9.24. Hive Connector#


The Hive connector allows querying data stored in an Apache Hive data warehouse. Hive is a combination of three components:

  • Data files in varying formats, that are typically stored in the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) or in Amazon S3.
  • Metadata about how the data files are mapped to schemas and tables. This metadata is stored in a database, such as MySQL, and is accessed via the Hive metastore service.
  • A query language called HiveQL. This query language is executed on a distributed computing framework such as MapReduce or Tez.

Presto only uses the first two components: the data and the metadata. It does not use HiveQL or any part of Hive’s execution environment.

Supported File Types#

The following file types are supported for the Hive connector:

  • ORC
  • Parquet
  • Avro
  • RCText (RCFile using ColumnarSerDe)
  • RCBinary (RCFile using LazyBinaryColumnarSerDe)
  • SequenceFile
  • JSON (using org.apache.hive.hcatalog.data.JsonSerDe)
  • CSV (using org.apache.hadoop.hive.serde2.OpenCSVSerde)
  • TextFile

Metastore Configuration for Avro and CSV#

In order to enable first-class support for Avro tables and CSV files when using Hive 3.x, you need to add the following property definition to the Hive metastore configuration file hive-site.xml (and restart the metastore service):

     <!-- https://community.hortonworks.com/content/supportkb/247055/errorjavalangunsupportedoperationexception-storage.html -->

Supported Table Types#

Transactional and ACID Tables#

When connecting to a Hive metastore version 3.x, the Hive connector supports reading from insert-only and ACID tables, with full support for partitioning and bucketing. Writing to and creation of transactional tables is not supported.

ACID tables created with Hive Streaming Ingest are not supported.

Materialized Views#

The Hive connector supports reading from Hive materialized views. In Presto, these views are presented as regular, read-only tables.


The Hive connector supports Apache Hadoop 2.x and derivative distributions including Cloudera CDH 5 and Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP).

Create etc/catalog/hive.properties with the following contents to mount the hive-hadoop2 connector as the hive catalog, replacing example.net:9083 with the correct host and port for your Hive metastore Thrift service:


Multiple Hive Clusters#

You can have as many catalogs as you need, so if you have additional Hive clusters, simply add another properties file to etc/catalog with a different name, making sure it ends in .properties. For example, if you name the property file sales.properties, Presto creates a catalog named sales using the configured connector.

HDFS Configuration#

For basic setups, Presto configures the HDFS client automatically and does not require any configuration files. In some cases, such as when using federated HDFS or NameNode high availability, it is necessary to specify additional HDFS client options in order to access your HDFS cluster. To do so, add the hive.config.resources property to reference your HDFS config files:


Only specify additional configuration files if necessary for your setup. We recommend reducing the configuration files to have the minimum set of required properties, as additional properties may cause problems.

The configuration files must exist on all Presto nodes. If you are referencing existing Hadoop config files, make sure to copy them to any Presto nodes that are not running Hadoop.

HDFS Username and Permissions#

Before running any CREATE TABLE or CREATE TABLE AS statements for Hive tables in Presto, you need to check that the user Presto is using to access HDFS has access to the Hive warehouse directory. The Hive warehouse directory is specified by the configuration variable hive.metastore.warehouse.dir in hive-site.xml, and the default value is /user/hive/warehouse.

When not using Kerberos with HDFS, Presto accesses HDFS using the OS user of the Presto process. For example, if Presto is running as nobody, it accesses HDFS as nobody. You can override this username by setting the HADOOP_USER_NAME system property in the Presto JVM Config, replacing hdfs_user with the appropriate username:


The hive user generally works, since Hive is often started with the hive user and this user has access to the Hive warehouse.

Whenever you change the user Presto is using to access HDFS, remove /tmp/presto-* on HDFS, as the new user may not have access to the existing temporary directories.

Accessing Hadoop clusters protected with Kerberos authentication#

Kerberos authentication is supported for both HDFS and the Hive metastore. However, Kerberos authentication by ticket cache is not yet supported.

