Snakebite documentation

Snakebite is a python package that provides:


Since the ‘normal’ Hadoop HDFS client (hadoop fs) is written in Java and has a lot of dependencies on Hadoop jars, startup times are quite high (> 3 secs). This isn’t ideal for integrating Hadoop commands in python projects.

At Spotify we use the luigi job scheduler that relies on doing a lot of existence checks and moving data around in HDFS. And since calling hadoop from python is expensive, we decided to write a pure python HDFS client that only relies on protobuf. The current snakebite.client library uses protobuf messages and implements the Hadoop RPC protocol for talking to the NameNode.

During development, we needed to verify snakebite.client behavior against the real client and for that we implemented a minicluster that wraps a Hadoop Java mini cluster. Obviously this minicluster can be used in different projects, so we made it a part of snakebite.

And since it’s nice to have a CLI that uses snakebite.client we’ve implemented a CLI client as well.


all methods that read data from a data node are able to check the CRC during transfer, but this is disabled by default because of performance reasons. This is the opposite behaviour from the stock Hadoop client.


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