Troubleshooting Monitors

Even if a cluster experiences monitor-related problems, the cluster is not necessarily in danger of going down. If a cluster has lost multiple monitors, it can still remain up and running as long as there are enough surviving monitors to form a quorum.

If your cluster is having monitor-related problems, we recommend that you consult the following troubleshooting information.

Initial Troubleshooting

The first steps in the process of troubleshooting Ceph Monitors involve making sure that the Monitors are running and that they are able to communicate with the network and on the network. Follow the steps in this section to rule out the simplest causes of Monitor malfunction.

  1. Make sure that the Monitors are running.

    Make sure that the Monitor (mon) daemon processes (ceph-mon) are running. It might be the case that the mons have not be restarted after an upgrade. Checking for this simple oversight can save hours of painstaking troubleshooting.

    It is also important to make sure that the manager daemons (ceph-mgr) are running. Remember that typical cluster configurations provide one Manager (ceph-mgr) for each Monitor (ceph-mon).


    In releases prior to v1.12.5, Rook will not run more than two managers.

  2. Make sure that you can reach the Monitor nodes.

    In certain rare cases, iptables rules might be blocking access to Monitor nodes or TCP ports. These rules might be left over from earlier stress testing or rule development. To check for the presence of such rules, SSH into each Monitor node and use telnet or nc or a similar tool to attempt to connect to each of the other Monitor nodes on ports tcp/3300 and tcp/6789.

  3. Make sure that the “ceph status” command runs and receives a reply from the cluster.

    If the ceph status command receives a reply from the cluster, then the cluster is up and running. Monitors answer to a status request only if there is a formed quorum. Confirm that one or more mgr daemons are reported as running. In a cluster with no deficiencies, ceph status will report that all mgr daemons are running.

    If the ceph status command does not receive a reply from the cluster, then there are probably not enough Monitors up to form a quorum. If the ceph -s command is run with no further options specified, it connects to an arbitrarily selected Monitor. In certain cases, however, it might be helpful to connect to a specific Monitor (or to several specific Monitors in sequence) by adding the -m flag to the command: for example, ceph status -m mymon1.

  4. None of this worked. What now?

    If the above solutions have not resolved your problems, you might find it helpful to examine each individual Monitor in turn. Even if no quorum has been formed, it is possible to contact each Monitor individually and request its status by using the ceph tell mon.ID mon_status command (here ID is the Monitor’s identifier).

    Run the ceph tell mon.ID mon_status command for each Monitor in the cluster. For more on this command’s output, see Understanding mon_status.

    There is also an alternative method for contacting each individual Monitor: SSH into each Monitor node and query the daemon’s admin socket. See Using the Monitor’s Admin Socket.

Using the monitor’s admin socket

A monitor’s admin socket allows you to interact directly with a specific daemon by using a Unix socket file. This socket file is found in the monitor’s run directory.

The admin socket’s default directory is /var/run/ceph/ceph-mon.ID.asok. It is possible to override the admin socket’s default location. If the default location has been overridden, then the admin socket will be elsewhere. This is often the case when a cluster’s daemons are deployed in containers.

To find the directory of the admin socket, check either your ceph.conf for an alternative path or run the following command:

ceph-conf --name mon.ID --show-config-value admin_socket

The admin socket is available for use only when the Monitor daemon is running. Every time the Monitor is properly shut down, the admin socket is removed. If the Monitor is not running and yet the admin socket persists, it is likely that the Monitor has been improperly shut down. If the Monitor is not running, it will be impossible to use the admin socket, and the ceph command is likely to return Error 111: Connection Refused.

To access the admin socket, run a ceph tell command of the following form (specifying the daemon that you are interested in):

ceph tell mon.<id> mon_status

This command passes a help command to the specified running Monitor daemon <id> via its admin socket. If you know the full path to the admin socket file, this can be done more directly by running the following command:

ceph --admin-daemon <full_path_to_asok_file> <command>

Running ceph help shows all supported commands that are available through the admin socket. See especially config get, config show, mon stat, and quorum_status.