The properties that apply to Hive connector security are listed in the Hive Configuration Properties table. Please see the Hive Security Configuration section for a more detailed discussion of the security options in the Hive connector.

Hive Configuration Properties#

Property Name Description Default
hive.metastore The type of Hive metastore to use. Presto currently supports the default Hive Thrift metastore (thrift), and the AWS Glue Catalog (glue) as metadata sources. thrift
hive.config.resources An optional comma-separated list of HDFS configuration files. These files must exist on the machines running Presto. Only specify this if absolutely necessary to access HDFS. Example: /etc/hdfs-site.xml  
hive.recursive-directories Enable reading data from subdirectories of table or partition locations. If disabled, subdirectories are ignored. This is equivalent to the hive.mapred.supports.subdirectories property in Hive. false
hive.ignore-absent-partitions Ignore partitions when the file system location does not exist rather than failing the query. This skips data that may be expected to be part of the table. false
hive.storage-format The default file format used when creating new tables. ORC
hive.compression-codec The compression codec to use when writing files. GZIP
hive.force-local-scheduling Force splits to be scheduled on the same node as the Hadoop DataNode process serving the split data. This is useful for installations where Presto is collocated with every DataNode. false
hive.respect-table-format Should new partitions be written using the existing table format or the default Presto format? true
hive.immutable-partitions Can new data be inserted into existing partitions? false
hive.create-empty-bucket-files Should empty files be created for buckets that have no data? false
hive.max-partitions-per-writers Maximum number of partitions per writer. 100
hive.max-partitions-per-scan Maximum number of partitions for a single table scan. 100,000
hive.hdfs.authentication.type HDFS authentication type. Possible values are NONE or KERBEROS. NONE
hive.hdfs.impersonation.enabled Enable HDFS end user impersonation. false
hive.hdfs.presto.principal The Kerberos principal that Presto will use when connecting to HDFS.  
hive.hdfs.presto.keytab HDFS client keytab location.  
hive.security See Hive Security Configuration.  
security.config-file Path of config file to use when hive.security=file. See File Based Authorization for details.  
hive.non-managed-table-writes-enabled Enable writes to non-managed (external) Hive tables. false
hive.non-managed-table-creates-enabled Enable creating non-managed (external) Hive tables. true
hive.collect-column-statistics-on-write Enables automatic column level statistics collection on write. See Table Statistics for details. true
hive.s3select-pushdown.enabled Enable query pushdown to AWS S3 Select service. false
hive.s3select-pushdown.max-connections Maximum number of simultaneously open connections to S3 for S3 Select Pushdown. 500
hive.file-status-cache-tables Cache directory listing for specified tables. Examples: schema.table1,schema.table2 to cache directory listing only for table1 and table2. schema1.*,schema2.* to cache directory listing for all tables in the schemas schema1 and schema2. * to cache directory listing for all tables.  
hive.file-status-cache-size Maximum no. of file status entries cached for a path. 1,000,000
hive.file-status-cache-expire-time Duration of time after a directory listing is cached that it should be automatically removed from cache. 1m

Hive Thrift Metastore Configuration Properties#

Property Name Description Default
hive.metastore.uri The URI(s) of the Hive metastore to connect to using the Thrift protocol. If multiple URIs are provided, the first URI is used by default, and the rest of the URIs are fallback metastores. This property is required. Example: thrift:// or thrift://,thrift://  
hive.metastore.username The username Presto uses to access the Hive metastore.  
hive.metastore.authentication.type Hive metastore authentication type. Possible values are NONE or KERBEROS (defaults to NONE).  
hive.metastore.thrift.impersonation.enabled Enable Hive metastore end user impersonation.  
hive.metastore.service.principal The Kerberos principal of the Hive metastore service.  
hive.metastore.client.principal The Kerberos principal that Presto uses when connecting to the Hive metastore service.  
hive.metastore.client.keytab Hive metastore client keytab location.  
hive.metastore-cache-ttl Time to live Hive metadata cache. 0s
hive.metastore-refresh-interval How often to refresh the Hive metastore cache.  
hive.metastore-cache-maximum-size Hive metastore cache maximum size. 10,000
hive.metastore-refresh-max-threads Maximum number of threads to refresh Hive metastore cache. 100

