Ceph Octopus running on Debian Buster

In my previous blog I explained how to run the Ceph Storage System on Debian 9. In the mean time the new version 15 (Octopus) was released. And this version not only runs on Debian 10 (Buster) it also provides a complete new install process. In the previous release of ceph you had to run the command line tool ‘ceph-deploy’. This tool was not so easy to manage and there was a lot of work to get ceph running.

With the new Octopus release there is a new admin tool called cephadm. This tool is based on docker which means there is no need to install additional tools or libraries on your host. The only thing you need is a server running docker. You can find a installation guide for docker on Debian Buster here. Or you can take a look at my Imixs-Cloud project providing an easy way to setup a Kubernetes environment. Information about Ceph Octopus release can be found here. So let’s start with the installation….

Download the Tool ‘cephadm’

In the following example I assume that your ceph cluster consists of 3 nodes:

  • node1 (running manager node)
  • node2 (standby manager node and ODS)
  • node3 (ODS)

The complete installation is done from your first ceph node (node1). You should create a non-root user to login for the setup process. Do not run the setup as user root.

First you need to download the cephadm tool which is available on Github.

$ curl --silent --remote-name --location https://github.com/ceph/ceph/raw/octopus/src/cephadm/cephadm
$ chmod +x cephadm

In the next step add the ceph debian package sources.
In my case the command ‘cephadm add-repo –release octopus‘ did not work, so I add the sources manually by myself.

$ wget -q -O- 'https://download.ceph.com/keys/release.asc' | sudo apt-key add -
$ echo deb https://download.ceph.com/debian-octopus/ $(lsb_release -sc) main | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ceph.list
$ sudo apt-get update

Now you should be able to install the ceph-common and the cephadm tools :

$ sudo ./cephadm install cephadm ceph-common

Bootstrap your Cluster

In the next you can now bootstrap you ceph cluster. Cephadm will install all services as docker containers including the Ceph Dashboard to monitor the status of your cluster.

$ sudo mkdir -p /etc/ceph
$ sudo ./cephadm bootstrap --mon-ip <ip>

Replace <ip> with the IP address of your first manager node within your cluster (node1)

In my case this command failed with an error complaining about the CIDR network:

ERROR: Failed to infer CIDR network for mon ip; pass --skip-mon-network to configure it later

This seems to be a know issue. You can force the installation by using the –skip-mon-network param:

$ sudo ./cephadm bootstrap --mon-ip <ip> --skip-mon-network

The cephadmin tool now downloads the docker images to startup a minimal Ceph cluster in docker. The command will print out the access URL for the dashboard::

INFO:cephadm:Ceph Dashboard is now available at:

             URL: https://node1:8443/
            User: admin
        Password: 07jab2z550

INFO:cephadm:You can access the Ceph CLI with:

        sudo ./cephadm shell --fsid 2d2fd136-6df1-11ea-ae74-002590e526e8 -c /etc/ceph/ceph.conf -k /etc/ceph/ceph.client.admin.keyring

INFO:cephadm:Bootstrap complete.


As I have installed the ceph-common package in the step before , I can now use the ceph command directly on my host. If you did not install this package, ceph will not be available on your host. But you can use it via the started docker container. To connect to the ceph cli container run you can run:

$ ./cephadm shell

You are now in the docker container and you can use all the ceph commands. For example you may check the current status of your cluster:

$ ceph status

Note: Be careful with the different views – outside from your manager host – and inside your ceph cli container! It is recommended to use the ceph-common tool directly on your host. To exit the container view type ‘exit’.

Add a Network

Now you need to fix the missing CIDR Network by running the following ceph command:

$ sudo ceph config set mon public_network

For details see also the discussion here.

The Dashboard

You can do now a first check of your setup via web browser:


Use the admin password shown as the result of your bootstrap command.

But your cluster is still not ready as it only consists of one node. So the next step is to expand your cluster.

Expending the Cluster

You can expand your cluster by adding additional nodes. At least your ceph cluster should have 3 nodes. In my example:

  • node1 (the already running manager node)
  • node2 (standby manager node and ODS)
  • node3 (ODS)

Make sure your nodes are reachable by name from your manager node.

Before you can add a new node to your cluster, you need to copy the ceph ssh key from your manager node into your new server. This key is needed so that cephadm can proceed the setup on the new host. From the root termnal of your node1 run:

$ ssh-copy-id -f -i /etc/ceph/ceph.pub root@node2

This will copy the public ceph key to the new server node. You will be asked for the root password on your new host to perform this command. After this you can now install the new host:

$ sudo ceph orch host add node2

This will add the new host into your cluster. You can repeat the same steps with your third cluster node.

Add Monitors

It is recommend to deploy monitors on each of your nodes in your cluster. You can set the number of monitors (recommended is 5).

$ sudo ceph orch apply mon 3
$ sudo ceph orch apply mon node1,node2,node3

Find more details here.

Adding Storage

Now finally you need to add OSDs to the Ceph cluster. First list the current status run:

$ sudo ceph orch device ls

To add a device of a cluster node run:

$ sudo ceph orch daemon add osd node1:/dev/[sdb]

Replace [sdb] with the corresponding device on your cluster node.

If you want to delete the device first (maybe because from a previous try) you can run the following command. NOTE: THIS WILL DELETE YOUR PREVIOUS DATA ON THE DISK!

$ sudo ceph orch device zap node1 /dev/[sdb] --force

Verify Cluster Status

Finally you can verify the status of your cluster with the command

$ sudo ceph status
    id:     5ba20356-7e36-11ea-90ca-9644443f30b
    health: HEALTH_OK
    mon: 1 daemons, quorum node1 (age 2h)
    mgr: node1.zknaku(active, since 2h), standbys: node2.xbjpdi
    osd: 3 osds: 3 up (since 100m), 3 in (since 100m)
    pools:   2 pools, 33 pgs
    objects: 2 objects, 0 B
    usage:   3.0 GiB used, 117 GiB / 120 GiB avail
    pgs:     33 active+clean

Or you can check this by the Dashboard in your browser window:

Advanced Monitoring

As ceph is running on docker there are also additional monitoring services available based on the Prometheus and Grafana projects. The services are automatically started as docker containers by the cephadm tool. Ceph provides several dashboards for visualization of the cluster status, performance data and alerting.

The grafana dashboard can be accessed on port 3000 on your manager node:


Grafana provides various functions to customize dashboards and to configure alerts on your individual needs.

6 Replies to “Ceph Octopus running on Debian Buster”

  1. But this does not run Ceph on Debian.
    Ceph runs inside containers that are based on CentOS.
    It does not matter any more which distribution is used on the host.

  2. Thank you for a great, easy and super understandable tutorial!

    I had problems with shh, I solved it when I found out that I had to
    set SSH port back to 22 and allow root access on SSH.
    That bothers me a bit, but they will get it fixed I assume.

    I looked at your imixs-cloud project.. It seems very appealing…
    Currently I am running a multihost swarm, “nginx-docker-gen-letsencrypt-portainer.”
    I am not sure if it will be to complicated to take the leap as I have to run for production,
    – I am just a novice, and everything takes a lot of time.
    How much does imixs-cloud require compared to swarm?


  3. We started Imixs-Cloud on Docker-Swarm and there is still a branch available (https://github.com/imixs/imixs-cloud/tree/docker-swarm).
    But due to the importance of kubernetes I decided to migrate all into kubernetes. To be honest, it took me much more time to learn kubernetes as expected. But the goal of the imixs-cloud project is to get things done easy. So join the project and give kubernetes a chance.

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