The LINSTOR User’s Guide

Please Read This First

This guide is intended to serve users of the Software-Defined-Storage Solution LINSTOR as a definitive reference guide and handbook.

This guide assumes, throughout, that you are using the latest version of LINSTOR and related tools.

This guide is organized as follows:


1. Basic administrative tasks / Setup

LINSTOR is a configuration management system for storage on Linux systems. It manages LVM logical volumes and/or ZFS ZVOLs on a cluster of nodes. It leverages DRBD for replication between different nodes and to provide block storage devices to users and applications. It manages snapshots, encryption and caching of HDD backed data in SSDs via bcache.

1.1. Concepts and Terms

This section goes over core concepts and terms that you will need to familiarize yourself with to understand how LINSTOR works and deploys storage. The section is laid out in a “ground up” approach.

1.1.1. Installable Components


A LINSTOR setup requires at least one active controller and one or more satellites.

The linstor-controller relies on a database that holds all configuration information for the whole cluster. It makes all decisions that need to have a view of the whole cluster. Multiple controllers can be used for LINSTOR but only one can be active.


The linstor-satellite runs on each node where LINSTOR consumes local storage or provides storage to services. It is stateless; it receives all the information it needs from the controller. It runs programs like lvcreate and drbdadm. It acts like a node agent.


The linstor-client is a command line utility that you use to issue commands to the system and to investigate the status of the system.

1.1.2. Objects

Objects are the end result which LINSTOR presents to the end-user or application, such as; Kubernetes/OpenShift, a replicated block device (DRBD), NVMeOF target, etc.


Node’s are a server or container that participate in a LINSTOR cluster. The Node attribute defines:

  • Determines which LINSTOR cluster the node participates in

  • Sets the role of the node: Controller, Satellite, Auxiliary

  • NetInterface objects define the node’s connectivity


As the name implies, this is how you define the interface/address of a node’s network interface.


Definitions define attributes of an object, they can be thought of as profile or template. Objects created will inherit the configuration defined in the definitions. A definition must be defined prior to creating the associated object. For example; you must create a ResourceDefinition prior to creating the Resource

  • Defines the name of a storage pool


Resource definitions define the following attributes of a resource:

  • The name of a DRBD resource

  • The TCP port for DRBD to use for the resource’s connection


Volume definitions define the following:

  • A volume of a DRBD resource

  • The size of the volume

  • The volume number of the DRBD resource’s volume

  • The meta data properties of the volume

  • The minor number to use for the DRBD device associated with the DRBD volume


The StoragePool identifies storage in the context of LINSTOR. It defines:

  • The configuration of a storage pool on a specific node

  • The storage back-end driver to use for the storage pool on the cluster node (LVM, ZFS, etc)

  • The parameters and configuration to pass to the storage backed driver


LINSTOR has now has expanded its capabilities to manage a broader set of storage technologies outside of just DRBD. A Resource:

  • Represents the placement of a DRBD resource, as defined within the ResourceDefinition

  • Places a resource on a node in the cluster

  • Defines the placement of a ResourceDefinition on a node


Volumes are a subset of a Resource. A Resource could have multiple volumes, for example you may wish to have your database stored on slower storage than your logs in your MySQL cluster. By keeping the volumes under a single resource you are essentially creating a consistency group. The Volume attribute can define also define attributes on a more granular level.

1.2. Broader Context

While LINSTOR might be used to make the management of DRBD more convenient, it is often integrated with software stacks higher up. Such integration exist already for Kubernetes, OpenStack, OpenNebula and Proxmox. Chapters specific to deploying LINSTOR in these environments are included in this guide.

The southbound drivers used by LINSTOR are LVM, thinLVM and ZFS.

1.3. Packages

LINSTOR is packaged in both the .rpm and the .deb variants:

  1. linstor-client contains the command line client program. It depends on python which is usually already installed. In RHEL 8 systems you will need to symlink python

  2. linstor-controller and linstor-satellite Both contain systemd unit files for the services. They depend on Java runtime environment (JRE) version 1.8 (headless) or higher.

For further detail about these packages see the Installable Components section above.

If you have a support subscription to LINBIT, you will have access to our certified binaries via our repositories.

1.4. Installation

If you want to use LINSTOR in containers skip this Topic and use the “Containers” section below for the installation.

1.4.1. Ubuntu Linux

If you want to have the option of creating replicated storage using DRBD, you will need to install drbd-dkms and drbd-utils. These packages will need to be installed on all nodes. You will also need to choose a volume manager, either ZFS or LVM, in this instance we’re using LVM.

# apt install -y drbd-dkms drbd-utils lvm2

Depending on whether your node is a LINSTOR controller, satellite, or both (Combined) will determine what packages are required on that node. For combined type nodes, we’ll need both the controller and satellite LINSTOR package.

Combined node:

# apt install linstor-controller linstor-satellite  linstor-client

That will make our remaining nodes our Satellites, so we’ll need to install the following packages on them:

# apt install linstor-satellite  linstor-client

1.4.2. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

SLES High Availability Extension (HAE) includes DRBD.

On SLES, DRBD is normally installed via the software installation component of YaST2. It comes bundled with the High Availability package selection.

As we download DRBD’s newest module we can check if the LVM-tools are up to date as well. User who prefer a command line install may simply issue the following command to get the newest DRBD and LVM version:

# zypper install drbd lvm2

Depending on whether your node is a LINSTOR controller, satellite, or both (Combined) will determine what packages are required on that node. For combined type nodes, we’ll need both the controller and satellite LINSTOR package.

Combined node:

# zypper install linstor-controller linstor-satellite  linstor-client

That will make our remaining nodes our Satellites, so we’ll need to install the following packages on them:

# zypper install linstor-satellite  linstor-client

1.4.3. CentOS

CentOS has had DRBD 8 since release 5. For DRBD 9 you’ll need to look at EPEL and similar sources. Alternatively, if you have an active support contract with LINBIT you can utilize our RHEL 8 repositories. DRBD can be installed using yum. We can also check for the newest version of the LVM-tools as well.

LINSTOR requires DRBD 9 if you wish to have replicated storage. This requires an external repository to be configured, either LINBIT’s or a 3rd parties.
# yum install drbd kmod-drbd lvm2

Depending on whether your node is a LINSTOR controller, satellite, or both (Combined) will determine what packages are required on that node. For combined type nodes, we’ll need both the controller and satellite LINSTOR package.

On RHEL 8 systems you will need to install python2 for the linstor-client to work.

Combined node:

# yum install linstor-controller linstor-satellite  linstor-client

That will make our remaining nodes our Satellites, so we’ll need to install the following packages on them:

# yum install linstor-satellite  linstor-client

1.5. Upgrading

LINSTOR doesn’t support rolling upgrade, controller and satellites must have the same version, otherwise the controller with discard the satellite with a VERSION_MISMATCH. But this isn’t a problem, as the satellite won’t do any actions as long it isn’t connected to a controller and DRBD will not be disrupted by any means.

If you are using the embedded default H2 database and the linstor-controller package is upgraded an automatic backup file of the database will be created in the default /var/lib/linstor directory. This file is a good restore point if for any reason a linstor-controller database migration should fail, than it is recommended to report the error to Linbit and restore the old database file and downgrade to your previous controller version.

If you use any external database or etcd, it is recommended to do a manually backup of your current database to have a restore point.

So first upgrade the linstor-controller, linstor-client package on you controller host and restart the linstor-controller, the controller should start and all of it’s client should show OFFLINE(VERSION_MISMATCH). After that you can continue upgrading linstor-satellite on all satellite nodes and restart them, after a short reconnection time they should all show ONLINE again and your upgrade is finished.

1.6. Containers

LINSTOR is also available as containers. The base images are available in LINBIT’s container registry,

In order to access the images, you first have to login to the registry (reach out to for credentials):

# docker login

The containers available in this repo are:










An up to date list of available images with versions can be retrieved by opening in your browser. Make sure to access the host via “http”, as the registry’s images themselves are served via “https”.

To load the kernel module, needed only for LINSTOR satellites, you’ll need to run a drbd9-$dist container in privileged mode. The kernel module containers either retrieve an official LINBIT package from a customer repository, use shipped packages, or they try to build the kernel modules from source. If you intend to build from source, you need to have the according kernel headers (e.g., kernel-devel) installed on the host. There are 4 ways to execute such a module load container:

  • Building from shipped source

  • Using a shipped/pre-built kernel module

  • Specifying a LINBIT node hash and a distribution.

  • Bind-mounting an existing repository configuration.

Example building from shipped source (RHEL based):

# docker run -it --rm --privileged -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules \
  -v /usr/src:/usr/src:ro \

Example using a module shipped with the container, which is enabled by not bind-mounting /usr/src:

# docker run -it --rm --privileged -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules \

Example using a hash and a distribution (rarely used):

# docker run -it --rm --privileged -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules \
  -e LB_DIST=rhel7.7 -e LB_HASH=ThisIsMyNodeHash \

Example using an existing repo config (rarely used):

# docker run -it --rm --privileged -v /lib/modules:/lib/modules \
  -v /etc/yum.repos.d/linbit.repo:/etc/yum.repos.d/linbit.repo:ro \
In both cases (hash + distribution, as well as bind-mounting a repo) the hash or config has to be from a node that has a special property set. Feel free to contact our support, and we set this property.
For now (i.e., pre DRBD 9 version “9.0.17”), you must use the containerized DRBD kernel module, as opposed to loading a kernel module onto the host system. If you intend to use the containers you should not install the DRBD kernel module on your host systems. For DRBD version 9.0.17 or greater, you can install the kernel module as usual on the host system, but you need to make sure to load the module with the usermode_helper=disabled parameter (e.g., modprobe drbd usermode_helper=disabled).

Then run the LINSTOR satellite container, also privileged, as a daemon:

# docker run -d --name=linstor-satellite --net=host -v /dev:/dev --privileged
net=host is required for the containerized drbd-utils to be able to communicate with the host-kernel via netlink.

To run the LINSTOR controller container as a daemon, mapping ports 3370, 3376 and 3377 on the host to the container:

# docker run -d --name=linstor-controller -p 3370:3370 -p 3376:3376 -p 3377:3377

To interact with the containerized LINSTOR cluster, you can either use a LINSTOR client installed on a system via packages, or via the containerized LINSTOR client. To use the LINSTOR client container:

# docker run -it --rm -e LS_CONTROLLERS=<controller-host-IP-address> node list

From this point you would use the LINSTOR client to initialize your cluster and begin creating resources using the typical LINSTOR patterns.

To stop and remove a daemonized container and image:

# docker stop linstor-controller
# docker rm linstor-controller

1.7. Initializing your cluster

We assume that the following steps are accomplished on all cluster nodes:

  1. The DRBD9 kernel module is installed and loaded

  2. drbd-utils are installed

  3. LVM tools are installed

  4. linstor-controller and/or linstor-satellite its dependencies are installed

  5. The linstor-client is installed on the linstor-controller node

Start and enable the linstor-controller service on the host where it has been installed:

# systemctl enable --now linstor-controller

If you are sure the linstor-controller service gets automatically enabled on installation you can use the following command as well:

# systemctl start linstor-controller

1.8. Using the LINSTOR client

Whenever you run the LINSTOR command line client, it needs to know where your linstor-controller runs. If you do not specify it, it will try to reach a locally running linstor-controller listening on IP port 3376. Therefore we will use the linstor-client on the same host as the linstor-controller.

The linstor-satellite requires ports 3366 and 3367. The linstor-controller requires ports 3376 and 3377. Make sure you have these ports allowed on your firewall.
# linstor node list

should give you an empty list and not an error message.

You can use the linstor command on any other machine, but then you need to tell the client how to find the linstor-controller. As shown, this can be specified as a command line option, an environment variable, or in a global file:

# linstor --controllers=alice node list
# LS_CONTROLLERS=alice linstor node list

Alternatively you can create the /etc/linstor/linstor-client.conf file and populate it like below.


If you have multiple linstor-controllers configured you can simply specify them all in a comma separated list. The linstor-client will simply try them in the order listed.

The linstor-client commands can also be used in a much faster and convenient way by only writing the starting letters of the parameters e.g.: linstor node listlinstor n l

1.9. Adding nodes to your cluster

The next step is to add nodes to your LINSTOR cluster.

# linstor node create bravo

If the IP is omitted, the client will try to resolve the given node-name as host-name by itself.

Linstor will automatically detect the node’s local uname -n which is later used for the DRBD-resource.

When you use linstor node list you will see that the new node is marked as offline. Now start and enable the linstor-satellite on that node so that the service comes up on reboot as well:

# systemctl enable --now  linstor-satellite

You can also use systemctl start linstor-satellite if you are sure that the service is already enabled as default and comes up on reboot.

About 10 seconds later you will see the status in linstor node list becoming online. Of course the satellite process may be started before the controller knows about the existence of the satellite node.

In case the node which hosts your controller should also contribute storage to the LINSTOR cluster, you have to add it as a node and start the linstor-satellite as well.

If you want to have other services wait until the linstor-satellite had a chance to create the necessary devices (i.e. after a boot), you can update the corresponding .service file and change Type=simple to Type=notify.

This will cause the satellite to delay sending the READY=1 message to systemd until the controller connects, sends all required data to the satellite and the satellite at least tried once to get the devices up and running.

1.10. Storage pools

StoragePools identify storage in the context of LINSTOR. To group storage pools from multiple nodes, simply use the same name on each node. For example, one valid approach is to give all SSDs one name and all HDDs another.

On each host contributing storage, you need to create either an LVM VG or a ZFS zPool. The VGs and zPools identified with one LINSTOR storage pool name may have different VG or zPool names on the hosts, but do yourself a favor and use the same VG or zPool name on all nodes.

# vgcreate vg_ssd /dev/nvme0n1 /dev/nvme1n1 [...]

These then need to be registered with LINSTOR:

# linstor storage-pool create lvm alpha pool_ssd vg_ssd
# linstor storage-pool create lvm bravo pool_ssd vg_ssd
The storage pool name and common metadata is referred to as a storage pool definition. The listed commands create a storage pool definition implicitly. You can see that by using linstor storage-pool-definition list. Creating storage pool definitions explicitly is possible but not necessary.

To list your storage-pools you can use:

# linstor storage-pool list

or using the short version

# linstor sp l

Should the deletion of the storage pool be prevented due to attached resources or snapshots with some of its volumes in another still functional storage pool, hints will be given in the ‘status’ column of the corresponding list-command (e.g. linstor resource list). After deleting the LINSTOR-objects in the lost storage pool manually, the lost-command can be executed again to ensure a complete deletion of the storage pool and its remaining objects.

1.10.1. A storage pool per backend device

In clusters where you have only one kind of storage and the capability to hot-repair storage devices, you may choose a model where you create one storage pool per physical backing device. The advantage of this model is to confine failure domains to a single storage device.

1.10.2. Physical storage command

Since linstor-server 1.5.2 and a recent linstor-client, LINSTOR can create LVM/ZFS pools on a satellite for you. The linstor-client has the following commands to list possible disks and create storage pools, but such LVM/ZFS pools are not managed by LINSTOR and there is no delete command, so such action must be done manually on the nodes.

# linstor physical-storage list

Will give you a list of available disks grouped by size and rotational(SSD/Magnetic Disk).

It will only show disks that pass the following filters:

  • The device size must be greater than 1GiB

  • The device is a root device (not having children) e.g.: /dev/vda, /dev/sda

  • The device does not have any file-system or other blkid marker (wipefs -a might be needed)

  • The device is no DRBD device

With the create-device-pool command you can create a LVM pool on a disk and also directly add it as a storage-pool in LINSTOR.

# linstor physical-storage create-device-pool --pool-name lv_my_pool LVMTHIN node_alpha /dev/vdc --storage-pool newpool

If the --storage-pool option was provided, LINSTOR will create a storage-pool with the given name.

For more options and exact command usage please check the linstor-client help.

1.11. Resource groups

A resource group is a parent object of a resource definition where all property changes made on a resource group will be inherited by it’s resource definition children. The resource group also stores settings for automatic placement rules and can spawn a resource definition depending on the stored rules.

In simpler terms, resource groups are like templates that define characteristics of resources created from them. Changes to these pseudo templates will be applied to all resources that were created from the resource group, retroactively.

Using resource groups to define how you’d like your resources provisioned should be considered the de facto method for deploying volumes provisioned by LINSTOR. Chapters that follow which describe creating each resource from a resource-definition and volume-definition should only be used in special scenarios.
Even if you choose not to create and use resource-groups in your LINSTOR cluster, all resources created from resource-definitions and volume-definitions will exist in the ‘DfltRscGrp’ resource-group.

A simple pattern for deploying resources using resource groups would look like this:

# linstor resource-group create my_ssd_group --storage-pool pool_ssd --place-count 2
# linstor volume-group create my_ssd_group
# linstor resource-group spawn-resources my_ssd_group my_ssd_res 20G

The commands above would result in a resource named ‘my_ssd_res’ with a 20GB volume replicated twice being automatically provisioned from nodes who participate in the storage pool named ‘pool_ssd’.

A more useful pattern could be to create a resource group with settings you’ve determined are optimal for your use case. Perhaps you have to run nightly online verifications of your volumes’ consistency, in that case, you could create a resource group with the ‘verify-alg’ of your choice already set so that resources spawned from the group are pre-configured with ‘verify-alg’ set:

# linstor resource-group create my_verify_group --storage-pool pool_ssd --place-count 2
# linstor resource-group drbd-options --verify-alg crc32c my_verify_group
# linstor volume-group create my_verify_group
# for i in {00..19}; do
    linstor resource-group spawn-resources my_verify_group res$i 10G

The commands above result in twenty 10GiB resources being created each with the ‘crc32c’ ‘verify-alg’ pre-configured.

You can tune the settings of individual resources or volumes spawned from resource groups by setting options on the respective resource-definition or volume-definition. For example, if ‘res11’ from the example above is used by a very active database receiving lots of small random writes, you might want to increase the ‘al-extents’ for that specific resource:

# linstor resource-definition drbd-options --al-extents 6007 res11

If you configure a setting in a resource-definition that is already configured on the resource-group it was spawned from, the value set in the resource-definition will override the value set on the parent resource-group. For example, if the same ‘res11’ was required to use the slower but more secure ‘sha256’ hash algorithm in its verifications, setting the ‘verify-alg’ on the resource-definition for ‘res11’ would override the value set on the resource-group:

# linstor resource-definition drbd-options --verify-alg sha256 res11
A rule of thumb for the hierarchy in which settings are inherited is the value “closer” to the resource or volume wins: volume-definition settings take precedence over volume-group settings, and resource-definition settings take precedence over resource-group settings.

