There is a new revision of this tutorial available for Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal).

Distributed Replicated Storage Across Four Storage Nodes With GlusterFS On Ubuntu 9.10

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme
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This tutorial shows how to combine four single storage servers (running Ubuntu 9.10) to a distributed replicated storage with GlusterFS. Nodes 1 and 2 (replication1) as well as 3 and 4 (replication2) will mirror each other, and replication1 and replication2 will be combined to one larger storage server (distribution). Basically, this is RAID10 over network. If you lose one server from replication1 and one from replication2, the distributed volume continues to work. The client system (Ubuntu 9.10 as well) 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 five systems, four servers and a client:

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

All five systems should be able to resolve the other systems' hostnames. If this cannot be done through DNS, you should edit the /etc/hosts file so that it looks as follows on all five systems:

vi /etc/hosts       localhost.localdomain   localhost     server1     server2     server3     server4     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
ff02::3 ip6-allhosts

(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 Servers

GlusterFS is available as a package for Ubuntu 9.10, therefore we can install it as follows:

aptitude install glusterfs-server

The command

glusterfs --version

should now show the GlusterFS version that you've just installed (2.0.2 in this case):

root@server1:~# glusterfs --version
glusterfs 2.0.2 built on Jun 29 2009 23:49:59
Repository revision: 07019da2e16534d527215a91904298ede09bb798
Copyright (c) 2006-2009 Z RESEARCH Inc. <>
You may redistribute copies of GlusterFS under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Next we create a few directories:

mkdir /data/
mkdir /data/export
mkdir /data/export-ns

Now we create the GlusterFS server configuration file /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol (we make a backup of the original /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol file first) which defines which directory will be exported (/data/export) and what client is allowed to connect ( =

cp /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol_orig
cat /dev/null > /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol
vi /etc/glusterfs/glusterfsd.vol

volume posix
  type storage/posix
  option directory /data/export

volume locks
  type features/locks
  subvolumes posix

volume brick
  type performance/io-threads
  option thread-count 8
  subvolumes locks

volume server
  type protocol/server
  option transport-type tcp
  option auth.addr.brick.allow
  subvolumes brick

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.,

Afterwards we start the GlusterFS server:

/etc/init.d/glusterfs-server start

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