Setup Databricks-Connect on Windows 10

Having recently tried to get DBConnect working on a Windows 10 machine I’ve realised things are not as easy as you might think.

These are the steps I have found to setup a new machine and get Databricks-Connect working.

Install Java

Download and install Java SE Runtime Version 8. It’s very important you only get version 8 nothing later. There was a major change in Java 9 and Spark simply doesn’t work with it (or v10 or v11).

When you install Java change the install location to be C:\Java. By default it will try to install into Program Files - this is a problem for Spark as it does not like spaces in the path.

Once installed set JAVA_HOME using PowerShell (running as Administrator) execute:

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("JAVA_HOME", "C:\Java", "Machine")

Install Conda

You can either download and install full blown Anaconda or use miniconda.

User Profile Path

By default Windows creates your user profile in a folder C:\Users. Depending on how your username is setup on your machine you may a space or special character in it. Such as C:\Users\Simon DMorias - this is a problem because again Spark (and Python to be fair) hate spaces in paths.

If you profile path has no space in it - then lucky you, carry on. If not follow these steps - note that this means hacking the registry - I take no responsibility for the damage you could do here.

To fix this login in as another user on the PC - the user must be an administrator. This is only a temporary user so you can create a new one if need be. Open regedit and find the key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList\<User SID>\ 

Change the path so that there is no space.

Then find the folder in Windows Explorer and change the folder name. So in my example I would now have C:\Users\SimonDMorias

To prevent any existing application breaking you can create a symlink to the old folder, using command prompt (as Administrator):

mklink /j "C:\Users\Simon DMorias" "C:\Users\SimonDMorias"

Now log back in as the original user and everything should be peachy.

Download WinUtils

This pesty bugger is part of Hadoop and required by Spark to work on Windows. Quick install, open Powershell (as an admin) and run (if you are on a corporate network with funky security you may need to download the exe manually):

New-Item -Path "C:\Hadoop\Bin" -ItemType Directory -Force
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://github.com/steveloughran/winutils/raw/master/hadoop-2.7.1/bin/winutils.exe -OutFile "C:\Hadoop\Bin\winutils.exe"
[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable("HADOOP_HOME", "C:\Hadoop", "Machine")

Read more about this here.

Create Virtual Environment

We are now a new Virtual Environment. I recommend creating one environment per project you are working on. This allow us to install different versions of Databricks-Connect per project and upgrade them separately.

From the Start menu find the Anaconda Prompt. When it opens it will have a default prompt of something like:

(base) C:\Users\Simon

The base part means you are not in a virtual environment, rather the base install. To create a new environment execute this:

conda create --name dbconnect python=3.5

Where dbconnect is the name of your environment and can be what you want. Databricks currently runs Python 3.5 - your Python version must match. Again this is another good reason for having an environment per project as this may change in the future.

Now activate the environment:

conda activate dbconnect

Install Databricks-Connect

You are now good to go:

pip install -U databricks-connect==5.3.*

The 5.3 part MUST match the Databricks Runtime version of your cluster.

UPDATE: Troubleshooting SSL Errors

Some corporate networks perform man in the middle interceptions of network traffic which causes pip to error with the message:

Download error for https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/...: [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed (_ssl.c:719)

To work around this you can ignore SSL error for the domains using:

pip install --trusted-host pypi.org --trusted-host files.pythonhosted.org -U databricks-connect==5.3.*

Secondly on one machine I still got the error above but found that manually installing one dependancy fixed the issue:

pip install -U pypandoc

Finally

One last thing - we have set a few environment variables in this post. If you had your IDE open make sure you restart it before you try using it!

To configure the environment please see the original post.