Understanding mon_status

The status of a Monitor (as reported by the ceph tell mon.X mon_status command) can be obtained via the admin socket. The ceph tell mon.X mon_status command outputs a great deal of information about the monitor (including the information found in the output of the quorum_status command).

To understand this command’s output, let us consider the following example, in which we see the output of ceph tell mon.c mon_status:

{ "name": "c",
  "rank": 2,
  "state": "peon",
  "election_epoch": 38,
  "quorum": [
  "outside_quorum": [],
  "extra_probe_peers": [],
  "sync_provider": [],
  "monmap": { "epoch": 3,
      "fsid": "5c4e9d53-e2e1-478a-8061-f543f8be4cf8",
      "modified": "2013-10-30 04:12:01.945629",
      "created": "2013-10-29 14:14:41.914786",
      "mons": [
            { "rank": 0,
              "name": "a",
              "addr": "\/0"},
            { "rank": 1,
              "name": "b",
              "addr": "\/0"},
            { "rank": 2,
              "name": "c",
              "addr": "\/0"}]}}

This output reports that there are three monitors in the monmap (a, b, and c), that quorum is formed by only two monitors, and that c is in quorum as a peon.

Which monitor is out of quorum?

The answer is a (that is, mon.a). mon.a is out of quorum.

How do we know, in this example, that mon.a is out of quorum?

We know that mon.a is out of quorum because it has rank 0, and Monitors with rank 0 are by definition out of quorum.

If we examine the quorum set, we can see that there are clearly two monitors in the set: 1 and 2. But these are not monitor names. They are monitor ranks, as established in the current monmap. The quorum set does not include the monitor that has rank 0, and according to the monmap that monitor is mon.a.

How are monitor ranks determined?

Monitor ranks are calculated (or recalculated) whenever monitors are added to or removed from the cluster. The calculation of ranks follows a simple rule: the greater the IP:PORT combination, the lower the rank. In this case, because (mon.a) is numerically less than the other two IP:PORT combinations (which are for “Monitor b” and for “Monitor c”), mon.a has the highest rank: namely, rank 0.

Most Common Monitor Issues

The Cluster Has Quorum but at Least One Monitor is Down

When the cluster has quorum but at least one monitor is down, ceph health detail returns a message similar to the following:

$ ceph health detail
mon.a (rank 0) addr is down (out of quorum)

How do I troubleshoot a Ceph cluster that has quorum but also has at least one monitor down?

  1. Make sure that mon.a is running.

  2. Make sure that you can connect to mon.a’s node from the other Monitor nodes. Check the TCP ports as well. Check iptables and nf_conntrack on all nodes and make sure that you are not dropping/rejecting connections.

If this initial troubleshooting doesn’t solve your problem, then further investigation is necessary.

First, check the problematic monitor’s mon_status via the admin socket as explained in Using the monitor’s admin socket and Understanding mon_status.

If the Monitor is out of the quorum, then its state will be one of the following: probing, electing or synchronizing. If the state of the Monitor is leader or peon, then the Monitor believes itself to be in quorum but the rest of the cluster believes that it is not in quorum. It is possible that a Monitor that is in one of the probing, electing, or synchronizing states has entered the quorum during the process of troubleshooting. Check ceph status again to determine whether the Monitor has entered quorum during your troubleshooting. If the Monitor remains out of the quorum, then proceed with the investigations described in this section of the documentation.

What does it mean when a Monitor’s state is ``probing``?

If ceph health detail shows that a Monitor’s state is probing, then the Monitor is still looking for the other Monitors. Every Monitor remains in this state for some time when it is started. When a Monitor has connected to the other Monitors specified in the monmap, it ceases to be in the probing state. The amount of time that a Monitor is in the probing state depends upon the parameters of the cluster of which it is a part. For example, when a Monitor is a part of a single-monitor cluster (never do this in production), the monitor passes through the probing state almost instantaneously. In a multi-monitor cluster, the Monitors stay in the probing state until they find enough monitors to form a quorum—this means that if two out of three Monitors in the cluster are down, the one remaining Monitor stays in the probing state indefinitely until you bring one of the other monitors up.

