Bootstrap a Galera Cluster


This page describes the special procedure that is used to startup the first node in a Galera Cluster, which is known as bootstrapping.


  • MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.3

  • MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4

  • MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.5

  • MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.6


When a Galera Cluster node starts by default, it tries to establish a connection to the other cluster nodes configured in the wsrep_cluster_address system variable. The node does not become active until it connects to another cluster node that belongs to the Primary Component. Consequently, if all nodes in a cluster are offline, you must start the first node using a special method, so that it does not abort startup when it can't establish a connection with any other cluster nodes. The special method is known as bootstrapping the cluster.

To bootstrap the first node in a new cluster, the --wsrep-new-cluster command-line option is used. This option can be specified in a few different ways, depending on how you plan to start the process.


In environments that use systemd for service management, the galera_new_cluster utility is provided:

$ sudo galera_new_cluster

When the galera_new_cluster utility is executed, it starts the mariadb.service systemd unit with the --wsrep-new-cluster command-line option added to the mariadbd command.

Since this command starts the mariadb.service systemd unit, the service should be stopped prior to running this command.


In environments where mariadbd is started via the command-line, the --wsrep-new-cluster command-line option can be specified:

$ sudo mariadbd .. --wsrep-new-cluster ..

Configuration File

The --wsrep-new-cluster command-line option can also be specified in a configuration file:


When the --wsrep-new-cluster command-line option is specified in a configuration file that the node reads during startup, the node forms a new cluster. MariaDB recommends removing the option from the configuration file immediately for safety reasons. If the option is left in the configuration file, the node will form a new cluster every time it is restarted, even if the other cluster nodes are online.