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Get Spark to use your AWS credentials file for S3

Spark can access files in S3, even when running in local mode, given AWS credentials. By default, with s3a URLs, Spark will search for credentials in a few different places:

  • Hadoop properties in core-site.xml:
  • Standard AWS environment variables AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY and AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID

  • EC2 instance profile, which picks up IAM roles

However it will not by default pick up credentials from the ~/.aws/credentials file, which is useful during local development if you are authenticating to AWS through SAML federation instead of with an IAM user.

The way to make this work is to set the to com.amazonaws.auth.DefaultAWSCredentialsProviderChain, which will work exactly the same way as the AWS CLI – it will honor the AWS environment variables as well as the credentials file with the AWS_PROFILE environment variable to select from profiles.

It’s not clear to me why this was not included by default, but it’s typically only an issue for individual developers running Spark in local mode for testing. Once you’re running on an EMR cluster it’s a non-issue because you will likely be running with EMRFS anyway with s3: URLs, and even if you use s3a you’d pick up IAM roles from the EC2 instance profile.

Written on February 2, 2019