Configuring Alluxio with secure HDFS

This guide describes the instruction to configure a secure HDFS as Alluxio’s under storage system. Alluxio supports secure HDFS as the under filesystem, with Kerberos authentication.

Note: Kerberos authentication with secure HDFS is not Alluxio internal authentication via Kerberos.

Initial Setup

To run an Alluxio cluster on a set of machines, you must deploy Alluxio server binaries to each of these machines. You can either download the precompiled binaries directly with the correct Hadoop version (recommended), or compile the binaries from Alluxio source code (for advanced users).

Note that, when building Alluxio from source code, by default Alluxio server binaries is built to work with Apache Hadoop HDFS of version 2.2.0. To work with Hadoop distributions of other versions, one needs to specify the correct Hadoop profile and run the following in your Alluxio directory:

$ mvn install -P<YOUR_HADOOP_PROFILE> -DskipTests

Alluxio provides predefined build profiles including hadoop-1, hadoop-2.2, hadoop-2.3hadoop-2.8 for different distributions of Hadoop. If you want to build Alluxio with a specific Hadoop release version, you can also specify the version <YOUR_HADOOP_VERSION> in the command. For example,

$ mvn install -Phadoop-2.7 -Dhadoop.version=2.7.1 -DskipTests

would compile Alluxio for the Apache Hadoop version 2.7.1. Please visit the Building Alluxio Master Branch page for more information about support for other distributions.

If everything succeeds, you should see alluxio-assembly-server-1.5.0-jar-with-dependencies.jar created in the assembly/server/target directory and this is the jar file you can use to run both Alluxio Master and Worker.

Configuring Alluxio

Basic Configuration

First create the configuration file from the template.

cp conf/ conf/

Then edit conf/ file to set the under storage address to the HDFS namenode address and the HDFS directory you want to mount to Alluxio. For example, the under storage address can be hdfs://localhost:9000 if you are running the HDFS namenode locally with default port and mapping HDFS root directory to Alluxio, or hdfs://localhost:9000/alluxio/data if only the HDFS directory /alluxio/data is mapped to Alluxio.


HDFS configuration files

To ensure Alluxio client picks up HDFS configurations in classpath, please copy secure HDFS configuration xml files (core-site.xml, hdfs-site.xml, mapred-site.xml, yarn-site.xml) to ${ALLUXIO_HOME}/conf/

Kerberos configuration

Optionally, you can set jvm-level system properties for customized Kerberos configurations: and Those Kerberos configurations route java libraries to specified Kerberos realm and KDC server address. If both are set to empty, Kerberos library will respect the default Kerberos configuration on the machine. For example:

  • If you use Hadoop, you can add to HADOOP_OPTS in {HADOOP_CONF_DIR}/
  • If you use Spark, you can add to SPARK_JAVA_OPTS in {SPARK_CONF_DIR}/
  • If you use Alluxio shell, you can add to ALLUXIO_JAVA_OPTS in conf/

Alluxio server Kerberos credential

Set the following Alluxio properties in


Alternatively, these configuration settings can be set in the conf/ file. More details about setting configuration parameters can be found in Configuration Settings.

Running Alluxio Locally with secure HDFS

Before this step, please make sure your HDFS cluster is running and the directory mounted to Alluxio exists.

Please kinit on the Alluxio nodes with the corresponding master/worker principal and keytab file to provide a Kerberos ticket cache. A known limitation is that the Kerberos TGT may expire after the max renewal lifetime. You can work around this by renewing the TGT periodically. Otherwise you may see the following error when starting Alluxio service: GSS initiate failed [Caused by GSSException: No valid
credentials provided (Mechanism level: Failed to find any Kerberos tgt)]

After everything is configured, you can start up Alluxio locally to see that everything works.

$ bin/alluxio format
$ bin/ local

This should start one Alluxio master and one Alluxio worker locally. You can see the master UI at http://localhost:19999.

Next, you can run a simple example program:

$ bin/alluxio runTests

After this succeeds, you can visit HDFS web UI at http://localhost:50070 to verify the files and directories created by Alluxio exist. For this test, you should see files named like: /default_tests_files/Basic_CACHE_THROUGH

You can stop Alluxio any time by running:

$ bin/ local
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