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A Vagrantfile to get up and running with Hadoop and HBase development.
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A Vagrantfile to get up and running with Hadoop and HBase development.


The aim of this project is to set up a virtual machine ready for Hadoop and HBase development in just a few minutes. The VM is a Ubuntu 14.04 (trusty) box, which is provisioned with Ansible.

After running vagrant up, a single HBase node is set up in pseudo-distributed mode, running on a single-node Hadoop HDFS filesystem. A Thrift server is also running, allowing access from languages outside of the JVM.

Getting started

  1. install Ansible 1.4 or newer on your host machine
  2. git clone && cd vagrant-hbase && vagrant up
  3. ????
  4. PROFIT!

Network and ports

The guest machine has a private IP address HBase-related ports are forwarded according to the following rule:

hostPortNumber = guestPortNumber + 100

For example, HBase web UIs are available from the host machine at (Master) and (RegionServer).


Hadoop 2 is installed by default. If the following commands work, Hadoop is successfully running.

vagrant ssh
cd hadoop/
echo 'Hello world!' | ./bin/hadoop fs -put - hello.txt
./bin/hadoop fs -cat /user/vagrant/hello.txt

Initial data

The create_test_table.rb file can be loaded into HBase shell to define a dead simple test table with one column family cf. The table looks like this:

| rowkey |  cf:col1  |  cf:col2  |
|  row1  |   value1  |
|  row2  |   value2  |
|  row3  |           |   value3  |
+--------+           +-----------+

To load the data, execute:

vagrant ssh
cd hbase/
./bin/hbase shell /vagrant/data/create_test_table.rb


A Jython interpreter is also installed in the VM. To access Java HBase API from Jython, you need to set the CLASSPATH environment variable correctly. HBase CLI tool can help in that matter.

vagrant ssh
cd hbase/
export CLASSPATH=`./bin/hbase classpath`

This should drop you into Jython REPL where you can import Java classes and use them in a more Pythonic way. An example script that reads the data loaded with create_test_table.rb is at /vagrant/

Python and HappyBase

An alternative approach to access HBase from Python is to use a regular (CPython) interpreter and Thrift bindings. A Python library called HappyBase hides away all the necessary plumbing behind a simple, clean interface to your data. For your convenience, this package is installed into system-wide Python libraries when provisioning the guest machine.

An example Python session on the guest machine may look like this (assuming initial data were loaded):

vagrant@vagrant-hbase:~$ python
Python 2.7.3 (default, Apr 10 2013, 05:46:21)
[GCC 4.6.3] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import happybase
>>> conn = happybase.Connection()
>>> print conn.tables()
>>> table = conn.table('test')
>>> print table.row('row1')
{'cf:col1': 'value1'}



This work is released under the MIT license. A copy of the license is provided in the LICENSE file.

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