1.12. Cluster configuration

1.12.1. Available storage plugins

LINSTOR has the following supported storage plugins as of writing:

  • Thick LVM

  • Thin LVM with a single thin pool

  • Thick ZFS

  • Thin ZFS

1.13. Creating and deploying resources/volumes

In the following scenario we assume that the goal is to create a resource ‘backups’ with a size of ‘500 GB’ that is replicated among three cluster nodes.

First, we create a new resource definition:

# linstor resource-definition create backups

Second, we create a new volume definition within that resource definition:

# linstor volume-definition create backups 500G

If you want to change the size of the volume-definition you can simply do that by:

# linstor volume-definition set-size backups 0 100G

The parameter 0 is the number of the volume in the resource backups. You have to provide this parameter , because resources can have multiple volumes and they are identified by a so called volume-number. This number can be found by listing the volume-definitions.

The size of a volume-definition can only be decreased if it has no resource. Despite of that the size can be increased even with an deployed resource.

So far we have only created objects in LINSTOR’s database, not a single LV was created on the storage nodes. Now you have the choice of delegating the task of placement to LINSTOR or doing it yourself.

1.13.1. Manual placement

With the resource create command you may assign a resource definition to named nodes explicitly.

# linstor resource create alpha backups --storage-pool pool_hdd
# linstor resource create bravo backups --storage-pool pool_hdd
# linstor resource create charlie backups --storage-pool pool_hdd

1.13.2. Autoplace

The value after autoplace tells LINSTOR how many replicas you want to have. The storage-pool option should be obvious.

# linstor resource create backups --auto-place 3 --storage-pool pool_hdd

Maybe not so obvious is that you may omit the --storage-pool option, then LINSTOR may select a storage pool on its own. The selection follows these rules:

  • Ignore all nodes and storage pools the current user has no access to

  • Ignore all diskless storage pools

  • Ignore all storage pools not having enough free space

The remaining storage pools will be rated by different strategies. LINSTOR has currently three strategies:

  • MaxFreeSpace: This strategy maps the rating 1:1 to the remaining free space of the storage pool. However, this strategy only considers the actually allocated space (in case of thinly provisioned storage pool this might grow with time without creating new resources)

  • MinReservedSpace: Unlink the “MaxFreeSpace”, this strategy considers the reserved spaced. That is the space that a thin volume can grow to before reaching its limit. The sum of reserved spaces might exceed the storage pools capacity, which is as overprovisioning.

  • MinRscCount: Simply the count of resources already deployed in a given storage pool

  • MaxThroughput: For this strategy, the storage pool’s Autoplacer/MaxThroughput property is the base of the score, or 0 if the property is not present. Every Volume deployed in the given storage pool will subtract its defined sys/fs/blkio_throttle_read and sys/fs/blkio_throttle_write property- value from the storage pool’s max throughput. The resulting score might be negative.

The scores of the strategies will be normalized, weighted and summed up, where the scores of minimizing strategies will be converted first to allow an overall maximization of the resulting score.

The weights of the strategies can be configured with

linstor controller set-property Autoplacer/Weights/$name_of_the_strategy $weight

whereas the strategy-names are listed above and the weight can be an arbitrary decimal.

To keep the behaviour of the autoplacer similar to the old one (due to compatibility), all strategies have a default-weight of 0, except the MaxFreeSpace which has a weight of 1.
Neither 0 nor a negative score will prevent a storage pool from getting selected, just making them to be considered later.

Finally LINSTOR tries to find the best matching group of storage pools meeting all requirements. This step also considers other autoplacement restrictions as --replicas-on-same, --replicas-on-different and others.

These two arguments, --replicas-on-same and --replicas-on-different expect the name of a property within the Aux/ namespace. The following example shows that the client automatically prefixes the testProperty with the Aux/ namespace.

linstor resource-group create testRscGrp --replicas-on-same testProperty
    New resource group 'testRscGrp' created.
    Resource group 'testRscGrp' UUID is: 35e043cb-65ab-49ac-9920-ccbf48f7e27d

linstor resource-group list
| ResourceGroup | SelectFilter                         | VlmNrs | Description |
| DfltRscGrp    | PlaceCount: 2                        |        |             |
| testRscGrp    | PlaceCount: 2                        |        |             |
|               | ReplicasOnSame: ['Aux/testProperty'] |        |             |
If everything went right the DRBD-resource has now been created by LINSTOR. This can be checked by looking for the DRBD block device with the lsblk command which should look like drbd0000 or similar.

Now we should be able to mount the block device of our resource and start using LINSTOR.

2. Further LINSTOR tasks

2.1. DRBD clients

By using the --drbd-diskless option instead of --storage-pool you can have a permanently diskless DRBD device on a node. This means that the resource will appear as block device and can be mounted to the filesystem without an existing storage-device. The data of the resource is accessed over the network on another nodes with the same resource.

# linstor resource create delta backups --drbd-diskless
The option --diskless was deprecated. Please use --drbd-diskless or --nvme-initiator instead.

2.2. LINSTOR – DRBD consistency group/multiple volumes

The so called consistency group is a feature from DRBD. It is mentioned in this user-guide, due to the fact that one of LINSTOR’s main functions is to manage storage-clusters with DRBD. Multiple volumes in one resource are a consistency group.

This means that changes on different volumes from one resource are getting replicated in the same chronological order on the other Satellites.

Therefore you don’t have to worry about the timing if you have interdependent data on different volumes in a resource.

To deploy more than one volume in a LINSTOR-resource you have to create two volume-definitions with the same name.

# linstor volume-definition create backups 500G
# linstor volume-definition create backups 100G

2.3. Volumes of one resource to different Storage-Pools

This can be achieved by setting the StorPoolName property to the volume definitions before the resource is deployed to the nodes:

# linstor resource-definition create backups
# linstor volume-definition create backups 500G
# linstor volume-definition create backups 100G
# linstor volume-definition set-property backups 0 StorPoolName pool_hdd
# linstor volume-definition set-property backups 1 StorPoolName pool_ssd
# linstor resource create alpha backups
# linstor resource create bravo backups
# linstor resource create charlie backups
Since the volume-definition create command is used without the --vlmnr option LINSTOR assigned the volume numbers starting at 0. In the following two lines the 0 and 1 refer to these automatically assigned volume numbers.

Here the ‘resource create’ commands do not need a --storage-pool option. In this case LINSTOR uses a ‘fallback’ storage pool. Finding that storage pool, LINSTOR queries the properties of the following objects in the following order:

  • Volume definition

  • Resource

  • Resource definition

  • Node

If none of those objects contain a StorPoolName property, the controller falls back to a hard-coded ‘DfltStorPool’ string as a storage pool.

This also means that if you forgot to define a storage pool prior deploying a resource, you will get an error message that LINSTOR could not find the storage pool named ‘DfltStorPool’.

2.4. LINSTOR without DRBD

LINSTOR can be used without DRBD as well. Without DRBD, LINSTOR is able to provision volumes from LVM and ZFS backed storage pools, and create those volumes on individual nodes in your LINSTOR cluster.

Currently LINSTOR supports the creation of LVM and ZFS volumes with the option of layering some combinations of LUKS, DRBD, and/or NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP on top of those volumes.

For example, assume we have a Thin LVM backed storage pool defined in our LINSTOR cluster named, thin-lvm:

# linstor --no-utf8 storage-pool list
| StoragePool | Node      | Driver   | PoolName          | ... |
| thin-lvm    | linstor-a | LVM_THIN | drbdpool/thinpool | ... |
| thin-lvm    | linstor-b | LVM_THIN | drbdpool/thinpool | ... |
| thin-lvm    | linstor-c | LVM_THIN | drbdpool/thinpool | ... |
| thin-lvm    | linstor-d | LVM_THIN | drbdpool/thinpool | ... |

We could use LINSTOR to create a Thin LVM on linstor-d that’s 100GiB in size using the following commands:

# linstor resource-definition create rsc-1
# linstor volume-definition create rsc-1 100GiB
# linstor resource create --layer-list storage \
          --storage-pool thin-lvm linstor-d rsc-1

You should then see you have a new Thin LVM on linstor-d. You can extract the device path from LINSTOR by listing your linstor resources with the --machine-readable flag set:

# linstor --machine-readable resource list | grep device_path
            "device_path": "/dev/drbdpool/rsc-1_00000",

If you wanted to layer DRBD on top of this volume, which is the default --layer-list option in LINSTOR for ZFS or LVM backed volumes, you would use the following resource creation pattern instead:

# linstor resource-definition create rsc-1
# linstor volume-definition create rsc-1 100GiB
# linstor resource create --layer-list drbd,storage \
          --storage-pool thin-lvm linstor-d rsc-1

You would then see that you have a new Thin LVM backing a DRBD volume on linstor-d:

# linstor --machine-readable resource list | grep -e device_path -e backing_disk
            "device_path": "/dev/drbd1000",
            "backing_disk": "/dev/drbdpool/rsc-1_00000",

The following table shows which layer can be followed by which child-layer:

Layer Child layer












One layer can only occur once in the layer-list
For information about the prerequisites for the luks layer, refer to the Encrypted Volumes section of this User’s Guide.

2.4.1. NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP LINSTOR Layer

NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP allows LINSTOR to connect diskless resources to a node with the same resource where the data is stored over NVMe fabrics. This leads to the advantage that resources can be mounted without using local storage by accessing the data over the network. LINSTOR is not using DRBD in this case, and therefore NVMe resources provisioned by LINSTOR are not replicated, the data is stored on one node.

NVMe-oF only works on RDMA-capable networks and NVMe-TCP on every network that can carry IP traffic. If you want to know more about NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP visit for more information.

To use NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP with LINSTOR the package nvme-cli needs to be installed on every Node which acts as a Satellite and will use NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP for a resource:

If you are not using Ubuntu use the suitable command for installing packages on your OS – SLES: zypper – CentOS: yum
# apt install nvme-cli

To make a resource which uses NVMe-oF/NVMe-TCP an additional parameter has to be given as you create the resource-definition:

# linstor resource-definition create nvmedata  -l nvme,storage
As default the -l (layer-stack) parameter is set to drbd, storage when DRBD is used. If you want to create LINSTOR resources with neither NVMe nor DBRD you have to set the -l parameter to only storage.

Create the volume-definition for our resource:

# linstor volume-definition create nvmedata 500G

Before you create the resource on your nodes you have to know where the data will be stored locally and which node accesses it over the network.

First we create the resource on the node where our data will be stored:

# linstor resource create alpha nvmedata --storage-pool pool_ssd

On the nodes where the resource-data will be accessed over the network, the resource has to be defined as diskless:

# linstor resource create beta nvmedata -d

The -d parameter creates the resource on this node as diskless.

Now you can mount the resource nvmedata on one of your nodes.

If your nodes have more than one NIC you should force the route between them for NVMe-of/NVME-TCP, otherwise multiple NIC’s could cause troubles.

2.4.2. OpenFlex™ Layer

Since version 1.5.0 the additional Layer openflex can be used in LINSTOR. From LINSTOR’s perspective, the OpenFlex Composable Infrastructure takes the role of a combined layer acting as a storage layer (like LVM) and also providing the allocated space as an NVMe target. OpenFlex has a REST API which is also used by LINSTOR to operate with.

As OpenFlex combines concepts of LINSTORs storage as well as NVMe-layer, LINSTOR was added both, a new storage driver for the storage pools as well as a dedicated openflex layer which uses the mentioned REST API.

In order for LINSTOR to communicate with the OpenFlex-API, LINSTOR needs some additional properties, which can be set once on controller level to take LINSTOR-cluster wide effect:

  • StorDriver/Openflex/ApiHost specifies the host or IP of the API entry-point

  • StorDriver/Openflex/ApiPort this property is glued with a colon to the previous to form the basic http://ip:port part used by the REST calls

  • StorDriver/Openflex/UserName the REST username

  • StorDriver/Openflex/UserPassword the password for the REST user

Once that is configured, we can now create LINSTOR objects to represent the OpenFlex architecture. The theoretical mapping of LINSTOR objects to OpenFlex objects are as follows: Obviously an OpenFlex storage pool is represented by a LINSTOR storage pool. As the next thing above a LINSTOR storage pool is already the node, a LINSTOR node represents an OpenFlex storage device. The OpenFlex objects above storage device are not mapped by LINSTOR.

When using NVMe, LINSTOR was designed to run on both sides, the NVMe target as well as on the NVMe initiator side. In the case of OpenFlex, LINSTOR cannot (or even should not) run on the NVMe target side as that is completely managed by OpenFlex. As LINSTOR still needs nodes and storage pools to represent the OpenFlex counterparts, the LINSTOR client was extended with special node create commands since 1.0.14. These commands not only accept additionally needed configuration data, but also starts a “special satellite” besides the already running controller instance. This special satellites are completely LINSTOR managed, they will shutdown when the controller shuts down and will be started again when the controller starts. The new client command for creating a “special satellite” representing an OpenFlex storage device is:

$ linstor node create-openflex-target ofNode1 000af795789d

The arguments are as follows:

  • ofNode1 is the node name which is also used by the standard linstor node create command

  • is the address on which the provided NVMe devices can be accessed. As the NVMe devices are accessed by a dedicated network interface, this address differs from the address specified with the property StorDriver/Openflex/ApiHost. The latter is used for the management / REST API.

  • 000af795789d is the identifier for the OpenFlex storage device.

The last step of the configuration is the creation of LINSTOR storage pools:

$ linstor storage-pool create openflex ofNode1 sp0 0
  • ofNode1 and sp0 are the node name and storage pool name, respectively, just as usual for the LINSTORs create storage pool command

  • The last 0 is the identifier of the OpenFlex storage pool within the previously defined storage device

Once all necessary storage pools are created in LINSTOR, the next steps are similar to the usage of using an NVMe resource with LINSTOR. Here is a complete example:

# set the properties once
linstor controller set-property StorDriver/Openflex/ApiHost
linstor controller set-property StorDriver/Openflex/ApiPort 80
linstor controller set-property StorDriver/Openflex/UserName myusername
linstor controller set-property StorDriver/Openflex/UserPassword mypassword

# create a node for openflex storage device "000af795789d"
linstor node create-openflex-target ofNode1 000af795789d

# create a usual linstor satellite. later used as nvme initiator
linstor node create bravo

# create a storage pool for openflex storage pool "0" within storage device "000af795789d"
linstor storage-pool create openflex ofNode1 sp0 0

# create resource- and volume-definition
linstor resource-definition create backupRsc
linstor volume-definition create backupRsc 10G

# create openflex-based nvme target
linstor resource create ofNode1 backupRsc --storage-pool sp0 --layer-list openflex

# create openflex-based nvme initiator
linstor resource create bravo backupRsc --nvme-initiator --layer-list openflex
In case a node should access the OpenFlex REST API through a different host than specified with
linstor controller set-property StorDriver/Openflex/ApiHost you can always use LINSTOR’s inheritance mechanism for properties. That means simply define the same property on the node-level you need it, i.e.
linstor node set-property ofNode1 StorDriver/Openflex/ApiHost

2.4.3. Writecache Layer

A DM-Writecache device is composed by two devices, one storage device and one cache device. LINSTOR can setup such a writecache device, but needs some additional information, like the storage pool and the size of the cache device.

# linstor storage-pool create lvm node1 lvmpool drbdpool
# linstor storage-pool create lvm node1 pmempool pmempool

# linstor resource-definition create r1
# linstor volume-definition create r1 100G

# linstor volume-definition set-property r1 0 Writecache/PoolName pmempool
# linstor volume-definition set-property r1 0 Writecache/Size 1%

# linstor resource create node1 r1 --storage-pool lvmpool --layer-list WRITECACHE,STORAGE

The two properties set in the examples are mandatory, but can also be set on controller level which would act as a default for all resources with WRITECACHE in their --layer-list. However, please note that the Writecache/PoolName refers to the corresponding node. If the node does not have a storage-pool named pmempool you will get an error message.

The 4 mandatory parameters required by DM-Writecache are either configured via property or figured out by LINSTOR. The optional properties listed in the mentioned link can also be set via property. Please see linstor controller set-property --help for a list of Writecache/* property-keys.

Using --layer-list DRBD,WRITECACHE,STORAGE while having DRBD configured to use external metadata, only the backing device will use a writecache, not the device holding the external metadata.

2.4.4. Cache Layer

LINSTOR can also setup a DM-Cache device, which is very similar to the DM-Writecache from the previous section. The major difference is that a cache device is composed by three devices: one storage device, one cache device and one meta device. The LINSTOR properties are quite similar to those of the writecache but are located in the Cache namespace:

# linstor storage-pool create lvm node1 lvmpool drbdpool
# linstor storage-pool create lvm node1 pmempool pmempool

# linstor resource-definition create r1
# linstor volume-definition create r1 100G

# linstor volume-definition set-property r1 0 Cache/CachePool pmempool
# linstor volume-definition set-property r1 0 Cache/Size 1%

# linstor resource create node1 r1 --storage-pool lvmpool --layer-list CACHE,STORAGE
Instead of Writecache/PoolName (as when configuring the Writecache layer) the Cache layer’s only required property is called Cache/CachePool. The reason for this is that the Cache layer also has a Cache/MetaPool which can be configured separately or it defaults to the value of Cache/CachePool.

Please see linstor controller set-property --help for a list of Cache/* property-keys and default values for omitted properties.

Using --layer-list DRBD,CACHE,STORAGE while having DRBD configured to use external metadata, only the backing device will use a cache, not the device holding the external metadata.

2.4.5. Storage Layer

For some storage providers LINSTOR has special properties:

  • StorDriver/LvcreateOptions: The value of this property is appended to every lvcreate …​ call LINSTOR executes.

  • StorDriver/ZfscreateOptions: The value of this property is appended to every zfs create …​ call LINSTOR executes.

  • StorDriver/WaitTimeoutAfterCreate: If LINSTOR expects a device to appear after creation (for example after calls of lvcreate, zfs create,…​), LINSTOR waits per default 500ms for the device to appear. These 500ms can be overridden by this property.

  • StorDriver/dm_stats: If set to true LINSTOR calls dmstats create $device after creation and dmstats delete $device --allregions after deletion of a volume. Currently only enabled for LVM and LVM_THIN storage providers.

2.5. Managing Network Interface Cards

LINSTOR can deal with multiple network interface cards (NICs) in a machine, they are called netif in LINSTOR speak.

When a satellite node is created a first netif gets created implicitly with the name default. Using the --interface-name option of the node create command you can give it a different name.

Additional NICs are created like this:

# linstor node interface create alpha 100G_nic
# linstor node interface create alpha 10G_nic

NICs are identified by the IP address only, the name is arbitrary and is not related to the interface name used by Linux. The NICs can be assigned to storage pools so that whenever a resource is created in such a storage pool, the DRBD traffic will be routed through the specified NIC.

# linstor storage-pool set-property alpha pool_hdd PrefNic 10G_nic
# linstor storage-pool set-property alpha pool_ssd PrefNic 100G_nic

FIXME describe how to route the controller <-> client communication through a specific netif.

