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Jul. 20, 2018
Oct. 8, 2014

HDFS for Go

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This is a native golang client for hdfs. It connects directly to the namenode using the protocol buffers API.

It tries to be idiomatic by aping the stdlib os package, where possible, and implements the interfaces from it, including os.FileInfo and os.PathError.

Here's what it looks like in action:

client, _ := hdfs.New("namenode:8020")

file, _ := client.Open("/mobydick.txt")

buf := make([]byte, 59)
file.ReadAt(buf, 48847)

// => Abominable are the tumblers into which he pours his poison.

For complete documentation, check out the Godoc.

The hdfs Binary

Along with the library, this repo contains a commandline client for HDFS. Like the library, its primary aim is to be idiomatic, by enabling your favorite unix verbs:

$ hdfs --help
Usage: hdfs COMMAND
The flags available are a subset of the POSIX ones, but should behave similarly.

Valid commands:
  ls [-lah] [FILE]...
  rm [-rf] FILE...
  mv [-fT] SOURCE... DEST
  mkdir [-p] FILE...
  touch [-amc] FILE...
  chmod [-R] OCTAL-MODE FILE...
  chown [-R] OWNER[:GROUP] FILE...
  cat SOURCE...
  head [-n LINES | -c BYTES] SOURCE...
  tail [-n LINES | -c BYTES] SOURCE...
  du [-sh] FILE...
  checksum FILE...
  getmerge SOURCE DEST

Since it doesn't have to wait for the JVM to start up, it's also a lot faster hadoop -fs:

$ time hadoop fs -ls / > /dev/null

real  0m2.218s
user  0m2.500s
sys 0m0.376s

$ time hdfs ls / > /dev/null

real  0m0.015s
user  0m0.004s
sys 0m0.004s

Best of all, it comes with bash tab completion for paths!

Installing the library

To install the library, once you have Go all set up:

$ go get -u

Installing the commandline client

Grab a tarball from the releases page and unzip it wherever you like.

You'll want to add the following line to your .bashrc or .profile:

export HADOOP_NAMENODE="namenode:8020"

To install tab completion globally on linux, copy or link the bash_completion file which comes with the tarball into the right place:

ln -sT bash_completion /etc/bash_completion.d/gohdfs

By default, the HDFS user is set to the currently-logged-in user. You can override this in your .bashrc or .profile:

export HADOOP_USER_NAME=username


This library uses "Version 9" of the HDFS protocol, which means it should work with hadoop distributions based on 2.2.x and above. The tests run against CDH 5.x and HDP 2.x.


This library is heavily indebted to snakebite.

Latest Releases
 Jun. 22 2018
 Jun. 22 2018
 May. 31 2018
 May. 11 2018
 Oct. 26 2017