If quorum has been established, then the Monitor daemon should be able to find the other Monitors quickly, as long as they can be reached. If a Monitor is stuck in the probing state and you have exhausted the procedures above that describe the troubleshooting of communications between the Monitors, then it is possible that the problem Monitor is trying to reach the other Monitors at a wrong address. mon_status outputs the monmap that is known to the monitor: determine whether the other Monitors’ locations as specified in the monmap match the locations of the Monitors in the network. If they do not, see Recovering a Monitor’s Broken monmap. If the locations of the Monitors as specified in the monmap match the locations of the Monitors in the network, then the persistent probing state could be related to severe clock skews among the monitor nodes. See Clock Skews. If the information in Clock Skews does not bring the Monitor out of the probing state, then prepare your system logs and ask the Ceph community for help. See Preparing your logs for information about the proper preparation of logs.

What does it mean when a Monitor’s state is ``electing``?

If ceph health detail shows that a Monitor’s state is electing, the monitor is in the middle of an election. Elections typically complete quickly, but sometimes the monitors can get stuck in what is known as an election storm. See Monitor Elections for more on monitor elections.

The presence of election storm might indicate clock skew among the monitor nodes. See Clock Skews for more information.

If your clocks are properly synchronized, search the mailing lists and bug tracker for issues similar to your issue. The electing state is not likely to persist. In versions of Ceph after the release of Cuttlefish, there is no obvious reason other than clock skew that explains why an electing state would persist.

It is possible to investigate the cause of a persistent electing state if you put the problematic Monitor into a down state while you investigate. This is possible only if there are enough surviving Monitors to form quorum.

What does it mean when a Monitor’s state is ``synchronizing``?

If ceph health detail shows that the Monitor is synchronizing, the monitor is catching up with the rest of the cluster so that it can join the quorum. The amount of time that it takes for the Monitor to synchronize with the rest of the quorum is a function of the size of the cluster’s monitor store, the cluster’s size, and the state of the cluster. Larger and degraded clusters generally keep Monitors in the synchronizing state longer than do smaller, new clusters.

A Monitor that changes its state from synchronizing to electing and then back to synchronizing indicates a problem: the cluster state may be advancing (that is, generating new maps) too fast for the synchronization process to keep up with the pace of the creation of the new maps. This issue presented more frequently prior to the Cuttlefish release than it does in more recent releases, because the synchronization process has since been refactored and enhanced to avoid this dynamic. If you experience this in later versions, report the issue in the Ceph bug tracker. Prepare and provide logs to substantiate any bug you raise. See Preparing your logs for information about the proper preparation of logs.

What does it mean when a Monitor’s state is ``leader`` or ``peon``?

If ceph health detail shows that the Monitor is in the leader state or in the peon state, it is likely that clock skew is present. Follow the instructions in Clock Skews. If you have followed those instructions and ceph health detail still shows that the Monitor is in the leader state or the peon state, report the issue in the Ceph bug tracker. If you raise an issue, provide logs to substantiate it. See Preparing your logs for information about the proper preparation of logs.

Recovering a Monitor’s Broken “monmap”

A monmap can be retrieved by using a command of the form ceph tell mon.c mon_status, as described in Understanding mon_status.

Here is an example of a monmap:

epoch 3
fsid 5c4e9d53-e2e1-478a-8061-f543f8be4cf8
last_changed 2013-10-30 04:12:01.945629
created 2013-10-29 14:14:41.914786
0: mon.a
1: mon.b
2: mon.c

This monmap is in working order, but your monmap might not be in working order. The monmap in a given node might be outdated because the node was down for a long time, during which the cluster’s Monitors changed.

There are two ways to update a Monitor’s outdated monmap:

  1. Scrap the monitor and redeploy.

    Do this only if you are certain that you will not lose the information kept by the Monitor that you scrap. Make sure that you have other Monitors in good condition, so that the new Monitor will be able to synchronize with the surviving Monitors. Remember that destroying a Monitor can lead to data loss if there are no other copies of the Monitor’s contents.

