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Configuring Pentaho for your Hadoop Distro and Version

How to set up and configure Pentaho (Kettle, Pentaho Data Integration, Pentaho Business Analytics Suite) for your specific Hadoop distribution.

This page applies to Pentaho Suite version 5.0 only. For Kettle 4.4 (or Pentaho BA suite 4.8) see this page.

Pentaho supports different versions of Hadoop distributions from many vendors such as Apache, Cloudera, DataStax, Hortonworks, Intel, and MapR. How can Pentaho support so many Hadoop distributions? The secret is that Pentaho uses an abstraction layer, called a shim, that connects to the different Hadoop distributions. A shim is a small library that intercepts API calls and either redirects or handles them, or changes the calling parameters. Periodically, Pentaho develops new shims as vendors develop new Hadoop distributions and versions. These big data shims are tested and certified by Pentaho engineers. The following Steps will help you get Pentaho set up to work with your Hadoop cluster.

Determine the proper shim for your Hadoop Distro and version

Pentaho is pre-configured for Apache Hadoop 0.20.2. If you are using this distribution and version, no further configuration is required.

In the following table, click the tab of the Hadoop distribution that you are interested in, then locate the version of the distribution you want to use. Note the name of the corresponding shim and the minimum version of the Pentaho software that supports it.

For example, if you want to use the Cloudera's CDH 4.2.1, click the Cloudera tab, then look in the Hadoop version column. CDH4.2.x is supported with shim cdh42. You need to have Pentaho Business Analytics (or Pentaho Data Integration) version 5.0 or later installed to use this shim.


Pentaho Shim Support Matrix

* NS - Not supported. See Hadoop Configurations for information on how to create or modify a shim to support your configuration

+ Pentaho Ver is the earliest version of the Pentaho suite that supports this shim. Subsequent Pentaho versions will also support this shim unless otherwise noted.

** 5.0.4 - Only supported with Big Data Plugin 5.0.4 or later. EE Customers can upgrade to 5.0.4 by going to support.pentaho.com CE Users can upgrade by following the Upgrade Hadoop in Community Edition to 5.0.4 instructions.


If the Hadoop distribution you want is supported but not installed by default

You need to download the shim from our support site, click the Download link for the shim in the above table. For a list of all available shims, go to 5.0.0 shims for version 5.0.0 to 5.0.3 and 5.0.4 shims. We recommend that you upgrade to 5.0.4 if possible

Go to Install Hadoop Distribution Shim for instructions on how to install the shim.

If the Hadoop distribution you want is not listed as supported in the table.

  • Look at the table of Jira cases below. The shim you want might be scheduled for development, but not yet released.
  • You can request that Pentaho develop one, fill out a Jira ticket.
  • It is possible to develop it yourself, check out the Hadoop Configuration page for more information.

Set Active Hadoop Distribution

These steps apply to DI and BA Servers as well as the design tools Spoon, Report Designer, and Metadata Editor.

Specify which Hadoop Distribution (shim) you want to make active. You must do this for each Pentaho application that needs access to the Hadoop cluster. Only one distribution can be active at a time; so each time you change the distributions or version, you will need to reset the active Hadoop distribution.

  1. Stop the application (e.g. Spoon, DI Server, Report Design, BA Server, Metadata Editor) if it is running.
  2. Navigate to the pentaho-big-data-plugin folder. This folder is different for each application and located:
    • DI Server - data-integration-server/pentaho-solutions/system/kettle/plugins/pentaho-big-data-plugin
    • BA Server - biserver-ee/pentaho-solutions/system/kettle/plugins/pentaho-big-data-plugin
    • Spoon - data-integration/plugins/pentaho-big-data-plugin
    • Report Designer - report-designer/plugins/pentaho-big-data-plugin
    • Metadata Editor - metadata-editor/plugins/pentaho-big-data-plugin
  3. Edit the plugin.properties file.
  4. Set the active.hadoop.configuration property to match the name of the shim you want to make active. For example, if the name of the shim is cdh42, then the code would look like this: active.hadoop.configuation=cdh42.
  5. Save and close the plugin.properties file.

MapR users need to do further configuration as described in Additional Configuration for MapR Shims
CDH 5 users who want to configure CDH 5 to use Map Reduce 1 instead of Map Reduce 2, follow the instructions in Additional Configuration for using MR1 with CDH5

Open JIRA Cases for Hadoop Distribution Support

Next Steps

Now that you've configured Pentaho for your Hadoop distribution, there are many things you can do.  Here are a few links to get you started!

Want to switch gears and read something a little different? Check out these articles on the evolution of Hadoop.


This documentation is maintained by the Pentaho community, and members are encouraged to create new pages in the appropriate spaces, or edit existing pages that need to be corrected or updated.

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