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Installing Cassandra 3.5 on Mac OS X El Capitan

Installing Cassandra on Mac OS X


Version Number might change!! The versions of all softwares mentioned here, including Cassandra will change as newer versions are launched.

Install Homebrew

Homebrew is a great little package manager for OS X. If you haven't already, installing it is pretty easy:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Install Python

Mac OS X has a copy of Python preinstalled, but this makes sure you get the newest version.

brew install python

Two Ways to Install Cassandra

A] Using Homebrew (This led to connection refused and compilatoin errors during cassandra and cqlsh startups for me) B] Using Binaries

A] Using Homebrew

Install cql

To use cqlsh, the Cassandra query language shell, you need to install cql:

pip install cql
pip install cassandra-driver

Install Cassandra

This installs Apache Cassandra:

brew install cassandra

Starting Cassandra

At the end of the install, brew will tell you about two ways to launch Cassandra. The first will launch it when the computer restarts, but this isn't recommended because you may not want to always run Cassandra. Instead use this command:

launchctl load ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.cassandra.plist

Or even easier:

launchctl start homebrew.mxcl.cassandra

and to stop:

launchctl stop homebrew.mxcl.cassandra

On Mavericks, Homebrew failed to move the plist file into LaunchAgents. Which gives this error message:

launchctl: Couldn't start("/Users/username/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.cassandra.plist"): No such file or directory

To fix this just issue the following command. Then, try using the launchctl load command again:

cp /usr/local/Cellar/cassandra/2.1.2/homebrew.mxcl.cassandra.plist ~/Library/LaunchAgents/

Cassandra file locations

Properties: /usr/local/etc/cassandra
Logs: /usr/local/var/log/cassandra
Data: /usr/local/var/lib/cassandra/data

Finally cqlsh should connect to cassandra:

$> cqlsh
Connected to Test Cluster at
[cqlsh 5.0.1 | Cassandra 2.1.2 | CQL spec 3.2.0 | Native protocol v3]
Use HELP for help.

B] Using Binaries

Here, we use Apache Cassandra as well as it's own bundled cqlsh tool instead of an external one. We install Cassandra 3.5 as a standalone, single node cluster. A single node cluster is an easy way to get started learning Cassandra on your laptop.

These installation steps show how to install a local copy of Cassandra. The benefits of a local copy are that you do not need root or sudo to install Cassandra, updating versions is quick and easy, and you can control how/when to install updates.

Install the Oracle JDK

Ensure that you have at least Java JDK version 7 installed.

Install Cassandra

mkdir -p ~/opt/packages && cd $_

curl -O

gzip -dc apache-cassandra-3.5-bin.tar.gz | tar xf -

ln -s ~/opt/packages/apache-cassandra-3.5 ~/opt/cassandra

Create data directories for Cassandra

In this step we need to create several directories that are used by Cassandra. Each directory is used by the following configuration variable in conf/cassandra.yaml:

  • data_file_directories: ~/opt/cassandra/data/data
  • commitlog_directory: ~/opt/cassandra/data/commitlog
  • saved_caches_directory: ~/opt/cassandra/data/saved_caches

The logs directory is used by logback which is configured via the conf/logback.xml file.

mkdir -p ~/opt/cassandra/data/data

mkdir -p ~/opt/cassandra/data/commitlog

mkdir -p ~/opt/cassandra/data/saved_caches

mkdir -p ~/opt/cassandra/logs

Add Cassandra to your PATH

Update your PATH to include Cassandra. open -a TextEdit ~/.bash_profile Paste the following into your .bash_profile file.

# include locally installed Cassandra in PATH
if [ -d "$HOME/opt" ]; then

Source your .bash_profile file. source .bash_profile

Start the Cassandra server

We’re going to run Cassandra in the foreground during development. Cassandra will output a lot of information to the terminal when we start the server. However, this information can be useful during development in case there is a problem with the server. cassandra -f Press Ctrl + C when you are ready to stop the server.

Use Apache's bundled cqlsh

One can also use a symlink, but I created an alias in my .zshrc file to point to Cassandra's own cqlsh tool instead of an external one:

alias cqlsh="~/opt/packages/apache-cassandra-3.5/bin/cqlsh"

Now type and hit return:


You should see this:

Connected to Test Cluster at
[cqlsh 5.0.1 | Cassandra 3.5 | CQL spec 3.4.0 | Native protocol v4]
Use HELP for help.



A combination of below posts and my own workarounds was used to create this.

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