflare and log your visitor’s original IP address at your origin server.


Cloudflare no longer updates and supports mod_cloudflare, starting with versions Debian 9 *and *Ubuntu 18.04 LTS of the Linux operating system. We now support mod_remoteip for customers using Apache web servers. Customers who are interested in building the mod_cloudflare package can download the codebase from GitHub.

When your website traffic is routed through the Cloudflare network, we act as a reverse proxy. This allows Cloudflare to speed up page load time by routing packets more efficiently and caching static resources (images, JavaScript, CSS, etc.). As a result, when responding to requests and logging them, your origin server returns a Cloudflare IP address.

For example, if you install applications that depend on the incoming IP address of the original visitor, a Cloudflare IP address is logged by default. The original visitor IP address appears in an appended HTTP header called CF-Connecting-IP. With the mod_cloudflare tool, you can log the original visitor IP address at your origin server.

The diagram below illustrates the different ways that IP addresses are handled with and without Cloudflare.

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Article IDs: 200170916 | Restoring original visitor IPs - Option 1: Installing mod_cloudflare

Install mod_cloudflare

There are two methods for installing mod_cloudflare: by downloading packets or scripts from our technical resources, or by adding code to your origin web server.

Downloading packets or scripts

There are four options for installing mod_cloudflare using packets or scripts:

  1. Packages
  2. Via cPanel Servers
  3. Manual Installation: RedHat/CentOS/CloudLinux
  4. Manual Installation: Debian/Ubuntu

For more information on these four options, follow the installation steps described on our Downloads page.

If you are using a Joyent machine, refer to this third-party tutorial.

Adding code to your origin web server

If you can't install mod_cloudflare, or if there is no Cloudflare plugin available for your content management system platform to restore original visitor IP, add this code to your origin web server in or before the <body> tag on any page that needs the original visitor IPs:


This will only make the IP address available to scripts that need it. It doesn’t store the IP in your actual server logs.

Remove mod_cloudflare


To remove mod_cloudflare, you should comment out the Apache config line that loads mod_cloudflare.

This varies based on your Linux distribution, but for most people, if you look in /etc/apache2, you should be able to search to find the line:

LoadModule cloudflare_module

Comment or remove this line, then restart apache, and mod_cloudflare should be gone.

If you are running Ubuntu or Debian, you should see.


delete this file to remove mod_cloudflare, then restart Apache.


Mod_cloudflare is installed by modifying the nginx configuration file nginx.conf with the ngx_http_realip_module.

To remove mod_cloudflare you should comment or remove this line, then restart nginx, and mod_cloudflare should be gone.

To remove mod_cloudflare from other web server types, consult your web server documentation for how to remove modules.

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