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HBase running in Docker
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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

To run HBase by hand:

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

To run it and adjust the host system's locally by editing /etc/hosts to alias the DNS hostname 'hbase-docker' to the container, use this:

$ ./

This will require you to enter your sudo password to edit the host machine's /etc/hosts file

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 docker container with the name 'hbase-docker' (such as created by the script). The port 9090 is the Thrift API port because [Happybase][1] [2] uses Thrift to talk to HBase.

$ python
Python 2.7.15 (default, Jan 12 2019, 21:07:57)
[GCC 4.2.1 Compatible Apple LLVM 10.0.0 (clang-1000.11.45.5)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import happybase
>>> connection = happybase.Connection('hbase-docker', 9090)
>>> 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
row-key {'family:qual1': 'value1', 'family:qual2': '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!




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