Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) APIs in perl, python, ruby and php

The Hadoop Distributed File System is written in Java. An application that wants to store/fetch data to/from HDFS can use the Java API This means that applications that are not written in Java cannot access HDFS in an elegant manner.

Thrift is a software framework for scalable cross-language services development. It combines a powerful software stack with a code generation engine to build services that work efficiently and seamlessly between C++, Java, Python, PHP, and Ruby.

This project exposes HDFS APIs using the Thrift software stack. This allows applications written in a myriad of languages to access HDFS elegantly.

The Application Programming Interface (API)

The HDFS API that is exposed through Thrift can be found in hdfs/src/contrib/thriftfs/if/hadoopfs.thrift. The perl, python, ruby, and php APIs can be found at src/contrib/thriftfs/gen-* directories.


The compilation process creates a server org.apache.hadoop.thriftfs.HadooopThriftServer that implements the Thrift interface defined in if/hadoopfs.thrift.

The thrift compiler is used to generate API stubs in python, php, ruby, cocoa, etc. The generated code is checked into the directories gen-*. The generated java API is checked into lib/hadoopthriftapi.jar.

There is a sample python script hdfs.py in the scripts directory. This python script, when invoked, creates a HadoopThriftServer in the background, and then communicates with HDFS using the API. This script is for demonstration purposes only.

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