8.1. Installing GeoMesa HBase

GeoMesa supports traditional HBase installations as well as HBase running on Amazon’s EMR and Hortonworks’ Data Platform (HDP). For instructions on bootstrapping an EMR cluster, please read this tutorial: Bootstrapping GeoMesa HBase on AWS S3.

8.1.1. Installing the Binary Distribution

GeoMesa HBase artifacts are available for download or can be built from source. The easiest way to get started is to download the most recent binary version ($VERSION = 1.3.4) and untar it somewhere convenient:

# Install to /opt/ adapt as needed for your environment
$ wget http://repo.locationtech.org/content/repositories/geomesa-releases/org/locationtech/geomesa/geomesa-hbase-dist_2.11/$VERSION/geomesa-hbase-dist_2.11-$VERSION-bin.tar.gz
$ tar xvf geomesa-hbase-dist_2.11-$VERSION-bin.tar.gz -C /opt/

# Add symbolic links
$ ln -s /opt/geomesa-hbase-dist_2.11-$VERSION /opt/geomesa
$ ls /opt/geomesa
bin/  conf/  dist/  docs/  examples/  lib/  LICENSE.txt  logs/

8.1.2. Configuring HBase and Hadoop Dependencies

GeoMesa HBase requires Hadoop and HBase jars to be available on the classpath. These can be installed in the lib directory or referenced via environmental variables:

Configure GeoMesa to use pre-installed HBase and Hadoop distributions:

$ export HADOOP_HOME=/path/to/hadoop
$ export HBASE_HOME=/path/to/hbase
$ export GEOMESA_HOME=/opt/geomesa

Configure the environment to use an HDP install

$ export HADOOP_HOME=/usr/hdp/current/hadoop-client/
$ export HBASE_HOME=/usr/hdp/current/hbase-client/
$ export GEOMESA_HOME=/opt/geomesa

Optionally, add these to your bash profile or geomesa-env.sh (detailed later in Setting up the HBase Command Line Tools) to persist this configuration.

If no HBase or Hadoop distribution is installed, try manually installing the jars from maven:

$ export GEOMESA_HOME=/opt/geomesa
$ bin/install-hadoop.sh lib
$ bin/install-hbase.sh lib

8.1.3. Deploying the GeoMesa HBase distributed runtime jar

GeoMesa uses an HBase custom filter to improve processing of CQL queries. In order to use the custom filter, you must deploy the distributed runtime jar to the HBase to the directory specified by the HBase configuration variable called hbase.dynamic.jars.dir. This is set to ${hbase.rootdir}/lib by default. Copy the distribute runtime jar to this directory as follows:

$ hadoop fs -put ${GEOMESA_HOME}/dist/hbase/geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime-$VERSION.jar ${hbase.dynamic.jars.dir}/

If running on top of Amazon S3, you will need to use the aws s3 command line tool.

$ aws s3 cp ${GEOMESA_HOME}/dist/hbase/geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime-$VERSION.jar s3://${hbase.dynamic.jars.dir}/

If required, you may disable distributed processing by setting the system property geomesa.hbase.remote.filtering to false. Note that this may have an adverse effect on performance.

8.1.4. Building from Source

GeoMesa HBase may also be built from source. For more information refer to Building from Source in the developer manual, or to the README.md file in the the source distribution. The remainder of the instructions in this chapter assume the use of the binary GeoMesa HBase distribution. If you have built from source, the distribution is created in the target directory of geomesa-hbase/geomesa-hbase-dist.

More information about developing with GeoMesa may be found in the Developer Manual.

8.1.5. Register the Coprocessors

GeoMesa utilizes server side processing to accelerate some queries. Currently the only processing done server side is density (heatmap) calculations. In order to utilize this feature the GeoMesa coprocessor must be registered on all GeoMesa tables or registered site-wide and the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime code must be available on the classpath or at an HDFS url, depending on the registration method used.

There are a number of ways to register the coprocessors, which are detailed later.

The following ways to register coprocessors can be done anytime and constitute the ‘upgrade path’, however, they may require HBase or tables to be taken offline.

  • Register Site-Wide using the hbase-site.xml
  • Register Per-Table using the hbase shell

The following ways to register coprocessors must be done before the tables are created.

