Modifying Impala Startup Options

The configuration options for the Impala daemons let you choose which hosts and ports to use for the services that run on a single host, specify directories for logging, control resource usage and security, and specify other aspects of the Impala software.

Configuring Impala Startup Options through the Command Line

The Impala server, statestore, and catalog services start up using values provided in a defaults file, /etc/default/impala.

This file includes information about many resources used by Impala. Most of the defaults included in this file should be effective in most cases. For example, typically you would not change the definition of the CLASSPATH variable, but you would always set the address used by the statestore server. Some of the content you might modify includes:


    -log_dir=${IMPALA_LOG_DIR} -state_store_port=${IMPALA_STATE_STORE_PORT}}
-log_dir=${IMPALA_LOG_DIR} \
-catalog_service_host=${IMPALA_CATALOG_SERVICE_HOST} \
-state_store_port=${IMPALA_STATE_STORE_PORT} \
-state_store_host=${IMPALA_STATE_STORE_HOST} \

To use alternate values, edit the defaults file, then restart all the Impala-related services so that the changes take effect. Restart the Impala server using the following commands:

$ sudo service impala-server restart
Stopping Impala Server:                                    [  OK  ]
Starting Impala Server:                                    [  OK  ]

Restart the Impala statestore using the following commands:

$ sudo service impala-state-store restart
Stopping Impala State Store Server:                        [  OK  ]
Starting Impala State Store Server:                        [  OK  ]

Restart the Impala catalog service using the following commands:

$ sudo service impala-catalog restart
Stopping Impala Catalog Server:                            [  OK  ]
Starting Impala Catalog Server:                            [  OK  ]

Some common settings to change include:


These startup options for the impalad daemon are different from the command-line options for the impala-shell command. For the impala-shell options, see impala-shell Configuration Options.

Checking the Values of Impala Configuration Options

You can check the current runtime value of all these settings through the Impala web interface, available by default at http://impala_hostname:25000/varz for the impalad daemon, http://impala_hostname:25010/varz for the statestored daemon, or http://impala_hostname:25020/varz for the catalogd daemon.

Startup Options for impalad Daemon

The impalad daemon implements the main Impala service, which performs query processing and reads from and writes to the data files. Some of the noteworthy options are:
  • The fe_service_threads option specifies the maximum number of concurrent client connections allowed. The default value is 64 with which 64 queries can run simultaneously.

    If you have more clients trying to connect to Impala than the value of this setting, the later arriving clients have to wait until previous clients disconnect. You can increase this value to allow more client connections. However, a large value means more threads to be maintained even if most of the connections are idle, and it could negatively impact query latency. Client applications should use the connection pool to avoid need for large number of sessions.

Startup Options for statestored Daemon

The statestored daemon implements the Impala StateStore service, which monitors the availability of Impala services across the cluster, and handles situations such as nodes becoming unavailable or becoming available again.

Startup Options for catalogd Daemon

The catalogd daemon implements the Impala Catalog service, which broadcasts metadata changes to all the Impala nodes when Impala creates a table, inserts data, or performs other kinds of DDL and DML operations.

Use --load_catalog_in_background option to control when the metadata of a table is loaded.
  • If set to false, the metadata of a table is loaded when it is referenced for the first time. This means that the first run of a particular query can be slower than subsequent runs. Starting in Impala 2.2, the default for load_catalog_in_background is false.
  • If set to true, the catalog service attempts to load metadata for a table even if no query needed that metadata. So metadata will possibly be already loaded when the first query that would need it is run. However, for the following reasons, we recommend not to set the option to true.
    • Background load can interfere with query-specific metadata loading. This can happen on startup or after invalidating metadata, with a duration depending on the amount of metadata, and can lead to a seemingly random long running queries that are difficult to diagnose.
    • Impala may load metadata for tables that are possibly never used, potentially increasing catalog size and consequently memory usage for both catalog service and Impala Daemon.

Startup Options for Automatic Invalidation of Metadata

To keep the size of metadata bounded, catalogd periodically scans all the tables and invalidates those not recently used. There are two types of configurations in catalogd.

Automatic invalidation of metadata provides more stability with lower chances of running out of memory, but the feature could potentially cause performance issues and may require tuning.

Note: This is a preview feature in Impala 3.1 and not generally available.