  2. Inject a monmap into the monitor.

    It is possible to fix a Monitor that has an outdated monmap by retrieving an up-to-date monmap from surviving Monitors in the cluster and injecting it into the Monitor that has a corrupted or missing monmap.

    Implement this solution by carrying out the following procedure:

    1. Retrieve the monmap in one of the two following ways:


        Retrieve the monmap from the quorum:

        ceph mon getmap -o /tmp/monmap

        Retrieve the monmap directly from a Monitor that has been stopped :

        ceph-mon -i ID-FOO --extract-monmap /tmp/monmap

        In this example, the ID of the stopped Monitor is ID-FOO.

    2. Stop the Monitor into which the monmap will be injected.

    3. Inject the monmap into the stopped Monitor:

      ceph-mon -i ID --inject-monmap /tmp/monmap
    4. Start the Monitor.


      Injecting a monmap into a Monitor can cause serious problems. Injecting a monmap overwrites the latest existing monmap stored on the monitor. Be careful!

Clock Skews

The Paxos consensus algorithm requires close time synchroniziation, which means that clock skew among the monitors in the quorum can have a serious effect on monitor operation. The resulting behavior can be puzzling. To avoid this issue, run a clock synchronization tool on your monitor nodes: for example, use Chrony or the legacy ntpd utility. Configure each monitor nodes so that the iburst option is in effect and so that each monitor has multiple peers, including the following:

  • Each other

  • Internal NTP servers

  • Multiple external, public pool servers


The iburst option sends a burst of eight packets instead of the usual single packet, and is used during the process of getting two peers into initial synchronization.

Furthermore, it is advisable to synchronize all nodes in your cluster against internal and external servers, and perhaps even against your monitors. Run NTP servers on bare metal: VM-virtualized clocks are not suitable for steady timekeeping. See for more information about the Network Time Protocol (NTP). Your organization might already have quality internal NTP servers available. Sources for NTP server appliances include the following:

Clock Skew Questions and Answers

What’s the maximum tolerated clock skew?

By default, monitors allow clocks to drift up to a maximum of 0.05 seconds (50 milliseconds).

Can I increase the maximum tolerated clock skew?

Yes, but we strongly recommend against doing so. The maximum tolerated clock skew is configurable via the mon-clock-drift-allowed option, but it is almost certainly a bad idea to make changes to this option. The clock skew maximum is in place because clock-skewed monitors cannot be relied upon. The current default value has proven its worth at alerting the user before the monitors encounter serious problems. Changing this value might cause unforeseen effects on the stability of the monitors and overall cluster health.

How do I know whether there is a clock skew?

The monitors will warn you via the cluster status HEALTH_WARN. When clock skew is present, the ceph health detail and ceph status commands return an output resembling the following:

mon.c addr clock skew 0.08235s > max 0.05s (latency 0.0045s)

In this example, the monitor mon.c has been flagged as suffering from clock skew.

In Luminous and later releases, it is possible to check for a clock skew by running the ceph time-sync-status command. Note that the lead monitor typically has the numerically lowest IP address. It will always show 0: the reported offsets of other monitors are relative to the lead monitor, not to any external reference source.

What should I do if there is a clock skew?

Synchronize your clocks. Using an NTP client might help. However, if you are already using an NTP client and you still encounter clock skew problems, determine whether the NTP server that you are using is remote to your network or instead hosted on your network. Hosting your own NTP servers tends to mitigate clock skew problems.