  • Classpath Auto-Registration
  • System Property or geomesa-site.xml
  • DataStore Param Registration

There are two ways to get the coprocessor code on the classpath.

  • Modify the hbase-env.sh file and provide the path to the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR in the HBASE_CLASSPATH property. If this method is used, the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR must be available at the given location on all master and region servers.
  • If registering the coprocessors on a per-table basis using the hbase shell, it is possible to provide the HDFS path to the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR that was deployed in Deploying the GeoMesa HBase distributed runtime jar.

The easiest method to register the coprocessors is to specify the coprocessors in the hbase-site.xml. To do this simply add the coprocessors classname to the hbase.coprocessor.user.region.classes key.


All new and existing non-system tables will have access to the GeoMesa Coprocessor.

If your hbase instance is used for more than GeoMesa table or would like to utilize HDFS to deploy the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR or for some other reason do not wish to register the coprocessor site wide you may configure the coprocessor on a per-table basis. This can be done by utilizing the the hbase shell as shown below. When specifying a coprocessor, the coprocessor must be available on the HBase classpath on all of the master and region servers or you must provide the HDFS URL for the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR that was deployed in Deploying the GeoMesa HBase distributed runtime jar.

To run the hbase shell simply execute:

$ ${HBASE_HOME}/bin/hbase shell
HBase Shell; enter 'help<RETURN>' for list of supported commands.
Type "exit<RETURN>" to leave the HBase Shell

To get a list of the current tables run:

hbase(main):001:0> list
4 row(s) in 0.1380 seconds

You will need to install the coprocessor on all table indexes list. The geomesa table in this example is the metadata table and does not need the coprocessor installed.

We use the alter command to modify the configuration of the tables. The coprocessor parameter in the alter command may be modified to change the registration of the GeoMesa coprocessors.


The ‘value’ of the coprocessor parameter has four parts, separated by |, two of which, HDFS_URL and PRIORITY, are configurable depending on your environment.

  • To provide the HDFS URL of the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR replace HDFS_URL in the coprocessor value with the HDFS URL. This is only need if the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR will not be on the classpath by other means.
  • To alter the priority (execution order) of the coprocessor change PRIRORITY to the desired value, this is optional and should be left blank if now used.
hbase(main):040:0> alter 'geomesa_QuickStart_id', METHOD => 'table_att', 'coprocessor'=>'|org.locationtech.geomesa.hbase.coprocessor.GeoMesaCoprocessor||'
Updating all regions with the new schema...
22/22 regions updated.
0 row(s) in 5.0000 seconds

hbase(main):041:0> alter 'geomesa_QuickStart_z2', METHOD => 'table_att', 'coprocessor'=>'|org.locationtech.geomesa.hbase.coprocessor.GeoMesaCoprocessor||'
Updating all regions with the new schema...
4/4 regions updated.
0 row(s) in 2.8850 seconds

hbase(main):042:0> alter 'geomesa_QuickStart_z3', METHOD => 'table_att', 'coprocessor'=>'|org.locationtech.geomesa.hbase.coprocessor.GeoMesaCoprocessor||'
Updating all regions with the new schema...
4/4 regions updated.
0 row(s) in 2.9150 seconds

To verify this worked successfully, run:

hbase(main):002:0> describe 'TABLE_NAME'
TABLE_NAME, {TABLE_ATTRIBUTES => {coprocessor$1 => '|org.locationtech.geomesa.hbase.coprocessor.GeoMesaCoprocessor||'}
1 row(s) in 0.1940 seconds
If the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR is available on the HBase classpath when the table is created then the GeoMesa coprocessors will be automatically registered for that table.

System Property or geomesa-site.xml are essentially the same as they utilize the same mechanism, but two different approaches.

If the Java system property geomesa.hbase.coprocessor.path is set in the environment running the GeoMesa ingest then the HDFS or S3 URL provided as the value will be automatically registered in the table descriptor. There are three to do this.

  • Set the system property in your shell environment using the JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS environment variable.
export JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS="${JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS} -Dgeomesa.hbase.coprocessor.path=hdfs://path/to/geomesa-runtime.jar"
  • Set the system property in the geomesa-env.sh script.
setvar CUSTOM_JAVA_OPTS "${JAVA_OPTS} -Dgeomesa.hbase.coprocessor.path=hdfs://path/to/geomesa-runtime.jar"
  • Set the system property using the geomesa-site.xml configuration file.
    <description>HDFS or local path to GeoMesa-HBase Coprocessor JAR. If a local path is provided it must be the same for
        all region server. A path provided through the DataStore parameters will always override this property.
If you are using GeoMesa-HBase programmatically you can use the datastore parameter coprocessor.url to set an HDFS or S3 path to the geomesa-hbase-distributed-runtime JAR.

