MapReduce & Eclipse: a Quick Start Guide for Java Developers

Want to start developing MapReduce programs in Java using Eclipse? This guide will get you up to speed.

It will walk you through setting up Maven (a great build manager) with Eclipse, setting up Github (a great version control system) with Eclipse, setting up a shared folder between your computer and the Hortonworks sandbox, and conclude with an example MapReduce application written in Java for you to learn from.

Setting up Maven with Eclipse

When developing MapReduce programs in Eclipse, a lot of the code you’ll be using requires you to have certain .jar files on your system. One way to do this is to download the jar files yourself. A better way to do it is to use Maven. Maven helps you manage your project builds.

Installing M2Eclipse

To use Maven with Eclipse, we’ll be using the plugin M2Eclipse. Open Eclipse and navigate to Help > Install New Software. Enter ‘’ in the form after Work with: and click Add. Once the download options appear, select Maven Integration for Eclipse.

Finish the installation and restart Eclipse.

Converting a project to a Maven project

To convert your project to a Maven project, right click on it and select Configure > Convert to Maven Project. The default settings it brings up should be fine. Click Finish.

You now have a Maven Project.

Adding dependencies to your Maven project

To add dependencies (jar files) to your Maven project, click on the pom.xml. Click Dependencies, then click Add. You’ll need to input the Group ID, Artifact ID, and Version for each dependency you add. For a MapReduce program on Hortonwork’s sandbox running Hadoop version 2.7.1 I include hadoop-client 2.7.1 and commons-logging 1.1.1. The former has the Group ID org.apache.hadoop, the Artifact ID hadoop-client, and the version 2.7.1. The latter has the Group ID commons-logging, the Artifact ID commons-logging, and the version 1.1.1.

You could search the internet for the specific group, artifact, and versions you want, or you could connect Maven to a repository and do the search right from the Add popup.

Connecting to the Hortonworks repository

By now, you have M2Eclipse and a Maven project set up in Eclipse, but you still don’t have any searchable repositories. To get those, you’ll need to edit or create the settings.xml file in the .m2 folder (${HOME}/.m2/). This folder might be hidden on your computer.

Creating or Editing your settings.xml file

If you don’t have a settings.xml file, you’ll need to create it. Using your favorite text editor (Sublime Text is a nice one) paste the code from here. If you already have a settings.xml file, simply add the standard-extra-repos profile. Save your new settings as settings.xml in the .m2 folder (${HOME}/.m2/).

Now that you have a settings.xml file, go back into Eclipse. Select Eclipse > Preferences > Maven > User Settings. Update your settings so that it points to your new settings.xml file. Click Update Settings and Apply. Restart Eclipse and you should now be able to search for Maven dependencies.

This concludes the section on setting up Maven. If you run into any issues Google search will be your friend; there’s lots of people who have probably run into the bug you’re having before. If you’re still stuck, feel free to email me.

Connecting Eclipse with your Github account

Github, if you haven’t heard of it, is a popular version control system which uses Git. To learn more about it, check out the short explanation here, medium explanation here, and longer tutorials here. It’s a great way to collaborate with teammates in a distributed fashion.

Let’s get started. If you don’t already have an account at Github, create one.

Installing Egit and Jgit

Have an account? Time to set up Eclipse to work seamlessly with Github. Open Eclipse and navigate to Help > Install New Software. Enter ‘‘ in the form after Work with: and click Add. Once the download options appear, select Eclipse Team Provider and JGit.

Egit and Jgit Installation for Eclipse

Finish the installation and restart Eclipse.

Creating a repository

Now, before we can do anything in Eclipse, we need a repository to upload our project to. Go to Github in your browser, log in, and click the ‘+ New Repository’ button. Give it a name, set it to Public or Private, and initialize it with a README. You can edit the README if you like by clicking on it and hitting the ‘Edit this file’ button/pencil.

Next, copy the clone URL of your repository by clicking the copy to clipboard button right below where it says ‘HTTPS clone URL’. It’s on the right side of your repository in your browser, towards the bottom of the screen.

