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How To Configure The ISCSI Client Initiator

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The ISCSI Client machine is known as the initiator and connects to the ISCSI target server.


This page explains how to configure the ISCSI initiator.




Two services are essential for the initiator:





Important SUSE NOTE: Initiator and Target may not run on the same SUSE server!


SUSE does not support the running of iSCSI target software and iSCSI initiator software on the same server in a production environment.


On the client machines, install the iSCSI initiator software:


yum install iscsi-initiator-utils




dnf -y install iscsi-initiator-utils


suse1:~ # zypper in yast2-iscsi-client
Loading repository data…
Reading installed packages…
‘yast2-iscsi-client’ is already installed.




# yum install iscsi-initiator-utils
The package installs several files including the following:


/etc/iscsi/iscsid.conf: The configuration file read by iscsid and iscsiadm. This file is heavily commented with descriptions for each configuration directive.
/sbin/iscsid: The Open-iSCSI daemon that implements the control path and management facilities
/sbin/iscsiadm: The Open-iSCSI administration utility used to discover and log in to iSCSI targets


[root@mars ~]# yum install iscsi-initiator-utils
Last metadata expiration check: 1:06:41 ago on Mon 01 Feb 2021 19:55:33 CET.
Package iscsi-initiator-utils- is already installed.
Dependencies resolved.
Nothing to do.
[root@mars ~]#



Configuring the Initiator

Next enable and start the iscsid service:


systemctl enable iscsid ; systemctl start iscsid ; systemctl status iscsid


then map the client initiator to the target server iscsi lun using the iscsi utility iscsiadm.


We “discover the iscsi lan” first:


note: -m = mode, -t = target


[root@centos1 ~]# iscsiadm -m discovery -t sendtargets -p,1
[root@centos1 ~]#


If you cannot connect, try


iscsiadm -m discovery -t st -d8 -p ipaddress


this sets debug mode


After discovery, the nodes table and the send_targets tables in the database are updated:


[root@mars ~]# ls /var/lib/iscsi/nodes
[root@mars ~]#


[root@mars ~]# ls /var/lib/iscsi/send_targets,3260
[root@mars ~]#


on the client node (ie initiator machine)


[root@centos1 ~]# ls /var/lib/iscsi/nodes
[root@centos1 ~]#


This tells you if the node has the riqht iqn for the target. In this case I had changed the target iqn through reinstallations, but the old iqn is still on the nodes.


I went into /etc/iscsi/send_targets/ and deleted the respective directories for this iqn (by ip address)


and also under /nodes


OR you can delete the record thus:


iscsiadm -m discoverydb -o delete -t sendtargets -p


Then on the iscsi client, we now can map or mount the iscsi disk on the client


(port has to be opened on the iscsi target server for this to work).


Next we can mount the iscsi disk, we have to login to the iscsi target (make sure you have the CORRECT IQN for the target server that it is currently using – it can be changed!):


iscsiadm -m node -T -p -l


note: uppercase T, not lower case, -l = login


if you now do fdisk -l on the client, you will see the drive presented at the client level.


but how to know if its a local disk or a iscsi disk?


root@ubuntu1:~# fdisk -l


note that on kvm cluster, the guest hard drive is called vda


Device Start End Sectors Size Type
/dev/vda1 2048 4095 2048 1M BIOS boot
/dev/vda2 4096 2101247 2097152 1G Linux filesystem
/dev/vda3 2101248 41940991 39839744 19G Linux filesystem


Disk /dev/mapper/ubuntu–vg-ubuntu–lv: 18.102 GiB, 20396900352 bytes, 39837696 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes


Disk /dev/sda: 976.58 MiB, 1024000000 bytes, 2000000 sectors
Disk model: lun0
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 1310720 bytes


cat /proc/scsi/scsi


NOTE that the path is scsi/scsi – NOT iscsi/iscsi


root@ubuntu4:~# cat /proc/scsi/scsi
Attached devices:
Host: scsi0 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: QEMU Model: QEMU DVD-ROM Rev: 2.5+
Type: CD-ROM ANSI SCSI revision: 05
Host: scsi6 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: LIO-ORG Model: lun0 Rev: 4.0
Type: Direct-Access ANSI SCSI revision: 05


Our iscsi disk is the one with the Host: scsi6 Channel: 00 Id: 00 Lun: 00
Vendor: LIO-ORG Model: lun0
, as this is the name of our target disk lun (it does not have to be lunN – we just named it that, it could be anything testlun, testdisk, iscsidisk1, iscsilun1 or whatever we choose).


and you can use


dmesg | grep -i “attached ”


root@ubuntu4:~# dmesg | grep -i “attached ”
[ 1.234130] sr 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[ 1.234292] sr 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 5
[ 6289.190304] sd 6:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 0
[ 6289.200739] sd 6:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk


If you cannot see the disk in fdisk -l


then try


service iscsi stop
service iscsid stop
service iscsid start
service iscsi start


At this point the disk is “attached” ie available to the client system, but it is not yet formatted for the client, nor is it mounted.