2.6. Encrypted volumes

LINSTOR can handle transparent encryption of drbd volumes. dm-crypt is used to encrypt the provided storage from the storage device.

In order to use dm-crypt please make sure to have cryptsetup installed before you start the satellite

Basic steps to use encryption:

  1. Disable user security on the controller (this will be obsolete once authentication works)

  2. Create a master passphrase

  3. Add luks to the layer-list. Note that all plugins (e.g., Proxmox) require a DRBD layer as the top most layer if they do not explicitly state otherwise.

  4. Don’t forget to re-enter the master passphrase after a controller restart.

2.6.1. Disable user security

Disabling the user security on the Linstor controller is a one time operation and is afterwards persisted.

  1. Stop the running linstor-controller via systemd: systemctl stop linstor-controller

  2. Start a linstor-controller in debug mode: /usr/share/linstor-server/bin/Controller -c /etc/linstor -d

  3. In the debug console enter: setSecLvl secLvl(NO_SECURITY)

  4. Stop linstor-controller with the debug shutdown command: shutdown

  5. Start the controller again with systemd: systemctl start linstor-controller

2.6.2. Encrypt commands

Below are details about the commands.

Before LINSTOR can encrypt any volume a master passphrase needs to be created. This can be done with the linstor-client.

# linstor encryption create-passphrase

crypt-create-passphrase will wait for the user to input the initial master passphrase (as all other crypt commands will with no arguments).

If you ever want to change the master passphrase this can be done with:

# linstor encryption modify-passphrase

The luks layer can be added when creating the resource-definition or the resource itself, whereas the former method is recommended since it will be automatically applied to all resource created from that resource-definition.

# linstor resource-definition create crypt_rsc --layer-list luks,storage

To enter the master passphrase (after controller restart) use the following command:

# linstor encryption enter-passphrase
Whenever the linstor-controller is restarted, the user has to send the master passphrase to the controller, otherwise LINSTOR is unable to reopen or create encrypted volumes.

2.6.3. Automatic Passphrase

It is possible to automate the process of creating and re-entering the master passphrase.

To use this, either an environment variable called MASTER_PASSPHRASE or an entry in /etc/linstor/linstor.toml containing the master passphrase has to be created.

The required linstor.toml looks like this:


If either one of these is set, then every time the controller starts it will check whether a master passphrase already exists. If there is none, it will create a new master passphrase as specified. Otherwise, the controller enters the passphrase.

If a master passphrase is already configured, and it is not the same one as specified in the environment variable or linstor.toml, the controller will be unable to re-enter the master passphrase and react as if the user had entered a wrong passphrase. This can only be resolved through manual input from the user, using the same commands as if the controller was started without the automatic passphrase.
In case the master passphrase is set in both an environment variable and the linstor.toml, only the master passphrase from the linstor.toml will be used.

2.7. Checking the state of your cluster

LINSTOR provides various commands to check the state of your cluster. These commands start with a ‘list-‘ prefix and provide various filtering and sorting options. The ‘–groupby’ option can be used to group and sort the output in multiple dimensions.

# linstor node list
# linstor storage-pool list --groupby Size

2.8. Managing snapshots

Snapshots are supported with thin LVM and ZFS storage pools.

2.8.1. Creating a snapshot

Assuming a resource definition named ‘resource1’ which has been placed on some nodes, a snapshot can be created as follows:

# linstor snapshot create resource1 snap1

This will create snapshots on all nodes where the resource is present. LINSTOR will ensure that consistent snapshots are taken even when the resource is in active use.

Setting the resource-definition property AutoSnapshot/RunEvery LINSTOR will automatically create snapshots every X minute. The optional property AutoSnapshot/Keep can be used to clean-up old snapshots which were created automatically. No manually created snapshot will be cleaned-up / deleted. If AutoSnapshot/Keep is omitted (or ⇐ 0), LINSTOR will keep the last 10 snapshots by default.

# linstor resource-definition set-property AutoSnapshot/RunEvery 15
# linstor resource-definition set-property AutoSnapshot/Keep 5

2.8.2. Restoring a snapshot

The following steps restore a snapshot to a new resource. This is possible even when the original resource has been removed from the nodes where the snapshots were taken.

First define the new resource with volumes matching those from the snapshot:

# linstor resource-definition create resource2
# linstor snapshot volume-definition restore --from-resource resource1 --from-snapshot snap1 --to-resource resource2

At this point, additional configuration can be applied if necessary. Then, when ready, create resources based on the snapshots:

# linstor snapshot resource restore --from-resource resource1 --from-snapshot snap1 --to-resource resource2

This will place the new resource on all nodes where the snapshot is present. The nodes on which to place the resource can also be selected explicitly; see the help (linstor snapshot resource restore -h).

2.8.3. Rolling back to a snapshot

LINSTOR can roll a resource back to a snapshot state. The resource must not be in use. That is, it may not be mounted on any nodes. If the resource is in use, consider whether you can achieve your goal by restoring the snapshot instead.

Rollback is performed as follows:

# linstor snapshot rollback resource1 snap1

A resource can only be rolled back to the most recent snapshot. To roll back to an older snapshot, first delete the intermediate snapshots.

2.8.4. Removing a snapshot

An existing snapshot can be removed as follows:

# linstor snapshot delete resource1 snap1

2.8.5. Shipping a snapshot

Both, the source as well as the target node have to have the resource for snapshot shipping deployed. Additionally, the target resource has to be deactivated.

# linstor resource deactivate nodeTarget resource1
Deactivating a resource with DRBD in its layer-list can NOT be reactivated again. However, a successfully shipped snapshot of a DRBD resource can still be restored into a new resource.

To manually start the snapshot-shipping, use:

# linstor snapshot ship --from-node nodeSource --to-node nodeTarget --resource resource1

By default, the snapshot-shipping uses tcp ports from the range 12000-12999. To change this range, the property SnapshotShipping/TcpPortRange, which accepts a to-from range, can be set on the controller:

# linstor controller set-property SnapshotShipping/TcpPortRange 10000-12000

A resource can also be periodically shipped. To accomplish this, it is mandatory to set the properties SnapshotShipping/TargetNode as well as SnapshotShipping/RunEvery on the resource-definition. SnapshotShipping/SourceNode can also be set, but if omitted LINSTOR will choose an active resource of the same resource-definition.

To allow incremental snapshot-shipping, LINSTOR has to keep at least the last shipped snapshot on the target node. The property SnapshotShipping/Keep can be used to specify how many snapshots LINSTOR should keep. If the property is not set (or ⇐ 0) LINSTOR will keep the last 10 shipped snapshots by default.

# linstor resource-definition set-property resource1 SnapshotShipping/TargetNode nodeTarget
# linstor resource-definition set-property resource1 SnapshotShipping/SourceNode nodeSource
# linstor resource-definition set-property resource1 SnapshotShipping/RunEvery 15
# linstor resource-definition set-property resource1 SnapshotShipping/Keep 5

2.9. Setting options for resources

DRBD options are set using LINSTOR commands. Configuration in files such as /etc/drbd.d/global_common.conf that are not managed by LINSTOR will be ignored. The following commands show the usage and available options:

# linstor controller drbd-options -h
# linstor resource-definition drbd-options -h
# linstor volume-definition drbd-options -h
# linstor resource drbd-peer-options -h

For instance, it is easy to set the DRBD protocol for a resource named backups:

# linstor resource-definition drbd-options --protocol C backups

2.10. Adding and removing disks

LINSTOR can convert resources between diskless and having a disk. This is achieved with the resource toggle-disk command, which has syntax similar to resource create.

For instance, add a disk to the diskless resource backups on ‘alpha’:

# linstor resource toggle-disk alpha backups --storage-pool pool_ssd

Remove this disk again:

# linstor resource toggle-disk alpha backups --diskless

2.10.1. Migrating disks

In order to move a resource between nodes without reducing redundancy at any point, LINSTOR’s disk migrate feature can be used. First create a diskless resource on the target node, and then add a disk using the --migrate-from option. This will wait until the data has been synced to the new disk and then remove the source disk.

For example, to migrate a resource backups from ‘alpha’ to ‘bravo’:

# linstor resource create bravo backups --drbd-diskless
# linstor resource toggle-disk bravo backups --storage-pool pool_ssd --migrate-from alpha

2.11. DRBD Proxy with LINSTOR

LINSTOR expects DRBD Proxy to be running on the nodes which are involved in the relevant connections. It does not currently support connections via DRBD Proxy on a separate node.

Suppose our cluster consists of nodes ‘alpha’ and ‘bravo’ in a local network and ‘charlie’ at a remote site, with a resource definition named backups deployed to each of the nodes. Then DRBD Proxy can be enabled for the connections to ‘charlie’ as follows:

# linstor drbd-proxy enable alpha charlie backups
# linstor drbd-proxy enable bravo charlie backups

The DRBD Proxy configuration can be tailored with commands such as:

# linstor drbd-proxy options backups --memlimit 100000000
# linstor drbd-proxy compression zlib backups --level 9

LINSTOR does not automatically optimize the DRBD configuration for long-distance replication, so you will probably want to set some configuration options such as the protocol:

# linstor resource-connection drbd-options alpha charlie backups --protocol A
# linstor resource-connection drbd-options bravo charlie backups --protocol A

Please contact LINBIT for assistance optimizing your configuration.

2.11.1. Automatically enable DRBD Proxy

LINSTOR can also be configured to automatically enable the above mentioned Proxy connection between two nodes. For this automation, LINSTOR first needs to know on which site each node is.

# linstor node set-property alpha Site A
# linstor node set-property bravo Site A
# linstor node set-property charlie Site B

As the Site property might also be used for other site-based decisions in future features, the DrbdProxy/AutoEnable also has to be set to true:

# linstor controller set-property DrbdProxy/AutoEnable true

This property can also be set on node, resource-definition, resource and resource-connection level (from left to right in increasing priority, whereas the controller is the left-most, i.e. least prioritized level)

Once this initialization steps are completed, every newly created resource will automatically check if it has to enable DRBD proxy to any of its peer-resources.

2.12. External database

It is possible to have LINSTOR working with an external database provider like Postgresql, MariaDB and since version 1.1.0 even ETCD key value store is supported.

To use an external database there are a few additional steps to configure. You have to create a DB/Schema and user to use for linstor, and configure this in the /etc/linstor/linstor.toml.

2.12.1. Postgresql

A sample Postgresql linstor.toml looks like this:

user = "linstor"
password = "linstor"
connection_url = "jdbc:postgresql://localhost/linstor"

2.12.2. MariaDB/Mysql

A sample MariaDB linstor.toml looks like this:

user = "linstor"
password = "linstor"
connection_url = "jdbc:mariadb://localhost/LINSTOR?createDatabaseIfNotExist=true"
The LINSTOR schema/database is created as LINSTOR so make sure the mariadb connection string refers to the LINSTOR schema, as in the example above.

2.12.3. ETCD

ETCD is a distributed key-value store that makes it easy to keep your LINSTOR database distributed in a HA-setup. The ETCD driver is already included in the LINSTOR-controller package and only needs to be configured in the linstor.toml.

More information on how to install and configure ETCD can be found here: ETCD docs

And here is a sample [db] section from the linstor.toml:

## only set user/password if you want to use authentication, only since LINSTOR 1.2.1
# user = "linstor"
# password = "linstor"

## for etcd
## do not set user field if no authentication required
connection_url = "etcd://etcdhost1:2379,etcdhost2:2379,etcdhost3:2379"

## if you want to use TLS, only since LINSTOR 1.2.1
# ca_certificate = "ca.pem"
# client_certificate = "client.pem"

## if you want to use client TLS authentication too, only since LINSTOR 1.2.1
# client_key_pkcs8_pem = "client-key.pkcs8"
## set client_key_password if private key has a password
# client_key_password = "mysecret"


To make LINSTOR’s administrative tasks more accessible and also available for web-frontends a REST-API has been created. The REST-API is embedded in the linstor-controller and since LINSTOR 0.9.13 configured via the linstor.toml configuration file.

  enabled = true
  port = 3370
  listen_addr = ""  # to disable remote access

If you want to use the REST-API the current documentation can be found on the following link:


The HTTP REST-API can also run secured by HTTPS and is highly recommended if you use any features that require authorization. Todo so you have to create a java keystore file with a valid certificate that will be used to encrypt all HTTPS traffic.

Here is a simple example on how you can create a self signed certificate with the keytool that is included in the java runtime:

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore ./keystore_linstor.jks\
 -alias linstor_controller\
 -dname "CN=localhost, OU=SecureUnit, O=ExampleOrg, L=Vienna, ST=Austria, C=AT"

keytool will ask for a password to secure the generated keystore file and is needed for the LINSTOR-controller configuration. In your linstor.toml file you have to add the following section:

  keystore = "/path/to/keystore_linstor.jks"
  keystore_password = "linstor"

Now (re)start the linstor-controller and the HTTPS REST-API should be available on port 3371.

More information on how to import other certificates can be found here:

When HTTPS is enabled, all requests to the HTTP /v1/ REST-API will be redirected to the HTTPS redirect.
LINSTOR REST-API HTTPS restricted client access

Client access can be restricted by using a SSL truststore on the Controller. Basically you create a certificate for your client and add it to your truststore and the client then uses this certificate for authentication.

First create a client certificate:

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore client.jks\
 -storepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -alias client1\
 -dname "CN=Client Cert, OU=client, O=Example, L=Vienna, ST=Austria, C=AT"

Then we import this certificate to our controller truststore:

keytool -importkeystore\
 -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srckeystore client.jks -destkeystore trustore_client.jks

And enable the truststore in the linstor.toml configuration file:

  keystore = "/path/to/keystore_linstor.jks"
  keystore_password = "linstor"
  truststore = "/path/to/trustore_client.jks"
  truststore_password = "linstor"

Now restart the Controller and it will no longer be possible to access the controller API without a correct certificate.

The LINSTOR client needs the certificate in PEM format, so before we can use it we have to convert the java keystore certificate to the PEM format.

# Convert to pkcs12
keytool -importkeystore -srckeystore client.jks -destkeystore client.p12\
 -storepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srcalias client1 -srcstoretype jks -deststoretype pkcs12

# use openssl to convert to PEM
openssl pkcs12 -in client.p12 -out client_with_pass.pem

To avoid entering the PEM file password all the time it might be convenient to remove the password.

openssl rsa -in client_with_pass.pem -out client1.pem
openssl x509 -in client_with_pass.pem >> client1.pem

Now this PEM file can easily be used in the client:

linstor --certfile client1.pem node list

The --certfile parameter can also added to the client configuration file, see Using the LINSTOR client for more details.

2.14. Logging

Linstor uses SLF4J with Logback as binding. This gives Linstor the possibility to distinguish between the log levels ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG and TRACE (in order of increasing verbosity). In the current linstor version (1.1.2) the user has the following four methods to control the logging level, ordered by priority (first has highest priority):

  1. TRACE mode can be enabled or disabled using the debug console:

    Command ==> SetTrcMode MODE(enabled)
    SetTrcMode           Set TRACE level logging mode
    New TRACE level logging mode: ENABLED
  2. When starting the controller or satellite a command line argument can be passed:

    java ... com.linbit.linstor.core.Controller ... --log-level INFO
    java ... com.linbit.linstor.core.Satellite  ... --log-level INFO
  3. The recommended place is the logging section in the /etc/linstor/linstor.toml file:

  4. As Linstor is using Logback as an implementation, /usr/share/linstor-server/lib/logback.xml can also be used. Currently only this approach supports different log levels for different components, like shown in the example below:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
    <configuration scan="false" scanPeriod="60 seconds">
     Values for scanPeriod can be specified in units of milliseconds, seconds, minutes or hours
     <appender name="STDOUT" class="ch.qos.logback.core.ConsoleAppender">
       <!-- encoders are assigned the type
            ch.qos.logback.classic.encoder.PatternLayoutEncoder by default -->
         <pattern>%d{HH:mm:ss.SSS} [%thread] %-5level %logger - %msg%n</pattern>
     <appender name="FILE" class="ch.qos.logback.core.rolling.RollingFileAppender">
       <encoder class="ch.qos.logback.classic.encoder.PatternLayoutEncoder">
         <Pattern>%d{yyyy_MM_dd HH:mm:ss.SSS} [%thread] %-5level %logger - %msg%n</Pattern>
       <rollingPolicy class="ch.qos.logback.core.rolling.FixedWindowRollingPolicy">
       <triggeringPolicy class="ch.qos.logback.core.rolling.SizeBasedTriggeringPolicy">
     <logger name="LINSTOR/Controller" level="INFO" additivity="false">
       <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
       <!-- <appender-ref ref="FILE" /> -->
     <logger name="LINSTOR/Satellite" level="INFO" additivity="false">
       <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
       <!-- <appender-ref ref="FILE" /> -->
     <root level="WARN">
       <appender-ref ref="STDOUT" />
       <!-- <appender-ref ref="FILE" /> -->

See the Logback Manual to find more details about logback.xml.

When none of the configuration methods above is used Linstor will default to INFO log level.

2.15. Monitoring

Since LINSTOR 1.8.0, a Prometheus /metrics HTTP path is provided with LINSTOR and JVM specific exports.

The /metrics path also supports 3 GET arguments to reduce LINSTOR’s reported data:

  • resource

  • storage_pools

  • error_reports

These are all default true, to disabled e.g. error-report data: http://localhost:3070/metrics?error_reports=false

2.15.1. Health check

The LINSTOR-Controller also provides a /health HTTP path that will simply return HTTP-Status 200 if the controller can access its database and all services are up and running. Otherwise it will return HTTP error status code 500 Internal Server Error.

2.16. Secure Satellite connections

It is possible to have the LINSTOR use SSL secure TCP connection between controller and satellite connections. Without going into further details on how java’s SSL engine works we will give you command line snippets using the keytool from java’s runtime environment on how to configure a 3 node setup using secure connections. The node setup looks like this:

Node alpha is the just the controller. Node bravo and node charlie are just satellites.

Here are the commands to generate such a keystore setup, values should of course be edited for your environment.

