Creating An NFS-Like Standalone Storage Server With GlusterFS 3.2.x On Ubuntu 12.10

This tutorial shows how to set up a standalone storage server on Ubuntu 12.10. Instead of NFS, I will use GlusterFS here. The client system will be able to access the storage as if it was a local filesystem. GlusterFS is a clustered file-system capable of scaling to several peta-bytes. It aggregates various storage bricks over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect into one large parallel network file system. Storage bricks can be made of any commodity hardware such as x86_64 servers with SATA-II RAID and Infiniband HBA.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Preliminary Note

In this tutorial I use two systems, a server and a client:

  • IP address (server)
  • IP address (client)

Because we will run all the steps from this tutorial with root privileges, we can either prepend all commands in this tutorial with the string sudo, or we become root right now by typing

sudo su 

Both systems should be able to resolve the other system's hostname. If this cannot be done through DNS, you should edit the /etc/hosts file so that it looks as follows on both systems:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost     server1     client1

# The following lines are desirable for IPv6 capable hosts
::1     localhost ip6-localhost ip6-loopback
fe00::0 ip6-localnet
ff00::0 ip6-mcastprefix
ff02::1 ip6-allnodes
ff02::2 ip6-allrouters

(It is also possible to use IP addresses instead of hostnames in the following setup. If you prefer to use IP addresses, you don't have to care about whether the hostnames can be resolved or not.)


2 Setting Up The GlusterFS Server

GlusterFS is available as a package for Ubuntu 12.10, therefore we can install it as follows:

apt-get install glusterfs-server

The command

glusterfsd --version

should now show the GlusterFS version that you've just installed (3.2.5 in this case):

[email protected]:~# glusterfsd --version
glusterfs 3.2.5 built on Jan 31 2012 07:39:58
Repository revision: git://
Copyright (c) 2006-2011 Gluster Inc. <>
You may redistribute copies of GlusterFS under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
[email protected]:~#

If you use a firewall, ensure that TCP ports 111, 24007, 24008, 24009-(24009 + number of bricks across all volumes) are open on

Next we create the share named testvol on localhost (= server1) in the /data directory (this will be created if it doesn't exist):

gluster volume create testvol

[email protected]:~# gluster volume create testvol
Creation of volume testvol has been successful. Please start the volume to access data.
[email protected]:~#

Start the volume:

gluster volume start testvol

It is possible that the above command tells you that the action was not successful:

[email protected]:~# gluster volume start testvol
Starting volume testvol has been unsuccessful
[email protected]:~#

You can check the status of the volume with the command

gluster volume info
[email protected]:~# gluster volume info

Volume Name: testvol
Type: Distribute
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 1
Transport-type: tcp
[email protected]:~#

If it tells you that the volume is started, everything is fine, otherwise just start it again.

By default, all clients can connect to the volume. If you want to grant access to (= only, run:

gluster volume set testvol auth.allow

Please note that it is possible to use wildcards for the IP addresses (like 192.168.*) and that you can specify multiple IP addresses separated by comma (e.g.,

The volume info should now show the updated status:

gluster volume info
[email protected]:~# gluster volume info

Volume Name: testvol
Type: Distribute
Status: Started
Number of Bricks: 1
Transport-type: tcp
Options Reconfigured:
[email protected]:~#


3 Setting Up The GlusterFS Client

On the client, we can install the GlusterFS client as follows:

apt-get install glusterfs-client

Then we create the following directory:

mkdir /mnt/glusterfs

That's it! Now we can mount the GlusterFS filesystem to /mnt/glusterfs with the following command:

mount.glusterfs /mnt/glusterfs

You should now see the new share in the outputs of...


[email protected]:~# mount
/dev/mapper/client1-root on / type ext4 (rw,errors=remount-ro)
proc on /proc type proc (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev)
none on /sys/fs/fuse/connections type fusectl (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/debug type debugfs (rw)
none on /sys/kernel/security type securityfs (rw)
udev on /dev type devtmpfs (rw,mode=0755)
devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,noexec,nosuid,gid=5,mode=0620)
tmpfs on /run type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,size=10%,mode=0755)
none on /run/lock type tmpfs (rw,noexec,nosuid,nodev,size=5242880)
none on /run/shm type tmpfs (rw,nosuid,nodev)
/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext2 (rw) on /mnt/glusterfs type fuse.glusterfs (rw,allow_other,default_permissions,max_read=131072)
[email protected]:~#

... and...

df -h

[email protected]:~# df -h
Filesystem                    Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/client1-root       30G  1.5G   27G   6% /
udev                          237M  4.0K  237M   1% /dev
tmpfs                          99M  224K   99M   1% /run
none                          5.0M     0  5.0M   0% /run/lock
none                          246M     0  246M   0% /run/shm
/dev/sda1                     228M   25M  192M  12% /boot   30G  1.5G   27G   6% /mnt/glusterfs
[email protected]:~#

Instead of mounting the GlusterFS share manually on the client, you could modify /etc/fstab so that the share gets mounted automatically when the client boots.

Open /etc/fstab and append the following line:

vi /etc/fstab  
[...] /mnt/glusterfs glusterfs defaults,_netdev 0 0

To test if your modified /etc/fstab is working, reboot the client:


After the reboot, you should find the share in the outputs of...

df -h

... and...



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4 Comment(s)

Add comment


By: Anonymous

Very interesting article. But why would I want GlusterFS instead of NFS for one single server? I would like to know your opinion on the matter.

Besides, how does GlusterFS compare to NFS on CPU load and RAM load (client and server), and network bandwidth usage?

Thank you for any insight you may have :-)

By: Anonymous Nun B.

I wouldnt ,mainly on just the fact that their both dfs,dis.rspc.

                                                     - Sincerely Nun. B

By: Anonymous

how can i have both system? a client and server at first step? having hard time to search that.

By: Gianluca

I LOVE YOU. You saved my ass with this article......