2.8. Replicating MariaDB with Galera

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This section describes how to replicate a MariaDB database using the Galera solution on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.

2.8.1. Introduction to MariaDB Galera Cluster

Galera replication is based on the creation of a synchronous multi-source MariaDB Galera Cluster consisting of multiple MariaDB servers. Unlike the traditional primary/replica setup where replicas are usually read-only, nodes in the MariaDB Galera Cluster can be all writable.

The interface between Galera replication and a MariaDB database is defined by the write set replication API (wsrep API).

The main features of MariaDB Galera Cluster are:

  • Synchronous replication
  • Active-active multi-source topology
  • Read and write to any cluster node
  • Automatic membership control, failed nodes drop from the cluster
  • Automatic node joining
  • Parallel replication on row level
  • Direct client connections: users can log on to the cluster nodes, and work with the nodes directly while the replication runs

Synchronous replication means that a server replicates a transaction at commit time by broadcasting the write set associated with the transaction to every node in the cluster. The client (user application) connects directly to the Database Management System (DBMS), and experiences behavior that is similar to native MariaDB.

Synchronous replication guarantees that a change that happened on one node in the cluster happens on other nodes in the cluster at the same time.

Therefore, synchronous replication has the following advantages over asynchronous replication:

  • No delay in propagation of the changes between particular cluster nodes
  • All cluster nodes are always consistent
  • The latest changes are not lost if one of the cluster nodes crashes
  • Transactions on all cluster nodes are executed in parallel
  • Causality across the whole cluster

2.8.2. Components to build MariaDB Galera Cluster

To build MariaDB Galera Cluster, you must install the following packages on your system:

  • mariadb-server-galera - contains support files and scripts for MariaDB Galera Cluster.
  • mariadb-server - is patched by MariaDB upstream to include the write set replication API (wsrep API). This API provides the interface between Galera replication and MariaDB.
  • galera - is patched by MariaDB upstream to add full support for MariaDB. The galera package contains the following:

    • Galera Replication Library provides the whole replication functionality.
    • The Galera Arbitrator utility can be used as a cluster member that participates in voting in split-brain scenarios. However, Galera Arbitrator cannot participate in the actual replication.
    • Galera Systemd service and Galera wrapper script which are used for deploying the Galera Arbitrator utility. RHEL 9 provides the upstream version of these files, located at /usr/lib/systemd/system/garbd.service and /usr/sbin/garb-systemd.

2.8.3. Deploying MariaDB Galera Cluster

You can deploy the MariaDB Galera Cluster packages and update the configuration. To form a new cluster, you must bootstrap the first node of the cluster.

Conditions préalables

  • Install the MariaDB Galera Cluster packages:

    # dnf install mariadb-server-galera

    As a result, the following packages are installed together with their dependencies:

  • The MariaDB server replication configuration must be updated before the system is added to a cluster for the first time.

    The default configuration is distributed in the /etc/my.cnf.d/galera.cnf file.

    Before deploying MariaDB Galera Cluster, set the wsrep_cluster_address option in the /etc/my.cnf.d/galera.cnf file on all nodes to start with the following string:

    • For the initial node, it is possible to set wsrep_cluster_address as an empty list:

    • For all other nodes, set wsrep_cluster_address to include an address to any node which is already a part of the running cluster. For example:


      For more information about how to set Galera Cluster address, see Galera Cluster Address.


  1. Bootstrap a first node of a new cluster by running the following wrapper on that node:

    # galera_new_cluster

    This wrapper ensures that the MariaDB server daemon (mariadbd) runs with the --wsrep-new-cluster option. This option provides the information that there is no existing cluster to connect to. Therefore, the node creates a new UUID to identify the new cluster.


    The mariadb service supports a systemd method for interacting with multiple MariaDB server processes. Therefore, in cases with multiple running MariaDB servers, you can bootstrap a specific instance by specifying the instance name as a suffix:

    # galera_new_cluster mariadb@node1
  2. Connect other nodes to the cluster by running the following command on each of the nodes:

    # systemctl start mariadb

    As a result, the node connects to the cluster, and synchronizes itself with the state of the cluster.

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2.8.4. Adding a new node to MariaDB Galera Cluster

To add a new node to MariaDB Galera Cluster, use the following procedure.

Note that you can also use this procedure to reconnect an already existing node.


  • On the particular node, provide an address to one or more existing cluster members in the wsrep_cluster_address option within the [mariadb] section of the /etc/my.cnf.d/galera.cnf configuration file :


    When a new node connects to one of the existing cluster nodes, it is able to see all nodes in the cluster.

    However, preferably list all nodes of the cluster in wsrep_cluster_address.

    As a result, any node can join a cluster by connecting to any other cluster node, even if one or more cluster nodes are down. When all members agree on the membership, the cluster’s state is changed. If the new node’s state is different from the state of the cluster, the new node requests either an Incremental State Transfer (IST) or a State Snapshot Transfer (SST) to ensure consistency with the other nodes.

2.8.5. Restarting MariaDB Galera Cluster

If you shut down all nodes at the same time, you stop the cluster, and the running cluster no longer exists. However, the cluster’s data still exist.

To restart the cluster, bootstrap a first node as described in Configuring MariaDB Galera cluster.


If the cluster is not bootstrapped, and mariadbd on the first node is started with only the systemctl start mariadb command, the node tries to connect to at least one of the nodes listed in the wsrep_cluster_address option in the /etc/my.cnf.d/galera.cnf file. If no nodes are currently running, the restart fails.

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