Installing Apache Spark on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04

Here we will see how to install Apache Spark on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04, the commands will be applicable for Linux Mint, Debian and other similar Linux systems.

Apache Spark is a general-purpose data processing tool called a data processing engine. Used by data engineers and data scientists to perform extremely fast data queries on large amounts of data in the terabyte range. It is a framework for cluster-based calculations that competes with the classic Hadoop Map / Reduce by using the RAM available in the cluster for faster execution of jobs.

In addition, Spark also offers the option of controlling the data via SQL, processing it by streaming in (near) real-time, and provides its own graph database and a machine learning library.  The framework offers in-memory technologies for this purpose, i.e. it can store queries and data directly in the main memory of the cluster nodes.

Apache Spark is ideal for processing large amounts of data quickly. Spark’s programming model is based on Resilient Distributed Datasets (RDD), a collection class that operates distributed in a cluster. This open-source platform supports a variety of programming languages such as Java, Scala, Python, and R.


Steps for Apache Spark Installation on Ubuntu 20.04

The steps are given here can be used for other Ubuntu versions such as 21.04/18.04, including on Linux Mint, Debian, and similar Linux.

1. Install Java with other dependencies

Here we are installing the latest available version of Jave that is the requirement of Apache Spark along with some other things – Git and Scala to extend its capabilities.

sudo apt install default-jdk scala git


2. Download Apache Spark on Ubuntu 20.04

Now, visit the Spark official website and download the latest available version of it.  However, while writing this tutorial the latest version was 3.1.2. Hence, here we are downloading the same, in case it is different when you are performing the Spark installation on your Ubuntu system, go for that. Simply copy the download link of this tool and use it with wget or directly download on your system.



3. Extract Spark to /opt

To make sure we don’t delete the extracted folder accidentally, let’s place it somewhere safe i.e /opt directory.

sudo mkdir /opt/spark
sudo tar -xf spark*.tgz -C /opt/spark --strip-component 1

Also, change the permission of the folder, so that Spark can write inside it.

sudo chmod -R 777 /opt/spark


4. Add Spark folder to the system path

Now, as we have moved the file to /opt directory, to run the Spark command in the terminal we have to mention its whole path every time which is annoying. To solve this, we configure environment variables for Spark by adding its home paths to the system’s a profile/bashrc file. This allows us to run its commands from anywhere in the terminal regardless of which directory we are in.

echo "export SPARK_HOME=/opt/spark" >> ~/.bashrc
echo "export PATH=$PATH:$SPARK_HOME/bin:$SPARK_HOME/sbin" >> ~/.bashrc
echo "export PYSPARK_PYTHON=/usr/bin/python3" >> ~/.bashrc

Reload shell:

source ~/.bashrc


5.  Start Apache Spark master server on Ubuntu

As we already have configured variable environment for Spark, now let’s start its standalone master server by running its script:

Change Spark Master Web UI and Listen Port (optional, use only if require)

If you want to use a custom port then that is possible to use, options or arguments given below.

 –port  – Port for service to listen on (default: 7077 for master, random for worker)
–webui-port  – Port for web UI (default: 8080 for master, 8081 for worker)

Example– I want to run Spark web UI on 8082, and make it listen to port 7072 then the command to start it will be like this: --port 7072 --webui-port 8082



6. Access Spark Master (spark://Ubuntu:7077) – Web interface

Now, let’s access the web interface of the Spark master server that running at port number 8080. So, in your browser open

Our master is running at spark://Ubuntu:7077, where Ubuntu is the system hostname and could be different in your case.


Access Spark Master web interface 1

If you are using a CLI server and want to use the browser of the other system that can access the server Ip-address, for that first open 8080 in the firewall. This will allow you to access the Spark web interface remotely at – http://your-server-ip-addres:8080

sudo ufw allow 8080


7. Run Slave Worker Script

To run Spark slave worker, we have to initiate its script available in the directory we have copied in /opt. The command syntax will be:

Command syntax: spark://hostname:port

In the above command change the hostname and port. If you don’ know your hostname then simply type- hostname in terminal. Where the default port of master is running on is 7077, you can see in the above screenshot.

So, as our hostname is ubuntu, the command will be like this: spark://ubuntu:7077

Refresh the Web interface and you will see the Worker ID and the amount of memory allocated to it:

Run Slave Worker Script

If you want then, you can change the memory/ram allocated to the worker. For that, you have to restart the worker with the amount of RAM you want to provide it. -m 212M spark://ubuntu:7077


Use Spark Shell

Those who want to use Spark shell to start programming can access it by directly typing:


To see the supported options, type- :help and to exit shell use – :quite

Use Apache Spark Shell Ubuntu 20.04


To start with Python shell instead of Scala, use:



Server Start and Stop commands

If you want to start or stop master/workers instances, then use the corresponding scripts:

To stop all at once

Or start all at once:

Ending Thoughts:

In this way, we can install and start using Apache Spark on Ubuntu Linux. To know more about you can refer to the official documentation. However, compared to Hadoop, Spark is still relatively young, so you have to reckon with some rough edges. However, it has already proven itself many times in practice and enables new use cases in the area of ​​big or fast data through the fast execution of jobs and caching of data. And finally, it offers a uniform API for tools that would otherwise have to be operated and operated separately in the Hadoop environment.


1 thought on “Installing Apache Spark on Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04”

  1. Thanks for the clear guide.
    Not sure why `echo “export PATH=$PATH:$SPARK_HOME/bin:$SPARK_HOME/sbin” >> ~/.bashrc` didn’t put the binaries to PATH. It just copied PATH to my ~/.bashrc.
    Manually adding the following in .bashrc
    export PATH=$PATH:$SPARK_HOME/bin:$SPARK_HOME/sbin
    and sourcing make everything work.


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