# create directories to hold the key files
mkdir -p /tmp/linstor-ssl
cd /tmp/linstor-ssl
mkdir alpha bravo charlie

# create private keys for all nodes
keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore alpha/keystore.jks\
 -storepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -alias alpha\
 -dname "CN=Max Mustermann, OU=alpha, O=Example, L=Vienna, ST=Austria, C=AT"

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore bravo/keystore.jks\
 -storepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -alias bravo\
 -dname "CN=Max Mustermann, OU=bravo, O=Example, L=Vienna, ST=Austria, C=AT"

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore charlie/keystore.jks\
 -storepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -alias charlie\
 -dname "CN=Max Mustermann, OU=charlie, O=Example, L=Vienna, ST=Austria, C=AT"

# import truststore certificates for alpha (needs all satellite certificates)
keytool -importkeystore\
 -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srckeystore bravo/keystore.jks -destkeystore alpha/certificates.jks

keytool -importkeystore\
 -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srckeystore charlie/keystore.jks -destkeystore alpha/certificates.jks

# import controller certificate into satellite truststores
keytool -importkeystore\
 -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srckeystore alpha/keystore.jks -destkeystore bravo/certificates.jks

keytool -importkeystore\
 -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -keypass linstor\
 -srckeystore alpha/keystore.jks -destkeystore charlie/certificates.jks

# now copy the keystore files to their host destinations
ssh root@alpha mkdir /etc/linstor/ssl
scp alpha/* root@alpha:/etc/linstor/ssl/
ssh root@bravo mkdir /etc/linstor/ssl
scp bravo/* root@bravo:/etc/linstor/ssl/
ssh root@charlie mkdir /etc/linstor/ssl
scp charlie/* root@charlie:/etc/linstor/ssl/

# generate the satellite ssl config entry
echo '[netcom]
' | ssh root@bravo "cat > /etc/linstor/linstor_satellite.toml"

echo '[netcom]
' | ssh root@charlie "cat > /etc/linstor/linstor_satellite.toml"

Now just start controller and satellites and add the nodes with --communication-type SSL.

2.17. Automatisms for DRBD-Resources

2.17.1. AutoQuorum Policies

LINSTOR automatically configures quorum policies on resources when quorum is achievable. This means, whenever you have at least two diskful and one or more diskless resource assignments, or three or more diskful resource assignments, LINSTOR will enable quorum policies for your resources automatically.

Inversely, LINSTOR will automatically disable quorum policies whenever there are less than the minimum required resource assignments to achieve quorum.

This is controlled via the, DrbdOptions/auto-quorum, property which can be applied to the linstor-controller, resource-group, and resource-definition. Accepted values for the DrbdOptions/auto-quorum property are disabled, suspend-io, and io-error.

Setting the DrbdOptions/auto-quorum property to disabled will allow you to manually, or more granularly, control the quorum policies of your resources should you so desire.

The default policies for DrbdOptions/auto-quorum are quorum majority, and on-no-quorum io-error. For more information on DRBD’s quorum features and their behavior, please refer to the quorum section of the DRBD user’s guide.
The DrbdOptions/auto-quorum policies will override any manually configured properties if DrbdOptions/auto-quorum is not disabled.

For example, to manually set the quorum policies of a resource-group named my_ssd_group, you would use the following commands:

# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/auto-quorum disabled
# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/Resource/quorum majority
# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/Resource/on-no-quorum suspend-io

You may wish to disable DRBD’s quorum features completely. To do that, you would need to first disable DrbdOptions/auto-quorum on the appropriate LINSTOR object, and then set the DRBD quorum features accordingly. For example, use the following commands to disable quorum entirely on the my_ssd_group resource-group:

# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/auto-quorum disabled
# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/Resource/quorum off
# linstor resource-group set-property my_ssd_group DrbdOptions/Resource/on-no-quorum
Setting DrbdOptions/Resource/on-no-quorum to an empty value in the commands above deletes the property from the object entirely.

2.17.2. Auto-Evict

If a satellite is offline for a prolonged period of time, LINSTOR can be configured to declare that node as evicted. This triggers an automated reassignment of the affected DRBD-resources to other nodes to ensure a minimum replica count is kept.

This feature uses the following properties to adapt the behaviour.

  • DrbdOptions/AutoEvictMinReplicaCount sets the number of replicas that should always be present. You can set this property on the controller to change a global default, or on a specific resource-definition or resource-group to change it only for that resource-definiton or resource-group. If this property is left empty, the place-count set for the auto-placer of the corresponding resource-group will be used.

  • DrbdOptions/AutoEvictAfterTime describes how long a node can be offline in minutes before the eviction is triggered. You can set this property on the controller to change a global default, or on a single node to give it a different behavior. The default value for this property is 60 minutes.

  • DrbdOptions/AutoEvictMaxDisconnectedNodes sets the percentage of nodes that can be not reachable (for whatever reason) at the same time. If more than the given percent of nodes are offline at the same time, the auto-evict will not be triggered for any node , since in this case LINSTOR assumes connection problems from the controller. This property can only be set for the controller, and only accepts a value between 0 and 100. The default value is 34. If you wish to turn the auto-evict-feature off, simply set this property to 0. If you want to always trigger the auto-evict, regardless of how many satellites are unreachable, set it to 100.

  • DrbdOptions/AutoEvictAllowEviction is an additional property that can stop a node from being evicted. This can be useful for various cases, for example if you need to shut down a node for maintenance. You can set this property on the controller to change a global default, or on a single node to give it a different behavior. It accepts true and false as values and per default is set to true on the controller. You can use this property to turn the auto-evict feature off by setting it to false on the controller, although this might not work completely if you already set different values for individual nodes, since those values take precedence over the global default.

Afer the linstor-controller loses the connection to a satellite, aside from trying to reconnect, it starts a timer for that satellite. As soon as that timer exceeds DrbdOptions/AutoEvictAfterTime and all of the DRBD-connections to the DRBD-resources on that satellite are broken, the controller will check whether or not DrbdOptions/AutoEvictMaxDisconnectedNodes has been met. If it hasn’t, and DrbdOptions/AutoEvictAllowEviction is true for the node in question, the satellite will be marked as EVICTED. At the same time, the controller will check for every DRBD-resource whether the number of resources is still above DrbdOptions/AutoEvictMinReplicaCount. If it is, the resource in question will be marked as DELETED. If it isn’t, an auto-place with the settings from the corresponding resource-group will be started. Should the auto-place fail, the controller will try again later when changes that might allow a different result, such as adding a new node, have happened. Resources where an auto-place is necessary will only be marked as DELETED if the corresponding auto-place was successful.

The evicted satellite itself will not be able to reestablish connection with the controller. Even if the node is up and running, a manual reconnect will fail. It is also not possible to delete the satellite, even if it is working as it should be. Should you wish to get rid of an evicted node, you need to use the node lost command. The satellite can, however, be restored. This will remove the EVICTED-flag from the satellite and allow you to use it again. Previously configured network interfaces, storage pools, properties and similar entities as well as non-DRBD-related resources and resources that could not be autoplaced somewhere else will still be on the satellite. To restore a satellite, use

# linstor node restore [nodename]

2.18. QoS Settings

2.18.1. Sysfs

LINSTOR is able to set the following Sysfs settings:

SysFs Linstor property









If a LINSTOR volume is composed of multiple “stacked” volume (for example DRBD with external metadata will have 3 devices: backing (storage) device, metadata device and the resulting DRBD device), setting a sys/fs/\* property for a Volume, only the bottom-most local “data”-device will receive the corresponding /sys/fs/cgroup/…​ setting. That means, in case of the example above only the backing device will receive the setting. In case a resource-definition has an nvme-target as well as an nvme-initiator resource, both bottom-most devices of each node will receive the setting. In case of the target the bottom-most device will be the volume of LVM or ZFS, whereas in case of the initiator the bottom-most device will be the connected nvme-device, regardless which other layers are stacked ontop of that.

2.19. Getting help

2.19.1. From the command line

A quick way to list available commands on the command line is to type linstor.

Further information on subcommands (e.g., list-nodes) can be retrieved in two ways:

# linstor node list -h
# linstor help node list

Using the ‘help’ subcommand is especially helpful when LINSTOR is executed in interactive mode (linstor interactive).

One of the most helpful features of LINSTOR is its rich tab-completion, which can be used to complete basically every object LINSTOR knows about (e.g., node names, IP addresses, resource names, …​). In the following examples, we show some possible completions, and their results:

# linstor node create alpha 1<tab> # completes the IP address if hostname can be resolved
# linstor resource create b<tab> c<tab> # linstor assign-resource backups charlie

If tab-completion does not work out of the box, please try to source the appropriate file:

# source /etc/bash_completion.d/linstor # or
# source /usr/share/bash_completion/completions/linstor

For zsh shell users linstor-client can generate a zsh compilation file, that has basic support for command and argument completion.

# linstor gen-zsh-completer > /usr/share/zsh/functions/Completion/Linux/_linstor

2.19.2. SOS-Report

If something goes wrong and you need help finding the cause of the issue, you can use

# linstor sos-report create

The command above will create a new sos-report in /var/log/linstor/controller/ on the controller node. Alternatively you can use

# linstor sos-report download

which will create a new sos-report and additionally downloads that report to the local machine into your current working directory.

This sos-report contains logs and useful debug-information from several sources (Linstor-logs, dmesg, versions of external tools used by Linstor, ip a, database dump and many more). These information are stored for each node in plaintext in the resulting .tar.gz file.

2.19.3. From the community

For help from the community please subscribe to our mailing list located here:

2.19.4. GitHub

To file bug or feature request please check out our GitHub page

2.19.5. Paid support and development

Alternatively, if you wish to purchase remote installation services, 24/7 support, access to certified repositories, or feature development please contact us: +1-877-454-6248 (1-877-4LINBIT) , International: +43-1-8178292-0 |

3. LINSTOR Volumes in Kubernetes

This chapter describes the usage of LINSTOR in Kubernetes as managed by the operator and with volumes provisioned using the LINSTOR CSI plugin.

This Chapter goes into great detail regarding all the install time options and various configurations possible with LINSTOR and Kubernetes. For those more interested in a “quick-start” for testing, or those looking for some examples for reference. We have some complete Helm Install Examples of a few common uses near the end of the chapter.

3.1. Kubernetes Overview

Kubernetes is a container orchestrator. Kubernetes defines the behavior of containers and related services via declarative specifications. In this guide, we’ll focus on using kubectl to manipulate .yaml files that define the specifications of Kubernetes objects.

3.2. Deploying LINSTOR on Kubernetes

3.2.1. Deploying with the LINSTOR Operator

LINBIT provides a LINSTOR operator to commercial support customers. The operator eases deployment of LINSTOR on Kubernetes by installing DRBD, managing Satellite and Controller pods, and other related functions.

The operator itself is installed using a Helm v3 chart as follows:

  • Create a kubernetes secret containing your credentials:

    kubectl create secret docker-registry drbdiocred --docker-username=<YOUR_LOGIN> --docker-email=<YOUR_EMAIL> --docker-password=<YOUR_PASSWORD>

    The name of this secret must match the one specified in the Helm values, by default drbdiocred.

  • Configure storage for the LINSTOR etcd instance. There are various options for configuring the etcd instance for LINSTOR:

    • Use an existing storage provisioner with a default StorageClass.

    • Use hostPath volumes.

    • Disable persistence for basic testing. This can be done by adding --set etcd.persistentVolume.enabled=false to the helm install command below.

  • Read the storage guide and configure a basic storage setup for LINSTOR

  • Read the section on securing the deployment and configure as needed.

  • Select the appropriate kernel module injector using --set with the helm install command in the final step.

    • Choose the injector according to the distribution you are using. Select the latest version from one of drbd9-rhel7, drbd9-rhel8,…​ from as appropriate. The drbd9-rhel8 image should also be used for RHCOS (OpenShift). For the SUSE CaaS Platform use the SLES injector that matches the base system of the CaaS Platform you are using (e.g., drbd9-sles15sp1). For example:
    • Only inject modules that are already present on the host machine. If a module is not found, it will be skipped.

    • Disable kernel module injection if you are installing DRBD by other means. Deprecated by DepsOnly

  • Finally create a Helm deployment named linstor-op that will set up everything.

    helm repo add linstor
    helm install linstor-op linstor/linstor

    Further deployment customization is discussed in the advanced deployment section

LINSTOR etcd hostPath persistence

You can use the pv-hostpath Helm templates to create hostPath persistent volumes. Create as many PVs as needed to satisfy your configured etcd replicas (default 1).

Create the hostPath persistent volumes, substituting cluster node names accordingly in the nodes= option:

helm repo add linstor
helm install linstor-etcd linstor/pv-hostpath --set "nodes={<NODE0>,<NODE1>,<NODE2>}"

Persistence for etcd is enabled by default.

Using an existing database

LINSTOR can connect to an existing PostgreSQL, MariaDB or etcd database. For instance, for a PostgreSQL instance with the following configuration:

POSTGRES_DB: postgresdb
POSTGRES_USER: postgresadmin

The Helm chart can be configured to use this database instead of deploying an etcd cluster by adding the following to the Helm install command:

--set etcd.enabled=false --set "operator.controller.dbConnectionURL=jdbc:postgresql://postgres/postgresdb?user=postgresadmin&password=admin123"

3.2.2. Configuring storage

The LINSTOR operator can automate some basic storage set up for LINSTOR.

Configuring storage pool creation

The LINSTOR operator can be used to create LINSTOR storage pools. Creation is under control of the LinstorSatelliteSet resource:

$ kubectl get linstor-op-ns -o yaml
kind: LinstorSatelliteSet
    - name: lvm-thick
      volumeGroup: drbdpool
    - name: lvm-thin
      thinVolume: thinpool
      volumeGroup: ""
    - name: my-linstor-zpool
      zPool: for-linstor
      thin: true
At install time

At install time, by setting the value of operator.satelliteSet.storagePools when running helm install.

First create a file with the storage configuration like:

      - name: lvm-thick
        volumeGroup: drbdpool

This file can be passed to the helm installation like this:

helm install -f <file> linstor linstor/linstor
After install

On a cluster with the operator already configured (i.e. after helm install), you can edit the LinstorSatelliteSet configuration like this:

$ kubectl edit <satellitesetname>

The storage pool configuration can be updated like in the example above.

Preparing physical devices

By default, LINSTOR expects the referenced VolumeGroups, ThinPools and so on to be present. You can use the devicePaths: [] option to let LINSTOR automatically prepare devices for the pool. Eligible for automatic configuration are block devices that:

  • Are a root device (no partition)

  • do not contain partition information

  • have more than 1 GiB

To enable automatic configuration of devices, set the devicePaths key on storagePools entries:

    - name: lvm-thick
      volumeGroup: drbdpool
      - /dev/vdb
    - name: lvm-thin
      thinVolume: thinpool
      volumeGroup: linstor_thinpool
      - /dev/vdc
      - /dev/vdd

Currently, this method supports creation of LVM and LVMTHIN storage pools.

lvmPools configuration
  • name name of the LINSTOR storage pool.Required

  • volumeGroup name of the VG to create.Required

  • devicePaths devices to configure for this pool.Must be empty and >= 1GiB to be recognized.Optional

  • raidLevel LVM raid level.Optional

  • vdo Enable [VDO] (requires VDO tools in the satellite).Optional

  • vdoLogicalSizeKib Size of the created VG (expected to be bigger than the backing devices by using VDO).Optional

  • vdoSlabSizeKib Slab size for VDO. Optional

lvmThinPools configuration
  • name name of the LINSTOR storage pool. Required

  • volumeGroup VG to use for the thin pool. If you want to use devicePaths, you must set this to "". This is required because LINSTOR does not allow configuration of the VG name when preparing devices.

  • thinVolume name of the thinpool. Required

  • devicePaths devices to configure for this pool. Must be empty and >= 1GiB to be recognized. Optional

  • raidLevel LVM raid level. Optional

The volume group created by LINSTOR for LVMTHIN pools will always follow the scheme “linstor_$THINPOOL”.
zfsPools configuration
  • name name of the LINSTOR storage pool. Required

  • zPool name of the zpool to use. Must already be present on all machines. Required

  • thin true to use thin provisioning, false otherwise. Required

Using automaticStorageType (DEPRECATED)

ALL eligible devices will be prepared according to the value of operator.satelliteSet.automaticStorageType, unless they are already prepared using the storagePools section. Devices are added to a storage pool based on the device name (i.e. all /dev/nvme1 devices will be part of the pool autopool-nvme1)

The possible values for operator.satelliteSet.automaticStorageType:

  • None no automatic set up (default)

  • LVM create a LVM (thick) storage pool

  • LVMTHIN create a LVM thin storage pool

  • ZFS create a ZFS based storage pool (UNTESTED)

3.2.3. Securing deployment

This section describes the different options for enabling security features available when using this operator. The following guides assume the operator is installed using Helm

Secure communication with an existing etcd instance

Secure communication to an etcd instance can be enabled by providing a CA certificate to the operator in form of a kubernetes secret. The secret has to contain the key ca.pem with the PEM encoded CA certificate as value.

The secret can then be passed to the controller by passing the following argument to helm install

--set operator.controller.dbCertSecret=<secret name>
Authentication with etcd using certificates

If you want to use TLS certificates to authenticate with an etcd database, you need to set the following option on helm install:

--set operator.controller.dbUseClientCert=true

If this option is active, the secret specified in the above section must contain two additional keys: * client.cert PEM formatted certificate presented to etcd for authentication * client.key private key in PKCS8 format, matching the above client certificate. Keys can be converted into PKCS8 format using openssl:

openssl pkcs8 -topk8 -nocrypt -in client-key.pem -out client-key.pkcs8
Configuring secure communication between LINSTOR components

The default communication between LINSTOR components is not secured by TLS. If this is needed for your setup, follow these steps:

  • Create private keys in the java keystore format, one for the controller, one for all satellites:

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore satellite-keys.jks -storepass linstor -alias satellite -dname "CN=XX, OU=satellite, O=Example, L=XX, ST=XX, C=X"
keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore control-keys.jks -storepass linstor -alias control -dname "CN=XX, OU=control, O=Example, L=XX, ST=XX, C=XX"
  • Create a trust store with the public keys that each component needs to trust:

  • Controller needs to trust the satellites

  • Nodes need to trust the controller

    keytool -importkeystore -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -srckeystore control-keys.jks -destkeystore satellite-trust.jks
    keytool -importkeystore -srcstorepass linstor -deststorepass linstor -srckeystore satellite-keys.jks -destkeystore control-trust.jks
  • Create kubernetes secrets that can be passed to the controller and satellite pods

    kubectl create secret generic control-secret --from-file=keystore.jks=control-keys.jks --from-file=certificates.jks=control-trust.jks
    kubectl create secret generic satellite-secret --from-file=keystore.jks=satellite-keys.jks --from-file=certificates.jks=satellite-trust.jks
  • Pass the names of the created secrets to helm install

    --set operator.satelliteSet.sslSecret=satellite-secret --set operator.controller.sslSecret=control-secret
It is currently NOT possible to change the keystore password. LINSTOR expects the passwords to be linstor. This is a current limitation of LINSTOR.
Configuring secure communications for the LINSTOR API

Various components need to talk to the LINSTOR controller via its REST interface. This interface can be secured via HTTPS, which automatically includes authentication. For HTTPS+authentication to work, each component needs access to:

  • A private key

  • A certificate based on the key

  • A trusted certificate, used to verify that other components are trustworthy

The next sections will guide you through creating all required components.

