A MariaDB Howto authored by: Erkan Yanar.

This is a Howto about installing MariaDB Galera Cluster on Debian/Ubuntu. Because a lot of people were having problems installing MariaDB Galera Cluster, elenst from #maria on freenode forced me to write this Howto :)

Installing MariaDB Galera Cluster is in fact quite easy and actually kind of boring in the end. This Howto is written for (and tested on) on Debian 7.1 (Wheezy) and Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise).

What we need

In our setup we assume 3 nodes (node01, node02, node03) with one interface each. We assume following IP addresses:,, and We need three packages installed on all nodes:

  • rsync
  • galera
  • mariadb-galera-server

As Galera does not ship with the distribution repositories, go for the repo configurator and follow the instructions to include the repository fitting your system. Keep in mind to Choose “5.5” in Step 3 (Choose a Version). Doing this you can jump directly to Install Packages

Adding the Repository

Alternatively you can just take following steps.

Debian Wheezy

Ubuntu Precise

Yes, they are nearly identical. :)

Install Packages

(Just another shortcut for the impatient)

After installing the packages you will have a running MariaDB server on each node. But none of them will be configured to run as a node in a MariaDB Galera Cluster.

Configuring Galera

So we have to do some configuration next. There is a MariaDB configuration part and one part to configure Galera (starting with wsrep_). As we do the most basic and simple installation in this Howto, it is sufficient you just change the IP’s (Remember:,, with your IP’s.
This will be needed to define the wsrep_cluster_address Variable (the list of nodes a starting mysqld contacts to join the cluster).

The following configuration file has to be distributed on all nodes. We use a separate configuration file /etc/mysql/conf.d/galera.cnf with the following settings:

FYI: The shared library for wsrep_provider is provided by the installed galera package.

We could also change the cluster name by changing the value of wserp_cluster_name to fit our style. This setting also works as a shared secret to control the access to the cluster. With wsrep_cluster_address you see the IP addresses of our setup. The wsrep_sst_method tells what method to use to synchronise the nodes. While there are also mysqldump and xtrabackup available, I prefer rsync because it is easy to configure (i.e. it does not need any credentials set on the nodes). If you are considering using the xtrabackup method, don’t forget to install xtrabackup.

Starting the Galera Cluster

First we stop mysqld on all nodes.

The configuration file (galera.cnf) is already distributed to all nodes, so we next start the first mysqld. This node initializes/starts the cluster (creates a GTID).

To have a look and see if everything really worked we’ll check the cluster size status variable.

If you see the above, great! That’s what we would expect. Now that the Cluster already exists, we let the next nodes just start and join the cluster.

We can ignore the above error for now. This node is still starting fine.

Let’s pause here and do a quick check. As we are running a cluster it is not important if we execute the following on node01 or node02.

If you see the above, very nice! Now let’s start the third node:

Ok we are finished. We have a running MariaDB Galera Cluster \o/

Having fun with Debian/Ubuntu init scripts

But we’ve got to fix some things because of some Debian/Ubuntu oddities.

Remember the error we saw when starting node02 and node03? What happened? Well, Debian/Ubuntu uses a special user ('debian-sys-maint'@'localhost') in their init script and the credentials for that user are stored in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf. This user is used to make some checks starting MySQL. Checks I don’t think belong into a service script anyway.

We could simply ignore it, but the user user is also used to shutdown mysqld. This is also not required, as a SIGTERM is sufficient to shutdown the mysqld :/

As we copied the data from node01 to all other nodes, the credentials in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf don’t match on node02 and node03. So we will not be able to shutdown mysqld on either of these nodes.

So we’ve got to fix it, by copying /etc/mysql/debian.cnf from the first node (node01) to all other nodes. So the data and configuration files have the same data again.

After that we are able to shutdown the daemon:


So if we would have a proper init script the Howto would have been even shorter 😉

Follow the Bug :)

Enjoy your MariaDB Galera Cluster and have fun!

— Erkan Yanar

Thx to teuto.net for providing me an OpenStack tenant, so I could run the tests for this Howto.

6 thoughts on “Installing MariaDB Galera Cluster on Debian/Ubuntu

    • Hi MeMo,

      if you’re interested in a CentOS HOWTO we may post that in the coming days :)

  1. Thx for the howto.

    I’m have two questions about client/Connector J side :
    1) are you using the standard Java Connector downloadable from mysql.com or another specific connector ?

    2) Do you need to use e.g.


    as the db URL syntax ? or do you need to set up a virtual IP in front of the cluster on which the driver connects to ?


    • Hi Romain,

      MariaDB delivers its own LGPL connector: https://mariadb.com/kb/en/about-the-mariadb-java-client/

      Of course, the standard Connector/J from Oracle should work also.

      The syntax you provided is correct, however it doesn’t check for node failures so it’s probably better to use SkySQL Maxscale or HAProxy for load balancing.

  2. It is available “yum install MariaDB-manager” for CentOs, but in Ubuntu using “apt-get” :). Are you planning to prepare installation packages MariaDB-manager to simply install “apt-get install MariaDB-Manager”?

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