2. Cluster-Wide Configuration

2.1. Configuration Layout

The cluster is defined by the Cluster Information Base (CIB), which uses XML notation. The simplest CIB, an empty one, looks like this:

An empty configuration

<cib crm_feature_set="3.6.0" validate-with="pacemaker-3.5" epoch="1" num_updates="0" admin_epoch="0">

The empty configuration above contains the major sections that make up a CIB:

  • cib: The entire CIB is enclosed with a cib element. Certain fundamental settings are defined as attributes of this element.
    • configuration: This section – the primary focus of this document – contains traditional configuration information such as what resources the cluster serves and the relationships among them.
      • crm_config: cluster-wide configuration options
      • nodes: the machines that host the cluster
      • resources: the services run by the cluster
      • constraints: indications of how resources should be placed
    • status: This section contains the history of each resource on each node. Based on this data, the cluster can construct the complete current state of the cluster. The authoritative source for this section is the local executor (pacemaker-execd process) on each cluster node, and the cluster will occasionally repopulate the entire section. For this reason, it is never written to disk, and administrators are advised against modifying it in any way.

In this document, configuration settings will be described as properties or options based on how they are defined in the CIB:

  • Properties are XML attributes of an XML element.
  • Options are name-value pairs expressed as nvpair child elements of an XML element.

Normally, you will use command-line tools that abstract the XML, so the distinction will be unimportant; both properties and options are cluster settings you can tweak.

2.2. CIB Properties

Certain settings are defined by CIB properties (that is, attributes of the cib tag) rather than with the rest of the cluster configuration in the configuration section.

The reason is simply a matter of parsing. These options are used by the configuration database which is, by design, mostly ignorant of the content it holds. So the decision was made to place them in an easy-to-find location.

CIB Properties
Attribute Description

When a node joins the cluster, the cluster performs a check to see which node has the best configuration. It asks the node with the highest (admin_epoch, epoch, num_updates) tuple to replace the configuration on all the nodes – which makes setting them, and setting them correctly, very important. admin_epoch is never modified by the cluster; you can use this to make the configurations on any inactive nodes obsolete.

Warning: Never set this value to zero. In such cases, the cluster cannot tell the difference between your configuration and the “empty” one used when nothing is found on disk.


The cluster increments this every time the configuration is updated (usually by the administrator).


The cluster increments this every time the configuration or status is updated (usually by the cluster) and resets it to 0 when epoch changes.


Determines the type of XML validation that will be done on the configuration. If set to none, the cluster will not verify that updates conform to the DTD (nor reject ones that don’t).


Indicates when the configuration was last written to disk. Maintained by the cluster; for informational purposes only.


Indicates if the cluster has quorum. If false, this may mean that the cluster cannot start resources or fence other nodes (see no-quorum-policy below). Maintained by the cluster.


Indicates which cluster node is the current leader. Used by the cluster when placing resources and determining the order of some events. Maintained by the cluster.

2.3. Cluster Options

Cluster options, as you might expect, control how the cluster behaves when confronted with various situations.

They are grouped into sets within the crm_config section. In advanced configurations, there may be more than one set. (This will be described later in the chapter on Rules where we will show how to have the cluster use different sets of options during working hours than during weekends.) For now, we will describe the simple case where each option is present at most once.

You can obtain an up-to-date list of cluster options, including their default values, by running the man pacemaker-schedulerd and man pacemaker-controld commands.

Cluster Options
Option Default Description

An (optional) name for the cluster as a whole. This is mostly for users’ convenience for use as desired in administration, but this can be used in the Pacemaker configuration in Rules (as the #cluster-name node attribute. It may also be used by higher-level tools when displaying cluster information, and by certain resource agents (for example, the ocf:heartbeat:GFS2 agent stores the cluster name in filesystem meta-data).


Version of Pacemaker on the cluster’s DC. Determined automatically by the cluster. Often includes the hash which identifies the exact Git changeset it was built from. Used for diagnostic purposes.


