[:en] Operational problems with Zookeeper

This post is a summary of what has been presented by Kathleen Ting on
StrangeLoop conference. You can watch the original here:

I’ve decided to put this selection here for quick reference.

Connection mismanagement

  • too many connections
    WARN [NIOServerCxn.Factory:$Factory@247] - Too many connections from /xx.x.xx.xxx - max is 60
  • running out of ZK connections?
    • set maxClientCnxns=200 in zoo.cfg
  • HBase client leaking connections?
    • fixed in HBASE-3777, HBASE-4773, HBASE-5466
    • manually close connections
  • connection closes prematurely
    ERROR: org.apache.hadoop.hbase.ZooKeeperConnectionException: HBase is able to connect to ZooKeeper but the connection closes immediately.
  • in hbase-site.xml set hbase.zookeeper.recoverable.waittime=30000ms
  • pig hangs connecting to HBase

    CAUSE: location of ZK quorum is not known to Pig

    • use Pig 10, which includes PIG-2115
    • if there is an overlap between TaskTrackers and ZK quorum nodes
      • set hbase.zookeeper.quorum to final in hbase-site.xml
      • otherwise add hbaze.zoopeeker.quorum=hadoophbasemaster.lan:2181 in pig.properties
WARN org.apache.zookeeper.ClientCnxn: Session 0x0 for server null, unexpected error, closing socket connection and attempting reconnect java.net.ConnectionException: Connection refused!

Time mismanagement

  • client session timed out
INFO org.apache.zookeeper.server.ZooKeeperServer: Expiring session <id>, timeout of 40000ms exceeded
    • ZK and HBase need the same session timeout values
      • zoo.cfg: maxSession=Timeout=180000
      • hbase-site.xml: zookeeper.session.timeout=180000
    • don’t co-locate ZK with IO-intense DataNode or RegionServer
    • specify right amount of heap and tune GC flags
      • turn on parallel/CMS/incremental GC
  • clients lose connections
    WARN org.apache.zookeeper.ClientCnxn - Session <id> for server <name>, unexpected error, closing socket connection and attempting reconnect java.io.IOException: Broken pipe
    • don’t use SSD drive for ZK transaction log

Disk management

  • unable to load database – unable to run quorum server
    FATAL Unable to load database on disk !  java.io.IOException: Failed to process transaction type: 2 error: KeeperErrorCode = NoNode for <file> at org.apache.zookeeper.server.persistence.FileTxnSnapLog.restore(FileTxnSnapLog.java:152)!
    • archive and wipe /var/zookeeper/version-2 if other two ZK servers
      are running
  • unable to load database – unreasonable length exception
    FATAL Unable to load database on disk java.io.IOException: Unreasonable length = 1048583 at org.apache.jute.BinaryInputArchive.readBuffer(BinaryInputArchive.java:100)
    • server allows a client to set data larger than the server can read from disk
    • if a znode is not readable, increase jute.maxbuffer
      • look for "Packet len <xx> is out of range" in the client log
      • increase it by 20%
      • set in JVMFLAGS="-Djute.maxbuffer=yy" bin/zkCli.sh
      • fixed in ZOOKEEPER-151
  • failure to follow leader
    WARN org.apache.zookeeper.server.quorum.Learner: Exception when following the leader java.net.SocketTimeoutException: Read timed out


    • disk IO contention, network issues
    • ZK snapshot is too large (lots of ZK nodes)


    • reduce IO contention by putting dataDir on dedicated spindle
    • increase initLimit on all ZK servers and restart, see
    • monitor network

Best Practices


  • separate spindles for dataDir & dataLogDir
  • allocate 3 or 5 ZK servers
  • tune garbage collection
  • run zkCleanup.sh script via cron


  • dont’ co-locate ZK with I/O intense DataNode or RegionServer
  • don’t use SSD drive for ZK transaction log

You may use Zookeeper as an observer – a non-voting member:

  • in zoo.cfg