Amazon EMR
Management Guide

Consistent View

EMRFS consistent view monitors Amazon S3 list consistency for objects written by or synced with EMRFS, delete consistency for objects deleted by EMRFS, and read-after-write consistency for new objects written by EMRFS.

Amazon S3 is designed for eventual consistency. For instance, buckets in all regions provide read-after-write consistency for put requests of new objects and eventual consistency for overwrite of put and delete requests. Therefore, if you are listing objects in an Amazon S3 bucket quickly after putting new objects, Amazon S3 does not provide a guarantee to return a consistent listing and it may be incomplete. This is more common in quick sequential MapReduce jobs which use Amazon S3 as a data store.

EMRFS includes a command line utility on the master node, emrfs, which allows administrator to perform operations on metadata such as import, delete, and sync. For more information about the EMRFS CLI, see EMRFS CLI Reference.

For a given path, EMRFS returns the set of objects listed in the EMRFS metadata and those returned directly by Amazon S3. Because Amazon S3 is still the “source of truth” for the objects in a path, EMRFS ensures that everything in a specified Amazon S3 path is being processed regardless of whether it is tracked in the metadata. However, EMRFS consistent view only ensures that the objects in the folders which you are tracking are being checked for consistency. The following topics give further details about how to enable and use consistent view.


If you directly delete objects from Amazon S3 that are being tracked in the EMRFS metadata, EMRFS sees an entry for that object in the metadata but not the object in an Amazon S3 list or get request. Therefore, EMRFS treats the object as inconsistent and throws an exception after it has exhausted retries. You should use EMRFS to delete objects in Amazon S3 that are being tracked in the consistent view, purge the entries in the metadata for objects directly deleted in Amazon S3, or sync the consistent view with Amazon S3 immediately after you delete objects directly from Amazon S3.

To read an article about EMRFS consistency, see the Ensuring Consistency When Using Amazon S3 and Amazon Elastic MapReduce for ETL Workflows post on the AWS Big Data blog.