Sunday, 30 August 2015

Installing IPython Notebook with Apache Spark on Windows 7

We are going to integrate IPytthon Notebook with Apache Spark on Windows 7.

We need following softwares-
1. Anaconda(Python distribution)
2. Apache Spark


1. First of all download Apache Spark from here.
Select the pre built version like spark-1.4.1-bin-hadoop2.6.tgz otherwise you may need to build the source files.

2. Now extract Spark form the downloaded zip file. And place at desired location(I placed it in C drive)

3. Create an Environment variable named 'SPARK_HOME' with value equal to path upto folder containing Apache Spark. (I placed Spark inside C drive so I set SPARK_HOME equal to 'C:\spark-1.4.1-bin-hadoop2.6').

4. Download Anaconda Python distribution from here.
We can download either 2.x or 3.x versions. I suggest you to download 2.x since the higher versions may not be supported by Apache Spark. I downloaded Windows 32-bit — Python 2.7 — Graphical Installer.

5. Install Anaconda. This would install Python 2.7, IPython and other necessary libraries for Python. Moreover this should set some environment variable for you which are required to access python.

6. Open command prompt and enter command-

ipython profile create pyspark

This should create a pyspark profile where we need to make some changes.

Now we need to make changes in two configuration files. and

6. Locate file at C:\Users\here_your_user_name_which_is_currently_logged_in\.ipython\profile_pyspark\ and add following lines of code to it-

c = get_config()
c.NotebookApp.ip = '*'
c.NotebookApp.open_browser = True
c.NotebookApp.port = 8880 # or whatever you want; be aware of conflicts with CDH

7. Now create file named in C:\Users\Vinod\.ipython\profile_pyspark\startup
(Note-Here path contains 'Vinod' which is user name so you need to replace it with your user name for currently logged in user in windows.)
Add following contents to

import os
import sys

spark_home = os.environ.get('SPARK_HOME', None)
if not spark_home:
raise ValueError('SPARK_HOME environment variable is not set')
sys.path.insert(0, os.path.join(spark_home, 'python'))
sys.path.insert(0, os.path.join(spark_home, 'python/lib/'))
execfile(os.path.join(spark_home, 'python/pyspark/'))

Note:-All lines should remain same except the second last line. It contains location of 'py4j'. So inside Spark folder go to python\lib folder and check the version of your py4j library and make changes into second last line accordingly.

8. Now open the command prompt and type following command to run the IPython notebook-

ipython notebook --profile=pyspark

This should launch ipython notebook in a browser.

9. Create one notebook and type 'sc' command in one cell and run it. You should get
<pyspark.context.SparkContext at 0x4f4a490>
This indicates your IPython notebook and Spark are successfully integrated. Otherwise if you get ' ' after running then that means integration is unsuccessful.

NOTE: If we install IPython notebook separately instead of Anaconda +Spark then we might get following exception-
Java gateway process exited before sending the driver its port number.

I hope this will work for you. All the best!

There is always a scope for improvement so any feedback is welcomed....



  1. NOTE: If we install IPython notebook instead of Anaconda +Spark then we might get following exception-
    Java gateway process exited before sending the driver its port number.

  2. Thanks so much! This works perfectly!

  3. i can spark logo if i use cmd but if i use ipython notebook it shows unsuccesful integration ' '.how to correct it.

    1. Hi Tanuj, I can't get clear idea about your problem. Can you provide more details about the problem?
      In fact I would suggest you to uninstall python, ipython notebook, anaconda and follow the above steps.
      Don't install python and ipython notebook separately, they have got some compatibility issues. Install anconda and configure it as per the above settings.


  4. Exception: Java gateway process exited before sending its port number
    please give solution to this problem