Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Running Zookeeper on the Mac with Soylatte and Eclipse 3.4

I've been using Zookeeper to store a sequence number that a large number of processes can access and increment in a coordinated manner.

Zookeeper has a nice, simple interface, and exposes a set of primitives that easily allow me to implement guaranteed synchronized access to my magic sequence number. I'll post more later on the specific solution, but right now I want to detail some of the issues I've run into and the workarounds I've put in place.

I run on a Mac (OSX/Leopard), use Eclipse 3.4 for my Java development, and use soylatte for my JDK. I think a lot of other people run with this setup. I'm using Zookeeper 3.1.3.

My initial setup steps:
  1. I downloaded Zookeeper, untarred it, and installed in /usr/local.
  2. I created a symlink from zookeeper-3.1.1 to zookeeper
  3. From that dir I ran sudo ./bin/zkServer start.

I immediately ran into a strange issue: I could connect to the zookeeper instance:

ZooKeeper zk = new ZooKeeper("",ZookeeperBase.DEFAULT_TIMEOUT,this);

but could not create a node on it:

zk.create("/HELLO", foo, ZooDefs.Ids.OPEN_ACL_UNSAFE, CreateMode.PERSISTENT);

I kept getting timeouts. I've written my code to be 'timeout proof' because connection loss errors are to be expected under load in distributed environments, but I do kick out after 5 retries. Besides, I wouldn't expect to get the ConnectionLoss error when I am connecting to a localhost instance.

It turns out that the there have been soylatte nio issues with Zookeeper. I talked to Satish (he's on the email thread in the link, and we both work at Evri), and he said he had success using the latest version of 1.6 that mac 'officially' supports.

I switched to the latest Apple supported java 1.6 version: when I pointed my java binaries at 1.6, Zookeeper worked great, but Eclipse couldn't restart -- some more online research showed that this was another known issue.

So in the end: I
(1) created a java16 symlink to/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.6/Home/bin/java
(2) used that symlink in zkServer.sh
(3) kept my $JAVA_HOME pointing to 1.5 by symlinking/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/1.5 to/System/Library/Frameworks/JavaVM.framework/Versions/CurrentJDK


  1. Arun,

    Have you looked at Eclipse 3.5? It runs natively using Java 6.

  2. I haven't, mainly because I just got the osx 1.6 upgrade a couple of weeks ago...I forgot about 3.5. I'll give this a shot, thanks!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.