This site best when viewed with a modern standards-compliant browser. We recommend Firefox Get Firefox!.

Linux-HA project logo
Providing Open Source High-Availability Software for Linux and other OSes since 1999.

USA Flag UK Flag

Japanese Flag


About Us

Contact Us

Legal Info

How To Contribute

Security Issues

This web page is no longer maintained. Information presented here exists only to avoid breaking historical links.
The Project stays maintained, and lives on: see the Linux-HA Reference Documentation.
To get rid of this notice, you may want to browse the old wiki instead.

1 February 2010 Hearbeat 3.0.2 released see the Release Notes

18 January 2009 Pacemaker 1.0.7 released see the Release Notes

16 November 2009 LINBIT new Heartbeat Steward see the Announcement

Last site update:
2019-12-14 16:06:56

Configuring ipfail

ipfail is very simple to configure.


First, you must tell the HeartbeatProgram to start ipfail. This is done with the respawn directive. Add the following line to your file:

respawn hacluster /usr/lib/heartbeat/ipfail

Note: Do not start ipfail as root. While the LinuxHAckers are not aware of any dangerous code in ipfail, it is safest to run as little code as possible with root privileges. ipfail has absolutely no need to run as root, so do not expose yourself unnecessarily to a dangerous configuration.

Ping Nodes

Next, you must select and configure some PingNodes. The selection of a strategic PingNode (or ping_group) will vary between each installation, but it is usually a good idea to select a pingable switch or router. Consider that there are many criteria involved in selecting a proper device to ping. If you select a router that is 13 hops away, you may not be able to infer anything when the node dies. Your connectivity could still be OK. Likewise, selection the very next hop might not reveal enough about the state of the network. Certainly, when the closest router is unreachable, you have a problem, but if it is still reachable even though the gateway beyond it is not, your users may not be able to get to the services you are providing. This part of the configuration is a bit of an art, but you can boil it down to logical conclusions when you ask the question: What do I know if this ping node suddenly goes unreachable?

Also, consider whether the owner of the device that you plan on pinging will mind your ICMP echos. Heartbeat will send out a ping every keepalive seconds. If the device will drop pings under heavy load it is also a poor choice. You essentially want to pick solid equipment with a high MTBF which is nearly always available (preferably even more available than your cluster) and which will not generate complaints by the network administrator.

To add a PingNode, use a PingDirective.

Finally, start heartbeat and ipfail will be active.