Creating the private keys

Private keys can be created using java’s keytool

keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore controller.pkcs12 -storetype pkcs12 -storepass linstor -ext san=dns:linstor-op-cs.default.svc -dname "CN=XX, OU=controller, O=Example, L=XX, ST=XX, C=X" -validity 5000
keytool -keyalg rsa -keysize 2048 -genkey -keystore client.pkcs12 -storetype pkcs12 -storepass linstor -dname "CN=XX, OU=client, O=Example, L=XX, ST=XX, C=XX" -validity 5000

The clients need private keys and certificate in a different format, so we need to convert it

openssl pkcs12 -in client.pkcs12 -passin pass:linstor -out client.cert -clcerts -nokeys
openssl pkcs12 -in client.pkcs12 -passin pass:linstor -out client.key -nocerts -nodes
The alias specified for the controller key (i.e. -ext san=dns:linstor-op-cs.default.svc) has to exactly match the service name created by the operator. When using helm, this is always of the form <release-name>-cs.<release-namespace>.svc.
It is currently NOT possible to change the keystore password. LINSTOR expects the passwords to be linstor. This is a current limitation of LINSTOR
Create the trusted certificates

For the controller to trust the clients, we can use the following command to create a truststore, importing the client certificate

keytool -importkeystore -srcstorepass linstor -srckeystore client.pkcs12 -deststorepass linstor -deststoretype pkcs12 -destkeystore controller-trust.pkcs12

For the client, we have to convert the controller certificate into a different format

openssl pkcs12 -in controller.pkcs12 -passin pass:linstor -out ca.pem -clcerts -nokeys
Create Kubernetes secrets

Now you can create secrets for the controller and for clients:

kubectl create secret generic http-controller --from-file=keystore.jks=controller.pkcs12 --from-file=truststore.jks=controller-trust.pkcs12
kubectl create secret generic http-client --from-file=ca.pem=ca.pem --from-file=client.cert=client.cert --from-file=client.key=client.key

The names of the secrets can be passed to helm install to configure all clients to use https.

--set linstorHttpsControllerSecret=http-controller  --set linstorHttpsClientSecret=http-client
Automatically set the passphrase for encrypted volumes

Linstor can be used to create encrypted volumes using LUKS. The passphrase used when creating these volumes can be set via a secret:

kubectl create secret generic linstor-pass --from-literal=MASTER_PASSPHRASE=<password>

On install, add the following arguments to the helm command:

--set operator.controller.luksSecret=linstor-pass
Helm Install Examples

All the below examples use the following sp-values.yaml file. Feel free to adjust this for your uses and environment. See Configuring storage pool creation for further details.

      - name: lvm-thin
        thinVolume: thinpool
        volumeGroup: ""
        - /dev/sdb

Default install. Please note this does not setup any persistence for the backing etcd keyvalue store.

This is not suggested for any use outside of testing.
kubectl create secret docker-registry drbdiocred --docker-username=<YOUR_LOGIN> --docker-password=<YOUR_PASSWORD>
helm repo add linstor
helm install linstor-op linstor/linstor

Install with LINSTOR storage-pools defined at install via sp-values.yaml, persistent hostPath volumes, 3 etcd replicas, and by compiling the DRBD kernel modules for the host kernels.

This should be adequate for most basic deployments. Please note that this deployment is not using the pre-compiled DRBD kernel modules just to make this command more portable. Using the pre-compiled binaries will make for a much faster install and deployment. Using the Compile option would not be suggested for use in a large Kubernetes clusters.

kubectl create secret docker-registry drbdiocred --docker-username=<YOUR_LOGIN> --docker-password=<YOUR_PASSWORD>
helm repo add linstor
helm install linstor-etcd linstor/pv-hostpath --set "nodes={<NODE0>,<NODE1>,<NODE2>}"
helm install -f sp-values.yaml linstor-op linstor/linstor --set etcd.replicas=3 --set operator.satelliteSet.kernelModuleInjectionMode=Compile

Install with LINSTOR storage-pools defined at install via sp-values.yaml, use an already created Postgres DB (preferably clustered), instead of etcd, and use already compiled kernel modules for DRBD. Additionally, we’ll disable the Stork scheduler in this example.

The Postgres database in this particular example is reachable via a service endpoint named postgres. Postgres itself is configured with POSTGRES_DB=postgresdb, POSTGRES_USER=postgresadmin, and POSTGRES_PASSWORD=admin123

kubectl create secret docker-registry drbdiocred --docker-username=<YOUR_LOGIN> --docker-email=<YOUR_EMAIL> --docker-password=<YOUR_PASSWORD>
helm repo add linstor
helm install -f sp-values.yaml linstor-op linstor/linstor --set etcd.enabled=false --set "operator.controller.dbConnectionURL=jdbc:postgresql://postgres/postgresdb?user=postgresadmin&password=admin123" --set stork.enabled=false
Terminating Helm deployment

To protect the storage infrastructure of the cluster from accidentally deleting vital components, it is necessary to perform some manual steps before deleting a Helm deployment.

  1. Delete all volume claims managed by LINSTOR components. You can use the following command to get a list of volume claims managed by LINSTOR. After checking that none of the listed volumes still hold needed data, you can delete them using the generated kubectl delete command.

    $ kubectl get pvc --all-namespaces -o=jsonpath='{range .items[?(@.metadata.annotations.volume\.beta\.kubernetes\.io/storage-provisioner=="")]}kubectl delete pvc --namespace {.metadata.namespace} {}{"\n"}{end}'
    kubectl delete pvc --namespace default data-mysql-0
    kubectl delete pvc --namespace default data-mysql-1
    kubectl delete pvc --namespace default data-mysql-2
    These volumes, once deleted, cannot be recovered.
  2. Delete the LINSTOR controller and satellite resources.

    Deployment of LINSTOR satellite and controller is controlled by the LinstorSatelliteSet and LinstorController resources. You can delete the resources associated with your deployment using kubectl

    kubectl delete linstorcontroller <helm-deploy-name>-cs
    kubectl delete linstorsatelliteset <helm-deploy-name>-ns

    After a short wait, the controller and satellite pods should terminate. If they continue to run, you can check the above resources for errors (they are only removed after all associated pods terminate)

  3. Delete the Helm deployment.

    If you removed all PVCs and all LINSTOR pods have terminated, you can uninstall the helm deployment

    helm uninstall linstor-op
    Due to the Helm’s current policy, the Custom Resource Definitions named LinstorController and LinstorSatelliteSet will not be deleted by the command. More information regarding Helm’s current position on CRD’s can be found here.

3.2.4. Advanced deployment options

The helm charts provide a set of further customization options for advanced use cases.

  imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent # empty pull policy means k8s default is used ("always" if tag == ":latest", "ifnotpresent" else) (1)
  setSecurityContext: true # Force non-privileged containers to run as non-root users
# Dependency charts
    enabled: true
    storage: 1Gi
  replicas: 1 # How many instances of etcd will be added to the initial cluster. (2)
  resources: {} # resource requirements for etcd containers (3)
    tag: v3.4.9
  enabled: true # <- enable to add k8s snapshotting CRDs and controller. Needed for CSI snapshotting
  replicas: 1 (2)
  resources: {} # resource requirements for the cluster snapshot controller. (3)
  enabled: true
  schedulerTag: ""
  replicas: 1 (2)
  storkResources: {} # resources requirements for the stork plugin containers (3)
  schedulerResources: {} # resource requirements for the kube-scheduler containers (3)
  podsecuritycontext: {}
  enabled: true
  pluginImage: ""
  controllerReplicas: 1 (2)
  nodeAffinity: {} (4)
  nodeTolerations: [] (4)
  controllerAffinity: {} (4)
  controllerTolerations: [] (4)
  enableTopology: false
  resources: {} (3)
priorityClassName: ""
drbdRepoCred: drbdiocred
linstorHttpsControllerSecret: "" # <- name of secret containing linstor server certificates+key.
linstorHttpsClientSecret: "" # <- name of secret containing linstor client certificates+key.
controllerEndpoint: "" # <- override to the generated controller endpoint. use if controller is not deployed via operator
  privilegedRole: ""
  unprivilegedRole: ""
  replicas: 1 # <- number of replicas for the operator deployment (2)
  image: ""
  affinity: {} (4)
  tolerations: [] (4)
  resources: {} (3)
  podsecuritycontext: {}
    enabled: true
    controllerImage: ""
    luksSecret: ""
    dbCertSecret: ""
    dbUseClientCert: false
    sslSecret: ""
    affinity: {} (4)
    tolerations: (4)
      - key:
        operator: "Exists"
        effect: "NoSchedule"
    resources: {} (3)
    replicas: 1 (2)
    enabled: true
    satelliteImage: ""
    storagePools: {}
    sslSecret: ""
    automaticStorageType: None
    affinity: {} (4)
    tolerations: [] (4)
    resources: {} (3)
    kernelModuleInjectionImage: ""
    kernelModuleInjectionMode: ShippedModules
    kernelModuleInjectionResources: {} (3)
  enabled: true
  affinity: {} (4)
  tolerations: [] (4)
  resources: {} (3)
  replicas: 1 (2)
1 Sets the pull policy for all images.
2 Controls the number of replicas for each component.
3 Set container resource requests and limits. See the kubernetes docs. Most containers need a minimal amount of resources, except for:
  • etcd.resources See the etcd docs

  • operator.controller.resources Around 700MiB memory is required

  • operater.satelliteSet.resources Around 700MiB memory is required

  • operator.satelliteSet.kernelModuleInjectionResources If kernel modules are compiled, 1GiB of memory is required.

4 Affinity and toleration determine where pods are scheduled on the cluster. See the kubernetes docs on affinity and toleration. This may be especially important for the operator.satelliteSet and csi.node* values. To schedule a pod using a LINSTOR persistent volume, the node requires a running LINSTOR satellite and LINSTOR CSI pod.
High Availability Deployment

To create a High Availability deployment of all components, take a look at the upstream guide The default values are chosen so that scaling the components to multiple replicas ensures that the replicas are placed on different nodes. This ensures that a single node failures will not interrupt the service.

3.2.5. Deploying with an external LINSTOR controller

The operator can configure the satellites and CSI plugin to use an existing LINSTOR setup. This can be useful in cases where the storage infrastructure is separate from the Kubernetes cluster. Volumes can be provisioned in diskless mode on the Kubernetes nodes while the storage nodes will provide the backing disk storage.

To skip the creation of a LINSTOR Controller deployment and configure the other components to use your existing LINSTOR Controller, use the following options when running helm install:

  • operator.controller.enabled=false This disables creation of the LinstorController resource

  • operator.etcd.enabled=false Since no LINSTOR Controller will run on Kubernetes, no database is required.

  • controllerEndpoint=<url-of-linstor-controller> The HTTP endpoint of the existing LINSTOR Controller. For example:

After all pods are ready, you should see the Kubernetes cluster nodes as satellites in your LINSTOR setup.

Your kubernetes nodes must be reachable using their IP by the controller and storage nodes.

Create a storage class referencing an existing storage pool on your storage nodes.

kind: StorageClass
  name: linstor-on-k8s
  autoPlace: "3"
  storagePool: existing-storage-pool
  resourceGroup: linstor-on-k8s

You can provision new volumes by creating PVCs using your storage class. The volumes will first be placed only on nodes with the given storage pool, i.e. your storage infrastructure. Once you want to use the volume in a pod, LINSTOR CSI will create a diskless resource on the Kubernetes node and attach over the network to the diskfull resource.

3.2.6. Deploying with the Piraeus Operator

The community supported edition of the LINSTOR deployment in Kubernetes is called Piraeus. The Piraeus project provides an operator for deployment.

3.3. Interacting with LINSTOR in Kubernetes

The Controller pod includes a LINSTOR Client, making it easy to interact directly with LINSTOR. For instance:

kubectl exec linstor-op-cs-controller-<deployment-info> -- linstor storage-pool list

This should only be necessary for investigating problems and accessing advanced functionality. Regular operation such as creating volumes should be achieved via the Kubernetes integration.

3.4. LINSTOR CSI Plugin Deployment

The operator Helm chart deploys the LINSTOR CSI plugin for you so if you used that, you can skip this section.

If you are integrating LINSTOR using a different method, you will need to install the LINSTOR CSI plugin. Instructions for deploying the CSI plugin can be found on the project’s github. This will result in a linstor-csi-controller Deployment and a linstor-csi-node DaemonSet running in the kube-system namespace.

NAME                           READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE     IP              NODE
linstor-csi-controller-ab789   5/5     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-a
linstor-csi-node-4fcnn         2/2     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-c
linstor-csi-node-f2dr7         2/2     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-d
linstor-csi-node-j66bc         2/2     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-b
linstor-csi-node-qb7fw         2/2     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-a
linstor-csi-node-zr75z         2/2     Running   0          3h10m   kubelet-e

3.5. Basic Configuration and Deployment

Once all linstor-csi Pods are up and running, we can provision volumes using the usual Kubernetes workflows.

Configuring the behavior and properties of LINSTOR volumes deployed via Kubernetes is accomplished via the use of StorageClasses.

the “resourceGroup” parameter is mandatory. Usually you want it to be unique and the same as the storage class name.

Here below is the simplest practical StorageClass that can be used to deploy volumes:

Listing 1. linstor-basic-sc.yaml
kind: StorageClass
  # The name used to identify this StorageClass.
  name: linstor-basic-storage-class
  # The name used to match this StorageClass with a provisioner.
  # is the name that the LINSTOR CSI plugin uses to identify itself
  # LINSTOR will provision volumes from the drbdpool storage pool configured
  # On the satellite nodes in the LINSTOR cluster specified in the plugin's deployment
  storagePool: "drbdpool"
  resourceGroup: "linstor-basic-storage-class"
  # Setting a fstype is required for "fsGroup" permissions to work correctly.
  # Currently supported: xfs/ext4 xfs

DRBD options can be set as well in the parameters section. Valid keys are defined in the LINSTOR REST-API (e.g., DrbdOptions/Net/allow-two-primaries: "yes").

We can create the StorageClass with the following command:

kubectl create -f linstor-basic-sc.yaml

Now that our StorageClass is created, we can now create a PersistentVolumeClaim which can be used to provision volumes known both to Kubernetes and LINSTOR:

Listing 2. my-first-linstor-volume-pvc.yaml
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
apiVersion: v1
  name: my-first-linstor-volume
  storageClassName: linstor-basic-storage-class
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 500Mi

We can create the PersistentVolumeClaim with the following command:

kubectl create -f my-first-linstor-volume-pvc.yaml

This will create a PersistentVolumeClaim known to Kubernetes, which will have a PersistentVolume bound to it, additionally LINSTOR will now create this volume according to the configuration defined in the linstor-basic-storage-class StorageClass. The LINSTOR volume’s name will be a UUID prefixed with csi- This volume can be observed with the usual linstor resource list. Once that volume is created, we can attach it to a pod. The following Pod spec will spawn a Fedora container with our volume attached that busy waits so it is not unscheduled before we can interact with it:

Listing 3. my-first-linstor-volume-pod.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: fedora
  namespace: default
  - name: fedora
    image: fedora
    command: [/bin/bash]
    args: ["-c", "while true; do sleep 10; done"]
    - name: my-first-linstor-volume
      mountPath: /data
    - containerPort: 80
  - name: my-first-linstor-volume
      claimName: "my-first-linstor-volume"

We can create the Pod with the following command:

kubectl create -f my-first-linstor-volume-pod.yaml

Running kubectl describe pod fedora can be used to confirm that Pod scheduling and volume attachment succeeded.

To remove a volume, please ensure that no pod is using it and then delete the PersistentVolumeClaim via kubectl. For example, to remove the volume that we just made, run the following two commands, noting that the Pod must be unscheduled before the PersistentVolumeClaim will be removed:

kubectl delete pod fedora # unschedule the pod.

kubectl get pod -w # wait for pod to be unscheduled

kubectl delete pvc my-first-linstor-volume # remove the PersistentVolumeClaim, the PersistentVolume, and the LINSTOR Volume.

3.5.1. Available parameters in a StorageClass

The following storage class contains all currently available parameters to configure the provisioned storage

kind: StorageClass
  name: full-example
  # CSI related parameters xfs
  # LINSTOR parameters
  autoPlace: "2"
  placementCount: "2"
  resourceGroup: "full-example"
  storagePool: "my-storage-pool"
  disklessStoragePool: "DfltDisklessStorPool"
  layerList: "drbd,storage"
  placementPolicy: "AutoPlace"
  allowRemoteVolumeAccess: "true"
  encryption: "true"
  nodeList: "diskful-a,diskful-b"
  clientList: "diskless-a,diskless-b"
  replicasOnSame: "zone=a"
  replicasOnDifferent: "rack"
  disklessOnRemaining: "false"
  doNotPlaceWithRegex: "tainted.*"
  fsOpts: "nodiscard"
  mountOpts: "noatime"
  postMountXfsOpts: "extsize 2m"
  # DRBD parameters
  DrbdOptions/*: <x>


Sets the file system type to create for volumeMode: FileSystem PVCs. Currently supported are:

  • ext4 (default)

  • xfs

3.5.3. autoPlace

autoPlace is an integer that determines the amount of replicas a volume of this StorageClass will have. For instance, autoPlace: "3" will produce volumes with three-way replication. If neither autoPlace nor nodeList are set, volumes will be automatically placed on one node.

If you use this option, you must not use nodeList.
You have to use quotes, otherwise Kubernetes will complain about a malformed StorageClass.
This option (and all options which affect autoplacement behavior) modifies the number of LINSTOR nodes on which the underlying storage for volumes will be provisioned and is orthogonal to which kubelets those volumes will be accessible from.

3.5.4. placementCount

placementCount is an alias for autoPlace

3.5.5. resourceGroup

The LINSTOR Resource Group (RG) to associate with this StorageClass. If not set, a new RG will be created for each new PVC.

3.5.6. storagePool

storagePool is the name of the LINSTOR storage pool that will be used to provide storage to the newly-created volumes.

Only nodes configured with this same storage pool with be considered for autoplacement. Likewise, for StorageClasses using nodeList all nodes specified in that list must have this storage pool configured on them.

3.5.7. disklessStoragePool

disklessStoragePool is an optional parameter that only effects LINSTOR volumes assigned disklessly to kubelets i.e., as clients. If you have a custom diskless storage pool defined in LINSTOR, you’ll specify that here.

3.5.8. layerList

A comma-seperated list of layers to use for the created volumes. The available layers and their order are described towards the end of this section. Defaults to drbd,storage

3.5.9. placementPolicy

Select from one of the available volume schedulers:

  • AutoPlace, the default: Use LINSTOR autoplace, influenced by replicasOnSame and replicasOnDifferent

  • FollowTopology: Use CSI Topology information to place at least one volume in each “preferred” zone. Only useable if CSI Topology is enabled.

