Getting started with Spark Streaming using Docker

Step-by-step guide on how to get started with Spark Streaming and Kafka using Docker environment

October 5, 2015

Stream processing technologies have been getting a lot of attention lately. You’ve already might heard about Kafka, Spark and its streaming extension.

If you’ve always wanted to try Spark Streaming, but never found a time to give it a shot, this post provides you with easy steps on how to get development setup with Spark and Kafka using Docker.

Update: This post is quite outdated, recent version of the tutorial is available here.

Note: This walkthrough covers OS X and uses Homebrew, so you might want to install it first. For other platforms there won’t be many differences. Please refer to corresponding software documentation for instructions for your platform.

We will use DirectKafkaWordCount example from spark distribution as basis for our demo. That example shows how to use Spark’s Direct Kafka Stream. You can easily use another example that uses Receiver-based Approach. Discussion of different ways to integrate kafka that spark provides is out of scope of this post. Please checkout kafka integration guide for more details.

Yes, doing another word count demo is boring, but our goal is to learn how to get evrything up and running together and WordCount suits this goal perfectly, rather than learn how to build distributed applications with Spark.

If you want just to get code, you can find complete example here.

The Code

We will use sbt for building our project. To install it run: brew install sbt.

Next, we need to setup sbt directory structure for the project. Unfortunately sbt doesn’t provide command to bootstrap a project, so you can create project with your IDE like Eclipse, or use this shell script.

Now let’s go to code and do some configuration.

Spark requires packaging all project’s dependencies alongside application, so we will build fat jar that contains app and all dependencies together. We will use sbt assembly plugin for that.

To set up this plugin create project/assembly.sbt file with following content:

addSbtPlugin("com.eed3si9n" % "sbt-assembly" % "0.13.0")

Now let’s setup our build configuration, build.sbt file should look like:

name := "direct_kafka_word_count"

scalaVersion := "2.10.5"

val sparkVersion = "1.5.1"

libraryDependencies ++= Seq(
  "org.apache.spark" %% "spark-core" % sparkVersion % "provided",
  "org.apache.spark" %% "spark-streaming" % sparkVersion % "provided",
  ("org.apache.spark" %% "spark-streaming-kafka" % sparkVersion) exclude ("org.spark-project.spark", "unused")

assemblyJarName in assembly := name.value + ".jar"

At the moment of writing latest version of spark is 1.5.1 and scala is 2.10.5 for 2.10.x series. Scala 2.10 is used because spark provides pre-built packages for this version only.

We don’t need to provide spark libs since they are provided by cluster manager, so those libs are marked as provided.

That’s all with build configuration, now let’s write some code. App’s code in src/main/scala/com/example/spark/DirectKafkaWordCount.scala should look like:

package com.example.spark

import kafka.serializer.StringDecoder
import org.apache.spark.{TaskContext, SparkConf}
import org.apache.spark.streaming.kafka.{OffsetRange, HasOffsetRanges, KafkaUtils}
import org.apache.spark.streaming.{Seconds, StreamingContext}

object DirectKafkaWordCount {
  def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {
    if (args.length < 2) {
        |Usage: DirectKafkaWordCount <brokers> <topics>
        |  <brokers> is a list of one or more Kafka brokers
        |  <topics> is a list of one or more kafka topics to consume from

    val Array(brokers, topics) = args

    // Create context with 10 second batch interval
    val sparkConf = new SparkConf().setAppName("DirectKafkaWordCount")
    val ssc = new StreamingContext(sparkConf, Seconds(10))

    // Create direct kafka stream with brokers and topics
    val topicsSet = topics.split(",").toSet
    val kafkaParams = Map[String, String]("" -> brokers)
    val messages = KafkaUtils.createDirectStream[String, String, StringDecoder, StringDecoder](
      ssc, kafkaParams, topicsSet)

    // Get the lines, split them into words, count the words and print
    val lines =
    val words = lines.flatMap(_.split(" "))
    val wordCounts = => (x, 1L)).reduceByKey(_ + _)

    // Start the computation

And now you can run sbt assembly and find direct_kafka_word_count.jar file in target/scala-2.10 directory.

That’s all with coding. Let’s see how to run it.

Installing Docker

To run this example we need two more things: Spark itself and Kafka server.

And that’s where Docker significantly helps us, since we don’t need to install and configure required software, we will simply use Docker images for that.