AWS Glue Catalog Configuration Properties#

In order to use a Glue catalog, ensure to configure the metastore with hive.metastore=glue and provide further details with the following properties:

Property Name Description
hive.metastore.glue.region AWS region of the Glue Catalog. This is required when not running in EC2, or when the catalog is in a different region. Example: us-east-1
hive.metastore.glue.pin-client-to-current-region Pin Glue requests to the same region as the EC2 instance where Presto is running, defaults to false.
hive.metastore.glue.max-connections Max number of concurrent connections to Glue, defaults to 5.
hive.metastore.glue.default-warehouse-dir Hive Glue metastore default warehouse directory
hive.metastore.glue.aws-access-key AWS access key to use to connect to the Glue Catalog. If specified along with hive.metastore.glue.aws-secret-key, this parameter takes precedence over hive.metastore.glue.iam-role.
hive.metastore.glue.aws-secret-key AWS secret key to use to connect to the Glue Catalog. If specified along with hive.metastore.glue.aws-access-key, this parameter takes precedence over hive.metastore.glue.iam-role.
hive.metastore.glue.iam-role ARN of an IAM role to assume when connecting to the Glue Catalog.
hive.metastore.glue.external-id External ID for the IAM role trust policy when connecting to the Glue Catalog.

Amazon S3 Configuration#

The Hive Connector can read and write tables that are stored in S3. This is accomplished by having a table or database location that uses an S3 prefix, rather than an HDFS prefix.

Presto uses its own S3 filesystem for the URI prefixes s3://, s3n:// and s3a://.

S3 Configuration Properties#

Property Name Description
hive.s3.aws-access-key Default AWS access key to use.
hive.s3.aws-secret-key Default AWS secret key to use.
hive.s3.iam-role IAM role to assume.
hive.s3.external-id External ID for the IAM role trust policy.
hive.s3.endpoint The S3 storage endpoint server. This can be used to connect to an S3-compatible storage system instead of AWS. When using v4 signatures, it is recommended to set this to the AWS region-specific endpoint (e.g., http[s]://<bucket>.s3-<AWS-region>.amazonaws.com).
hive.s3.storage-class The S3 storage class to use when writing the data. Currently only STANDARD and INTELLIGENT_TIERING storage classes are supported. Default storage class is STANDARD
hive.s3.signer-type Specify a different signer type for S3-compatible storage. Example: S3SignerType for v2 signer type
hive.s3.signer-class Specify a different signer class for S3-compatible storage.
hive.s3.path-style-access Use path-style access for all requests to the S3-compatible storage. This is for S3-compatible storage that doesn’t support virtual-hosted-style access, defaults to false.
hive.s3.staging-directory Local staging directory for data written to S3. This defaults to the Java temporary directory specified by the JVM system property java.io.tmpdir.
hive.s3.pin-client-to-current-region Pin S3 requests to the same region as the EC2 instance where Presto is running, defaults to false.
hive.s3.ssl.enabled Use HTTPS to communicate with the S3 API, defaults to true.
hive.s3.sse.enabled Use S3 server-side encryption, defaults to false.
hive.s3.sse.type The type of key management for S3 server-side encryption. Use S3 for S3 managed or KMS for KMS-managed keys, defaults to S3.
hive.s3.sse.kms-key-id The KMS Key ID to use for S3 server-side encryption with KMS-managed keys. If not set, the default key is used.
hive.s3.kms-key-id If set, use S3 client-side encryption and use the AWS KMS to store encryption keys and use the value of this property as the KMS Key ID for newly created objects.
hive.s3.encryption-materials-provider If set, use S3 client-side encryption and use the value of this property as the fully qualified name of a Java class which implements the AWS SDK’s EncryptionMaterialsProvider interface. If the class also implements Configurable from the Hadoop API, the Hadoop configuration will be passed in after the object has been created.
hive.s3.upload-acl-type Canned ACL to use while uploading files to S3, defaults to Private.
hive.s3.skip-glacier-objects Ignore Glacier objects rather than failing the query. This skips data that may be expected to be part of the table or partition. Defaults to false.

