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Find spark

PySpark isn't on sys.path by default, but that doesn't mean it can't be used as a regular library. You can address this by either symlinking pyspark into your site-packages, or adding pyspark to sys.path at runtime. findspark does the latter.

To initialize PySpark, just call

import findspark

import pyspark
sc = pyspark.SparkContext(appName="myAppName")

Without any arguments, the SPARK_HOME environment variable will be used, and if that isn't set, other possible install locations will be checked. If you've installed spark with

brew install apache-spark

on OS X, the location /usr/local/opt/apache-spark/libexec will be searched.

Alternatively, you can specify a location with the spark_home argument.


To verify the automatically detected location, call


Findspark can add a startup file to the current IPython profile so that the environment vaiables will be properly set and pyspark will be imported upon IPython startup. This file is created when edit_profile is set to true.

ipython --profile=myprofile
findspark.init('/path/to/spark_home', edit_profile=True)

Findspark can also add to the .bashrc configuration file if it is present so that the environment variables will be properly set whenever a new shell is opened. This is enabled by setting the optional argument edit_rc to true.

findspark.init('/path/to/spark_home', edit_rc=True)

If changes are persisted, findspark will not need to be called again unless the spark installation is moved.