Skip to content
Distributed Storage System for QEMU
C Assembly Shell Perl Python Makefile Other
Failed to load latest commit information.
debian Fix bash-completion error
doc sheep: cleanup generational reference counting code and document
docker Add docker container support
dog remove inode update prevention
include lib/util: remove try_to_free_routine()
lib lib/util: remove try_to_free_routine()
lttng lttng: add a script based on babeltrace for analyzing request latency
man man: add script/ to generate manuals
sbd sbd: fix strict_strtoul for newer kernels
script Various init script fixups
sheep sheep: remove xmalloc(), xzalloc() and xvalloc() from gateway path
sheepfs Sheepfs: check NULL pointer return of sheepfs_run_cmd function
shepherd initial accelio support
tests tests: limit search in sub-directories of /dev
tools Revert "Makefile: remove zk_control from install programs"
.gitignore gitignore: ignore temporary files in git
.gitmodules tests/earthquake: add tgt as a submodule Open up 1.0 development
Dockerfile Add docker container support
INSTALL Update information about compile-time dependencies
MAINTAINERS MAINTAINERS: add hongzhou zhang as a subsystem maintainer of isa-l rpm: add zk_control
README Added Gitter link configure: fix a stale sheep version output initial accelio support rpm: add zk_control


Sheepdog: Distributed Storage System for KVM

Sheepdog is a distributed storage system for QEMU. It provides
highly available block level storage volumes to virtual machines. 
Sheepdog supports advanced volume management features such as snapshot,
cloning, and thin provisioning.

Sheepdog is an Open Source software, released under the terms of the
GNU General Public License version 2. 

For the latest information about Sheepdog, please visit our website at:

And (recommend for new comers) wiki at:

* Three or more x86-64 machines
* Corosync cluster engine

Please read the INSTALL file distributed with this package for detailed
instructions on installing or compiling from source.


* Cluster Management Backends

   Sheepdog uses a cluster management backend to manage membership and broadcast
   messages to the cluster nodes.

   For now, sheepdog can use local driver (for development on a single box),
   corosync (the default), zookeeper and Accord.

* Local Driver

   This driver just makes use of UNIX IPC mechanism to manage the membership
   on a single box, where we start multiple 'sheep' processes to simulate the
   cluster. It is very easy and fast setup and especially useful to test
   functionality without involving any other software.

   To set up a 3 node cluster using local driver in one liner bash:

      $ mkdir /path/to/store
      $ for i in 0 1 2; do sheep -c local /path/to/store/$i -z $i -p 700$i;done

* Configure corosync.

   Nearly every modern Linux distribution has x86_64 corosync binaries pre-built
   available via their repositories. We recommend you use these packages if they
   are available on your distribution.

   For debian package based systems:

      $ sudo aptitude install corosync libcorosync-dev

   For RPM package based systems:

      $ sudo yum install corosynclib-devel

   Reference our wiki, the corosync(8) and corosync.conf(5) man page for further

* Setup Sheepdog
   1. Launch sheepdog on each machines of the cluster.

      $ sheep /store_dir

        /store_dir is a directory to store objects. The directory must
        be on the filesystem with an xattr support. In case of ext3, you
        need to add 'user_xattr' to the mount options.

        $ sudo mount -o remount,user_xattr /store_device

   2. Make fs

      $ dog cluster format --copies=3

      --copies specifies the number of default data redundancy. In this case,
      the replicated data is stored on three machines.

   3. Check cluster state

      Following list shows that Sheepdog is running on 32 nodes.

      $ dog node list
        Idx	Node id (FNV-1a) - Host:Port
        0	0308164db75cff7e -
      * 1	03104d8b4315c8e4 -
        2	0ab18c565bc14aea -
        3	0c0d27f0ac395f5d -
        4	127ee4802991f308 -
        5	135ff2beab2a9809 -
        6	17bd6240eab65870 -
        7	1cf35757cbf47d7b -
        8	1df9580b8960a992 -
        9	29307d3fa5a04f78 -
        10	29dcb3474e31d4f3 -
        11	29e089c98dd2a144 -
        12	2a118b7e2738f479 -
        13	3d6aea26ba79d75f -
        14	42f9444ead801767 -
        15	562c6f38283d09fe -
        16	5dd5e540cca1556a -
        17	6c12a5d10f10e291 -
        18	6dae1d955ca72d96 -
        19	711db0f5fa40b412 -
        20	7c6b95212ee7c085 -
        21	7d010c31bf11df73 -
        22	82c43e908b1f3f01 -
        23	931d2de0aaf61cf5 -
        24	961d9d391e6021e7 -
        25	9a3ef6fa1081026c -
        26	b0b3d300fed8bc26 -
        27	b0f08fb98c8f5edc -
        28	b9cc316dc5aba880 -
        29	d9eda1ec29c2eeeb -
        30	e53cebb2617c86fd -
        31	ea46913c4999ccdf -

* Create a virtual machine image
   1. Create a 256 GB virtual machine image of Alice.

      $ qemu-img create sheepdog:Alice 256G

   2. You can also convert from existing KVM images to Sheepdog ones.

      $ qemu-img convert ~/amd64.raw sheepdog:Bob

   3. See Sheepdog images by the following command.

      $ dog vdi list
        name        id    size    used  shared    creation time  object id
        Bob          0  2.0 GB  1.6 GB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      80000
        Alice        0  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      40000

* Boot the virtual machine
   1. Boot the virtual machine.

      $ qemu-system-x86_64 -hda sheepdog:Alice

   2. Following command checks used images.

      $ dog vm list
      Name            |Vdi size |Allocated| Shared  | Status
      Bob             |   2.0 GB|   1.6 GB|   0.0 MB| running on xx.xx.xx.xx
      Alice           |   256 GB|   0.0 MB|   0.0 MB| not running

* Snapshot
   1. Snapshot

      $ qemu-img snapshot -c name sheepdog:Alice

      -c flag is meaningless currently

   2. After getting snapshot, a new virtual machine images are added as a not-
      current image.

      $ dog vdi list
        name        id    size    used  shared    creation time  object id
        Bob          0  2.0 GB  1.6 GB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      80000
        Alice        0  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:21      c0000
      s Alice        1  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      40000

   3. You can boot from the snapshot image by spcifing tag id

      $ qemu-system-x86_64 -hda sheepdog:Alice:1

* Cloning from the snapshot
   1. Create a Charlie image as a clone of Alice's image.

      $ qemu-img create -b sheepdog:Alice:1 sheepdog:Charlie

   2. Charlie's image is added to the virtual machine list.

      $ dog vdi list
        name        id    size    used  shared    creation time  object id
        Bob          0  2.0 GB  1.6 GB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      80000
        Alice        0  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:21      c0000
      s Alice        1  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:16      40000
        Charlie      0  256 GB  0.0 MB  0.0 MB 2010-03-23 16:23     100000

Test Environment
    - Debian squeeze amd64
    - Debian lenny amd64

Copyright (C) 2009-2011, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation.

Join the chat at
Something went wrong with that request. Please try again.