Client Can’t Connect or Mount

If a client can’t connect to the cluster or mount, check your iptables. Some operating-system install utilities add a REJECT rule to iptables. iptables rules will reject all clients other than ssh that try to connect to the host. If your monitor host’s iptables have a REJECT rule in place, clients that connect from a separate node will fail, and this will raise a timeout error. Look for iptables rules that reject clients that are trying to connect to Ceph daemons. For example:

REJECT all -- anywhere anywhere reject-with icmp-host-prohibited

It might also be necessary to add rules to iptables on your Ceph hosts to ensure that clients are able to access the TCP ports associated with your Ceph monitors (default: port 6789) and Ceph OSDs (default: 6800 through 7300). For example:

iptables -A INPUT -m multiport -p tcp -s {ip-address}/{netmask} --dports 6789,6800:7300 -j ACCEPT

Monitor Store Failures

Symptoms of store corruption

Ceph Monitors maintain the Cluster Map in a key-value store. If key-value store corruption causes a Monitor to fail, then the Monitor log might contain one of the following error messages:

Corruption: error in middle of record


Corruption: 1 missing files; e.g.: /var/lib/ceph/mon/

Recovery using healthy monitor(s)

If the cluster contains surviving Monitors, the corrupted Monitor can be replaced with a new Monitor. After the new Monitor boots, it will synchronize with a healthy peer. After the new Monitor is fully synchronized, it will be able to serve clients.

Recovery using OSDs

Even if all monitors fail at the same time, it is possible to recover the Monitor store by using information that is stored in OSDs. You are encouraged to deploy at least three (and preferably five) Monitors in a Ceph cluster. In such a deployment, complete Monitor failure is unlikely. However, unplanned power loss in a data center whose disk settings or filesystem settings are improperly configured could cause the underlying filesystem to fail and this could kill all of the monitors. In such a case, data in the OSDs can be used to recover the Monitors. The following is a script that can be used in such a case to recover the Monitors:

mkdir $ms

# collect the cluster map from stopped OSDs
for host in $hosts; do
  rsync -avz $ms/. user@$host:$ms.remote
  rm -rf $ms
  ssh user@$host <<EOF
    for osd in /var/lib/ceph/osd/ceph-*; do
      ceph-objectstore-tool --data-path \$osd --no-mon-config --op update-mon-db --mon-store-path $ms.remote
  rsync -avz user@$host:$ms.remote/. $ms

# rebuild the monitor store from the collected map, if the cluster does not
# use cephx authentication, we can skip the following steps to update the
# keyring with the caps, and there is no need to pass the "--keyring" option.
# i.e. just use "ceph-monstore-tool $ms rebuild" instead
ceph-authtool /path/to/admin.keyring -n mon. \
  --cap mon 'allow *'
ceph-authtool /path/to/admin.keyring -n client.admin \
  --cap mon 'allow *' --cap osd 'allow *' --cap mds 'allow *'
# add one or more ceph-mgr's key to the keyring. in this case, an encoded key
# for mgr.x is added, you can find the encoded key in
# /etc/ceph/${cluster}.${mgr_name}.keyring on the machine where ceph-mgr is
# deployed
ceph-authtool /path/to/admin.keyring --add-key 'AQDN8kBe9PLWARAAZwxXMr+n85SBYbSlLcZnMA==' -n mgr.x \
  --cap mon 'allow profile mgr' --cap osd 'allow *' --cap mds 'allow *'
# If your monitors' ids are not sorted by ip address, please specify them in order.
# For example. if mon 'a' is, mon 'b' is, and mon 'c' is,
# please passing "--mon-ids b a c".
# In addition, if your monitors' ids are not single characters like 'a', 'b', 'c', please
# specify them in the command line by passing them as arguments of the "--mon-ids"
# option. if you are not sure, please check your ceph.conf to see if there is any
# sections named like '[]'. don't pass the "--mon-ids" option, if you are
# using DNS SRV for looking up monitors.
ceph-monstore-tool $ms rebuild -- --keyring /path/to/admin.keyring --mon-ids alpha beta gamma

# make a backup of the corrupted store.db just in case!  repeat for
# all monitors.
mv /var/lib/ceph/mon/ /var/lib/ceph/mon/

# move rebuild store.db into place.  repeat for all monitors.
mv $ms/store.db /var/lib/ceph/mon/
chown -R ceph:ceph /var/lib/ceph/mon/

This script performs the following steps:

  1. Collect the map from each OSD host.

  2. Rebuild the store.

  3. Fill the entities in the keyring file with appropriate capabilities.

  4. Replace the corrupted store on with the recovered copy.

Known limitations

The above recovery tool is unable to recover the following information:

  • Certain added keyrings: All of the OSD keyrings added using the ceph auth add command are recovered from the OSD’s copy, and the client.admin keyring is imported using ceph-monstore-tool. However, the MDS keyrings and all other keyrings will be missing in the recovered Monitor store. It might be necessary to manually re-add them.

