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HBase in Docker

This configuration builds a docker container to run HBase (with embedded Zookeeper) running on the files inside the container.


The approach here requires editing the local server's /etc/hosts file to add an entry for the container hostname. This is because HBase uses hostnames to pass connection data back out of the container (from it's internal Zookeeper).

Hopefully this can be improved with Docker's newer networking but this hasn't been fixed yet.

Build Image

$ docker build -t dajobe/hbase .

Pull image

If you want to pull the image already built then use this

$ docker pull dajobe/hbase

More details at

Run HBase

I recommend using the script which will start the container and inspect it to determine all the local API ports and Web UIs plus will offer to edit /etc/hosts to add an alias for the container IP, if not already present.

$ ./ Starting HBase container Container has ID b2db2fb3c3a67e20e2addd5e4d2ffc9a51abaafc3f9b36f464af7739e82f6446 /etc/hosts already contains hbase-docker hostname and IP Connect to HBase at localhost on these ports
  Rest Web UI
  Thrift API 
  Thrift Web UI
  HBase ZK   
  HBase Master Web UI OR Connect to HBase on container hbase-docker
  REST API             hbase-docker:8080
  Rest Web UI          http://hbase-docker:8085/
  Thrift API           hbase-docker:9090
  Thrift Web UI        http://hbase-docker:9095/
  HBase ZK             hbase-docker:2181
  HBase Master Web UI  http://hbase-docker:16010/ For docker status: $ id=b2db2fb3c3a67e20e2addd5e4d2ffc9a51abaafc3f9b36f464af7739e82f6446 $ docker inspect $id

The localhost ports on the Host machine listed above 32870-32874 will vary for every container and are ephemeral ports.

Alternatively, to run HBase by hand:

$ mkdir data
$ id=$(docker run --name=hbase-docker -h hbase-docker -d -v $PWD/data:/data dajobe/hbase)

and you will have to docker inspect $id to find all the ports.

If you want to run multiple hbase dockers on the same host, you can give them different hostnames with the '-h' / '--hostname' argument. You may have to give them different ports though. Not tested.

If you want to customize the hostname used, set the HBASE_DOCKER_HOSTNAME envariable on the docker command line

Find Hbase status

Master status if docker container DNS name is 'hbase-docker'


The region servers status pages are linked from the above page.

Thrift UI


REST server UI


(Embedded) Zookeeper status


See HBase Logs

If you want to see the latest logs live use:

$ docker attach $id

Then ^C to detach.

To see all the logs since the HBase server started, use:

$ docker logs $id

and ^C to detach again.

To see the individual log files without using docker, look into the data volume dir eg $PWD/data/logs if invoked as above.

Test HBase is working via python over Thrift

Here I am connecting to a the container's thrift API port (such as created by the script). The port 32872 is the Thrift API port exported to the host because [Happybase][1] [2] uses Thrift to talk to HBase.

$ python3
Python 3.8.5 (default, Jul 21 2020, 10:48:26)
[Clang 11.0.3 (clang-1103.0.32.62)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import happybase
>>> connection = happybase.Connection('', 32872)
>>> connection.create_table('table-name', { 'family': dict() } )
>>> connection.tables()
>>> table = connection.table('table-name')
>>> table.put('row-key', {'family:qual1': 'value1', 'family:qual2': 'value2'})
>>> for k, data in table.scan():
...   print(k, data)
b'row-key' {b'family:qual1': b'value1', b'family:qual2': b'value2'}

(Simple install for happybase: sudo pip install happybase although I use pip install --user happybase to get it just for me)

Test HBase is working from Java

$ docker run --rm -it --link $id:hbase-docker dajobe/hbase hbase shell
HBase Shell
Use "help" to get list of supported commands.
Use "exit" to quit this interactive shell.
For Reference, please visit:
Version 2.1.2, r1dfc418f77801fbfb59a125756891b9100c1fc6d, Sun Dec 30 21:45:09 PST 2018
Took 0.0472 seconds
hbase(main):001:0> status
1 active master, 0 backup masters, 1 servers, 0 dead, 2.0000 average load
Took 0.7255 seconds
hbase(main):002:0> list
1 row(s)
Took 0.0509 seconds
=> ["table-name"]

Showing the table-name table made in the happybase example above.

Alternatively if you have the Hbase distribution available on the host you can use bin/hbase shell if the hbase configuration has been set up to connect to host hbase-docker zookeeper port 2181 to get the servers via configuration property hbase.zookeeper.quorum

Proxy HBase UIs locally

If you are running docker on a remote machine, it is handy to see these server-private urls in a local browser so here is a ~/.ssh/config fragment to do that

Host my-docker-server

When you ssh my-docker-server ssh connects to the docker server and forwards request on your local machine on ports 16010 / 16030 to the remote ports that are attached to the hbase container.

The bottom line, you can use these URLs to see what's going on:

to see what's going on in the container and since both your local machine and the container are using localhost (aka, even the links work!