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Azure Distributed Data Engineering Toolkit runs Spark on Docker.

Supported Azure Distributed Data Engineering Toolkit images are hosted publicly on Docker Hub.

By default, the aztk/spark:v0.1.0-spark2.3.0-base image will be used.

To select an image other than the default, you can set your Docker image at cluster creation time with the optional --docker-repo parameter:

aztk spark cluster create ... --docker-repo <name_of_docker_image_repo>

To customize Docker configuration, you can pass command line options to the docker run command with the optional --docker-run-options parameter:

aztk spark cluster create ... "--docker-run-options=<command_line_options_for_docker_run>"

For example, if I wanted to use Spark v2.2.0 and start my container in privileged mode and with a kernel memory limit of 100MB, I could run the following cluster create command:

aztk spark cluster create ... --docker-repo aztk/base:spark2.2.0 "--docker-run-options=--privileged --kernel-memory 100m"

Using a custom Docker Image

You can build your own Docker image on top or beneath one of our supported base images OR you can modify the supported Dockerfiles and build your own image that way.

Once you have your Docker image built and hosted publicly, you can then use the --docker-repo parameter in your aztk spark cluster create command to point to it.

Using a custom Docker Image that is Privately Hosted

To use a private docker image you will need to provide a docker username and password that have access to the repository you want to use.

In .aztk/secrets.yaml setup your docker config

    username: <myusername>
    password: <mypassword>

If your private repository is not on docker hub (Azure container registry for example) you can provide the endpoint here too

    username: <myusername>
    password: <mypassword>
    endpoint: <>

Building Your Own Docker Image

Building your own Docker Image provides more customization over your cluster's environment. For some, this may look like installing specific, and even private, libraries that their Spark jobs require. For others, it may just be setting up a version of Spark, Python or R that fits their particular needs.

The Azure Distributed Data Engineering Toolkit supports custom Docker images. To guarantee that your Spark deployment works, we recommend that you build on top of one of our supported images.

To build your own image, can either build on top or beneath one of our supported images OR you can just modify one of the supported Dockerfiles to build your own.

Building on top

You can build on top of our images by referencing the aztk/spark image in the FROM keyword of your Dockerfile:

# Your custom Dockerfile

FROM aztk/spark:v0.1.0-spark2.3.0-base

Building beneath

To build beneath one of our images, modify one of our Dockerfiles so that the FROM keyword pulls from your Docker image's location (as opposed to the default which is a base Ubuntu image):

# One of the Dockerfiles that AZTK supports
# Change the FROM statement to point to your hosted image repo

FROM my_username/my_repo:latest

Please note that for this method to work, your Docker image must have been built on Ubuntu.

Custom Docker Image Requirements

If you are building your own custom image and not building on top of a supported image, the following requirements are necessary.

Please make sure that the following environment variables are set:


You also need to make sure that PATH is correctly configured with $SPARK_HOME


By default, these are set as follows:

ENV JAVA_HOME /usr/lib/jvm/java-1.8.0-openjdk-amd64
ENV SPARK_HOME /home/spark-current

If you are using your own version of Spark, make that it is symlinked by "/home/spark-current". $SPARK_HOME, must also point to "/home/spark-current".

Hosting your Docker Image

By default, aztk assumes that your Docker images are publicly hosted on Docker Hub. However, we also support hosting your images privately.

See here to learn more about using privately hosted Docker Images.