Google Cloud Storage

Slack Docker Pulls

This guide describes how to configure Alluxio with Google Cloud Storage (GCS) as the under storage system.


Download binaries locally.

In preparation for using GCS with Alluxio, create a bucket (or use an existing bucket). You should also note the directory you want to use in that bucket, either by creating a new directory in the bucket, or using an existing one. For the purposes of this guide, the GCS bucket name is called GCS_BUCKET, and the directory in that bucket is called GCS_DIRECTORY.

For more information on GCS, please read its documentation.

Basic Setup

A GCS bucket can be mounted to the Alluxio either at the root of the namespace, or at a nested directory.

Root Mount Point

Configure Alluxio to use under storage systems by modifying conf/ If it does not exist, create the configuration file from the template.

$ cp conf/ conf/

Configure Alluxio to use GCS as its root under storage system. The first modification is to specify an existing GCS bucket and directory as the under storage system by modifying conf/ to include:


The google credentials must also be specified for the root mount point. In conf/, add:


Replace <GCS_ACCESS_KEY_ID> and <GCS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY> with actual GCS interoperable storage access keys, or other environment variables that contain your credentials. Note: GCS interoperability is disabled by default. Please click on the Interoperability tab in GCS setting and enable this feature. Click on Create a new key to get the Access Key and Secret pair.

After these changes, Alluxio should be configured to work with GCS as its under storage system, and you can Run Alluxio Locally with GCS.

Nested Mount Point

An GCS location can be mounted at a nested directory in the Alluxio namespace to have unified access to multiple under storage systems. Alluxio’s Command Line Interface can be used for this purpose.

First, within conf/, specify the master host:


Then, mount GCS:

$ ./bin/alluxio fs mount \
  --option fs.gcs.accessKeyId=<GCS_ACCESS_KEY_ID> \
  --option fs.gcs.secretAccessKey=<GCS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY> \

Running Alluxio Locally with GCS

Start up Alluxio locally to see that everything works.

$ ./bin/alluxio format
$ ./bin/ local SudoMount

This should start an Alluxio master and an Alluxio worker. You can see the master UI at http://localhost:19999.

Run a simple example program:

$ ./bin/alluxio runTests

Visit your GCS directory GCS_BUCKET/GCS_DIRECTORY to verify the files and directories created by Alluxio exist. For this test, you should see files named like:


To stop Alluxio, you can run:

$ ./bin/ local

Advanced Setup

Customize the Directory Suffix

Directories are represented in GCS as zero-byte objects named with a specified suffix. The directory suffix can be updated with the configuration parameter

GCS Access Control

If Alluxio security is enabled, Alluxio enforces the access control inherited from underlying object storage.

The GCS credentials specified in Alluxio config represents a GCS user. GCS service backend checks the user permission to the bucket and the object for access control. If the given GCS user does not have the right access permission to the specified bucket, a permission denied error will be thrown. When Alluxio security is enabled, Alluxio loads the bucket ACL to Alluxio permission on the first time when the metadata is loaded to Alluxio namespace.

Mapping from GCS user to Alluxio file owner

By default, Alluxio tries to extract the GCS user id from the credentials. Optionally, can be used to specify a preset gcs owner id to Alluxio username static mapping in the format id1=user1;id2=user2. The Google Cloud Storage IDs can be found at the console address. Please use the “Owners” one.

Mapping from GCS ACL to Alluxio permission

Alluxio checks the GCS bucket READ/WRITE ACL to determine the owner’s permission mode to a Alluxio file. For example, if the GCS user has read-only access to the underlying bucket, the mounted directory and files would have 0500 mode. If the GCS user has full access to the underlying bucket, the mounted directory and files would have 0700 mode.

Mount point sharing

If you want to share the GCS mount point with other users in Alluxio namespace, you can enable

Permission change

Command such as chown, chgrp, and chmod to Alluxio directories and files do NOT propagate to the underlying GCS buckets nor objects.

GCS with Google Cloud API (GCS version 2)

The default GCS UFS module is implemented based on jets3t library which is design for AWS S3. Thus it only accepts Google cloud storage interoperability access/secret keypair which allows full access to all Google cloud storages inside a Google cloud project. No permission or access control can be placed on the interoperability keys. The conjuction of Google interoperability API and jets3t library also impact the performance of default GCS UFS module.

Google cloud API on the other hand accepts Google application credentials. Based on the application credentials, Google cloud can determine what permissions an authenticated client has for its target Google cloud storage bucket. Besides, GCS with Google cloud API has much better performance than the default one in metadata and read/write operations.


For mounting GCS bucket as root mount, change the conf/ to include


The first property key tells Alluxio to load the Version 2 GCS UFS module which uses the Google cloud API. The second property key is the same as configuring Version 1 (default) GCS UFS module. Provides the GCS address as the Alluxio root UFS. The third property key provides the path to the Google application credentials json file. Note that the Google application credentials json file should be placed in all the Alluxio nodes in the same path.

After configuring GCS version 2 as the root mount, you can run Alluxio locally.

To mount a GCS bucket as a nested mount, run the following command in Alluxio home directory.

./bin/alluxio fs mount --option alluxio.underfs.gcs.version=2 --option fs.gcs.credential.path=/path/to/<google_application_credentials>.json /gcs gs://GCS_BUCKET/GCS_DIRECTORY