How to install MooseFS

October 16th, 2018 | Wojciech Kostański post_thumbnail

After preparation, you are ready for the installation process. With this article, you install Master Server, Chunkserver, MooseFS CGI, MooseFS CLI, Metalogger and MooseFS client.

This article is part of MooseFS installation guide :

For the purpose of these articles, we will assume that your machines have following IP addresses:

  • Master Servers:
    • Leader:
    • Follower/Metalogger:
  • Chunkservers:
  • Clients (Users’ computers):
    • 192.168.2.x

In this tutorial, it is assumed, that you have MooseFS Community Edition. If you want to install MooseFS Pro, please use ’pro’ in package names, e.g.: moosefs-pro-master instead of moosefs-master.

It is also assumed, that you have Debian/Ubuntu installed on your machines. If you have another distribution, please use the appropriate package manager instead of apt.

Notice, that most of the commands below you have to run as root. The easiest way to become root is to run:

sudo su -

Master Server(s) installation

Warning: Configuration files on all Master Servers must be consistent!

In MooseFS Master Server (and also other modules) installation can be accomplished by running the command listed below:

apt install moosefs-master

Sample configuration files will be created in /etc/mfs with the extension *.sample (MooseFS 3.0+) or *.dist (MooseFS 2.0). Use these files as your target configuration files:

cd /etc/mfs 
cp mfsmaster.cfg.sample mfsmaster.cfg 
cp mfsexports.cfg.sample mfsexports.cfg

If you would like to change any of the settings you should uncomment the appropriate line and set a different value. For the lines which are commented the system will use built-in default values, i.e. those listed in commented lines.

File named mfsmaster.cfg contains Master Server settings. You can find out more information about this file in the man pages (man mfsmaster.cfg).

File mfsexports.cfg specifies which users’ computers can mount the file system and with what privileges. For example, to specify that only machines addressed as 192.168.2.x can use the whole structure of MooseFS resources (/) in read/write mode, in the first line which is not commented out change the asterisk (*) to, so that you’ll have: / rw,alldirs,maproot=0

If you are setting up MooseFS Pro, at this point place a proper mfslicence.bin file into /etc/mfs directory:

cp /path/to/mfslicence.bin /etc/mfs

The mfslicence.bin file must be installed on all Master Servers. The mfslicence.bin file presence is not required on Community Edition Master Server.

If you want MooseFS Master Server to start automatically during system boot, edit /etc/default/moosefs-master and set MFSMASTER_ENABLE variable to true):


At this point it is possible to run the Master Server (using the standard way to run services):

systemctl start moosefs-master.service


mfsmaster start

To install second (third, etc.) Master Server just repeats steps listed above on another machine (Pro only).

MooseFS CGI and CGI Server installation

MooseFS CGI monitor interface is used to let user observe and analyse current MooseFS status (as you can see on screenshots presented below):




We recommend installing MooseFS CGI and CGI Server on all Master Servers.

apt install moosefs-cgiserv
apt install moosefs-cgi

If you want MooseFS CGI Server to start automatically during system boot, edit /etc/default/moosefs-cgiserv and set MFSCGISERV_ENABLE variable to true):


You can now run CGI Monitor Server:

# systemctl start moosefs-cgiserv.service


# mfscgiserv start

Information should now be available in your CGI Monitoring Interface at (for the moment there will be no data about Chunkservers).

MooseFS CLI installation

MooseFS Command Line Interface (CLI) tool allows you to see various information about MooseFS status. This tool has many options, which allow you to check all the information you can see in your CGI, but from the command line, so it is possible to use MooseFS CLI in scripts. You can list all the options by invoking the tool with -h or –help switch or check it at E.g. mfscli with -SIN option will display basic info similar to the ”Info” tab in CGI.

We recommend installing MooseFS CLI on all Master Servers:

apt install moosefs-cli

Metadata backup servers (Metaloggers) installation

In MooseFS Pro, when there are at least two Master Servers present, Metalogger is optional, because when the leader master fails, another one takes over its work.

In MooseFS (non-Pro) we strongly recommend to set up at least one Metalogger.

It is recommended that the machine used to install the backup server is as strong as the Master Server (at least in regards to the amount of RAM). In the case of the Master Server failure, after importing changelogs to the metadata file, the Metalogger server can be easily set up to take over functions of the managing server. Issue the following commands to install and configure MooseFS Metalogger with default settings:

apt install moosefs-metalogger 
cd /etc/mfs 
cp mfsmetalogger.cfg.sample mfsmetalogger.cfg

For our test installation, you’ll leave mfsmetalogger.cfg unchanged. You can find out more information about this file in the man pages (man mfsmetalogger.cfg). In case you have changed the default name mfsmaster to a different one, you need to uncomment and change the MASTER_HOST variable in mfsmetalogger.cfg file.