The messaging stack on which Pacemaker is currently running. Determined automatically by the cluster. Used for informational and diagnostic purposes.

no-quorum-policy stop

What to do when the cluster does not have quorum. Allowed values:

  • ignore: continue all resource management
  • freeze: continue resource management, but don’t recover resources from nodes not in the affected partition
  • stop: stop all resources in the affected cluster partition
  • demote: demote promotable resources and stop all other resources in the affected cluster partition (since 2.0.5)
  • suicide: fence all nodes in the affected cluster partition
batch-limit 0

The maximum number of actions that the cluster may execute in parallel across all nodes. The “correct” value will depend on the speed and load of your network and cluster nodes. If zero, the cluster will impose a dynamically calculated limit only when any node has high load.

migration-limit -1

The number of live migration actions that the cluster is allowed to execute in parallel on a node. A value of -1 means unlimited.

symmetric-cluster true

Whether resources can run on any node by default (if false, a resource is allowed to run on a node only if a location constraint enables it)

stop-all-resources false

Whether all resources should be disallowed from running (can be useful during maintenance)

stop-orphan-resources true

Whether resources that have been deleted from the configuration should be stopped. This value takes precedence over is-managed (that is, even unmanaged resources will be stopped when orphaned if this value is true

stop-orphan-actions true

Whether recurring operations that have been deleted from the configuration should be cancelled

start-failure-is-fatal true

Whether a failure to start a resource on a particular node prevents further start attempts on that node? If false, the cluster will decide whether the node is still eligible based on the resource’s current failure count and migration-threshold.

enable-startup-probes true

Whether the cluster should check the pre-existing state of resources when the cluster starts

maintenance-mode false

Whether the cluster should refrain from monitoring, starting and stopping resources

stonith-enabled true

Whether the cluster is allowed to fence nodes (for example, failed nodes and nodes with resources that can’t be stopped.

If true, at least one fence device must be configured before resources are allowed to run.

If false, unresponsive nodes are immediately assumed to be running no resources, and resource recovery on online nodes starts without any further protection (which can mean data loss if the unresponsive node still accesses shared storage, for example). See also the requires resource meta-attribute.

stonith-action reboot

Action the cluster should send to the fence agent when a node must be fenced. Allowed values are reboot, off, and (for legacy agents only) poweroff.

stonith-timeout 60s

How long to wait for on, off, and reboot fence actions to complete by default.

stonith-max-attempts 10

How many times fencing can fail for a target before the cluster will no longer immediately re-attempt it.

stonith-watchdog-timeout 0

If nonzero, and the cluster detects have-watchdog as true, then watchdog-based self-fencing will be performed via SBD when fencing is required, without requiring a fencing resource explicitly configured.

If this is set to a positive value, unseen nodes are assumed to self-fence within this much time.

Warning: It must be ensured that this value is larger than the SBD_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT environment variable on all nodes. Pacemaker verifies the settings individually on all nodes and prevents startup or shuts down if configured wrongly on the fly. It is strongly recommended that SBD_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT be set to the same value on all nodes.

If this is set to a negative value, and SBD_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT is set, twice that value will be used.

Warning: In this case, it is essential (and currently not verified by pacemaker) that SBD_WATCHDOG_TIMEOUT is set to the same value on all nodes.

concurrent-fencing false

Whether the cluster is allowed to initiate multiple fence actions concurrently

fence-reaction stop

How should a cluster node react if notified of its own fencing? A cluster node may receive notification of its own fencing if fencing is misconfigured, or if fabric fencing is in use that doesn’t cut cluster communication. Allowed values are stop to attempt to immediately stop pacemaker and stay stopped, or panic to attempt to immediately reboot the local node, falling back to stop on failure. The default is likely to be changed to panic in a future release. (since 2.0.3)

priority-fencing-delay 0

Apply this delay to any fencing targeting the lost nodes with the highest total resource priority in case we don’t have the majority of the nodes in our cluster partition, so that the more significant nodes potentially win any fencing match (especially meaningful in a split-brain of a 2-node cluster). A promoted resource instance takes the resource’s priority plus 1 if the resource’s priority is not 0. Any static or random delays introduced by pcmk_delay_base and pcmk_delay_max configured for the corresponding fencing resources will be added to this delay. This delay should be significantly greater than (safely twice) the maximum delay from those parameters. (since 2.0.4)

cluster-delay 60s

Estimated maximum round-trip delay over the network (excluding action execution). If the DC requires an action to be executed on another node, it will consider the action failed if it does not get a response from the other node in this time (after considering the action’s own timeout). The “correct” value will depend on the speed and load of your network and cluster nodes.

