Spark Configuration


Spark 3.0 adds an API to plug in table catalogs that are used to load, create, and manage Iceberg tables. Spark catalogs are configured by setting Spark properties under spark.sql.catalog.

This creates an Iceberg catalog named hive_prod that loads tables from a Hive metastore:

spark.sql.catalog.hive_prod = org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.hive_prod.type = hive
spark.sql.catalog.hive_prod.uri = thrift://metastore-host:port
# omit uri to use the same URI as Spark: hive.metastore.uris in hive-site.xml

Iceberg also supports a directory-based catalog in HDFS that can be configured using type=hadoop:

spark.sql.catalog.hadoop_prod = org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.hadoop_prod.type = hadoop
spark.sql.catalog.hadoop_prod.warehouse = hdfs://nn:8020/warehouse/path


The Hive-based catalog only loads Iceberg tables. To load non-Iceberg tables in the same Hive metastore, use a session catalog.

Catalog configuration

A catalog is created and named by adding a property spark.sql.catalog.(catalog-name) with an implementation class for its value.

Iceberg supplies two implementations:

Both catalogs are configured using properties nested under the catalog name. Common configuration properties for Hive and Hadoop are:

Property Values Description
spark.sql.catalog.catalog-name.type hive or hadoop The underlying Iceberg catalog implementation, HiveCatalog or HadoopCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.catalog-name.catalog-impl The underlying Iceberg catalog implementation. When set, the value of type property is ignored
spark.sql.catalog.catalog-name.default-namespace default The default current namespace for the catalog
spark.sql.catalog.catalog-name.uri thrift://host:port Metastore connect URI; default from hive-site.xml
spark.sql.catalog.catalog-name.warehouse hdfs://nn:8020/warehouse/path Base path for the warehouse directory

Additional properties can be found in common catalog configuration.

Using catalogs

Catalog names are used in SQL queries to identify a table. In the examples above, hive_prod and hadoop_prod can be used to prefix database and table names that will be loaded from those catalogs.

SELECT * FROM hive_prod.db.table -- load db.table from catalog hive_prod

Spark 3 keeps track of the current catalog and namespace, which can be omitted from table names.

USE hive_prod.db;
SELECT * FROM table -- load db.table from catalog hive_prod

To see the current catalog and namespace, run SHOW CURRENT NAMESPACE.

Replacing the session catalog

To add Iceberg table support to Spark’s built-in catalog, configure spark_catalog to use Iceberg’s SparkSessionCatalog.

spark.sql.catalog.spark_catalog = org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkSessionCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.spark_catalog.type = hive

Spark’s built-in catalog supports existing v1 and v2 tables tracked in a Hive Metastore. This configures Spark to use Iceberg’s SparkSessionCatalog as a wrapper around that session catalog. When a table is not an Iceberg table, the built-in catalog will be used to load it instead.

This configuration can use same Hive Metastore for both Iceberg and non-Iceberg tables.

Loading a custom catalog

Spark supports loading a custom Iceberg Catalog implementation by specifying the catalog-impl property. When catalog-impl is set, the value of type is ignored. Here is an example:

spark.sql.catalog.custom_prod = org.apache.iceberg.spark.SparkCatalog
spark.sql.catalog.custom_prod.catalog-impl = = my-value

Catalogs in Spark 2.4

When using Iceberg 0.11.0, Spark 2.4 can load tables from multiple Iceberg catalogs or from table locations.

Catalogs in 2.4 are configured just like catalogs in 3.0, but only Iceberg catalogs are supported.

SQL Extensions

Iceberg 0.11.0 and later add an extension module to Spark to add new SQL commands, like CALL for stored procedures or ALTER TABLE ... WRITE ORDERED BY.

Using those SQL commands requires adding Iceberg extensions to your Spark environment using the following Spark property:

Spark extensions property Iceberg extensions implementation
spark.sql.extensions org.apache.iceberg.spark.extensions.IcebergSparkSessionExtensions

SQL extensions are not available for Spark 2.4.

Runtime configuration

Read options

Spark read options are passed when configuring the DataFrameReader, like this:

// time travel
    .option("snapshot-id", 10963874102873L)
Spark option Default Description
snapshot-id (latest) Snapshot ID of the table snapshot to read
as-of-timestamp (latest) A timestamp in milliseconds; the snapshot used will be the snapshot current at this time.
split-size As per table property Overrides this table’s and read.split.metadata-target-size
lookback As per table property Overrides this table’s read.split.planning-lookback
file-open-cost As per table property Overrides this table’s
vectorization-enabled As per table property Overrides this table’s read.parquet.vectorization.enabled
batch-size As per table property Overrides this table’s read.parquet.vectorization.batch-size

Write options

Spark write options are passed when configuring the DataFrameWriter, like this:

// write with Avro instead of Parquet
    .option("write-format", "avro")
    .option("snapshot-property.key", "value")
Spark option Default Description
write-format Table write.format.default File format to use for this write operation; parquet, avro, or orc
target-file-size-bytes As per table property Overrides this table’s
check-nullability true Sets the nullable check on fields
snapshot-property.custom-key null Adds an entry with custom-key and corresponding value in the snapshot summary
fanout-enabled false Overrides this table’s write.spark.fanout.enabled
check-ordering true Checks if input schema and table schema are same