If you want MooseFS Metalogger to start automatically during system boot, edit /etc/default/moosefs-metalogger and set MFSMETALOGGER_ENABLE variable to true):


Now you are ready to start the Metalogger service:

systemctl start moosefs-metalogger.service


mfsmetalogger start

To install the second (third, etc.) Metalogger you just need to repeat the steps listed above on another machine.

Chunkservers installation

Issue the following commands on the machines which are to be Chunkservers:

apt install moosefs-chunkserver

Now prepare configuration files of the Chunkservers:

cd /etc/mfs 
cp mfschunkserver.cfg.sample mfschunkserver.cfg 
cp mfshdd.cfg.sample mfshdd.cfg

For our test installation, you’ll leave mfschunkserver.cfg unchanged. You can find out more information about this file in the man pages (man mfschunkserver.cfg). In case you have changed the default name mfsmaster to a different one, you also need to uncomment and change the MASTER_HOST variable in mfschunkserver.cfg file.

It is recommended that they are used exclusively for the MooseFS – this is necessary to manage the free space properly.

Let’s assume, that /dev/sdb and /dev/sdc devices are designated to store chunks. First of all, create a partition table and partition on these devices.

parted --align optimal /dev/sdb
(parted) mklabel gpt 
(parted) mkpart mfschunks1 0% 100% 
(parted) q
parted --align optimal /dev/sdc
(parted) mklabel gpt 
(parted) mkpart mfschunks2 0% 100% 
(parted) q

Install XFS Progs:

apt install xfsprogs

Then, format newly created partition with XFS filesystem:

mkfs.xfs /dev/sdb1 
mkfs.xfs /dev/sdc1

If you have disks with 4k physical sector size (most of 2 and 4 TiB modern HDDs have 4k physical sector size), instead of the command above, issue:

mkfs.xfs -s size=4k /dev/sdb1 
mkfs.xfs -s size=4k /dev/sdc1

Then, add appropriate entries into /etc/fstab:

/dev/sdb1    /mnt/mfschunks1    xfs    defaults    0 0 
/dev/sdc1    /mnt/mfschunks2    xfs    defaults    0 0

Create directories for mounting newly created partitions:

mkdir /mnt/mfschunks1 
mkdir /mnt/mfschunks2

Mount newly created partitions:

mount /mnt/mfschunks1 
mount /mnt/mfschunks2

Change ownership and access rights to mountpoints to let MooseFS Chunkserver write to them:

chown mfs:mfs /mnt/mfschunks1 
chown mfs:mfs /mnt/mfschunks2 

chmod 770 /mnt/mfschunks1 
chmod 770 /mnt/mfschunks2

At this point enter mountpoints at the end of mfshdd.cfg file:


If you want MooseFS Chunkserver to start automatically during system boot, edit /etc/default/moosefs-chunkserver and set MFSCHUNKSERVER_ENABLE variable to true).


Now you are ready to start the Chunkserver:

systemctl start moosefs-chunkserver.service


mfschunkserver start

Repeat the same steps for each Chunkserver you want to use for storing data in MooseFS system. At this point in your CGI Monitoring Interface at, you should be able to see full information about the system including the Master Server and Chunkservers.

Users’ computers (Clients) installation

In order to mount a file system based on MooseFS, it is necessary that users’ computers have FUSE package (at least in version 2.6, recommended ≥ 2.7.2). If it is not present, install it. One of the options is to compile it from sources, or you can install it from repositories on Debian-based systems with the following command:

apt install fuse libfuse2

mfsmount can be installed in the same way as other MooseFS components:

apt install moosefs-client

Let’s assume that you’ll mount the system in a /mnt/mfs folder on a client’s machine. Issue the following commands:

mkdir -p /mnt/mfs 
mfsmount /mnt/mfs -H mfsmaster

Now after issuing the df -h | grep mfs command you should get information similar to the following:

/dev/sdb       2.0G  69M  1.9G  4%  /mnt/mfschunks1 
/dev/sdc       2.0G  69M  1.9G  4%  /mnt/mfschunks2 
mfsmaster:9421 3.2G  0    3.2G  0%  /mnt/mfs

Voila! MooseFS is installed on your cluster.