Creating a Spark Session with All Configurations: A Comprehensive Guide


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Apache Spark is a powerful distributed computing framework that provides high-level APIs for data processing and analytics. To leverage the capabilities of Spark, one needs to create a Spark session, which acts as the entry point to interact with Spark functionalities. In this blog, we will explore how to create a Spark session with all the necessary configurations to optimize performance and utilize Spark's features to their full potential.

Importing Required Libraries:

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The first step is to import the necessary libraries in your Spark application. You will need to include the pyspark.sql and pyspark.sql.SparkSession modules. These modules provide the classes and methods required to create and manage the Spark session.

Creating a SparkSession Object:

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To create a Spark session, you need to instantiate a SparkSession object. You can do this by calling the builder method on the SparkSession class, like this:

from pyspark.sql import SparkSession 
spark = SparkSession.builder.appName("YourAppName").getOrCreate() 

The appName parameter sets a name for your Spark application. You can replace "YourAppName" with a descriptive name for your application.

Configuring Spark Session:

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Now that you have created a Spark session, it's time to configure it based on your requirements. Spark provides various configuration options that allow you to optimize performance and customize the behavior of the session. Here are some commonly used configurations:

  • Setting the Master URL: If you're running Spark locally, you can set the master URL to local[*] to utilize all available cores. For a Spark cluster, specify the appropriate master URL.

    spark = SparkSession.builder.master("local[*]").appName("YourAppName").getOrCreate() 
  • Setting Spark Properties: You can set various Spark properties using the config method of the SparkSession object. For example, to set the number of executor cores, you can use the spark.executor.cores property:

    spark = SparkSession.builder.config("spark.executor.cores", "4").appName("YourAppName").getOrCreate() 
  • Adding Additional JARs: If your application requires additional JAR files, such as external libraries or connectors, you can add them using the config method as well. Set the spark.jars property to a comma-separated list of JAR paths:

    spark = SparkSession.builder.config("spark.jars", "/path/to/jar1.jar,/path/to/jar2.jar").appName("YourAppName").getOrCreate() 

Common Configurations

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Here is a list of some common configurations for Apache Spark:

  1. General Configurations:

    • : Sets a name for your Spark application.
    • spark.master : Sets the master URL for the cluster (e.g., "local[*]", "spark://localhost:7077").
    • spark.driver.memory : Sets the memory allocated to the driver program.
    • spark.executor.memory : Sets the memory allocated to each executor.
    • spark.executor.cores : Sets the number of cores used by each executor.
  2. You can also check out How to decide spark executor memory

  3. Spark UI Configurations:

    • spark.ui.reverseProxy : Enables reverse proxy for the Spark UI.
    • spark.ui.reverseProxyUrl : Specifies the URL of the reverse proxy server.
  4. You can Checkout Configure Spark UI for NGINX Reverse Proxy

  5. Execution Behavior Configurations:

    • spark.sql.shuffle.partitions : Sets the number of partitions used when shuffling data for joins or aggregations.
    • spark.sql.autoBroadcastJoinThreshold : Sets the threshold for auto-broadcasting small tables in join operations.
    • spark.sql.files.maxPartitionBytes : Sets the maximum number of bytes to read for each file partition during file-based operations.
    • spark.sql.inMemoryColumnarStorage.batchSize : Sets the number of rows to be batched together for columnar caching.
  6. Resource Management Configurations:

    • spark.executor.instances : Sets the number of executor instances to be launched in the cluster.
    • spark.dynamicAllocation.enabled : Enables dynamic allocation of executor resources.
    • spark.dynamicAllocation.minExecutors : Sets the minimum number of executors to keep allocated dynamically.
    • spark.dynamicAllocation.maxExecutors : Sets the maximum number of executors to allocate dynamically.
  7. Serialization Configurations:

    • spark.serializer : Specifies the serializer to use for data serialization (default: org.apache.spark.serializer.JavaSerializer ).
    • spark.kryo.registrator : Specifies a custom Kryo registrator for registering classes with the Kryo serializer.
    • spark.kryoserializer.buffer.max : Sets the maximum buffer size used by the Kryo serializer.
  8. Logging Configurations:

    • spark.eventLog.enabled : Enables event logging for Spark applications.
    • spark.eventLog.dir : Specifies the directory where event logs are stored.
    • spark.eventLog.compress : Enables compression for event logs.


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In this blog post, we have covered the steps required to create a Spark session with all the necessary configurations. By setting appropriate configurations, you can optimize performance and customize the behavior of your Spark application. Remember to consult the official Spark documentation for a complete list of available configurations and their details. Now, you're ready to unleash the power of Spark and perform advanced data processing and analytics at scale.

You can checkout our blog on create multiple spark session in a application