S3 Credentials#

If you are running Presto on Amazon EC2, using EMR or another facility, it is recommended that you use IAM Roles for EC2 to govern access to S3. To enable this, your EC2 instances need to be assigned an IAM Role which grants appropriate access to the data stored in the S3 bucket(s) you wish to use. It is also possible to configure an IAM role with hive.s3.iam-role that is used for accessing any S3 bucket. This is much cleaner than setting AWS access and secret keys in the hive.s3.aws-access-key and hive.s3.aws-secret-key settings, and also allows EC2 to automatically rotate credentials on a regular basis without any additional work on your part.

Custom S3 Credentials Provider#

You can configure a custom S3 credentials provider by setting the Hadoop configuration property presto.s3.credentials-provider to be the fully qualified class name of a custom AWS credentials provider implementation. This class must implement the AWSCredentialsProvider interface and provide a two-argument constructor that takes a java.net.URI and a Hadoop org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configuration as arguments. A custom credentials provider can be used to provide temporary credentials from STS (using STSSessionCredentialsProvider), IAM role-based credentials (using STSAssumeRoleSessionCredentialsProvider), or credentials for a specific use case (e.g., bucket/user specific credentials). This Hadoop configuration property must be set in the Hadoop configuration files referenced by the hive.config.resources Hive connector property.

S3 Security Mapping#

Presto supports flexible security mapping for S3, allowing for separate credentials or IAM roles for specific users or buckets/paths. The IAM role for a specific query can be selected from a list of allowed roles by providing it as an extra credential.

Each security mapping entry may specify one or more match criteria. If multiple criteria are specified, all criteria must match. Available match criteria:

  • user: Regular expression to match against username. Example: alice|bob
  • group: Regular expression to match against any of the groups that the user belongs to. Example: finance|sales
  • prefix: S3 URL prefix. It can specify an entire bucket or a path within a bucket. The URL must start with s3:// but will also match s3a or s3n. Example: s3://bucket-name/abc/xyz/

The security mapping must provide one or more configuration settings:

  • accessKey and secretKey: AWS access key and secret key. This overrides any globally configured credentials, such as access key or instance credentials.
  • iamRole: IAM role to use if no user provided role is specified as an extra credential. This overrides any globally configured IAM role. This role is allowed to be specified as an extra credential, although specifying it explicitly has no effect, as it would be used anyway.
  • allowedIamRoles: IAM roles that are allowed to be specified as an extra credential. This is useful because a particular AWS account may have permissions to use many roles, but a specific user should only be allowed to use a subset of those roles.

The security mapping entries are processed in the order listed in the configuration file. More specific mappings should thus be specified before less specific mappings. For example, the mapping list might have URL prefix s3://abc/xyz/ followed by s3://abc/ to allow different configuration for a specific path within a bucket than for other paths within the bucket. You can set default configuration by not including any match criteria for the last entry in the list.

