Ganesha Library

The Ganesha Library provides base classes that can be used by drivers to provision shares via NFS (NFSv3 and NFSv4), utilizing the NFS-Ganesha NFS server.

Supported operations

  • Allow NFS Share access

    • Only IP access type is supported.

  • Deny NFS Share access

Supported manila drivers

  • CephFS driver uses ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2 library class

  • GlusterFS driver uses ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper library class


  • Preferred:

    NFS-Ganesha v2.4 or later, which allows dynamic update of access rules. Use with manila’s ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2 class as described later in Using Ganesha Library in drivers.


    NFS-Ganesha v2.5.4 or later that allows dynamic update of access rules, and can make use of highly available Ceph RADOS (distributed object storage) as its shared storage for NFS client recovery data, and exports. Use with Ceph v12.2.2 or later, and ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2 library class in manila Queens release or later.

  • For use with limitations documented in Known Issues:

    NFS-Ganesha v2.1 to v2.3. Use with manila’s ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper class as described later in Using Ganesha Library in drivers.

NFS-Ganesha configuration

The library has just modest requirements against general NFS-Ganesha (in the following: Ganesha) configuration; a best effort was made to remain agnostic towards it as much as possible. This section describes the few requirements.

Note that Ganesha’s concept of storage backend modules is called FSAL (“File System Abstraction Layer”). The FSAL the driver intends to leverage needs to be enabled in Ganesha config.

Beyond that (with default manila config) the following line is needed to be present in the Ganesha config file (that defaults to /etc/ganesha/ganesha.conf):

%include /etc/ganesha/export.d/INDEX.conf

The above paths can be customized through manila configuration as follows:

  • ganesha_config_dir = toplevel directory for Ganesha configuration,

    defaults to /etc/ganesha

  • ganesha_config_path = location of the Ganesha config file, defaults

    to ganesha.conf in ganesha_config_dir

  • ganesha_export_dir = directory where manila generated config bits are

    stored, defaults to export.d in ganesha_config_dir. The following line is required to be included (with value expanded) in the Ganesha config file (at ganesha_config_path):

    %include <ganesha_export_dir>/INDEX.conf

In versions 2.5.4 or later, Ganesha can store NFS client recovery data in Ceph RADOS, and also read exports stored in Ceph RADOS. These features are useful to make Ganesha server that has access to a Ceph (luminous or later) storage backend, highly available. The Ganesha library class GaneshaNASHelper2 (in manila Queens or later) allows you to store Ganesha exports directly in a shared storage, RADOS objects, by setting the following manila config options in the driver section:

  • ganesha_rados_store_enable = ‘True’ to persist Ganesha exports and export counter in Ceph RADOS objects

  • ganesha_rados_store_pool_name = name of the Ceph RADOS pool to store Ganesha exports and export counter objects

  • ganesha_rados_export_index = name of the Ceph RADOS object used to store a list of export RADOS object URLs (defaults to ‘ganesha-export-index’)

Check out the cephfs_driver documentation for an example driver section that uses these options.

To allow Ganesha to read from RADOS objects add the below code block in ganesha’s configuration file, substituting values per your setup.

# To read exports from RADOS objects
    ceph_conf = "/etc/ceph/ceph.conf";
    userid = "admin";
# Replace with actual pool name, and export index object
%url rados://<ganesha_rados_store_pool_name>/<ganesha_rados_export_index>
# To store client recovery data in the same RADOS pool
NFSv4 {
    RecoveryBackend = "rados_kv";
    ceph_conf = "/etc/ceph/ceph.conf";
    userid = "admin";
    # Replace with actual pool name
    pool = <ganesha_rados_store_pool_name>;

For a fresh setup, make sure to create the Ganesha export index object as an empty object before starting the Ganesha server.

echo | sudo rados -p ${GANESHA_RADOS_STORE_POOL_NAME} put ganesha-export-index -

Using Ganesha Library in drivers

A driver that wants to use the Ganesha Library has to inherit from driver.GaneshaMixin.

The driver has to contain a subclass of ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2, instantiate it along with the driver instance and delegate update_access method to it (when appropriate, i.e., when access_proto is NFS).


You can also subclass ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper. It works with NFS-Ganesha v2.1 to v2.3 that doesn’t support dynamic update of exports. To update access rules without having to restart NFS-Ganesha server, the class manipulates exports created per share access rule (rather than per share) introducing limitations documented in Known Issues.

In the following we explain what has to be implemented by the ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2 subclass (to which we refer as “helper class”).

Ganesha exports are described by so-called Ganesha export blocks (introduced in the 2.* release series), that is, snippets of Ganesha config specifying key-pair values.

