Heart is a basic framework for a high-availability implementation. It takes up the duty of exchanging and keeping updated the status of all nodes within the cluster, so that a crash can be immediatly noticed and appropriate action be taken.
Heart does not care about what kind of service the cluster provides, nor what kind of action needs to be taken when a node goes down. It was designed with web- and database-servers in mind and IP-Takeover as the action to take, but it tries hard to be as general as possible, leaving other ways open.
On the more technical level, Heart exchanges heartbeats among all nodes and keeps a distributed database about those, noticing when the heartbeat from one node stop and calling an external script to cope with the problem.

Latest News

September 1999
Heart development has stopped, in a positive way. Most useful ideas and huge parts of the code have been integrated into the heartbeat/Linux-HA project, and I see no reason to develop two seperate tools with the same goals.
Please visit, the Linux-HA page for details on heartbeat. I recommend using heartbeat for your projects.

This page will remain, for historic purposes and because many sites still link to it.

June 28th, 1999
I've gone back to the drawing board and I will completely redesign Heart, using a more modular approach. Many things will be re-used, others scrapped. Detailed discussions can be found on the mailing list (see below)

June 8th, 1999
Solaris port working
Minor problems (with the arp stuff, any help appreciated), but the solaris version of Heart is now running. The main trouble was finding something that sends arps and is not using a Linux-specific way to do so.

May 14th, 1999
Heart 0.12 beta released.
This is the first version that actually is useful. It is still full of bugs and a couple of things are still missing, but it's starting to "get there".
Please download and test it. I need massive feedback.

April 30th, 1999
Heart is out of alpha, Iīm proud to announce the first beta version.

April 22nd, 1999
As you can see, I have started a website for Heart. :-)


Currently, Heart is still in development and still considered beta. While it runs (mostly) stable where I test it, it might still toast your machine.

Development happens mostly on the Linux-HA mailing list. That listīs webpage is at and subscription information can be found there.
I am, however, glad about any and all feedback, so if you test this software, please send me e-mail, even if it does not contain much more than that it compiles (or not) on your specific platform.


You can always download the latest version from my FTP site. Check the directory yourself because version numbers change too often that I would bother to keep several documents (like this) updated.


Documentation will be available online once I come around to run the latex2html filter over it. At the moment, everything is in the .tar.gz file, in postscript format. (I dumped the plain text for now.)

Other Software

You can also follow this link to see which other Software I have on my website.