Course Materials: The Ultimate Hands-On Hadoop

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Tips and Tricks for the Course

Using VirtualBox

You’ll need at least 8 GB of free RAM in order to run HDP (Hortonworks Data Platform) on your PC – more is better. If you don’t have 8GB available – consider upgrading; RAM is pretty cheap these days. But, you can always just watch the videos and observe how I work with HDP without following along yourself if you need to.

Be sure to import the Hadoop virtual machine into VirtualBox and don’t just double-click the image file – and select the 64-bit OS when you do import it.

If you are running the Avast anti-virus program, it will conflict with VirtualBox. There is a registry hack that gets around the problem, but you might consider switching to Microsoft’s free Windows Defender instead while using this course.

Don’t forget to check your BIOS settings if you’re having trouble. Virtualization needs to be enabled, and I’ve seen reports of “Hyper-V” virtualization causing problems if it’s on.

Some students have problems with their image getting corrupt when shutting down their sandbox image. Be sure to use “ACPI shutdown” and not “power off,” or you can simply pause the image and resume it later instead of shutting it down.

If You Can’t Connect to your Sandbox…

A common issue is failing to connect to your sandbox from your browser in the setup video. There can be many causes of this:

  • You might just have to give it a few minutes. It can take awhile for all of the services to spin up, even after the VM appears to have successfully started.
  • You might not have enough RAM – remember you need at least 8GB of free RAM, not total RAM. Some students have lowered the memory settings for the VM in VirtualBox a little bit and managed to get it running on 8GB systems.
  • Your image may be corrupt – try deleting, re-downloading, and re-importing the HDP Sandbox ova file.
  • You might have some other process or web server running on your PC that is conflicting with ports 8888 or 8080.
  • You might have a corporate firewall or security system that is blocking ports 8080 or 8888.
  • Less commonly, there may be a problem with your DNS system preventing the loopback address from functioning at all. One workaround, although complex, is detailed here.

Worst case, you can always just watch the videos, and imagine yourself typing along with me!

It is technically possible to run the HDP 2.5 Sandbox on AWS or Azure if your own system can’t run it, but you will need to know what you’re doing in order to open up the ports you need and to access it – and that will also cost you money. We can’t really support setups like that.

Logging Into Your Sandbox with a Terminal

Throughout the course, we’ll be logging into your virtual machine via SSH. Make sure you have started your virtual machine for Hortonworks using VirtualBox first, and it has finished booting up.

In my videos, we log in from Windows using a program called PuTTY, available from Refer to Lecture 6 on how to set this up; you need to connect to on port 2222.

On MacOS or Linux, you can just bring up your Terminal application, and connect to your sandbox with:

ssh –p 2222

Log in as maria_dev, with password maria_dev. So when you see me launching PuTTY in my videos, Mac and Linux users should launch your Terminal instead, and type the above command.

If Your Sandbox Seems Hosed…

If you get into a situation where you can no longer successfully boot up the Hortonworks Sandbox environment in VirtualBox or log into it, you can always delete the Hortonworks image from Virtual Box, re-download it from Hortonworks (be sure to get the sandbox version for VirtualBox,) and open up a fresh image in VirtualBox. You’ll need to reset any passwords you had set after doing this, and be aware that data you may have set up in earlier lectures may be needed for future ones.

Dealing with Passwords

We’ll walk through all of this in the course, but this is here for reference if you do need to delete and recreate your Hortonworks sandbox virtual machine image.

The user “maria_dev” can be used to log into Ambari and also into your Sandbox using SSH or Putty. The password for this account is “maria_dev”.

Make sure you are able to connect as “root” while in SSH or Putty. Type:

su root

And from that point on, your prompt will change to a # indicating you are logged in as root with full privileges. The first time you do this on your image, you will be prompted to change the password. The default password is “hadoop”, and you should change it to something you’ll remember.

To manage services with Ambari, you need to use the “admin” user instead. But first, you need to set a password for admin. After opening an SSH session on your sandbox, you can do this via:

su root


(At this point you’ll be prompted to enter your password for the Ambari admin user)

ambari-agent restart

Command Line Basics

If you’re new to Linux, the commands I type in while connected to the Sandbox via PuTTY or SSH may be confusing. Here’s a quick primer:

  • cd – This command changes your current directory that you are working within.
  • ls – This lists the files within the directory we’re currently in.
  • less – This is a way to quickly view the contents of a file. Press the “Q” key to exit less
  • tar – This command is used to decompress zipped-up files that we download from the Internet. It’s like unzipping.
  • wget – This retrieves a file that’s hosted on a web server. Most of the course materials are obtained used wget.
  • vi – This is a very basic text editor included with Linux, that we’ll use for things like editing configuration files. When you’re in vi, you need to hit the “I” key to enter “insert mode”, which lets you actually edit things. When you’re done editing, press ESC to leave insert mode. Then, you can type commands such as :wq to write your changes and quit vi.

If you’re following along, you might see me typing file names at what seems like impossible speeds. The trick is to hit the TAB key once you’ve typed enough of the file name for the computer to figure out what you mean; then it will “auto-complete” the file name for you.

You might also see me using the “less” command to view files, and then exiting that view in a mysterious way. Just hit the “Q” key to get out of “less.”

Remember – pay attention to little things while following along! Case matters – what’s uppercase and lowercase will make the difference between a command working and not working. Watch out for dashes in commands as well; sometimes you’ll see a single dash (-) sometimes double dashes (–) or sometimes no dashes at all. You must transcribe what I’m typing exactly, unless I say otherwise.

Getting the Course Materials

The slides for the course are available in PDF format at

Code, configuration files, and data are downloaded directly to your sandbox using the wget command as needed throughout the course. These files won’t be of much use outside of that context. However, if you really want them – they’re all at

Getting Help

In Udemy, please use the Q&A feature on individual lectures if you have any questions or problems. Myself, a teaching assistant, or fellow students will help you out if we can. Please keep your questions directly related to the course; with over 200,000 students, we’re not able to help you with projects outside of the course.

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