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Distributed Storage Across Four Storage Nodes With GlusterFS On CentOS 5.4

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  1. 1 Preliminary Note
  2. 2 Setting Up The GlusterFS Servers

This tutorial shows how to combine four single storage servers (running CentOS 5.4) to one large storage server (distributed storage) with GlusterFS. The client system (CentOS 5.4 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.

Please note that this kind of storage (distributed storage) doesn't provide any high-availability features, as would be the case with replicated storage.

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)

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 contains the following lines on all five systems:

vi /etc/hosts

[...]     server1     server2     server3     server4     client1

(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 isn't available as a package for CentOS 5.4, therefore we have to build it ourselves. First we install the prerequisites:

yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

yum groupinstall 'Development Libraries'

yum install libibverbs-devel fuse-devel

Then we download the latest GlusterFS release from and build it as follows:

cd /tmp
tar xvfz glusterfs-2.0.9.tar.gz
cd glusterfs-2.0.9

At the end of the ./configure command, you should see something like this:

GlusterFS configure summary
FUSE client        : yes
Infiniband verbs   : yes
epoll IO multiplex : yes
Berkeley-DB        : yes
libglusterfsclient : yes
argp-standalone    : no

[root@server1 glusterfs-2.0.9]#

make && make install

Check the GlusterFS version afterwards (should be 2.0.9):

glusterfs --version

[root@server1 glusterfs-2.0.9]# glusterfs --version
glusterfs 2.0.9 built on Mar 1 2010 15:34:50
Repository revision: v2.0.9
Copyright (c) 2006-2009 Gluster Inc. <>
You may redistribute copies of GlusterFS under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
[root@server1 glusterfs-2.0.9]#

Next we create a few directories:

mkdir /data/
mkdir /data/export
mkdir /data/export-ns
mkdir /etc/glusterfs

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

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 create the following symlink...

ln -s /usr/local/sbin/glusterfsd /sbin/glusterfsd

... and then the system startup links for the GlusterFS server and start it:

chkconfig --levels 35 glusterfsd on
/etc/init.d/glusterfsd start

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From: Anonymous

This article is VERY outdated.  As of November 2010, with version 3.1 of glusterfs, these instructions are incorrect.

For the latest Glusterfs documentation see:



CAUTION: Gluster configuration has changed since this article was written. The Refer to the Gluster Information Wiki for the current steps+commands to configure Gluster.