Cloning the repository in Eclipse

Head back to Eclipse and make sure the Git Repositories view is showing: Window > Show View > Other… > Git > Git Repositories. Click Clone a Git Repository in the new window that appeared. Egit should automatically fill out URI, Host, and Repository path. Fill out your username and password in the Authentication section. Store it in the secure store if you don’t want to keep typing it in. Now, select your Master branch, hit Next, pick where you want to store it, and hit Finish.

Sharing your project to Eclipse

The next step is sharing your project to Eclipse. To do this, right click on your project and navigate to Team > Share Project. Select the repository you just created and hit Finish.

We’re not done yet. Right click on your project and hit ‘Team > Add to Index’. This will allow you to start tracking changes. Next, create a .gitignore file so that your bin won’t be tracked by Github (tracking the bin leads to file conflicts).

Egit - adding .gitignore file


If a .gitignore already exists but you cannot see it in your project files, try clicking on the white, downward facing arrow in the Navigator pane. Select Filters… and uncheck .* resources. Make sure /bin/ and /target/ are in the .gitignore file.

You’re not ready to commit your project. Right click your project, select Team > Commit. Put in a comment about the commit and select ‘Commit and Push’.

Check your repository on Github. It should now contain your project.

You have successfully connected Eclipse with your Github account. If you’d like to learn more about git and using Github, refer to the references linked to at the start of this section.

Setting up a shared folder between your computer and the Hortonworks sandbox

Having a shared folder between your computer and the Hortonworks sandbox can help speed up your development process. To set one up using VMWare fusion follow these steps:

  1. Pause your sandbox if it is already running
  2. Navigate to the sandbox settings > sharing
  3. Click the + icon and select a folder to share between your computer and your sandbox
  4. You’re done! Your shared folder will be accessible in your sandbox at /mnt/hgfs/hdp_shared_folder/ where hdp_shared_folder is the name of your shared folder

To share a folder in VirtualBox the process is similar:

  1. Pause your sandbox if it is already running. You might have to power it off.
  2. Navigate to Settings > Shared Folders
  3. Click the + icon and select a folder to share between your computer and your sandbox
  4. Select the auto-mount option
  5. You’re done! Your shared folder will be accessible in your sandbox at /media/sf_hdp_shared_folder where hdp_shared_folder is the name of your shared folder

To copy files out of your shared folder to the current directory you’re working in use (make sure you include the dot at the end):

cp /mnt/hgfs/hdp_shared_folder/filename.txt .

Coding Your MapReduce Program

Now that you’re development environment is set up, it’s time to start developing. A great way to get started is to do the classic word count example. There’s plenty of tutorials out there to guide you through that though, so I’m going to walk you through a new kind of MapReduce program. This one will use one MapReduce job to sum the individual characters of a text file, followed by another MapReduce job to sort the output by value in descending order of occurrences.

To get started, go check out the source code, located here.

Next, either Fork the repository (which essentially creates a copy of the project under your Github account so you can modify it as you please) or simply copy and paste the source code into new, properly named class files in Eclipse.

To run the code you’ll need to export it as a runnable jar. Right click, Export > Java > Runnable Jar. Make sure JobChainer is set as the launch configuration, and export the file.

If you are unable to select JobChainer as the launch configuration, you will have to change the .classpath in your project. To do that, you must first be able to see the .classpath file in Eclipse.

Click on the white down arrow in the package explorer, then Filters. After that, make sure *.resources is unchecked:


Enable viewing of dot files in Eclipse

Classpath file







Click okay. You should now be able to view the .classpath file in your project.

In the classpath file, look for the two Hadoop dependencies which have a reference to:


Classpath dependencies

Change those references to point to the corresponding Hadoop files on your system.

When you are done, you should be able to successfully export JobChainer as a runnable jar. If you are still having issues, try running the JobChainer class in Eclipse. It should generate the necessary launch configuration for you.

Next, upload the jar to your sandbox and run it using:

hadoop jar CharCount.jar JobChainer /test/input.txt /test/output/


  • You will have to create the input directory and put an input file in there
  • You need to choose a new output folder each time you run the script
  • You may have to change the file permissions of the CharCount.jar file
    • chmod 777 CharCount.jar

Once the MapReduce job finishes, check that there is an output file:

hadoop fs -ls /test/output/

Then take a look inside the output file for your results:

hadoop fs -cat /test/output/part-r-00000

That’s it for the quick-start guide. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an email or leave a comment.

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