  • Creating pools: If any RADOS pools were in the process of being created, that state is lost. The recovery tool operates on the assumption that all pools have already been created. If there are PGs that are stuck in the unknown state after the recovery for a partially created pool, you can force creation of the empty PG by running the ceph osd force-create-pg command. This creates an empty PG, so take this action only if you are certain that the pool is empty.

  • MDS Maps: The MDS maps are lost.

Everything Failed! Now What?

Reaching out for help

You can find help on IRC in #ceph and #ceph-devel on OFTC (server, or at and Make sure that you have prepared your logs and that you have them ready upon request.

The upstream Ceph Slack workspace can be joined at this address:

See for current (as of December 2023) information on getting in contact with the upstream Ceph community.

Preparing your logs

The default location for Monitor logs is /var/log/ceph/ceph-mon.FOO.log*. It is possible that the location of the Monitor logs has been changed from the default. If the location of the Monitor logs has been changed from the default location, find the location of the Monitor logs by running the following command:

ceph-conf --name mon.FOO --show-config-value log_file

The amount of information in the logs is determined by the debug levels in the cluster’s configuration files. If Ceph is using the default debug levels, then your logs might be missing important information that would help the upstream Ceph community address your issue.

Raise debug levels to make sure that your Monitor logs contain relevant information. Here we are interested in information from the Monitors. As with other components, the Monitors have different parts that output their debug information on different subsystems.

If you are an experienced Ceph troubleshooter, we recommend raising the debug levels of the most relevant subsystems. This approach might not be easy for beginners. In most cases, however, enough information to address the issue will be logged if the following debug levels are entered:

debug mon = 10
debug ms = 1

Sometimes these debug levels do not yield enough information. In such cases, members of the upstream Ceph community will ask you to make additional changes to these or to other debug levels. In any case, it is better for us to receive at least some useful information than to receive an empty log.

Do I need to restart a monitor to adjust debug levels?

No. It is not necessary to restart a Monitor when adjusting its debug levels.

There are two different methods for adjusting debug levels. One method is used when there is quorum. The other is used when there is no quorum.

Adjusting debug levels when there is a quorum

Either inject the debug option into the specific monitor that needs to be debugged:

ceph tell mon.FOO config set debug_mon 10/10

Or inject it into all monitors at once:

ceph tell mon.* config set debug_mon 10/10

Adjusting debug levels when there is no quorum

Use the admin socket of the specific monitor that needs to be debugged and directly adjust the monitor’s configuration options:

ceph daemon mon.FOO config set debug_mon 10/10

Returning debug levels to their default values

To return the debug levels to their default values, run the above commands using the debug level 1/10 rather than the debug level 10/10. To check a Monitor’s current values, use the admin socket and run either of the following commands:

ceph daemon mon.FOO config show


ceph daemon mon.FOO config get 'OPTION_NAME'

I Reproduced the problem with appropriate debug levels. Now what?

Send the upstream Ceph community only the portions of your logs that are relevant to your Monitor problems. Because it might not be easy for you to determine which portions are relevant, the upstream Ceph community accepts complete and unabridged logs. But don’t send logs containing hundreds of thousands of lines with no additional clarifying information. One common-sense way to help the Ceph community help you is to write down the current time and date when you are reproducing the problem and then extract portions of your logs based on that information.

Contact the upstream Ceph community on the mailing lists or IRC or Slack, or by filing a new issue on the tracker.