  • Manual: Use only the nodes listed in nodeList and clientList.

  • Balanced: EXPERIMENTAL Place volumes across failure domains, using the least used storage pool on each selected node.

3.5.10. allowRemoteVolumeAccess

Disable remote access to volumes. This implies that volumes can only be accessed from the initial set of nodes selected on creation. CSI Topology processing is required to place pods on the correct nodes.

3.5.11. encryption

encryption is an optional parameter that determines whether to encrypt volumes. LINSTOR must be configured for encryption for this to work properly.

3.5.12. nodeList

nodeList is a list of nodes for volumes to be assigned to. This will assign the volume to each node and it will be replicated among all of them. This can also be used to select a single node by hostname, but it’s more flexible to use replicasOnSame to select a single node.

If you use this option, you must not use autoPlace.
This option determines on which LINSTOR nodes the underlying storage for volumes will be provisioned and is orthogonal from which kubelets these volumes will be accessible.

3.5.13. clientList

clientList is a list of nodes for diskless volumes to be assigned to. Use in conjunction with nodeList.

3.5.14. replicasOnSame

replicasOnSame is a list of key or key=value items used as autoplacement selection labels when autoplace is used to determine where to provision storage. These labels correspond to LINSTOR node properties.

LINSTOR node properties are different from kubernetes node labels. You can see the properties of a node by running linstor node list-properties <nodename>. You can also set additional properties (“auxiliary properties”): linstor node set-property <nodename> --aux <key> <value>.

Let’s explore this behavior with examples assuming a LINSTOR cluster such that node-a is configured with the following auxiliary property zone=z1 and role=backups, while node-b is configured with only zone=z1.

If we configure a StorageClass with autoPlace: "1" and replicasOnSame: "zone=z1 role=backups", then all volumes created from that StorageClass will be provisioned on node-a, since that is the only node with all of the correct key=value pairs in the LINSTOR cluster. This is the most flexible way to select a single node for provisioning.

This guide assumes LINSTOR CSI version 0.10.0 or newer. All properties referenced in replicasOnSame and replicasOnDifferent are interpreted as auxiliary properties. If you are using an older version of LINSTOR CSI, you need to add the Aux/ prefix to all property names. So replicasOnSame: "zone=z1" would be replicasOnSame: "Aux/zone=z1" Using Aux/ manually will continue to work on newer LINSTOR CSI versions.

If we configure a StorageClass with autoPlace: "1" and replicasOnSame: "zone=z1", then volumes will be provisioned on either node-a or node-b as they both have the zone=z1 aux prop.

If we configure a StorageClass with autoPlace: "2" and replicasOnSame: "zone=z1 role=backups", then provisioning will fail, as there are not two or more nodes that have the appropriate auxiliary properties.

If we configure a StorageClass with autoPlace: "2" and replicasOnSame: "zone=z1", then volumes will be provisioned on both node-a and node-b as they both have the zone=z1 aux prop.

You can also use a property key without providing a value to ensure all replicas are placed on nodes with the same property value, with caring about the particular value. Assuming there are 4 nodes, node-a1 and node-a2 are configured with zone=a. node-b1 and node-b2 are configured with zone=b. Using autoPlace: "2" and replicasOnSame: "zone" will place on either node-a1 and node-a2 OR on node-b1 and node-b2.

3.5.15. replicasOnDifferent

replicasOnDifferent takes a list of properties to consider, same as replicasOnSame. There are two modes of using replicasOnDifferent:

  • Preventing volume placement on specific nodes:

    If a value is given for the property, the nodes which have that property-value pair assigned will be considered last.

    Example: replicasOnDifferent: "no-csi-volumes=true" will place no volume on any node with property no-csi-volumes=true unless there are not enough other nodes to fulfill the autoPlace setting.

  • Distribute volumes across nodes with different values for the same key:

    If no property value is given, LINSTOR will place the volumes across nodes with different values for that property if possible.

    Example: Assuming there are 4 nodes, node-a1 and node-a2 are configured with zone=a. node-b1 and node-b2 are configured with zone=b. Using a StorageClass with autoPlace: "2" and replicasOnDifferent: "zone", LINSTOR will create one replica on either node-a1 or node-a2 and one replica on either node-b1 or node-b2.

3.5.16. disklessOnRemaining

Create a diskless resource on all nodes that were not assigned a diskful resource.

3.5.17. doNotPlaceWithRegex

Do not place the resource on a node which has a resource with a name matching the regex.

3.5.18. fsOpts

fsOpts is an optional parameter that passes options to the volume’s filesystem at creation time.

Please note these values are specific to your chosen filesystem.

3.5.19. mountOpts

mountOpts is an optional parameter that passes options to the volume’s filesystem at mount time.

3.5.20. postMountXfsOpts

Extra arguments to pass to xfs_io, which gets called before right before first use of the volume.

3.5.21. DrbdOptions/*: <x>

Advanced DRBD options to pass to LINSTOR. For example, to change the replication protocol, use DrbdOptions/Net/protocol: "A".

The full list of options is available here

3.6. Snapshots

Creating snapshots and creating new volumes from snapshots is done via the use of VolumeSnapshots, VolumeSnapshotClasses, and PVCs.

3.6.1. Adding snapshot support

LINSTOR supports the volume snapshot feature, which is currently in beta. To use it, you need to install a cluster wide snapshot controller. This is done either by the cluster provider, or you can use the LINSTOR chart.

By default, the LINSTOR chart will install its own snapshot controller. This can lead to conflict in some cases:

  • the cluster already has a snapshot controller

  • the cluster does not meet the minimal version requirements (>= 1.17)

In such a case, installation of the snapshot controller can be disabled:

--set csi-snapshotter.enabled=false

3.6.2. Using volume snapshots

Then we can create our VolumeSnapshotClass:

Listing 4. my-first-linstor-snapshot-class.yaml
kind: VolumeSnapshotClass
  name: my-first-linstor-snapshot-class
deletionPolicy: Delete

Create the VolumeSnapshotClass with kubectl:

kubectl create -f my-first-linstor-snapshot-class.yaml

Now we will create a volume snapshot for the volume that we created above. This is done with a VolumeSnapshot:

Listing 5. my-first-linstor-snapshot.yaml
kind: VolumeSnapshot
  name: my-first-linstor-snapshot
  volumeSnapshotClassName: my-first-linstor-snapshot-class
    persistentVolumeClaimName: my-first-linstor-volume

Create the VolumeSnapshot with kubectl:

kubectl create -f my-first-linstor-snapshot.yaml

You can check that the snapshot creation was successful

kubectl describe my-first-linstor-snapshot
    Persistent Volume Claim Name:  my-first-linstor-snapshot
  Volume Snapshot Class Name:      my-first-linstor-snapshot-class
  Bound Volume Snapshot Content Name:  snapcontent-b6072ab7-6ddf-482b-a4e3-693088136d2c
  Creation Time:                       2020-06-04T13:02:28Z
  Ready To Use:                        true
  Restore Size:                        500Mi

Finally, we’ll create a new volume from the snapshot with a PVC.

Listing 6. my-first-linstor-volume-from-snapshot.yaml
apiVersion: v1
kind: PersistentVolumeClaim
  name: my-first-linstor-volume-from-snapshot
  storageClassName: linstor-basic-storage-class
    name: my-first-linstor-snapshot
    kind: VolumeSnapshot
    - ReadWriteOnce
      storage: 500Mi

Create the PVC with kubectl:

kubectl create -f my-first-linstor-volume-from-snapshot.yaml

3.7. Volume Accessibility

LINSTOR volumes are typically accessible both locally and over the network.

By default, the CSI plugin will attach volumes directly if the Pod happens to be scheduled on a kubelet where its underlying storage is present. However, Pod scheduling does not currently take volume locality into account. The replicasOnSame parameter can be used to restrict where the underlying storage may be provisioned, if locally attached volumes are desired.

See placementPolicy to see how this default behavior can be modified.

3.8. Volume Locality Optimization using Stork

Stork is a scheduler extender plugin for Kubernetes which allows a storage driver to give the Kubernetes scheduler hints about where to place a new pod so that it is optimally located for storage performance. You can learn more about the project on its GitHub page.

The next Stork release will include the LINSTOR driver by default. In the meantime, you can use a custom-built Stork container by LINBIT which includes a LINSTOR driver, available on Docker Hub

3.8.1. Using Stork

By default, the operator will install the components required for Stork, and register a new scheduler called stork with Kubernetes. This new scheduler can be used to place pods near to their volumes.

apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: busybox
  namespace: default
  schedulerName: stork (1)
  - name: busybox
    image: busybox
    command: ["tail", "-f", "/dev/null"]
    - name: my-first-linstor-volume
      mountPath: /data
    - containerPort: 80
  - name: my-first-linstor-volume
      claimName: "test-volume"
1 Add the name of the scheduler to your pod.

Deployment of the scheduler can be disabled using

--set stork.enabled=false

3.9. Fast workload fail over using the High Availability Controller

The LINSTOR High Availability Controller (HA Controller) will speed up the fail over process for stateful workloads using LINSTOR for storage. It is deployed by default, and can be scaled to multiple replicas:

$ kubectl get pods -l
NAME                                    READY   STATUS    RESTARTS   AGE
linstor-ha-controller-f496c5f77-fr76m   1/1     Running   0          89s
linstor-ha-controller-f496c5f77-jnqtc   1/1     Running   0          89s
linstor-ha-controller-f496c5f77-zcrqg   1/1     Running   0          89s

In the event of node failures, Kubernetes is very conservative in rescheduling stateful workloads. This means it can take more than 15 minutes for Pods to be moved from unreachable nodes. With the information available to DRBD and LINSTOR, this process can be sped up significantly.

The HA Controller enables fast fail over for:

  • Pods using DRBD backed PersistentVolumes. The DRBD resources must make use of the quorum functionality LINSTOR will configure this automatically for volumes with 2 or more replicas in clusters with at least 3 nodes.

  • The workload does not use any external resources in a way that could lead to a conflicting state if two instances try to use the external resource at the same time. While DRBD can ensure that only one instance can have write access to the storage, it cannot provide the same guarantee for external resources.

  • The Pod is marked with the remove label.

3.9.1. Example

The following StatefulSet uses the HA Controller to manage fail over of a pod.

apiVersion: apps/v1
kind: StatefulSet
  name: my-stateful-app
  serviceName: my-stateful-app
    matchLabels: my-stateful-app
      labels: my-stateful-app remove (1)
1 The label is applied to Pod template, not the StatefulSet. The label was applied correctly, if your Pod appears in the output of kubectl get pods -l

Deploy the set and wait for the pod to start

$ kubectl get pod -o wide
NAME                                        READY   STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE     IP                NODE                    NOMINATED NODE   READINESS GATES
my-stateful-app-0                           1/1     Running             0          5m        node01.ha.cluster       <none>           <none>

Then one of the nodes becomes unreachable. Shortly after, Kubernetes will mark the node as NotReady

$ kubectl get nodes
NAME                    STATUS     ROLES     AGE    VERSION
master01.ha.cluster     Ready      master    12d    v1.19.4
master02.ha.cluster     Ready      master    12d    v1.19.4
master03.ha.cluster     Ready      master    12d    v1.19.4
node01.ha.cluster       NotReady   compute   12d    v1.19.4
node02.ha.cluster       Ready      compute   12d    v1.19.4
node03.ha.cluster       Ready      compute   12d    v1.19.4

After about 45 seconds, the Pod will be removed by the HA Controller and re-created by the StatefulSet

$ kubectl get pod -o wide
NAME                                        READY   STATUS              RESTARTS   AGE     IP                NODE                    NOMINATED NODE   READINESS GATES
my-stateful-app-0                           0/1     ContainerCreating   0          3s        node02.ha.cluster       <none>           <none>
$ kubectl get events --sort-by=.metadata.creationTimestamp -w
0s          Warning   ForceDeleted              pod/my-stateful-app-0                                                                   pod deleted because a used volume is marked as failing
0s          Warning   ForceDetached             volumeattachment/csi-d2b994ff19d526ace7059a2d8dea45146552ed078d00ed843ac8a8433c1b5f6f   volume detached because it is marked as failing

3.10. Upgrading a LINSTOR Deployment on Kubernetes

A LINSTOR Deployment on Kubernets can be upgraded to a new release using Helm.

Before upgrading to a new release, you should ensure you have an up-to-date backup of the LINSTOR database. If you are using the Etcd database packaged in the LINSTOR Chart, see here

Upgrades using the LINSTOR Etcd deployment require etcd to use persistent storage. Only follow these steps if Etcd was deployed using etcd.persistentVolume.enabled=true

Upgrades will update to new versions of the following components:

  • LINSTOR operator deployment

  • LINSTOR Controller

  • LINSTOR Satellite

  • LINSTOR CSI Driver

  • Etcd

  • Stork

Some versions require special steps, please take a look here The main command to upgrade to a new LINSTOR operator version is:

helm repo update
helm upgrade linstor-op linstor/linstor

If you used any customizations on the initial install, pass the same options to helm upgrade. For example:

helm install linstor-op linstor/linstor -f <file>

would become

helm upgrade linstor-op linstor/linstor -f <file>

This triggers the rollout of new pods. After a short wait, all pods should be running and ready. Check that no errors are listed in the status section of LinstorControllers, LinstorSatelliteSets and LinstorCSIDrivers.

During the upgrade process, provisioning of volumes and attach/detach operations might not work. Existing volumes and volumes already in use by a pod will continue to work without interruption.

3.10.1. Upgrade instructions for specific versions

Some versions require special steps, see below.

Upgrade to v1.3

No additional steps necessary.

Upgrade to v1.2

LINSTOR operator v1.2 is supported on Kubernetes 1.17+. If you are using an older Kubernetes distribution, you may need to change the default settings, for example [the CSI provisioner](

There is a known issue when updating the CSI components: the pods will not be updated to the newest image and the errors section of the LinstorCSIDrivers resource shows an error updating the DaemonSet. In this case, manually delete deployment/linstor-op-csi-controller and daemonset/linstor-op-csi-node. They will be re-created by the operator.

3.10.2. Creating Etcd Backups

To create a backup of the Etcd database and store it on your control host, run:

kubectl exec linstor-op-etcd-0 -- etcdctl snapshot save /tmp/save.db
kubectl cp linstor-op-etcd-0:/tmp/save.db save.db

These commands will create a file save.db on the machine you are running kubectl from.

4. LINSTOR Volumes in Openshift

This chapter describes the usage of LINSTOR in Openshift as managed by the operator and with volumes provisioned using the LINSTOR CSI plugin.

4.1. Openshift Overview

OpenShift is the official Red Hat developed and supported distribution of Kubernetes. As such, you can easily deploy Piraeus or the LINSTOR operator using Helm or via example yamls as mentioned in the previous chapter, LINSTOR Volumes in Kubernetes.

Some of the value of Red Hat’s Openshift is that it includes its own registry of supported and certified images and operators, in addition to a default and standard web console. This chapter describes how to install the Certified LINSTOR operator via these tools.

4.2. Deploying LINSTOR on Openshift

4.2.1. Before you Begin

LINBIT provides a certified LINSTOR operator via the RedHat marketplace. The operator eases deployment of LINSTOR on Kubernetes by installing DRBD, managing Satellite and Controller pods, and other related functions.

The operator itself is available from the Red Hat Marketplace.

Unlike deployment via the helm chart, the certified Openshift operator does not deploy the needed etcd cluster. You must deploy this yourself ahead of time. We do this via the etcd operator available on

It it advised that the etcd deployment uses persistent storage of some type. Either use an existing storage provisioner with a default StorageClass or simply use hostPath volumes.

Read the storage guide and configure a basic storage setup for LINSTOR.

Read the section on securing the deployment and configure as needed.

4.2.2. Deploying the operator pod

Once etcd and storage has been configured, we are now ready to install the LINSTOR operator. You can find the LINSTOR operator via the left-hand control pane of Openshift Web Console. Expand the “Operators” section and select “OperatorHub”. From here you need to find the LINSTOR operator. Either search for the term “LINSTOR” or filter only by “Marketplace” operators.

The LINSTOR operator can only watch for events and manage custom resources that are within the same namespace it is deployed within (OwnNamsespace). This means the LINSTOR Controller, LINSTOR Satellites, and LINSTOR CSI Driver pods all need to be deployed in the same namsepace as the LINSTOR Operator pod.

Once you have located the LINSTOR operator in the Marketplace, click the “Install” button and install it as you would any other operator.

At this point you should have just one pod, the operator pod, running.

Next we needs to configure the remaining provided APIs.

4.2.3. Deploying the LINSTOR Controller

Again, navigate to the left-hand control pane of the Openshift Web Console. Expand the “Operators” section, but this time select “Installed Operators”. Find the entry for the “Linstor Operator”, then select the “LinstorController” from the “Provided APIs” column on the right.

From here you should see a page that says “No Operands Found” and will feature a large button on the right which says “Create LinstorController”. Click the “Create LinstorController” button.

Here you will be presented with options to configure the LINSTOR Controller. Either via the web-form view or the YAML View. Regardless of which view you select, make sure that the dbConnectionURL matches the endpoint provided from your etcd deployment. Otherwise, the defaults are usually fine for most purposes.

Lastly hit “Create”, you should now see a linstor-controller pod running.

4.2.4. Deploying the LINSTOR Satellites

Next we need to deploy the Satellites Set. Just as before navigate to the left-hand control pane of the Openshift Web Console. Expand the “Operators” section, but this time select “Installed Operators”. Find the entry for the “Linstor Operator”, then select the “LinstorSatelliteSet” from the “Provided APIs” column on the right.

From here you should see a page that says “No Operands Found” and will feature a large button on the right which says “Create LinstorSatelliteSet”. Click the “Create LinstorSatelliteSet” button.

Here you will be presented with the options to configure the LINSTOR Satellites. Either via the web-form view or the YAML View. One of the first options you’ll notice is the automaticStorageType. If set to “NONE” then you’ll need to remember to configure the storage pools yourself at a later step.

Another option you’ll notice is kernelModuleInjectionMode. I usually select “Compile” for portability sake, but selecting “ShippedModules” will be faster as it will install pre-compiled kernel modules on all the worker nodes.

Make sure the controllerEndpoint matches what is available in the kubernetes endpoints. The default is usually correct here.

Below is an example manifest:

kind: LinstorSatelliteSet
  name: linstor
  namespace: default
  satelliteImage: ''
  automaticStorageType: LVMTHIN
  drbdRepoCred: ''
  kernelModuleInjectionMode: Compile
  controllerEndpoint: 'http://linstor:3370'
  priorityClassName: ''
  errors: []

Lastly hit “Create”, you should now see a linstor-node pod running on every worker node.

