Support for ReadWriteMany (RWX) workloads

Longhorn natively supports RWX workloads, by exposing a regular Longhorn volume via a NFSv4 server (share-manager).

The following diagram shows how the RWX support works:

For each actively in use RWX volume Longhorn will create a share-manager-<volume-name> Pod in the longhorn-system namespace.

This Pod is responsible for exporting a Longhorn volume via a NFSv4 server that is running inside the Pod.

There is also a service created for each RWX volume, and that is used as an endpoint for the actual NFSv4 client connection.


To be able to use RWX volumes, each client node needs to have a NFSv4 client installed.

For Ubuntu you can install a NFSv4 client via:

apt install nfs-common

For RPM based distros you can install a NFSv4 client via:

yum install nfs-utils

If the NFSv4 client is not available on the node, when trying to mount the volume the below message will be part of the error:

for several filesystems (e.g. nfs, cifs) you might need a /sbin/mount.<type> helper program.\n

Creation and Usage of a RWX Volume

For dynamically provisioned Longhorn volumes, the access mode is based on the PVC’s access mode.

For manually created Longhorn volumes (restore, DR volume) the access mode can be specified during creation in the Longhorn UI.

When creating a PV/PVC for a Longhorn volume via the UI, the access mode of the PV/PVC will be based on the volume’s access mode.

One can change the Longhorn volume’s access mode via the UI as long as the volume is not bound to a PVC.

For a Longhorn volume that gets used by a RWX PVC, the volume access mode will be changed to RWX.

Failure Handling

Any failure of the share-manager Pod (volume failure, node failure, etc) will lead to the Pod being recreated and the volume’s remountRequestedAt flag to be set, which will lead to the workload Pods being deleted and Kubernetes recreating them. This functionality depends on the setting of Automatically Delete Workload Pod when The Volume Is Detached Unexpectedly, which by default is true. If the setting is disabled, the workload Pods might end up with io errors on RWX volume failures.

It’s recommended to enable the above settings to guarantee automatic workload failover in the case of issues with the RWX volume.

Migration from Previous External Provisioner

The below PVC creates a Kubernetes job that can copy data from one volume to another.

  • Replace the data-source-pvc with the name of the previous NFSv4 RWX PVC that was created by Kubernetes.
  • Replace the data-target-pvc with the name of the new RWX PVC that you wish to use for your new workloads.

You can manually create a new RWX Longhorn volume + PVC/PV, or just create a RWX PVC and then have Longhorn dynamically provision a volume for you.

Both PVCs need to exist in the same namespace. If you were using a different namespace than the default, change the job’s namespace below.

apiVersion: batch/v1
kind: Job
  namespace: default  # namespace where the PVC's exist
  name: volume-migration
  completions: 1
  parallelism: 1
  backoffLimit: 3
      name: volume-migration
        name: volume-migration
      restartPolicy: Never
        - name: volume-migration
          image: ubuntu:xenial
          tty: true
          command: [ "/bin/sh" ]
          args: [ "-c", "cp -r -v /mnt/old /mnt/new" ]
            - name: old-vol
              mountPath: /mnt/old
            - name: new-vol
              mountPath: /mnt/new
        - name: old-vol
            claimName: data-source-pvc # change to data source PVC
        - name: new-vol
            claimName: data-target-pvc # change to data target PVC