Easiest way to get Docker working on OS X is to use docker-machine, which helps to provision Docker on virtual machines.

To set it up:

  • Install VirtualBox, to run VM with Docker.
  • Update homebrew to latest version brew update.
  • Install required packages brew install docker docker-machine docker-compose.

Another option to install everything is to use Docker Toolbox, for more details on how to install toolbox check the official documentation.

Now we are ready to start Docker VM, run

docker-machine create --driver virtualbox --virtualbox-memory 2048 dev

This command downloads VM image with Docker host preinstalled, creates a VM named dev with 2Gb of memory and starts it.

Now you need configure your shell to work with Docker client, just run eval "$(docker-machine env dev)". Please note that you need to run this command each time you open a new terminal.

Containers Setup

Let’s specify our containers configuration using docker-compose. docker-compose.yml file defines containers and links between them. We will use following configuration:

  image: antlypls/kafka-legacy
    - KAFKA=localhost:9092
    - ZOOKEEPER=localhost:2181
    - "2181"
    - "9092"

  image: antlypls/spark:1.5.1
  command: bash
    - ./target/scala-2.10:/app
   - kafka

A lot of things are going on here, let’s go through it step by step. This yml file defines two services: kafka and docker.

kafka service runs image based on spotify/kafka repository, this image provides everything we need for running kafka in one container: kafka broker and zookeeper server.

Also two environment variables are added: KAFKA and ZOOKEEPER, those variables are helpful when you run kafka CLI tools inside kafka container, you will see how to do it later.

We also expose a kafka broker port 9092 and a port for zookeeper 2181, so linked services can access it.

Then spark service is defined. I’ve prepared an image antlypls/spark, which provides spark running on YARN. The image is slightly modified version of sequenceiq/spark repository, with spark 1.5.1 and without a few packages that we don’t need for this demo.

We specify bash as command, since we want to have interactive shell session within the spark container. volumes option mounts build directory into the spark container, so we will be able to access .jar right in the container. At the end kafka service is linked to spark.

And now we are ready to run everything together.

Let’s start all containers with docker-compose: docker-compose run --rm spark this starts kafka and then spark and logs us into spark container shell. The --rm flag makes docker-compose to delete corresponding spark container after run.

But before running DirectKafkaWordCount app, we need to create a topic in a kafka broker that we are going to read from. Kafka distribution contains a few useful tools to manipulate topics and data: create/list topics, write text messages into a topic and etc. And we can run those tools within kafka container. To do that open a separate terminal session and run:

docker exec -it $(docker-compose ps -q kafka) bash

And now let’s create a topic in kafka: --create --zookeeper $ZOOKEEPER --replication-factor 1 --partitions 2 --topic word-count

You can check that new topic has been created by running commands

$ --list --zookeeper $ZOOKEEPER
$ --describe --zookeeper $ZOOKEEPER --topic word-count

Keep this shell session open, we will use it to add messages to the topic.

Now go back to spark container shell and run

spark-submit \
--master yarn-client \
--class com.example.spark.DirectKafkaWordCount \
app/direct_kafka_word_count.jar kafka:9092 word-count

Here we launch our application in yarn-client mode because we want to see output from the driver.

You might see a lot of logs written to output, that is useful for debugging, but it might be hard to see actual app output. You could use following settings for log4j if you wanted to disable those debugging logs:
log4j.rootCategory=INFO, console
log4j.appender.console.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{yy/MM/dd HH:mm:ss} %p %c{1}: %m%n

Replace $SPARK_HOME/conf/ file with one provided above. Or simply put it somewhere in container, e.g. in shared app directory and run app like

spark-submit \
--master yarn-client \
--driver-java-options "-Dlog4j.configuration=file:///app/" \
--class com.example.spark.DirectKafkaWordCount \
app/direct_kafka_word_count.jar kafka:9092 word-count

Note, that docker-compose updates hosts file in running containers, so linked services can be accessed using service name as a hostname. That’s why in our demo we simply use kafka:9090 as a broker address.

Now let’s add some data into the topic, just run following in the kafka container --broker-list $KAFKA --topic word-count

And for input like this:

Hello World

You should see output from spark app like:

Time: 1234567890000 ms

docker-compose doesn’t stop/delete linked containers when run command exits. To stop linked containers run docker-compose stop, and docker-compose rm to delete them.

And that’s it, you have all set up for developing Spark Streaming apps.

Happy hacking with Spark!