4.2.5. Deploying the LINSTOR CSI driver

Last bit left is the CSI pods to bridge the layer between the CSI and LINSTOR. Just as before navigate to the left-hand control pane of the Openshift Web Console. Expand the “Operators” section, but this time select “Installed Operators”. Find the entry for the “Linstor Operator”, then select the “LinstorCSIDriver” from the “Provided APIs” column on the right.

From here you should see a page that says “No Operands Found” and will feature a large button on the right which says “Create LinstorCSIDriver”. Click the “Create LinstorCSIDriver” button.

Again, you will be presented with the options. Make sure that the controllerEnpoint is correct. Otherwise the defaults are fine for most use cases.

Lastly hit “Create”. You will now see a single “linstor-csi-controller” pod, as well as a “linstor-csi-node” pod on all worker nodes.

4.3. Interacting with LINSTOR in Openshift.

The Controller pod includes a LINSTOR Client, making it easy to interact directly with LINSTOR. For instance:

oc exec deployment/linstor-cs-controller -- linstor storage-pool list

This should only be necessary for investigating problems and accessing advanced functionality. Regular operation such as creating volumes should be achieved via the Kubernetes integration.

4.4. Configuration and deployment

Once the operator and all the needed pods are deployed, provisioning volumes simply follows the usual Kubernetes workflows.

As such, please see the previous chapter’s section on Basic Configuration and Deployment.

4.5. Deploying additional components

Some additional components are not included in the OperatorHub version of the LINSTOR Operator when compared to the Helm deployment. Most notably, this includes setting up Etcd and deploying the STORK integration.

Etcd can be deployed by using the Etcd Operator available in the OperatorHub.

4.5.1. Stork

To deploy STORK, you can use the single YAML deployment available at: Download the YAML and replace every instance of MY-STORK-NAMESPACE with your desired namespace for STORK. You also need to replace MY-LINSTOR-URL with the URL of your controller. This value depends on the name you chose when creating the LinstorController resource. By default this would be http://linstor.<operator-namespace>.svc:3370

To apply the YAML to Openshift, either use oc apply -f <filename> from the command line or find the “Import YAML” option in the top right of the Openshift Web Console.

4.5.2. High Availability Controller

To deploy our High Availability Controller, you can use the single YAML deployment available at:

Download the YAML and replace:

To apply the YAML to Openshift, either use oc apply -f <filename> from the command line or find the “Import YAML” option in the top right of the Openshift Web Console.

4.5.3. Deploying via Helm on openshift

Alternatively, you can deploy the LINSTOR Operator using Helm instead. Take a look at the Kubernetes guide. Openshift requires changing some of the default values in our Helm chart.

If you chose to use Etcd with hostpath volumes for persistence (see here), you need to enable selinux relabelling. To do this pass --set selinux=true to the pv-hostpath install command.

For the LINSTOR Operator chart itself, you should change the following values:

  setSecurityContext: false (1)
  enabled: false (2)
  schedulerTag: v1.18.6 (3)
    supplementalGroups: [1000] (4)
    kernelModuleInjectionImage: (5)
1 Openshift uses SCCs to manage security contexts.
2 The cluster wide CSI Snapshot Controller is already installed by Openshift.
3 Automatic detection of the Kubernetes Scheduler version fails in Openshift, you need to set it manually. Note: the tag does not have to match Openshift’s Kubernetes release.
4 If you choose to use Etcd deployed via Helm and use the pv-hostpath chart, Etcd needs to run as member of group 1000 to access the persistent volume.
5 The RHEL8 kernel injector also supports RHCOS.

Other overrides, such as storage pool configuration, HA deployments and more, are available and documented in the Kubernetes guide.

5. LINSTOR Volumes in Proxmox VE

This chapter describes DRBD in Proxmox VE via the LINSTOR Proxmox Plugin.

5.1. Proxmox VE Overview

Proxmox VE is an easy to use, complete server virtualization environment with KVM, Linux Containers and HA.

‘linstor-proxmox’ is a Perl plugin for Proxmox that, in combination with LINSTOR, allows to replicate VM disks on several Proxmox VE nodes. This allows to live-migrate active VMs within a few seconds and with no downtime without needing a central SAN, as the data is already replicated to multiple nodes.

5.2. Upgrades

If this is a fresh installation, skip this section and continue with Proxmox Plugin Installation.

5.2.1. From 4.x to 5.x

Version 5 of the plugin drops compatibility with the legacy configuration options “storagepool” and “redundancy”. Version 5 requires a “resourcegroup” option, and obviously a LINSTOR resource group. The old options should be removed from the config.

Configuring LINSTOR is described in Section LINSTOR Configuration, a typical example follows: Let’s assume the pool was set to “mypool”, and redundancy to 3.

# linstor resource-group create --storage-pool=mypool --place-count=3 drbdMypoolThree
# linstor volume-group create drbdMypoolThree
# vi /etc/pve/storage.cfg
drbd: drbdstorage
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup drbdMypoolThree

5.3. Proxmox Plugin Installation

LINBIT provides a dedicated public repository for Proxmox VE users. This repository not only contains the Proxmox plugin, but the whole DRBD SDS stack including a DRBD SDS kernel module and user space utilities.

The DRBD9 kernel module is installed as a dkms package (i.e., drbd-dkms), therefore you’ll have to install pve-headers package, before you set up/install the software packages from LINBIT’s repositories. Following that order, ensures that the kernel module will build properly for your kernel. If you don’t plan to install the latest Proxmox kernel, you have to install kernel headers matching your current running kernel (e.g., pve-headers-$(uname -r)). If you missed this step, then still you can rebuild the dkms package against your current kernel, (kernel headers have to be installed in advance), by issuing apt install --reinstall drbd-dkms command.

LINBIT’s repository can be enabled as follows, where “$PVERS” should be set to your Proxmox VE major version (e.g., “6”, not “6.1”):

# wget -O- | apt-key add -
# PVERS=6 && echo "deb proxmox-$PVERS drbd-9.0" > \
# apt update && apt install linstor-proxmox

5.4. LINSTOR Configuration

For the rest of this guide we assume that you have a LINSTOR cluster configured as described in Initializing your cluster. Also make sure to setup each node as a “Combined” node. Start the “linstor-controller” on one node, and the “linstor-satellite” on all nodes. The preferred way to use the plugin, starting from version 4.1.0, is via LINSTOR resource groups and a single volume group within every resource group. LINSTOR resource groups are described in Resource groups. All the required LINSTOR configuration (e.g., redundancy count) has to be set on the resource group.

5.5. Proxmox Plugin Configuration

The final step is to provide a configuration for Proxmox itself. This can be done by adding an entry in the /etc/pve/storage.cfg file, with a content similar to the following.

drbd: drbdstorage
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup defaultpool

The “drbd” entry is fixed and you are not allowed to modify it, as it tells to Proxmox to use DRBD as storage backend. The “drbdstorage” entry can be modified and is used as a friendly name that will be shown in the PVE web GUI to locate the DRBD storage. The “content” entry is also fixed, so do not change it. The redundancy (specified in the resource group) specifies how many replicas of the data will be stored in the cluster. The recommendation is to set it to 2 or 3 depending on your setup. The data is accessible from all nodes, even if some of them do not have local copies of the data. For example, in a 5 node cluster, all nodes will be able to access 3 copies of the data, no matter where they are stored in. The “controller” parameter must be set to the IP of the node that runs the LINSTOR controller service. Only one node can be set to run as LINSTOR controller at the same time. If that node fails, start the LINSTOR controller on another node and change that value to its IP address.

Recent versions of the plugin allow to define multiple different storage pools. Such a configuration would look like this:

drbd: drbdstorage
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup defaultpool

drbd: fastdrbd
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup ssd

drbd: slowdrbd
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup backup

By now, you should be able to create VMs via Proxmox’s web GUI by selecting “drbdstorage“, or any other of the defined pools as storage location.

Starting from version 5 of the plugin one can set the option “preferlocal yes”. If it is set, the plugin tries to create a diskful assignment on the node that issued the storage create command. With this option one can make sure the VM gets local storage if possible. Without that option LINSTOR might place the storage on nodes ‘B’ and ‘C’, while the VM is initially started on node ‘A’. This would still work as node ‘A’ then would get a diskless assignment, but having local storage might be preferred.

NOTE: DRBD supports only the raw disk format at the moment.

At this point you can try to live migrate the VM – as all data is accessible on all nodes (even on Diskless nodes) – it will take just a few seconds. The overall process might take a bit longer if the VM is under load and if there is a lot of RAM being dirtied all the time. But in any case, the downtime should be minimal and you will see no interruption at all.

5.6. Making the Controller Highly-Available (optional)

This section describes how the controller can be made highly available, but this is not a must. Please read the entire section before you start, and then decide if the increased complexity, and the limitations are worth it. Or if you are better off by taking regular backups of the LINSTOR controller database and starting a (temporary) controller with the database backup on one of the remaining satellites if the current controller is beyond repair.

For the rest of this guide we assume that you installed LINSTOR and the Proxmox Plugin as described in LINSTOR Configuration.

The basic idea is to execute the LINSTOR controller within a VM that is controlled by Proxmox and its HA features, where the storage resides on DRBD managed by LINSTOR itself.

The first step is to allocate storage for the VM: Create a VM as usual and select “Do not use any media” on the “OS” section. The hard disk should of course reside on DRBD (e.g., “drbdstorage”). 2GB disk space should be enough, and for RAM we chose 1GB. These are the minimum requirements for the appliance LINBIT provides to its customers (see below). If you wish to set up your own controller VM, and you have enough hardware resources available, you can increase these minimum values. In the following use case, we assume that the controller VM was created with ID 100, but it is fine if this VM was created at a later time and has a different ID.

LINBIT provides an appliance for its customers that can be used to populate the created storage. For the appliance to work, we first create a “Serial Port”. First click on “Hardware” and then on “Add” and finally on “Serial Port”:

pm add serial1 controller vm
Figure 1. Adding a Serial Port

If everything worked as expected the VM definition should then look like this:

pm add serial2 controller vm
Figure 2. VM with Serial Port

The next step is to copy the VM appliance to the VM disk storage. This can be done with qemu-img.

Make sure to replace the VM ID with the correct one.
# qemu-img dd -O raw if=/tmp/linbit-linstor-controller-amd64.img \

Once completed you can start the VM and connect to it via the Proxmox VNC viewer. The default user name and password are both “linbit”. Note that we kept the default configuration for the ssh server, so you will not be able to log in to the VM via ssh and username/password. If you want to enable that (and/or “root” login), enable these settings in /etc/ssh/sshd_config and restart the ssh service. As this VM is based on “Ubuntu Bionic”, you should change your network settings (e.g., static IP) in /etc/netplan/config.yaml. After that you should be able to ssh to the VM:

pm ssh controller vm
Figure 3. LINBIT LINSTOR Controller Appliance

In the next step you add the controller VM to the existing cluster:

# linstor node create --node-type Controller \
As the Controller VM will be handled in a special way by the Proxmox storage plugin (comparing to the rest of VMs), we must make sure all hosts have access to its backing storage, before PVE HA starts the VM, otherwise the VM will fail to start. See below for the details on how to achieve this.

In our test cluster the Controller VM disk was created in DRBD storage and it was initially assigned to one host (use linstor resource list to check the assignments). Then, we used linstor resource create command to create additional resource assignments to the other nodes of the cluster for this VM. In our lab consisting of four nodes, we created all resource assignments as diskful, but diskless assignments are fine as well. As a rule of thumb keep the redundancy count at “3” (more usually does not make sense), and assign the rest as diskless.

As the storage for the Controller VM must be made available on all PVE hosts in some way, we must make sure to enable the drbd.service on all hosts (given that it is not controlled by LINSTOR at this stage):

# systemctl enable drbd
# systemctl start drbd

By default, at startup the linstor-satellite service deletes all of its resource files (.res) and regenerates them. This conflicts with the drbd services that needs these resource files to start the controller VM. It is good enough to first bring up the resources via drbd.service and ensure that the linstor-satellite.service, which brings up the controller resource never deletes the according res file. To make the necessary changes, you need to create a drop-in for the linstor-satellite.service via systemctl (do *not edit the file directly).

systemctl edit linstor-satellite

Of course adapt the name of the controller VM in the LS_KEEP_RES variable. Note that the value given is interpreted as regex, so you don’t need to specify the exact name.

Don’t forget to restart the linstor-satellite.service.

After that, it is time for the final steps, namely switching from the existing controller (residing on the physical host) to the new one in the VM. So let’s stop the old controller service on the physical host, and copy the LINSTOR controller database to the VM host:

# systemctl stop linstor-controller
# systemctl disable linstor-controller
# scp /var/lib/linstor/* root@

Finally, we can enable the controller in the VM:

# systemctl start linstor-controller # in the VM
# systemctl enable linstor-controller # in the VM

To check if everything worked as expected, you can query the cluster nodes on a physical PVE host by asking the controller in the VM: linstor --controllers= node list. It is perfectly fine that the controller (which is just a Controller and not a “Combined” host) is shown as “OFFLINE”. This might change in the future to something more reasonable.

As the last — but crucial — step, you need to add the “controllervm” option to /etc/pve/storage.cfg, and change the controller IP address to the IP address of the Controller VM:

drbd: drbdstorage
   content images,rootdir
   resourcegroup defaultpool
   controllervm 100

Please note the additional setting “controllervm”. This setting is very important, as it tells to PVE to handle the Controller VM differently than the rest of VMs stored in the DRBD storage. In specific, it will instruct PVE to NOT use LINSTOR storage plugin for handling the Controller VM, but to use other methods instead. The reason for this, is that simply LINSTOR backend is not available at this stage. Once the Controller VM is up and running (and the associated LINSTOR controller service inside the VM), then the PVE hosts will be able to start the rest of virtual machines which are stored in the DRBD storage by using LINSTOR storage plugin. Please make sure to set the correct VM ID in the “controllervm” setting. In this case is set to “100”, which represents the ID assigned to our Controller VM.

It is very important to make sure that the Controller VM is up and running at all times and that you are backing it up at regular times(mostly when you do modifications to the LINSTOR cluster). Once the VM is gone, and there are no backups, the LINSTOR cluster must be recreated from scratch.

To prevent accidental deletion of the VM, you can go to the “Options” tab of the VM, in the PVE GUI and enable the “Protection” option. If however you accidentally deleted the VM, such requests are ignored by our storage plugin, so the VM disk will NOT be deleted from the LINSTOR cluster. Therefore, it is possible to recreate the VM with the same ID as before(simply recreate the VM configuration file in PVE and assign the same DRBD storage device used by the old VM). The plugin will just return “OK”, and the old VM with the old data can be used again. In general, be careful to not delete the controller VM and “protect” it accordingly.

Currently, we have the controller executed as VM, but we should make sure that one instance of the VM is started at all times. For that we use Proxmox’s HA feature. Click on the VM, then on “More”, and then on “Manage HA”. We set the following parameters for our controller VM:

pm manage ha controller vm
Figure 4. HA settings for the controller VM

As long as there are surviving nodes in your Proxmox cluster, everything should be fine and in case the node hosting the Controller VM is shut down or lost, Proxmox HA will make sure the controller is started on another host. Obviously the IP of the controller VM should not change. It is up to you as an administrator to make sure this is the case (e.g., setting a static IP, or always providing the same IP via dhcp on the bridged interface).

It is important to mention at this point that in the case that you are using a dedicated network for the LINSTOR cluster, you must make sure that the network interfaces configured for the cluster traffic, are configured as bridges (i.e vmb1,vmbr2 etc) on the PVE hosts. If they are setup as direct interfaces (i.e eth0,eth1 etc), then you will not be able to setup the Controller VM vNIC to communicate with the rest of LINSTOR nodes in the cluster, as you cannot assign direct network interfaces to the VM, but only bridged interfaces.

One limitation that is not fully handled with this setup is a total cluster outage (e.g., common power supply failure) with a restart of all cluster nodes. Proxmox is unfortunately pretty limited in this regard. You can enable the “HA Feature” for a VM, and you can define “Start and Shutdown Order” constraints. But both are completely separated from each other. Therefore it is hard/impossible to guarantee that the Controller VM will be up and running, before all other VMs are started.

It might be possible to work around that by delaying VM startup in the Proxmox plugin itself until the controller VM is up (i.e., if the plugin is asked to start the controller VM it does it, otherwise it waits and pings the controller). While a nice idea, this would horribly fail in a serialized, non-concurrent VM start/plugin call event stream where some VM should be started (which then are blocked) before the Controller VM is scheduled to be started. That would obviously result in a deadlock.

We will discuss these options with Proxmox, but we think the current solution is valuable in most typical use cases, as is. Especially, compared to the complexity of a pacemaker setup. Use cases where one can expect that not the whole cluster goes down at the same time are covered. And even if that is the case, only automatic startup of the VMs would not work when the whole cluster is started. In such a scenario the admin just has to wait until the Proxmox HA service starts the controller VM. After that all VMs can be started manually/scripted on the command line.

6. LINSTOR Volumes in OpenNebula

This chapter describes DRBD in OpenNebula via the usage of the LINSTOR storage driver addon.

Detailed installation and configuration instructions and be found in the file of the driver’s source.

6.1. OpenNebula Overview

OpenNebula is a flexible and open source cloud management platform which allows its functionality to be extended via the use of addons.

The LINSTOR addon allows the deployment of virtual machines with highly available images backed by DRBD and attached across the network via DRBD’s own transport protocol.

6.2. OpenNebula addon Installation

Installation of the LINSTOR storage addon for OpenNebula requires a working OpenNebula cluster as well as a working LINSTOR cluster.

With access to LINBIT’s customer repositories you can install the linstor-opennebula with

# apt install linstor-opennebula


# yum install linstor-opennebula

Without access to LINBIT’s prepared packages you need to fall back to instructions on it’s GitHub page.

A DRBD cluster with LINSTOR can be installed and configured by following the instructions in this guide, see Initializing your cluster.

The OpenNebula and DRBD clusters can be somewhat independent of one another with the following exception: OpenNebula’s Front-End and Host nodes must be included in both clusters.

Host nodes do not need a local LINSTOR storage pools, as virtual machine images are attached to them across the network [1].

6.3. Deployment Options

It is recommended to use LINSTOR resource groups to configure the deployment how you like it, see OpenNebula resource group. Previous auto-place and deployment nodes modes are deprecated.

