HDFS Configuration


This library tries to find core-site.xml and hdfs-site.xml in typical locations and reads default configuration parameters from there. They may also be specified manually when constructing the HDFileSystem object.

Short-circuit reads in HDFS

Typically in HDFS, all data reads go through the datanode. Alternatively, a process that runs on the same node as the data can bypass or short-circuit the communication path through the datanode and instead read directly from a file.

HDFS and hdfs3 can be configured for short-circuit reads using the following two steps:

  • Set the LIBHDFS3_CONF environment variable to the location of the hdfs-site.xml configuration file (e.g., export LIBHDFS3_CONF=/etc/hadoop/conf/hdfs-site.xml).
  • Configure the appropriate settings in hdfs-site.xml on all of the HDFS nodes:


The above configuration changes should allow for short-circuit reads. If you continue to receive warnings to retry the same node but disable read shortcircuit feature, check the above settings. Note that the HDFS reads should still function despite the warning, but performance might be impacted.

For more information about configuring short-circuit reads, refer to the HDFS Short-Circuit Local Reads documentation.

High-availability mode

Although HDFS is resilient to failure of data-nodes, the name-node is a single repository of metadata for the system, and so a single point of failure. High-availability (HA) involves configuring fall-back name-nodes which can take over in the event of failure. A good description han be found `here`_.

In the case of libhdfs3, the library used by hdfs3, the configuration required for HA can be passed to the client directly in python code, or included in configuration files. The parameters required are detailed in the `libhdfs3 documentation`_. The environment variable LIBHDFS3_CONF can be used to point the client to the appropriate preference file.

In python code, this could look like the following:

host = "nameservice1"
conf = {"dfs.nameservices": "nameservice1",
        "dfs.ha.namenodes.nameservice1": "namenode113,namenode188",
        "dfs.namenode.rpc-address.nameservice1.namenode113": "hostname_of_server1:8020",
        "dfs.namenode.rpc-address.nameservice1.namenode188": "hostname_of_server2:8020",
        "dfs.namenode.http-address.nameservice1.namenode188": "hostname_of_server1:50070",
        "dfs.namenode.http-address.nameservice1.namenode188": "hostname_of_server2:50070",
        "hadoop.security.authentication": "kerberos"
fs = HDFileSystem(host=host, pars=conf)

Note that no port is specified (requires hdfs version 0.1.3)