Example JSON configuration file:

  "mappings": [
      "prefix": "s3://bucket-name/abc/",
      "iamRole": "arn:aws:iam::123456789101:role/test_path"
      "user": "bob|charlie",
      "iamRole": "arn:aws:iam::123456789101:role/test_default",
      "allowedIamRoles": [
      "prefix": "s3://special-bucket/",
      "accessKey": "AKIAxxxaccess",
      "secretKey": "iXbXxxxsecret"
      "user": "test.*",
      "iamRole": "arn:aws:iam::123456789101:role/test_users"
      "group": "finance",
      "iamRole": "arn:aws:iam::123456789101:role/finance_users"
      "iamRole": "arn:aws:iam::123456789101:role/default"
Property Name Description
hive.s3.security-mapping.config-file The JSON configuration file containing security mappings.
hive.s3.security-mapping.iam-role-credential-name The name of the extra credential used to provide the IAM role.
hive.s3.security-mapping.refresh-period How often to refresh the security mapping configuration.
hive.s3.security-mapping.colon-replacement The character or characters to be used in place of the colon (:) character when specifying an IAM role name as an extra credential. Any instances of this replacement value in the extra credential value will be converted to a colon. Choose a value that is not used in any of your IAM ARNs.

Tuning Properties#

The following tuning properties affect the behavior of the client used by the Presto S3 filesystem when communicating with S3. Most of these parameters affect settings on the ClientConfiguration object associated with the AmazonS3Client.

Property Name Description Default
hive.s3.max-error-retries Maximum number of error retries, set on the S3 client. 10
hive.s3.max-client-retries Maximum number of read attempts to retry. 5
hive.s3.max-backoff-time Use exponential backoff starting at 1 second up to this maximum value when communicating with S3. 10 minutes
hive.s3.max-retry-time Maximum time to retry communicating with S3. 10 minutes
hive.s3.connect-timeout TCP connect timeout. 5 seconds
hive.s3.socket-timeout TCP socket read timeout. 5 seconds
hive.s3.max-connections Maximum number of simultaneous open connections to S3. 500
hive.s3.multipart.min-file-size Minimum file size before multi-part upload to S3 is used. 16 MB
hive.s3.multipart.min-part-size Minimum multi-part upload part size. 5 MB

S3 Data Encryption#

Presto supports reading and writing encrypted data in S3 using both server-side encryption with S3 managed keys and client-side encryption using either the Amazon KMS or a software plugin to manage AES encryption keys.

With S3 server-side encryption, called SSE-S3 in the Amazon documentation, the S3 infrastructure takes care of all encryption and decryption work. One exception is SSL to the client, assuming you have hive.s3.ssl.enabled set to true. S3 also manages all the encryption keys for you. To enable this, set hive.s3.sse.enabled to true.

With S3 client-side encryption, S3 stores encrypted data and the encryption keys are managed outside of the S3 infrastructure. Data is encrypted and decrypted by Presto instead of in the S3 infrastructure. In this case, encryption keys can be managed either by using the AWS KMS, or your own key management system. To use the AWS KMS for key management, set hive.s3.kms-key-id to the UUID of a KMS key. Your AWS credentials or EC2 IAM role will need to be granted permission to use the given key as well.

To use a custom encryption key management system, set hive.s3.encryption-materials-provider to the fully qualified name of a class which implements the EncryptionMaterialsProvider interface from the AWS Java SDK. This class has to be accessible to the Hive Connector through the classpath and must be able to communicate with your custom key management system. If this class also implements the org.apache.hadoop.conf.Configurable interface from the Hadoop Java API, then the Hadoop configuration is passed in after the object instance is created, and before it is asked to provision or retrieve any encryption keys.

S3 Select Pushdown#

S3 Select Pushdown enables pushing down projection (SELECT) and predicate (WHERE) processing to S3 Select. With S3 Select Pushdown, Presto only retrieves the required data from S3 instead of entire S3 objects, reducing both latency and network usage.

Is S3 Select a good fit for my workload?#

Performance of S3 Select Pushdown depends on the amount of data filtered by the query. Filtering a large number of rows should result in better performance. If the query doesn’t filter any data, then pushdown may not add any additional value and the user is charged for S3 Select requests. Thus, we recommend that you benchmark your workloads with and without S3 Select to see if using it may be suitable for your workload. By default, S3 Select Pushdown is disabled and you should enable it in production after proper benchmarking and cost analysis. For more information on S3 Select request cost, please see Amazon S3 Cloud Storage Pricing.