So the next step is to partition the disk as normal using fdisk, then check with:


root@ubuntu4:~# fdisk -l /dev/sda
Disk /dev/sda: 976.58 MiB, 1024000000 bytes, 2000000 sectors
Disk model: lun0
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 1310720 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0x66588ba2


Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type
/dev/sda1 2560 1999999 1997440 975.3M 83 Linux


Then create a file system on the disk:


root@ubuntu4:~# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
mke2fs 1.45.5 (07-Jan-2020)
Creating filesystem with 249680 4k blocks and 62464 inodes
Filesystem UUID: 883be9c3-ffc9-4e24-b359-c0d308fd8da3
Superblock backups stored on blocks:
32768, 98304, 163840, 229376


Allocating group tables: done
Writing inode tables: done
Creating journal (4096 blocks): done
Writing superblocks and filesystem accounting information: done




Next, create a mountpoint:


root@ubuntu4:/# mkdir /media/ISCSIDISK


and then mount the disk:


mount -t ext4 /dev/sda1 /media/ISCSIDISK/



… … ..details omitted for brevity…
/dev/sda1 966616 2444 897852 1% /media/ISCSIDISK


Use the -u (or –logout) option to close a session. To view session information:


# iscsiadm -m session [-P [printlevel]]

The print levels are 1, 2, and 3. Each shows more detail.


There are three ways to disable or delete an iSCSI target.


First, to disable an iSCSI target:


# iscsiadm –m node -T –portal -u


Second, it is possible to delete the target’s record ID:/p>


# iscsiadm -m node -o delete -T –portal


Thirdly, stop the iSCSI service.


How to tell if a scsi disk is mounted?


you can use: iscsiadm -m session -P 3 | grep ‘Target\|disk’


root@ubuntu1:/# iscsiadm -m session -P 3 | grep ‘Target\|disk’
Target: (non-flash)
Target Reset Timeout: 30
Attached scsi disk sdb State: running


You can display indepth info about the devices with:


iscsiadm -m session -P 3


[root@mars ~]# ls /dev/disk/by-path/ pci-0000:00:01.1-ata-1-part1 pci-0000:00:01.1-ata-2
pci-0000:00:01.1-ata-1 pci-0000:00:01.1-ata-1-part2
[root@mars ~]#


[root@mars ~]# dmesg | grep -i “attached ”
[ 2.756694] scsi 0:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg0 type 0
[ 2.756785] scsi 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg1 type 5
[ 2.762075] sd 0:0:0:0: [sda] Attached SCSI disk
[ 2.795943] sr 1:0:0:0: Attached scsi CD-ROM sr0
[55977.808879] sd 2:0:0:0: Attached scsi generic sg2 type 0
[55977.837483] sd 2:0:0:0: [sdb] Attached SCSI disk
[root@mars ~]#


To get WWID of LUN you can use the /dev/disk/by-id/ file:


[root@mars ~]# ls -la /dev/disk/by-id/
total 0
drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 480 Feb 2 12:48 .
drwxr-xr-x. 6 root root 120 Feb 1 21:01 ..
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 1 21:01 ata-VBOX_CD-ROM_VB2-01700376 -> ../../sr0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 1 21:01 ata-VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 ata-VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part1 -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 ata-VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part2 -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 dm-name-cl-root -> ../../dm-0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 dm-name-cl-swap -> ../../dm-1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 dm-uuid-LVM-FuVL5Fn8Dp2pso0dIHewV8iE9N1knbQH9DpPYinWb5ODH4UFhKvVQAq50g5Qs17F -> ../../dm-0
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 dm-uuid-LVM-FuVL5Fn8Dp2pso0dIHewV8iE9N1knbQHGcKKvFjrcod5uBLityueqeQP9KzqgESq -> ../../dm-1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 lvm-pv-uuid-DeJN3u-fLwO-z5PJ-1Lnn-FW73-w1Mv-2sCf0U -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-0ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-0ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part1 -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-0ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part2 -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-1ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-1ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part1 -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-1ATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part2 -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 2 12:48 scsi-1LIO-ORG_lun0:8cde0c81-987d-43cf-a43c-6258cfadad32 -> ../../sdb
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 2 12:48 scsi-360014058cde0c81987d43cfa43c6258c -> ../../sdb
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-SATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec -> ../../sda
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-SATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part1 -> ../../sda1
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 10 Feb 1 21:01 scsi-SATA_VBOX_HARDDISK_VBf3c88a6a-cf0578ec-part2 -> ../../sda2
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 2 12:48 scsi-SLIO-ORG_lun0_8cde0c81-987d-43cf-a43c-6258cfadad32 -> ../../sdb
lrwxrwxrwx. 1 root root 9 Feb 2 12:48 wwn-0x60014058cde0c81987d43cfa43c6258c -> ../../sdb
[root@mars ~]#