6.4. Configuration

6.4.1. Adding the driver to OpenNebula

Modify the following sections of /etc/one/oned.conf

Add linstor to the list of drivers in the TM_MAD and DATASTORE_MAD sections:

TM_MAD = [
  executable = "one_tm",
  arguments = "-t 15 -d dummy,lvm,shared,fs_lvm,qcow2,ssh,vmfs,ceph,linstor"
    EXECUTABLE = "one_datastore",
    ARGUMENTS  = "-t 15 -d dummy,fs,lvm,ceph,dev,iscsi_libvirt,vcenter,linstor -s shared,ssh,ceph,fs_lvm,qcow2,linstor"

Add new TM_MAD_CONF and DS_MAD_CONF sections:

    NAME = "linstor", LN_TARGET = "NONE", CLONE_TARGET = "SELF", SHARED = "yes", ALLOW_ORPHANS="yes",

After making these changes, restart the opennebula service.

6.4.2. Configuring the Nodes

The Front-End node issues commands to the Storage and Host nodes via Linstor

Storage nodes hold disk images of VMs locally.

Host nodes are responsible for running instantiated VMs and typically have the storage for the images they need attached across the network via Linstor diskless mode.

All nodes must have DRBD9 and Linstor installed. This process is detailed in the User’s Guide for DRBD9

It is possible to have Front-End and Host nodes act as storage nodes in addition to their primary role as long as they the meet all the requirements for both roles.

Front-End Configuration

Please verify that the control node(s) that you hope to communicate with are reachable from the Front-End node. linstor node list for locally running Linstor controllers and linstor --controllers "<IP:PORT>" node list for remotely running Linstor Controllers is a handy way to test this.

Host Configuration

Host nodes must have Linstor satellite processes running on them and be members of the same Linstor cluster as the Front-End and Storage nodes, and may optionally have storage locally. If the oneadmin user is able to passwordlessly ssh between hosts then live migration may be used with the even with the ssh system datastore.

Storage Node Configuration

Only the Front-End and Host nodes require OpenNebula to be installed, but the oneadmin user must be able to passwordlessly access storage nodes. Refer to the OpenNebula install guide for your distribution on how to manually configure the oneadmin user account.

The Storage nodes must use storage pools created with a driver that’s capable of making snapshots, such as the thin LVM plugin.

In this example preparation of thinly-provisioned storage using LVM for Linstor, you must create a volume group and thinLV using LVM on each storage node.

Example of this process using two physical volumes (/dev/sdX and /dev/sdY) and generic names for the volume group and thinpool. Make sure to set the thinLV’s metadata volume to a reasonable size, once it becomes full it can be difficult to resize:

pvcreate /dev/sdX /dev/sdY
vgcreate drbdpool /dev/sdX /dev/sdY
lvcreate -l 95%VG --poolmetadatasize 8g -T /dev/drbdpool/drbdthinpool

Then you’ll create storage pool(s) on Linstor using this as the backing storage.

If you are using ZFS storage pools or thick-LVM, please use LINSTOR_CLONE_MODE copy otherwise you will have problems deleting linstor resources, because of ZFS parent-child snapshot relationships.

6.4.3. Permissions for Oneadmin

The oneadmin user must have passwordless sudo access to the mkfs command on the Storage nodes

oneadmin ALL=(root) NOPASSWD: /sbin/mkfs

Be sure to consider the groups that oneadmin should be added to in order to gain access to the devices and programs needed to access storage and instantiate VMs. For this addon, the oneadmin user must belong to the disk group on all nodes in order to access the DRBD devices where images are held.

usermod -a -G disk oneadmin

6.4.4. Creating a New Linstor Datastore

Create a datastore configuration file named ds.conf and use the onedatastore tool to create a new datastore based on that configuration. There are two mutually exclusive deployment options: LINSTOR_AUTO_PLACE and LINSTOR_DEPLOYMENT_NODES. If both are configured, LINSTOR_AUTO_PLACE is ignored. For both of these options, BRIDGE_LIST must be a space separated list of all storage nodes in the Linstor cluster.

6.4.5. OpenNebula resource group

Since version 1.0.0 LINSTOR supports resource groups. A resource group is a centralized point for settings that all resources linked to that resource group share.

Create a resource group and volume group for your datastore, it is mandatory to specify a storage-pool within the resource group, otherwise monitoring space for opennebula will not work. Here we create one with 2 node redundancy and use a created opennebula-storagepool:

linstor resource-group create OneRscGrp --place-count 2 --storage-pool opennebula-storagepool
linstor volume-group create

Now add a OpenNebula datastore using the LINSTOR plugin:

cat >ds.conf <<EOI
NAME = linstor_datastore
DS_MAD = linstor
TM_MAD = linstor
BRIDGE_LIST = "alice bob charlie"  #node names

onedatastore create ds.conf

6.4.6. Plugin attributes


LINSTOR_CONTROLLERS can be used to pass a comma separated list of controller ips and ports to the Linstor client in the case where a Linstor controller process is not running locally on the Front-End, e.g.:



Linstor supports 2 different clone modes and are set via the LINSTOR_CLONE_MODE attribute:

  • snapshot

The default mode is snapshot it uses a linstor snapshot and restores a new resource from this snapshot, which is then a clone of the image. This mode is usually faster than using the copy mode as snapshots are cheap copies.

  • copy

The second mode is copy it creates a new resource with the same size as the original and copies the data with dd to the new resource. This mode will be slower than snapshot, but is more robust as it doesn’t rely on any snapshot mechanism, it is also used if you are cloning an image into a different linstor datastore.

6.4.7. Deprecated attributes

The following attributes are deprecated and will be removed in version after the 1.0.0 release.


LINSTOR_STORAGE_POOL attribute is used to select the LINSTOR storage pool your datastore should use. If resource groups are used this attribute isn’t needed as the storage pool can be select by the auto select filter options. If LINSTOR_AUTO_PLACE or LINSTOR_DEPLOYMENT_NODES is used and LINSTOR_STORAGE_POOL is not set, it will fallback to the DfltStorPool in LINSTOR.


The LINSTOR_AUTO_PLACE option takes a level of redundancy which is a number between one and the total number of storage nodes. Resources are assigned to storage nodes automatically based on the level of redundancy.


Using LINSTOR_DEPLOYMENT_NODES allows you to select a group of nodes that resources will always be assigned to. Please note that the bridge list still contains all of the storage nodes in the Linstor cluster.

6.4.8. LINSTOR as system datastore

Linstor driver can also be used as a system datastore, configuration is pretty similar to normal datastores, with a few changes:

cat >system_ds.conf <<EOI
NAME = linstor_system_datastore
TM_MAD = linstor
BRIDGE_LIST = "alice bob charlie"  # node names

onedatastore create system_ds.conf

Also add the new sys datastore id to the COMPATIBLE_SYS_DS to your image datastores (COMMA separated), otherwise the scheduler will ignore them.

If you want live migration with volatile disks you need to enable the --unsafe option for KVM, see: opennebula-doc

6.5. Live Migration

Live migration is supported even with the use of the ssh system datastore, as well as the nfs shared system datastore.

6.6. Free Space Reporting

Free space is calculated differently depending on whether resources are deployed automatically or on a per node basis.

For datastores which place per node, free space is reported based on the most restrictive storage pools from all nodes where resources are being deployed. For example, the capacity of the node with the smallest amount of total storage space is used to determine the total size of the datastore and the node with the least free space is used to determine the remaining space in the datastore.

For a datastore which uses automatic placement, size and remaining space are determined based on the aggregate storage pool used by the datastore as reported by LINSTOR.

7. LINSTOR volumes in Openstack

This chapter describes DRBD in Openstack for persistent, replicated, and high-performance block storage with LINSTOR Driver.

7.1. Openstack Overview

Openstack consists of a wide range of individual services; the two that are mostly relevant to DRBD are Cinder and Nova. Cinder is the block storage service, while Nova is the compute node service that’s responsible for making the volumes available for the VMs.

The LINSTOR driver for OpenStack manages DRBD/LINSTOR clusters and makes them available within the OpenStack environment, especially within Nova compute instances. LINSTOR-backed Cinder volumes will seamlessly provide all the features of DRBD/LINSTOR while allowing OpenStack to manage all their deployment and management. The driver will allow OpenStack to create and delete persistent LINSTOR volumes as well as managing and deploying volume snapshots and raw volume images.

Aside from using the kernel-native DRBD protocols for replication, the LINSTOR driver also allows using iSCSI with LINSTOR cluster(s) to provide maximum compatibility. For more information on these two options, please see Choosing the Transport Protocol.

7.2. LINSTOR for Openstack Installation

An initial installation and configuration of DRBD and LINSTOR must be completed prior to installing OpenStack driver. Each LINSTOR node in a cluster should also have a Storage Pool defined as well. Details about LINSTOR installation can be found here.

7.2.1. Here’s a synopsis on quickly setting up a LINSTOR cluster on Ubuntu:

Install DRBD and LINSTOR on Cinder node as a LINSTOR Controller node:
# First, set up LINBIT repository per support contract

# Install DRBD and LINSTOR packages
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y drbd-dkms lvm2
sudo apt install -y linstor-controller linstor-satellite linstor-client
sudo apt install -y drbdtop

# Start both LINSTOR Controller and Satellite Services
systemctl enable linstor-controller.service
systemctl start linstor-controller.service
systemctl enable linstor-satellite.service
systemctl start linstor-satellite.service

# For Diskless Controller, skip the following two 'sudo' commands

# For Diskful Controller, create backend storage for DRBD/LINSTOR by creating
# a Volume Group 'drbdpool' and specify appropriate volume location (/dev/vdb)
sudo vgcreate drbdpool /dev/vdb

# Create a Logical Volume 'thinpool' within 'drbdpool'
# Specify appropriate thin volume size (64G)
sudo lvcreate -L 64G -T drbdpool/thinpool
OpenStack measures storage size in GiBs.
Install DRBD and LINSTOR on other node(s) on the LINSTOR cluster:
# First, set up LINBIT repository per support contract

# Install DRBD and LINSTOR packages
sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y drbd-dkms lvm2
sudo apt install -y linstor-satellite
sudo apt install -y drbdtop

# Start only the LINSTOR Satellite service
systemctl enable linstor-satellite.service
systemctl start linstor-satellite.service

# Create backend storage for DRBD/LINSTOR by creating a Volume Group 'drbdpool'
# Specify appropriate volume location (/dev/vdb)
sudo vgcreate drbdpool /dev/vdb

# Create a Logical Volume 'thinpool' within 'drbdpool'
# Specify appropriate thin volume size (64G)
sudo lvcreate -L 64G -T drbdpool/thinpool
Lastly, from the Cinder node, create LINSTOR Satellite Node(s) and Storage Pool(s)
# Create a LINSTOR cluster, including the Cinder node as one of the nodes
# For each node, specify node name, its IP address, volume type (diskless) and
# volume location (drbdpool/thinpool)

# Create the controller node as combined controller and satellite node
linstor node create cinder-node-name --node-type Combined

# Create the satellite node(s)
linstor node create another-node-name
# repeat to add more satellite nodes in the LINSTOR cluster

# Create LINSTOR Storage Pool on each nodes
# For each node, specify node name, its IP address,
# storage pool name (DfltStorPool),
# volume type (diskless / lvmthin) and node type (Combined)

# Create diskless Controller node on the Cinder controller
linstor storage-pool create diskless cinder-node-name DfltStorPool

# Create diskful Satellite nodes
linstor storage-pool create lvmthin another-node-name DfltStorPool drbdpool/thinpool
# repeat to add a storage pool to each node in the LINSTOR cluster

7.2.2. Install the LINSTOR driver file

The linstor driver will be officially available starting OpenStack Stein release. The latest release is located at LINBIT OpenStack Repo. It is a single Python file called Depending on your OpenStack installation, its destination may vary.

Place the driver ( ) in an appropriate location within your OpenStack Cinder node.

For Devstack:


For Ubuntu:


For RDO Packstack:


7.3. Cinder Configuration for LINSTOR

7.3.1. Edit Cinder configuration file cinder.conf in /etc/cinder/ as follows:

Enable LINSTOR driver by adding ‘linstor’ to enabled_backends
enabled_backends=lvm, linstor
Add the following configuration options at the end of the cinder.conf
volume_backend_name = linstor
volume_driver = cinder.volume.drivers.linstordrv.LinstorDrbdDriver

7.3.2. Update Python python libraries for the driver

sudo pip install google --upgrade
sudo pip install protobuf --upgrade
sudo pip install eventlet --upgrade

7.3.3. Create a new backend type for LINSTOR

Run these commands from the Cinder node once environment variables are configured for OpenStack command line operation.

cinder type-create linstor
cinder type-key linstor set volume_backend_name=linstor

7.3.4. Restart the Cinder services to finalize

For Devstack:

sudo systemctl restart devstack@c-vol.service
sudo systemctl restart devstack@c-api.service
sudo systemctl restart devstack@c-sch.service

For RDO Packstack:

sudo systemctl restart openstack-cinder-volume.service
sudo systemctl restart openstack-cinder-api.service
sudo systemctl restart openstack-cinder-scheduler.service

For full OpenStack:

sudo systemctl restart cinder-volume.service
sudo systemctl restart cinder-api.service
sudo systemctl restart cinder-scheduler.service

7.3.5. Verify proper installation:

Once the Cinder service is restarted, a new Cinder volume with LINSTOR backend may be created using the Horizon GUI or command line. Use following as a guide for creating a volume with the command line.

# Check to see if there are any recurring errors with the driver.
# Occasional 'ERROR' keyword associated with the database is normal.
# Use Ctrl-C to stop the log output to move on.
sudo systemctl -f -u devstack@c-* | grep error

# Create a LINSTOR test volume.  Once the volume is created, volume list
# command should show one new Cinder volume.  The 'linstor' command then
# should list actual resource nodes within the LINSTOR cluster backing that
# Cinder volume.
openstack volume create --type linstor --size 1 --availability-zone nova linstor-test-vol
openstack volume list
linstor resource list

7.3.6. Additional Configuration

More to come

7.4. Choosing the Transport Protocol

There are two main ways to run DRBD/LINSTOR with Cinder:

These are not exclusive; you can define multiple backends, have some of them use iSCSI, and others the DRBD protocol.

7.4.1. iSCSI Transport

The default way to export Cinder volumes is via iSCSI. This brings the advantage of maximum compatibility – iSCSI can be used with every hypervisor, be it VMWare, Xen, HyperV, or KVM.

The drawback is that all data has to be sent to a Cinder node, to be processed by an (userspace) iSCSI daemon; that means that the data needs to pass the kernel/userspace border, and these transitions will cost some performance.

7.4.2. DRBD/LINSTOR Transport

The alternative is to get the data to the VMs by using DRBD as the transport protocol. This means that DRBD 9[2].] needs to be installed on the Cinder node as well.

Since OpenStack only functions in Linux, using DRBD/LINSTOR Transport restricts deployment only on Linux hosts with KVM at the moment.

One advantage of that solution is that the storage access requests of the VMs can be sent via the DRBD kernel module to the storage nodes, which can then directly access the allocated LVs; this means no Kernel/Userspace transitions on the data path, and consequently better performance. Combined with RDMA capable hardware you should get about the same performance as with VMs accessing a FC backend directly.

Another advantage is that you will be implicitly benefitting from the HA background of DRBD: using multiple storage nodes, possibly available over different network connections, means redundancy and avoiding a single point of failure.

Default configuration options for Cinder driver assumes the Cinder node to be a Diskless LINSTOR node. If the node is a Diskful node, please change the ‘linstor_controller_diskless=True’ to ‘linstor_controller_diskless=False’ and restart the Cinder services.

7.4.3. Configuring the Transport Protocol

In the LINSTOR section in cinder.conf you can define which transport protocol to use. The initial setup described at the beginning of this chapter is set to use DRBD transport. You can configure as necessary as shown below. Then Horizon[3] should offer these storage backends at volume creation time.

  • To use iSCSI with LINSTOR:

  • To use DRBD Kernel Module with LINSTOR:


The old class name “DrbdManageDriver” is being kept for the time because of compatibility reasons; it’s just an alias to the iSCSI driver.

To summarize:

  • You’ll need the LINSTOR Cinder driver 0.1.0 or later, and LINSTOR 0.6.5 or later.

  • The DRBD transport protocol should be preferred whenever possible; iSCSI won’t offer any locality benefits.

  • Take care to not run out of disk space, especially with thin volumes.

8. LINSTOR Volumes in Docker

This chapter describes LINSTOR volumes in Docker as managed by the LINSTOR Docker Volume Plugin.

8.1. Docker Overview

Docker is a platform for developing, shipping, and running applications in the form of Linux containers. For stateful applications that require data persistence, Docker supports the use of persistent volumes and volume_drivers.

The LINSTOR Docker Volume Plugin is a volume driver that provisions persistent volumes from a LINSTOR cluster for Docker containers.

8.2. LINSTOR Plugin for Docker Installation

To install the linstor-docker-volume plugin provided by LINBIT, you’ll need to have a working LINSTOR cluster. After that the plugin can be installed from the public docker hub.

# docker plugin install linbit/linstor-docker-volume

8.3. LINSTOR Plugin for Docker Configuration

As the plugin has to communicate to the LINSTOR controller via the LINSTOR python library, we must tell the plugin where to find the LINSTOR Controller node in its configuration file:

# cat /etc/linstor/docker-volume.conf
controllers = linstor://hostnameofcontroller

A more extensive example could look like this:

# cat /etc/linstor/docker-volume.conf
storagepool = thin-lvm
fs = ext4
fsopts = -E discard
size = 100MB
replicas = 2

8.4. Example Usage

The following are some examples of how you might use the LINSTOR Docker Volume Plugin. In the following we expect a cluster consisting of three nodes (alpha, bravo, and charlie).

8.4.1. Example 1 – typical docker pattern

On node alpha:

$ docker volume create -d linstor \
             --opt fs=xfs --opt size=200 lsvol
$ docker run -it --rm --name=cont \
             -v lsvol:/data --volume-driver=linstor busybox sh
$ root@cont: echo "foo" > /data/test.txt
$ root@cont: exit

On node bravo:

$ docker run -it --rm --name=cont \
             -v lsvol:/data --volume-driver=linstor busybox sh
$ root@cont: cat /data/test.txt
$ root@cont: exit
$ docker volume rm lsvol

8.4.2. Example 2 – one diskfull assignment by name, two nodes diskless

$ docker volume create -d linstor --opt nodes=bravo lsvol

8.4.3. Example 3 – one diskfull assignment, no matter where, two nodes diskless

$ docker volume create -d linstor --opt replicas=1 lsvol

8.4.4. Example 4 – two diskfull assignments by name, charlie diskless

$ docker volume create -d linstor --opt nodes=alpha,bravo lsvol

8.4.5. Example 5 – two diskfull assignments, no matter where, one node diskless

$ docker volume create -d linstor --opt replicas=2 lsvol

1. If a host is also a storage node, it will use a local copy of an image if that is available
2. LINSTOR must be installed on Cinder node. Please see the note at [s-openstack-linstor-drbd-external-NOTE
3. The OpenStack GUI