Use the following guidelines to determine if S3 Select is a good fit for your workload:

  • Your query filters out more than half of the original data set.
  • Your query filter predicates use columns that have a data type supported by Presto and S3 Select. The TIMESTAMP, REAL, and DOUBLE data types are not supported by S3 Select Pushdown. We recommend using the decimal data type for numerical data. For more information about supported data types for S3 Select, see the Data Types documentation.
  • Your network connection between Amazon S3 and the Amazon EMR cluster has good transfer speed and available bandwidth. Amazon S3 Select does not compress HTTP responses, so the response size may increase for compressed input files.

Considerations and Limitations#

  • Only objects stored in CSV format are supported. Objects can be uncompressed, or optionally compressed with gzip or bzip2.
  • The “AllowQuotedRecordDelimiters” property is not supported. If this property is specified, the query fails.
  • Amazon S3 server-side encryption with customer-provided encryption keys (SSE-C) and client-side encryption are not supported.
  • S3 Select Pushdown is not a substitute for using columnar or compressed file formats such as ORC and Parquet.

Enabling S3 Select Pushdown#

You can enable S3 Select Pushdown using the s3_select_pushdown_enabled Hive session property, or using the hive.s3select-pushdown.enabled configuration property. The session property overrides the config property, allowing you enable or disable on a per-query basis.

Understanding and Tuning the Maximum Connections#

Presto can use its native S3 file system or EMRFS. When using the native FS, the maximum connections is configured via the hive.s3.max-connections configuration property. When using EMRFS, the maximum connections is configured via the fs.s3.maxConnections Hadoop configuration property.

S3 Select Pushdown bypasses the file systems, when accessing Amazon S3 for predicate operations. In this case, the value of hive.s3select-pushdown.max-connections determines the maximum number of client connections allowed for those operations from worker nodes.

If your workload experiences the error Timeout waiting for connection from pool, increase the value of both hive.s3select-pushdown.max-connections and the maximum connections configuration for the file system you are using.

Google Cloud Storage Configuration#

The Hive connector can access data stored in GCS, using the gs:// URI prefix. Please refer to the Hive Connector GCS Tutorial for step-by-step instructions.

GCS Configuration properties#

Property Name Description
hive.gcs.json-key-file-path JSON key file used to authenticate with Google Cloud Storage.
hive.gcs.use-access-token Use client-provided OAuth token to access Google Cloud Storage. This is mutually exclusive with a global JSON key file.

Alluxio Configuration#

Alluxio usage with SEP is not supported. We suggest you try the built-in caching for distributed storage.

Alluxio Catalog Service#

Usage of the Alluxio catalog service is not supported with SEP.

Table Statistics#

When writing data, the Hive connector always collects basic statistics (numFiles, numRows, rawDataSize, totalSize) and by default will also collect column level statistics:

Column Type Collectible Statistics
TINYINT number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
SMALLINT number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
INTEGER number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
BIGINT number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
DOUBLE number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
REAL number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
DECIMAL number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
DATE number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
TIMESTAMP number of nulls, number of distinct values, min/max values
VARCHAR number of nulls, number of distinct values
CHAR number of nulls, number of distinct values
VARBINARY number of nulls
BOOLEAN number of nulls, number of true/false values

Updating table and partition statistics#

If your queries are complex and include joining large data sets, running ANALYZE on tables/partitions may improve query performance by collecting statistical information about the data.

When analyzing a partitioned table, the partitions to analyze can be specified via the optional partitions property, which is an array containing the values of the partition keys in the order they are declared in the table schema:

ANALYZE table_name WITH (
    partitions = ARRAY[
        ARRAY['p1_value1', 'p1_value2'],
        ARRAY['p2_value1', 'p2_value2']])

This query will collect statistics for two partitions with keys p1_value1, p1_value2 and p2_value1, p2_value2.