The Ganesha Library generates sane default export blocks for the exports it manages, with one thing left blank, the so-called FSAL subblock. The helper class has to implement the _fsal_hook method which returns the FSAL subblock (in Python represented as a dict with string keys and values). It has one mandatory key, Name, to which the value should be the name of the FSAL (eg.: {"Name": "CEPH"}). Further content of it is optional and FSAL specific.

Customizing Ganesha exports

As noted, the Ganesha Library provides sane general defaults.

However, the driver is allowed to:

  • customize defaults

  • allow users to customize exports

The config format for Ganesha Library is called export block template. They are syntactically either Ganesha export blocks, (please consult the Ganesha documentation about the format), or isomorphic JSON (as Ganesha export blocks are by-and-large equivalent to arrayless JSON), with two special placeholders for values: @config and @runtime. @config means a value that shall be filled from manila config, and @runtime means a value that’s filled at runtime with dynamic data.

As an example, we show the library’s defaults in JSON format (also valid Python literal):

  "EXPORT": {
    "Export_Id": "@runtime",
    "Path": "@runtime",
    "FSAL": {
      "Name": "@config"
    "Pseudo": "@runtime",
    "SecType": "sys",
    "Tag": "@runtime",
    "CLIENT": {
      "Clients": "@runtime",
      "Access_Type": "RW"
    "Squash": "None"

The Ganesha Library takes these values from


where the same data is stored in Ganesha conf format (also supplied with comments).

For customization, the driver has to extend the _default_config_hook method as follows:

  • take the result of the super method (a dict representing an export block template)

  • set up another export block dict that include your custom values, either by

    • using a predefined export block dict stored in code

    • loading a predefined export block from the manila source tree

    • loading an export block from an user exposed location (to allow user configuration)

  • merge the two export block dict using the ganesha_utils.patch method

  • return the result

With respect to loading export blocks, that can be done through the utility method _load_conf_dir.

Known Restrictions

  • The library does not support network segmented multi-tenancy model but instead works over a flat network, where the tenants share a network.

Known Issues

Following issues concern only users of ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper class that works with NFS-Ganesha v2.1 to v2.3.

  • The export location for shares of a driver that uses the Ganesha Library will be of the format <ganesha-server>:/share-<share-id>. However, this is incomplete information, because it pertains only to NFSv3 access, which is partially broken. NFSv4 mounts work well but the actual NFSv4 export paths differ from the above. In detail:

    • The export location is usable only for NFSv3 mounts.

    • The export location works only for the first access rule that’s added for the given share. Tenants that should be allowed to access according to a further access rule will be refused (cf.

    • The share is, however, exported through NFSv4, just on paths that differ from the one indicated by the export location, namely at: <ganesha-server>:/share-<share-id>--<access-id>, where <access-id> ranges over the ID-s of access rules of the share (and the export with <access-id> is accessible according to the access rule of that ID).

    • NFSv4 access also works with pseudofs. That is, the tenant can do a v4 mount of``<ganesha-server>:/`` and access the shares allowed for her at the respective share-<share-id>--<access-id> subdirectories.

Deployment considerations

When using NFS-Ganesha v2.4 or later and manila’s ganesha.GaneshaNASHelper2 class, dynamic export of access rules is implemented by using the dbus-send command to signal NFS-Ganesha to update its exports. The dbus-send command is executed on the host where NFS-Ganesha runs. This may be the same host where the manila-share service runs, or it may be remote to manila-share depending on how the relevant driver has been configured. Either way, the dbus-send command and NFS-Ganesha must be able to communicate over an abstract socket and must be in the same namespace. Consequently, if you deploy NFS-Ganesha in a container you likely should run the container in the host namespace (e.g. ‘docker run –net=host …’) rather than in its own network namespace. For details, see this article.

The manila.share.drivers.ganesha Module

class GaneshaNASHelper(execute, config, tag='<no name>', **kwargs)

Bases: NASHelperBase

Perform share access changes using Ganesha version < 2.4.


Initializes protocol-specific NAS drivers.

supported_access_levels = ('rw', 'ro')
supported_access_types = ('ip',)
update_access(context, share, access_rules, add_rules, delete_rules, share_server=None)

Update access rules of share.

class GaneshaNASHelper2(execute, config, tag='<no name>', **kwargs)

Bases: GaneshaNASHelper

Perform share access changes using Ganesha version >= 2.4.


Initializes protocol-specific NAS drivers.

update_access(context, share, access_rules, add_rules, delete_rules, share_server=None)

Update access rules of share.

Creates an export per share. Modifies access rules of shares by dynamically updating exports via DBUS.

class NASHelperBase(execute, config, **kwargs)

Bases: object

Interface to work with share.

ensure_shares(context, shares)

Initializes protocol-specific NAS drivers.

supported_access_levels = ()
supported_access_types = ()
abstract update_access(context, share, access_rules, add_rules, delete_rules, share_server=None)

Update access rules of share.