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From Matei Zaharia <>
Subject Re: NullWritable not serializable
Date Tue, 16 Sep 2014 05:52:18 GMT
Can you post the exact code for the test that worked in 1.0? I can't think of much that could've
changed. The one possibility is if  we had some operations that were computed locally on
the driver (this happens with things like first() and take(), which will try to do the first
partition locally). But generally speaking these operations should *not* work over a network,
so you'll have to make sure that you only send serializable types through shuffles or collects,
or use a serialization framework like Kryo that might be okay with Writables.


On September 15, 2014 at 9:13:13 PM, Du Li ( wrote:

Hi Matei,

Thanks for your reply. 

The Writable classes have never been serializable and this is why it is weird. I did try as
you suggested to map the Writables to integers and strings. It didn’t pass, either. Similar
exceptions were thrown except that the messages became IntWritable, Text are not serializable.
The reason is in the implicits defined in the SparkContext object that convert those values
into their corresponding Writable classes before saving the data in sequence file.

My original code was actual some test cases to try out SequenceFile related APIs. The tests
all passed when the spark version was specified as 1.0.2. But this one failed after I changed
the spark version to 1.1.0 the new release, nothing else changed. In addition, it failed when
I called rdd2.collect(), take(1), and first(). But it worked fine when calling rdd2.count().
As you can see, count() does not need to serialize and ship data while the other three methods

Do you recall any difference between spark 1.0 and 1.1 that might cause this problem?


From: Matei Zaharia <>
Date: Friday, September 12, 2014 at 9:10 PM
To: Du Li <>, "" <>,
"" <>
Subject: Re: NullWritable not serializable

Hi Du,

I don't think NullWritable has ever been serializable, so you must be doing something differently
from your previous program. In this case though, just use a map() to turn your Writables to
serializable types (e.g. null and String).


On September 12, 2014 at 8:48:36 PM, Du Li ( wrote:


I was trying the following on spark-shell (built with apache master and hadoop 2.4.0). Both
calling rdd2.collect and calling rdd3.collect threw 

I got the same problem in similar code of my app which uses the newly released Spark 1.1.0
under hadoop 2.4.0. Previously it worked fine with spark 1.0.2 under either hadoop 2.40 and

Anybody knows what caused the problem?


import{NullWritable, Text}
val rdd = sc.textFile("")
val res = => (NullWritable.get(), new Text(x)))
val rdd2 = sc.sequenceFile("./test_data", classOf[NullWritable], classOf[Text])
val rdd3 = sc.sequenceFile[NullWritable,Text]("./test_data")

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