On wide tables, collecting statistics for all columns can be expensive and can have a detrimental effect on query planning. It is also typically unnecessary - statistics are only useful on specific columns, like join keys, predicates, grouping keys. One can specify a subset of columns to be analyzed via the optional columns property:

ANALYZE table_name WITH (
    partitions = ARRAY[ARRAY['p2_value1', 'p2_value2']],
    columns = ARRAY['col_1', 'col_2'])

This query collects statistics for columns col_1 and col_2 for the partition with keys p2_value1, p2_value2.

Note that if statistics were previously collected for all columns, they need to be dropped before re-analyzing just a subset:

CALL system.drop_stats(schema_name, table_name, ARRAY[ARRAY['p2_value1', 'p2_value2']])

Schema Evolution#

Hive allows the partitions in a table to have a different schema than the table. This occurs when the column types of a table are changed after partitions already exist (that use the original column types). The Hive connector supports this by allowing the same conversions as Hive:

  • varchar to and from tinyint, smallint, integer and bigint
  • real to double
  • Widening conversions for integers, such as tinyint to smallint

Any conversion failure results in null, which is the same behavior as Hive. For example, converting the string 'foo' to a number, or converting the string '1234' to a tinyint (which has a maximum value of 127).

Avro Schema Evolution#

Presto supports querying and manipulating Hive tables with the Avro storage format, which has the schema set based on an Avro schema file/literal. Presto is also capable of creating the tables in Presto by infering the schema from a valid Avro schema file located locally, or remotely in HDFS/Web server.

To specify that the Avro schema should be used for interpreting table’s data one must use avro_schema_url table property. The schema can be placed remotely in HDFS (e.g. avro_schema_url = 'hdfs://user/avro/schema/avro_data.avsc'), S3 (e.g. avro_schema_url = 's3n:///schema_bucket/schema/avro_data.avsc'), a web server (e.g. avro_schema_url = 'http://example.org/schema/avro_data.avsc') as well as local file system. This URL, where the schema is located, must be accessible from the Hive metastore and Presto coordinator/worker nodes.

The table created in Presto using avro_schema_url behaves the same way as a Hive table with avro.schema.url or avro.schema.literal set.


CREATE TABLE hive.avro.avro_data (
   id bigint
   format = 'AVRO',
   avro_schema_url = '/usr/local/avro_data.avsc'

The columns listed in the DDL (id in the above example) is ignored if avro_schema_url is specified. The table schema matches the schema in the Avro schema file. Before any read operation, the Avro schema is accessed so the query result reflects any changes in schema. Thus Presto takes advantage of Avro’s backward compatibility abilities.

If the schema of the table changes in the Avro schema file, the new schema can still be used to read old data. Newly added/renamed fields must have a default value in the Avro schema file.

The schema evolution behavior is as follows:

  • Column added in new schema: Data created with an older schema produces a default value when table is using the new schema.
  • Column removed in new schema: Data created with an older schema no longer outputs the data from the column that was removed.
  • Column is renamed in the new schema: This is equivalent to removing the column and adding a new one, and data created with an older schema produces a default value when table is using the new schema.
  • Changing type of column in the new schema: If the type coercion is supported by Avro or the Hive connector, then the conversion happens. An error is thrown for incompatible types.


The following operations are not supported when avro_schema_url is set:

  • CREATE TABLE AS is not supported.
  • Using partitioning(partitioned_by) or bucketing(bucketed_by) columns are not supported in CREATE TABLE.
  • ALTER TABLE commands modifying columns are not supported.


  • system.create_empty_partition(schema_name, table_name, partition_columns, partition_values)

    Create an empty partition in the specified table.

