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By: Jeff Levy


Hadoop Distributed File System Overview

This step-by-step tutorial will walk you through how to install Hadoop on a Linux Virtual Machine on Windows 10. Even though you can install Hadoop directly on Windows, I am opting to install Hadoop on Linux because Hadoop was created on Linux and its routines are native to the Linux platform.


Apache recommends that a test cluster have the following minimum specifications:

  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 30 GB Hard Drive Space


Step 1: Setting up the Virtual Machine

    • Download and install the Oracle Virtual Box (Virtual Machine host)
    • Download the Linux VM image. There is no need to install it yet, just have it downloaded. Take note of the download location of the iso file, as you will need it in a later step for installation.
      • This tutorial will be using Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS. You may choose to use another Linux platform such as RedHat, however, the commands and screenshots used in this tutorial will be relevant to the Ubuntu platform.
      • The Ubuntu iso can be found here.
    • Now, open up the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager and select Machine New.

Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager

    • Choose a Name and Location for your Virtual Machine. Then select the Type as ‘Linux’ and the version as Ubuntu (64-bit). Select ‘Next’ to go to the next dialogue.

Create Virtual Machine

    • Select the appropriate memory size for your Virtual Machine. Be mindful of the minimum specs outlined in the prerequisite section of this article. Click Next to go onto the next dialogue.

Create Virtual Machine Memory Size

    • Choose the default, which is ‘Create a virtual hard disk now ‘. Click the ‘Create’ button.

Create Virtual Machine Hard Disk

    • Choose the VDI Hard Disk file type and Click ‘Next’.

Create Virtual Hard Disk File Type

    • Choose Dynamically allocated and Select ‘Next’.

Create Virtual Hard Disk dynamic or fixed

    • Choose the Hard drive space reserved by the Virtual Machine and hit ‘Create’.

Create Virtual Hard Disk File Location and Size

    • At this point, your VM should be created! Now go back to the Oracle VM VirtualBox Manager and start the Virtual Machine. You can start your machine by right clicking your new instance choosing Start Normal Start.

VM Created

  • After selecting Start, you will be prompted to add a Start-up disk. You will need to navigate on your file system to where you saved your Ubuntu ISO file.

Select StartUp Disk
At this point, you will be taken to an Ubuntu installation screen. The process is straightforward and should be self-explanatory. The installation process will only take a few minutes. We’re getting close to starting up our Hadoop instance!

Step 2: Setup Hadoop


Prerequisite Installations

Next, it’s necessary to first install some prerequisite software. Once logged into your Linux VM, simply run the following commands in Linux Terminal Window to install the software.

    • JAVA: Terminal Command:

    • ssh: Terminal Command:

    • pdsh: Terminal Command:

Article Terminal Command

Download and Unpack Hadoop

Now let’s download and unpack Hadoop.

    • To download Hadoop, enter the following command in the terminal window:

    • To unpack Hadoop, enter the following commands in the terminal window:


Setting the JAVA_HOME Environment Variable

Navigate to the ‘etc/hadoop/hadoop-env.sh’ file and open it up in a text editor. Find the ‘export JAVA_HOME’ statement and replace it with the following line:

It should look like the picture below.
Hadoop Env Settings

Standalone Operation

The first mode we will be looking at is Local (Standalone) Mode. This method allows you to run a single JAVA process in non-distributed mode on your local instance. It is not run by any Hadoop Daemons or services.

    • Navigate to your Hadoop Directory by entering the following command in the terminal window:

    • Next, run the following command:

The output should look similar to the following:
Hadoop Output

    • Next, we will try running a simple PI estimator program, which is included in the Hadoop Release. Try running the following command in the Terminal Window:

The output should look similar to the following:
Hadoop Output 2

Hadoop Output 3

Pseudo-Distributed Operation

Another alternative to Standalone mode is Pseudo-Distributed mode. Under this mode, each Hadoop daemon / service runs a separate Java process.

    • Navigate to etc/hadoop/core-site.xml for editing and add the following xml code inside the ‘configuration’ tags in the core-site.xml file.

It should look like this:
Output 4

    • Navigate to etc/hadoop/hdfs-site.xml for editing and add the following xml code inside the ‘configuration’ tags in the hdfs-site.xml file.

    • Check that you can ssh to the localhost without a passphrase. If you are prompted for a password, enter the following commands:


Starting the NameNode and DataNodes

    • The first thing you want to do before executing on the pseudo-distributed mode is to format the filesystem. Execute the following command in your HADOOP_HOME directory:

    • Next, start the NameNode and the DataNode daemon / services by entering the following command:

  • After starting the instance, go to http://localhost:9870 on your favorite browser. The following screen should appear:

When navigating to the Datanode tab, we see that we have 1 node.
DataNode Info
In addition to the nodes, you can see “Browse Directory.”
Browsing Directory
In Part 2 of this Article, I will dive deeper into the functionality of the NameNode and DataNode(s) as well as show how to ingest data into the Hadoop ecosystem.


  1. https://hadoop.apache.org/docs/stable/hadoop-project-dist/hadoop-common/SingleCluster.html#Installing_Software
  2. Sams Teach Yourself Hadoop in 24 Hours by Jeffrey Aven, 2017 at Amazon



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