For more information on managing coprocessors see Coprocessor Introduction on Apache’s Blog.

8.1.6. Setting up the HBase Command Line Tools

GeoMesa HBase comes with a set of command line tools for managing HBase features located in geomesa-hbase_2.11-$VERSION/bin/ of the binary distribution.


You can configure environment variables and classpath settings in geomesa-hbase_2.11-$VERSION/conf/geomesa-env.sh.

In the geomesa-hbase_2.11-$VERSION directory, run bin/geomesa-hbase configure to set up the tools.

$ bin/geomesa-hbase configure
Using GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME = /path/to/geomesa-hbase_2.11-1.3.0
Do you want to reset this? Y\n y
Using GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME as set: /path/to/geomesa-hbase_2.11-1.3.0
Is this intentional? Y\n y
To persist the configuration please edit conf/geomesa-env.sh or update your bashrc file to include:
export GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME=/path/to/geomesa-hbase_2.11-1.3.0

Update and re-source your ~/.bashrc file to include the $GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME and $PATH updates.


geomesa-hbase will read the $HBASE_HOME and $HADOOP_HOME environment variables to load the appropriate JAR files for Hadoop and HBase. In addition, geomesa-hbase will pull any additional entries from the $GEOMESA_EXTRA_CLASSPATHS environment variable. Use the geomesa classpath command in order to see what JARs are being used.

Due to licensing restrictions, dependencies for shape file support must be separately installed. Do this with the following commands:

$ bin/install-jai.sh
$ bin/install-jline.sh

Run geomesa-hbase without arguments to confirm that the tools work.

$ bin/geomesa-hbase
Using GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME = /path/to/geomesa-hbase_2.11-1.3.0
INFO  Usage: geomesa-hbase [command] [command options]

8.1.7. Installing GeoMesa HBase in GeoServer

The HBase GeoServer plugin is bundled by default in a GeoMesa binary distribution. To install, extract $GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME/dist/gs-plugins/geomesa-hbase-gs-plugin_2.11-$VERSION-install.tar.gz into GeoServer’s WEB-INF/lib directory. Note that this plugin contains a shaded JAR with HBase 1.2.3 bundled. If you require a different version, modify the pom.xml and build the GeoMesa HBase plugin project from scratch with Maven.

This distribution does not include the Hadoop or Zookeeper JARs; the following JARs should be copied from the lib directory of your HBase or Hadoop installations into GeoServer’s WEB-INF/lib directory:

(Note the versions may vary depending on your installation.)

  • hadoop-annotations-2.7.3.jar
  • hadoop-auth-2.7.3.jar
  • hadoop-common-2.7.3.jar
  • hadoop-mapreduce-client-core-2.7.3.jar
  • hadoop-yarn-api-2.7.3.jar
  • hadoop-yarn-common-2.7.3.jar
  • hbase-server-1.2.6.jar
  • zookeeper-3.4.9.jar
  • commons-configuration-1.6.jar

You can use the bundled $GEOMESA_HBASE_HOME/bin/install-hadoop.sh script to install these JARs.

  • hadoop-annotations.jar
  • hadoop-auth.jar
  • hadoop-common.jar
  • protobuf-java.jar
  • commons-io.jar
  • hbase-server-1.2.6.jar
  • zookeeper-3.4.10.jar
  • commons-configuration-1.6.jar

The HBase data store requires the configuration file hbase-site.xml to be on the classpath. This can be accomplished by placing the file in geoserver/WEB-INF/classes (you should make the directory if it doesn’t exist). Utilizing a symbolic link will be use full here so any changes are reflected in GeoServer.

$ ln -s /path/to/hbase-site.xml /path/to/geoserver/WEB-INF/classes/hbase-site.xml
$ ln -s /usr/hdp/current/hbase-client/hbase-site.xml /path/to/geoserver/WEB-INF/classes/hbase-site.xml

Restart GeoServer after the JARs are installed.