Installation and Getting Started

Getting up and running with Ibis involves installing the Python package and connecting to HDFS and Impala. If you don’t have a Hadoop cluster available with Impala, see Using Ibis with the Cloudera Quickstart VM below for instructions to use a VM to get up and running quickly.


System dependencies

Ibis requires a working Python 2.6, 2.7, or 3.4 installation. We recommend Anaconda.

Installing the Python package

Install ibis using pip (or conda, whenever it becomes available):

pip install ibis-framework

This installs the ibis library to your configured Python environment.

Ibis can also be installed with Kerberos support for its HDFS functionality:

pip install ibis-framework[kerberos]

Some platforms will require that you have Kerberos installed to build properly.

  • Redhat / CentOS: yum install krb5-devel
  • Ubuntu / Debian: apt-get install libkrb5-dev

Ibis SQLite Quickstart

See for a quickstart using SQLite. Otherwise read on to try out Ibis on Impala.

Creating a client

To create an Ibis “client”, you must first connect your services and assemble the client using ibis.impala.connect:

import ibis

hdfs = ibis.hdfs_connect(host=webhdfs_host, port=webhdfs_port)
con = ibis.impala.connect(host=impala_host, port=impala_port,

Both method calls can take auth_mechanism='GSSAPI' or auth_mechanism='LDAP' to connect to Kerberos clusters. Depending on your cluster setup, this may also include SSL. See the API reference for more, along with the Impala shell reference, as the connection semantics are identical.

Learning resources

We are collecting IPython notebooks for learning here: Some of these notebooks will be reproduced as part of the documentation.

Using Ibis with the Cloudera Quickstart VM

Using Ibis with Impala requires a running Impala cluster, so we have provided a lean VirtualBox image to simplify the process for those looking to try out Ibis (without setting up a cluster) or start contributing code to the project.

What follows are streamlined setup instructions for the VM. If you wish to download it directly and setup from the ova file, use this download link.

The VM was built with Oracle VirtualBox 4.3.28.


curl -s | bash

Single Steps

To use Ibis with the special Cloudera Quickstart VM follow the below instructions:

  • Make sure Anaconda is installed. You can get it from Now prepend the Anaconda Python to your path like this export PATH=$ANACONDA_HOME/bin:$PATH
  • pip install ibis-framework
  • git clone
  • cd ibis-notebooks
  • ./setup/
  • source setup/
  • ipython notebook

VM setup

The setup script will download a VirtualBox appliance image and import it in VirtualBox. In addition, it will create a new host only network adapter with DHCP. After the VM is started, it will extract the current IP address and add a new /etc/hosts entry pointing from the IP of the VM to the hostname quickstart.cloudera. The reason for this entry is that Hadoop and HDFS require a working reverse name mapping. If you don’t want to run the automated steps make sure to check the individual steps in the file setup/