dc-deadtime 20s

How long to wait for a response from other nodes during startup. The “correct” value will depend on the speed/load of your network and the type of switches used.

cluster-ipc-limit 500

The maximum IPC message backlog before one cluster daemon will disconnect another. This is of use in large clusters, for which a good value is the number of resources in the cluster multiplied by the number of nodes. The default of 500 is also the minimum. Raise this if you see “Evicting client” messages for cluster daemon PIDs in the logs.

pe-error-series-max -1

The number of scheduler inputs resulting in errors to save. Used when reporting problems. A value of -1 means unlimited (report all).

pe-warn-series-max -1

The number of scheduler inputs resulting in warnings to save. Used when reporting problems. A value of -1 means unlimited (report all).

pe-input-series-max -1

The number of “normal” scheduler inputs to save. Used when reporting problems. A value of -1 means unlimited (report all).

enable-acl false

Whether Access Control Lists (ACLs) should be used to authorize modifications to the CIB

placement-strategy default

How the cluster should allocate resources to nodes (see Utilization and Placement Strategy). Allowed values are default, utilization, balanced, and minimal.

node-health-strategy none

How the cluster should react to node health attributes (see Tracking Node Health). Allowed values are none, migrate-on-red, only-green, progressive, and custom.

node-health-base 0

The base health score assigned to a node. Only used when node-health-strategy is progressive.

node-health-green 0

The score to use for a node health attribute whose value is green. Only used when node-health-strategy is progressive or custom.

node-health-yellow 0

The score to use for a node health attribute whose value is yellow. Only used when node-health-strategy is progressive or custom.

node-health-red 0

The score to use for a node health attribute whose value is red. Only used when node-health-strategy is progressive or custom.

cluster-recheck-interval 15min

Pacemaker is primarily event-driven, and looks ahead to know when to recheck the cluster for failure timeouts and most time-based rules (since 2.0.3). However, it will also recheck the cluster after this amount of inactivity. This has two goals: rules with date_spec are only guaranteed to be checked this often, and it also serves as a fail-safe for some kinds of scheduler bugs. A value of 0 disables this polling; positive values are a time interval.

shutdown-lock false

The default of false allows active resources to be recovered elsewhere when their node is cleanly shut down, which is what the vast majority of users will want. However, some users prefer to make resources highly available only for failures, with no recovery for clean shutdowns. If this option is true, resources active on a node when it is cleanly shut down are kept “locked” to that node (not allowed to run elsewhere) until they start again on that node after it rejoins (or for at most shutdown-lock-limit, if set). Stonith resources and Pacemaker Remote connections are never locked. Clone and bundle instances and the promoted role of promotable clones are currently never locked, though support could be added in a future release. Locks may be manually cleared using the --refresh option of crm_resource (both the resource and node must be specified; this works with remote nodes if their connection resource’s target-role is set to Stopped, but not if Pacemaker Remote is stopped on the remote node without disabling the connection resource). (since 2.0.4)

shutdown-lock-limit 0

If shutdown-lock is true, and this is set to a nonzero time duration, locked resources will be allowed to start after this much time has passed since the node shutdown was initiated, even if the node has not rejoined. (This works with remote nodes only if their connection resource’s target-role is set to Stopped.) (since 2.0.4)

remove-after-stop false

Deprecated Should the cluster remove resources from Pacemaker’s executor after they are stopped? Values other than the default are, at best, poorly tested and potentially dangerous. This option is deprecated and will be removed in a future release.

startup-fencing true

Advanced Use Only: Should the cluster fence unseen nodes at start-up? Setting this to false is unsafe, because the unseen nodes could be active and running resources but unreachable.

election-timeout 2min

Advanced Use Only: If you need to adjust this value, it probably indicates the presence of a bug.

shutdown-escalation 20min

Advanced Use Only: If you need to adjust this value, it probably indicates the presence of a bug.

join-integration-timeout 3min

Advanced Use Only: If you need to adjust this value, it probably indicates the presence of a bug.

join-finalization-timeout 30min

Advanced Use Only: If you need to adjust this value, it probably indicates the presence of a bug.

transition-delay 0s

Advanced Use Only: Delay cluster recovery for the configured interval to allow for additional or related events to occur. This can be useful if your configuration is sensitive to the order in which ping updates arrive. Enabling this option will slow down cluster recovery under all conditions.