I have a site which uses Drupal core anonymous caching. However, I have noticed a very strange behavior. Sometimes I will load the home page and in the response headers will be the 'X-Drupal-Cache' header. But if I reload the page again, the 'X-Drupal-Cache' header disappears. I cannot understand how this could happen.

What might be the cause?

The response headers also containL Cache-Control:no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0, which I understand will force the browser not to use a cached version of the page.

Strange thing is that if I access the same page using curl (e.g. curl -I http://example.com/), the X-Drupal-Cache header appears each and every time.

  • 1
    Are you sure the response is coming from the server? Is your browser returning a cached page?
    – Shawn Conn
    Sep 7, 2015 at 5:10
  • Is there an easy way of checking if the page was served from the browser cache?
    – Benjen
    Sep 7, 2015 at 5:35
  • Depending on your browser, your networks tools should indicate where the response comes from. An alternative might be to use cURL: curl -I http://example.com/
    – Shawn Conn
    Sep 7, 2015 at 6:20
  • @ShawnConn I tried using curl and updated my original question accordingly
    – Benjen
    Sep 7, 2015 at 8:56

1 Answer 1


The behavior you're seeing is the result of having a browser cache. After the first request, your browser caches the document and keeps track of its signature through the Etag/Last-Modified headers.

Upon subsequent requests, the browser makes a request to the server with the If-None-Match/ If-Modified-Since headers. If the document hasn't changed, the server returns a HTTP 304 Not Modified which tells the browser it's okay to serve its cached version of the page.

Because cURL doesn't have a caching mechanism, X-Drupal-Cache always appears; it needs to go directly to Drupal each time for the document.

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