Starting the Cluster

Length: 1,097 words; Published: October 20, 2014; Topic: General; Level: Beginner

After you finish installing MySQL (or MariaDB or Percona XtraDB Cluster to Galera Cluster) and Galera and have added the necessary settings for the configuration file needed for Galera Cluster, the next steps are to start the nodes that will form the cluster. To do this, you will need to start the mysqld daemon on one node, using the mysqld_bootstrap command. This initializes the new Primary Component for the cluster. Each node you start after that will connect to the component and begin replication.

Before you attempt to initialize the cluster, there are a few things you should verify are in place on each node and related services:

  • At least three servers with the same version of MySQL, MariaDB, or Percona XtraDB Cluster installed on each;

  • If you’re using firewalls, make sure the ports 4444, 4567, and 4568 for TCP traffic, and 4567 for UPD traffic are open between the hosts;

  • SELinux and AppArmor, whichever your system uses or both, has to be set to allow access to mysqld; and,

  • Set the parameter for wsrep_provider to the location of That line in the configuration file might look like this:


Once you have at least three hosts ready, you can initialize the cluster.


When migrating from an existing, stand-alone instance of MySQL, MariaDB or Percona XtraDB Cluster to Galera Cluster, there will be some additional steps that you must take. For more information on what you need to do, see Migration.

Starting the First Node

By default, a node don’t start as part of the Primary Component. Instead, it assumes that the Primary Component is already running and it is merely joining an existing cluster. For each node it encounters in the cluster, it checks whether or not it’s a part of the Primary Component. When it finds the Primary Component, it requests a state transfer to bring its database into sync with the cluster. If it can’t find the Primary Component, it will remains in a non-operational state.

The problem is that there is no Primary Component when a cluster starts, when the first node is initiated. Therefore, you need explicitly to tell that first node to do so with the mysqld_bootstrap command. Althought this initiate node is said to be the first node, it can fall behind and leave the cluster without necessarily affecting the Primary Component.


When you start a new cluster, any node can serve as the first node, since all the databases are empty. When you migrate from MySQL to Galera Cluster, use the original master node as the first node. When restarting the cluster, use the most advanced node. For more information, see Migration and Quorum Reset.

To start the first node–which should have MySQL, MariaDB or Percona XtraDB Cluster, and Galera installed–you’ll have to launch the database server on it with the mysqld_bootstrap command. There are different ways to do this, depending on the operating system. For systems that use init, execute the following from the command-line:

On Galera:


On MariaDB:

mysqld --wsrep-new-cluster

On Percona XtraDB Cluster

systemctl start mysql@bootstrap.service


Use the mysqld_bootstrap command only when initializing the Primary Component. Don’t use it to connect a new node to an existing cluster.

For operating systems that use systemd, you would instead enter the following from the command-line:


Both of these start the mysqld daemon on the node.

In MariaDB, use the command below to start MariaDB, Galera, and to establish the Primary Component:


Once the first node starts the database server, verify that the cluster has started, albeit a one-node cluster, by checking wsrep_cluster_size. With the database client, execute the following SQL statement:

SHOW STATUS LIKE 'wsrep_cluster_size';

| Variable_name      | Value |
| wsrep_cluster_size | 1     |

This status variable indicates the number of nodes that are connected to the cluster. Since only the first node has been started, the value is 1 here. After you start other nodes that will be part of this same cluster, execute this SQL statement again–on thee first node or any node you’ve verified are in the cluster. The value should reflect the number of nodes in the cluster.

Once you get the first node started and the Primary Component initialized, don’t restart mysqld. Instead, wait until you’ve added more nodes to the cluster so that it can stay viable without the first node. If you must restart the first node before adding other nodes, shutdown mysqld and then bootstrap start it again (e.g., execute galera_new_cluster). If it won’t start as easily as it did the first time, you may have to edit the file containing the Galera Saved State (i.e., /var/lib/mysql/grastate.dat). The contents of that file will look something like this:

# GALERA saved state
version: 2.1
uuid:    bd5fe1c3-7d80-11e9-8913-4f209d688a15
seqno:   -1
safe_to_bootstrap: 0

The variable safe_to_bootstrap is set to 0 on the first node after it’s been bootstrapped to protect against you inadvertently bootstrapping again while the cluster is runnning. You’ll have to change the value to 1 to be able to bootstrap anew.

Adding Nodes to the Cluster

Once you have successfully started the first node and thereby initialized a new cluster, the procedure for adding all the other nodes is even simpler. You just launch mysqld as you would normally–without the mysqld_bootstrap command. You would enter something like the following from the command-line, depending on your operating system and database system (see above for other methods):

systemctl start mariadb

When the database server initializes as a new node, it will try to connect to the cluster members. It knows where to find these other nodes based on the IP addresses listed in the wsrep_cluster_address parameter in the configuration file.

You can verify that the node connection was successful checking the wsrep_cluster_size status variable. In the database client of any node in the cluster, run the following SQL statement:

SHOW STATUS LIKE 'wsrep_cluster_size';

| Variable_name      | Value |
| wsrep_cluster_size | 2     |

This indicates that the two nodes are now connected to the cluster. When the nodes in the cluster agree on the membership state, they initiate state exchange. In state exchange, a new node will check the cluster state. If the state of a new node differs from the cluster state–which is normally the case–the new node requests a state snapshot transfer (SST) from the cluster and it installs it on its local database. After this is done, the new node is ready for use.