  • system.sync_partition_metadata(schema_name, table_name, mode)

    Check and update partitions list in metastore. There are three modes available:

    • ADD : add any partitions that exist on the file system, but not in the metastore.
    • DROP: drop any partitions that exist in the metastore, but not on the file system.
    • FULL: perform both ADD and DROP.
  • system.drop_stats(schema_name, table_name, partition_values)

    Drops statistics for a subset of partitions or the entire table. The partitions are specified as an array whose elements are arrays of partition values (similar to the partition_values argument in create_empty_partition). A null value for the partition_values argument indicates that stats should be dropped for the entire table.

  • system.register_partition(schema_name, table_name, partition_columns, partition_values, location)

    Registers existing location as a new partition in the metastore for the specified table.

    Due to security reasons, the procedure is enabled only when hive.allow-register-partition-procedure is set to true.

  • system.unregister_partition(schema_name, table_name, partition_columns, partition_values)

    Unregisters given, existing partition in the metastore for the specified table. The partition data is not deleted.

Special Columns#

In addition to the defined columns, the Hive connector automatically exposes metadata in a number of hidden columns in each table. You can use these columns in your SQL statements like any other column, e.g., they can be selected directly or used in conditional statements.

  • $bucket
    Bucket number for this row.
  • $path
    Full file system path name of the file for this row.
  • $file_modified_time
    Date and time of the last modification of the file for this row.
  • $file_size
    Size of the file for this row.

Special Tables#

Table Properties#

The raw Hive table properties are available as a hidden table, containing a separate column per table property, with a single row containing the property values. The properties table name is the same as the table name with $properties appended.

You can inspect the property names and values with a simple query:

SELECT * FROM hive.web."page_views$properties";


The Hive connector supports querying and manipulating Hive tables and schemas (databases). While some uncommon operations need to be performed using Hive directly, most operations can be performed using Presto.

Create a new Hive schema named web that stores tables in an S3 bucket named my-bucket:

WITH (location = 's3://my-bucket/')

Create a new Hive table named page_views in the web schema that is stored using the ORC file format, partitioned by date and country, and bucketed by user into 50 buckets. Note that Hive requires the partition columns to be the last columns in the table:

CREATE TABLE hive.web.page_views (
  view_time timestamp,
  user_id bigint,
  page_url varchar,
  ds date,
  country varchar
  format = 'ORC',
  partitioned_by = ARRAY['ds', 'country'],
  bucketed_by = ARRAY['user_id'],
  bucket_count = 50

Drop a partition from the page_views table:

DELETE FROM hive.web.page_views
WHERE ds = DATE '2016-08-09'
  AND country = 'US'

Add an empty partition to the page_views table:

CALL system.create_empty_partition(
    schema_name => 'web',
    table_name => 'page_views',
    partition_columns => ARRAY['ds', 'country'],
    partition_values => ARRAY['2016-08-09', 'US']);

Drop stats for a partition of the page_views table:

CALL system.drop_stats(
    schema_name => 'web',
    table_name => 'page_views',
    partition_values => ARRAY['2016-08-09', 'US']);

Query the page_views table:

SELECT * FROM hive.web.page_views

List the partitions of the page_views table:

SELECT * FROM hive.web."page_views$partitions"

Create an external Hive table named request_logs that points at existing data in S3:

CREATE TABLE hive.web.request_logs (
  request_time timestamp,
  url varchar,
  ip varchar,
  user_agent varchar
  format = 'TEXTFILE',
  external_location = 's3://my-bucket/data/logs/'

Collect statistics for the request_logs table:

ANALYZE hive.web.request_logs;

The examples shown here should work on Google Cloud Storage after replacing s3:// with gs://.

Cleaning up#

Drop the external table request_logs. This only drops the metadata for the table. The referenced data directory is not deleted:

DROP TABLE hive.web.request_logs

Drop a schema:

DROP SCHEMA hive.web

Hive Connector Limitations#

  • DELETE is only supported if the WHERE clause matches entire partitions.
  • ALTER SCHEMA usage fails, since the Hive metastore does not support renaming schemas.