Longhorn CSI on Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) and CoreOS


For minimalist Linux Operating systems, you’ll need a little extra configuration to use Longhorn. This document outlines the requirements for using RKE and CoreOS.


  • Kubernetes v1.11 or higher.
  • Longhorn v0.4.1 or higher.

For CoreOS + Kubernetes v1.11 only

*** The following step is not needed for Kubernetes v1.12+. ***

Add extra_binds for kubelet in RKE cluster.yml:

    - "/opt/rke/var/lib/kubelet/plugins:/var/lib/kubelet/plugins"

This makes sure the kubelet plugins directory is exposed for CSI driver installation.

If you want to enable iSCSI daemon automatically at boot, you need to enable the systemd service:

sudo su
systemctl enable iscsid

Or just start the iSCSI daemon for the current session:

sudo su
systemctl start iscsid

Troubleshooting Common Issues

This error is due to Longhorn cannot detect where is the root dir setup for Kubelet, so the CSI plugin installation failed.

You can override the root-dir detection by setting argument kubelet-root-dir in https://github.com/longhorn/longhorn/blob/v0.8.0/deploy/longhorn.yaml.

How to find root-dir?

Run ps aux | grep kubelet and get argument --root-dir on host node.


$ ps aux | grep kubelet
root      3755  4.4  2.9 744404 120020 ?       Ssl  00:45   0:02 kubelet --root-dir=/opt/rke/var/lib/kubelet --volume-plugin-dir=/var/lib/kubelet/volumeplugins

You will find root-dir in the cmdline of proc kubelet. If it’s not set, the default value /var/lib/kubelet would be used. In the case of CoreOS, the root-dir would be /opt/rke/var/lib/kubelet as shown above.

If kubelet is using a configuration file, you would need to check the configuration file to locate the root-dir parameter.


CSI doesn’t work with CoreOS + RKE before Longhorn v0.4.1. The reason is:

  1. RKE sets argument root-dir=/opt/rke/var/lib/kubelet for kubelet in the case of CoreOS, which is different from the default value /var/lib/kubelet.

  2. For k8s v1.12+

    Kubelet will detect the csi.sock according to argument <--kubelet-registration-path> passed in by Kubernetes CSI driver-registrar, and <drivername>-reg.sock (for Longhorn, it’s io.rancher.longhorn-reg.sock) on kubelet path <root-dir>/plugins.

    For k8s v1.11

    Kubelet will find both sockets on kubelet path /var/lib/kubelet/plugins.

  3. By default, Longhorn CSI driver create and expose these 2 sock files on host path /var/lib/kubelet/plugins.

  4. Then kubelet cannot find <drivername>-reg.sock, so CSI driver doesn’t work.

  5. Furthermore, kubelet will instruct CSI plugin to mount Longhorn volume on <root-dir>/pods/<pod-name>/volumes/kubernetes.io~csi/<volume-name>/mount.

    But this path inside CSI plugin container won’t be binded mount on host path. And the mount operation for Longhorn volume is meaningless.

    Hence Kubernetes cannot connect to Longhorn using CSI driver.




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