Before using the iscsiadm command to connect to an iSCSI target, you have to make sure that the supporting
modules are loaded.



Typically, you do that by starting the iSCSI client-support script. The names of these scripts
differ among the various distributions.


Assuming that the name of the service script is




systemctl start iscsi.service; systemctl enable iscsi.service


(service iscsi start; chkconfig iscsi on on a System-V server).


you can check they are loaded:


[root@mars init.d]# lsmod | grep iscsi

iscsi_tcp 24576 2
libiscsi_tcp 28672 1 iscsi_tcp
libiscsi 61440 2 libiscsi_tcp,iscsi_tcp
scsi_transport_iscsi 122880 4 libiscsi_tcp,iscsi_tcp,libiscsi
[root@mars init.d]#


or with the systemctl status command


To discover what targets are available on a specific server:


iscsiadm –mode discovery –type sendtargets –portal –discover


[root@mars init.d]# iscsiadm –mode discovery –type sendtargets –portal –discover,1
[root@mars init.d]#




[root@mars init.d]# iscsiadm –mode discoverydb -P 1
Iface Name: default
No targets found.
No targets found.
No targets found.
[root@mars init.d]#


the -P is a “print level”, ie level of verbosity of information.


[root@mars iscsi]# iscsiadm –mode node -P 0,1
[root@mars iscsi]# iscsiadm –mode node -P 1
Iface Name: default
[root@mars iscsi]#


iscsiadm node mode:


To log in, you’ll use the node mode. Node in iSCSI terminology means the actual connection that is established between an iSCSI target
and a specific portal.


The portal is the IP address and the port number that have to be used to make a connection to the iSCSI target.


lsscsi shows the existing connections:


[root@mars init.d]# lsscsi
[0:0:0:0] disk ATA VBOX HARDDISK 1.0 /dev/sda
[1:0:0:0] cd/dvd VBOX CD-ROM 1.0 /dev/sr0
[2:0:0:0] disk LIO-ORG lun0 4.0 /dev/sdb
[root@mars init.d]#


IMPORTANT: rebooting and persistence:


iSCSI does not usually require manual modification of configuration files.


To establish a connection, you just log into the iSCSI target. This automatically creates the configuration files and these
config files are persistent. Which means after a reboot, the server will automatically remember its last iSCSI


Disconnecting iSCSI


iSCSI is set up to reestablish all sessions on reboot of the server. If your configuration changes, you might have to remove the configuration.


To do this you must disconnect, which also means that the connection is gone from the iSCSI target server perspective.




iscsiadm –mode node –logout


This disconnects you from all iSCSI disks, which allows you to do maintenance on the iSCSI storage area network.


If, after a reboot, you also want the iSCSI sessions not to be reestablished automatically, the easiest approach is to remove the entire contents of the $ISCSI_ROOT/node directory.


On a reboot after this, the iSCSI service won’t find any configuration; so you have to restablish the connections manually again.


NOTE: to restore the config, use:

/> restoreconfig /etc/target/saveconfig.json
Configuration restored from /etc/target/saveconfig.json




IQN – these can change, it is possible for more than one IQN on the target to exist!


you may need to delete superfluous ones, eg if the hostname of the server changes then a new IQN will need to be generated on the target.


also, if drives are not available for whatever reason for the backstore, then iSCSI clients will not be able to connect to them.


client problems: try logging out of all connections, rediscover, and then re-login.


check the sections in targetcli are all correct.


make sure the configuration is saved (saveconfig)


make sure any loop devices on the server are available via the losetup command


Essential, else iscsid and other commands will not work!


Use the systemctl command to enable and start the iscsid service.



systemctl enable iscsid
systemctl start iscsid


systemctl status target.service

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