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Last site update:
2023-03-28 22:09:45

This document is still a draft.

Quorum server is called Tiebreaker Server also. 
And the program of Quorum Sever is named as quorumd 

The code of quorumd, revised ccm layer and the new quorumd plugin have been pushed to
Any testing or comment on this issue are welcome!

The concept of quorum server is described in Tiebreaker Server and Split Site.
The design of quorum server is decribed in Design and Detail Design

Attention: quorumd is deemed broken and complex to deploy correctly and will therefore not be shipped in heartbeat version 3.

How to configure a quorum server


Current quorumd is in the heartbeat package. So we have to install the whole heartbeat package on the computer on which we want the quorum server running. After installing the heartbeat package, quorumd should be found under /usr/lib/heartbeat/.


Please create a file named quorumd.conf under /etc/ha.d/
The content should be like:

cluster         mycluster
version         2_0_8
interval        1000
timeout         5000
takeover        3000
giveup          2000
nodenum         3
weight          300

cluster         yourcluster

All these directives are required. Here is the meanings of the directives. (all time unit is ms)




the name of the cluster which wants to connect to this quorum server


the version of the protocol between the quorum server and its clients (2_0_8 is the only version supported now)


the interval between the clients renewing their status


without renew, how long will the quorum server waits before declaring a client dead


how long does the client takeover the resources to other node (in the case of DC changed)


how long does the client give up all resources it hold (in the case of lost quorum)


the total number of nodes in the cluster


the total weight of nodes in the cluster

*The current code calculates the quorum based on the comparison of the weight of the partitions. So we don't need "nodenum" and "weight" of cluster.They are there for that we may implement other algorithm later.

more about "takeover" and "giveup"
Let's image that we have a cluster which has splited to two partitions, A and B. and let's say that node a is the leader node of A and node b is the leader node of B. Both a and b connect to the quorum server. The quorum server tells node a that A has quorum and tells node b that B hasn't quorum.

Now something happens in the partition A, the leader will change from node a to node a'. So node a has to disconnect from the quorum server, but we know node a' will connect to the quorum server soon. The "takeover" is the time that the leader takeovers from a to a'.

If a new node adds to B so the weight of B is larger than the weight of A, the quorum will transfer to B. However, after we tell A that you don't have quorum anymore, we need wait some time to let A "giveup" all the resoures A is holding. "giveup" is the time to "giveup" all resources when a partition lost quorum.


The next step is to put the x.509 certificates used by quorumd to /etc/ha.d/. There should be four certs. The last section of this guide shows how to create these certs.


the cert of the ca root, used to verify client's cert


the revoked cert list of the ca root


the private key of the quorum server


the cert of the quorum server, signed by the ca

The administator of the quorum server should create a ca root key and cert and quorum server key and cert. The server cert should be signed by the ca root key. And the administrator should issue the certs of clients. Please notice that the CN of the client certs must be the name of the cluster.

How to configure a Linux-HA cluster


To enable connect to a quorum server, we must indicate the cluster name and quorum server in the /etc/ha.d/ The value of quorum_server is the name of quorum server which can be resolved.

cluster         mycluster
quorum_server   plinuxt11

The default weight of node is 100. We can change it by hb_setweight command.


There should be three certificates under the /etc/ha.d/ They are:


the cert of the ca root, used to verify server's cert


the private key of the client


the cert of the client, signed by the ca

These three certs should be issued by the administrator of the quorum server.

env variable

To let heartbeat connect to quorumd, we have to set the env variable HA_quorum before we start the heartbeat.

export HA_quorum=quorumd

Above setting will let heartbeat use the quorumd plugin which will connect to the quorum server.

How to create the x.509 certs

We can use the certtool provided by gnutls to create the certs. The online guide of certtool is Here

  1. create CA root key : ca-key.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-privkey --outfile ca-key.pem
  2. create CA root cert : ca-cert.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-self-signed --load-privkey ca-key.pem --outfile ca-cert.pem
  3. create quorum server : server-key.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-privkey --outfile server-key.pem
  4. create quorum server : server-cert.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-request --load-privkey server-key.pem --outfile server-request.pem
        $ certtool --generate-certificate --load-request server-request.pem --outfile server-cert.pem --load-ca-certificate ca-cert.pem --load-ca-privkey ca-key.pem
  5. create client key : client-key.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-privkey --outfile client-key.pem
  6. create client cert : client-cert.pem
    •   $ certtool --generate-request --load-privkey client-key.pem --outfile client-request.pem
        $ certtool --generate-certificate --load-request client-request.pem --outfile client-cert.pem --load-ca-certificate ca-cert.pem --load-ca-privkey ca-key.pem
  7. create another client key/cert...

See Also

Split-brain, quorum, fencing overview