Run commands and scripts on an Amazon EMR cluster - Amazon EMR

Run commands and scripts on an Amazon EMR cluster

This topic covers how to run a command or a script as a step on your cluster. Running a command or script as a step is one of the many ways you can Submit work to a cluster and is useful in the following situations:

  • When you don't have SSH access to your Amazon EMR cluster

  • When you want to run a bash or shell command to troubleshoot your cluster

You can run a script either when you create a cluster or when you cluster is in the WAITING state. To run a script before step processing begins, you use a bootstrap action instead. For more information about bootstrap actions, see Create bootstrap actions to install additional software in the Amazon EMR Management Guide.

Amazon EMR provides the following tools to help you run scripts, commands, and other on-cluster programs. You can invoke both tools using the Amazon EMR management console or the AWS CLI.


Located on the Amazon EMR AMI for your cluster. You can use command-runner.jar to run commands on your cluster. You specify command-runner.jar without using its full path.


Hosted on Amazon S3 at s3://<region>.elasticmapreduce/libs/script-runner/script-runner.jar where <region> is the Region in which your Amazon EMR cluster resides. You can use script-runner.jar to run scripts saved locally or on Amazon S3 on your cluster. You must specify the full URI of script-runner.jar when you submit a step.

Submit a custom JAR step to run a script or command

The following AWS CLI examples illustrate some common use cases of command-runner.jar and script-runner.jar on Amazon EMR.

Example : Running a command on a cluster using command-runner.jar

When you use command-runner.jar, you specify commands, options, and values in your step's list of arguments.

The following AWS CLI example submits a step to a running cluster that invokes command-runner.jar. The specified command in the Args list downloads a script called from Amazon S3 into the hadoop user home directory. The command then modifies the script's permissions and runs

When you use the AWS CLI, the items in your Args list should be comma separated with no whitespace between list elements. For example, Args=[example-command,example-option,"example option value"] instead of Args=[example-command, example-option, "example option value"].

aws emr add-steps \ --cluster-id j-2AXXXXXXGAPLF \ --steps Type=CUSTOM_JAR,Name="Download a script from S3, change its permissions, and run it",ActionOnFailure=CONTINUE,Jar=command-runner.jar,Args=[bash,-c,"aws s3 cp s3://EXAMPLE-DOC-BUCKET/ /home/hadoop; chmod u+x /home/hadoop/; cd /home/hadoop; ./"]

Example : Running a script on a cluster using script-runner.jar

When you use script-runner.jar, you specify the script that you want to run in your step's list of arguments.

The following AWS CLI example submits a step to a running cluster that invokes script-runner.jar. In this case, the script called is stored on Amazon S3. You can also specify local scripts that are stored on the master node of your cluster.

aws emr add-steps \ --cluster-id j-2AXXXXXXGAPLF \ --steps Type=CUSTOM_JAR,Name="Run a script from S3 with script-runner.jar",ActionOnFailure=CONTINUE,Jar=s3://us-west-2.elasticmapreduce/libs/script-runner/script-runner.jar,Args=[s3://EXAMPLE-DOC-BUCKET/]

Other ways to use command-runner.jar

You can also use command-runner.jar to submit work to a cluster with tools such as spark-submit or hadoop-streaming. When you launch an application using command-runner.jar, you specify CUSTOM_JAR as the step type instead of using a value like SPARK, STREAMING, or PIG. Tool availability varies depending on which applications you've installed on the cluster.

The following example command uses command-runner.jar to submit a step using spark-submit. The Args list specifies spark-submit as the command, followed by the Amazon S3 URI of the Spark application with arguments and values.

aws emr add-steps \ --cluster-id j-2AXXXXXXGAPLF \ --steps Type=CUSTOM_JAR,Name="Run spark-submit using command-runner.jar",ActionOnFailure=CONTINUE,Jar=command-runner.jar,Args=[spark-submit,S3://DOC-EXAMPLE-BUCKET/,ArgName1,ArgValue1,ArgName2,ArgValue2]

The following table identifies additional tools that you can run using command-runner.jar.

Tool name Description
hadoop-streaming Submits an Hadoop streaming program. In the console and some SDKs, this is a streaming step.
hive-script Runs a Hive script. In the console and SDKs, this is a Hive step.
pig-script Runs a Pig script. In the console and SDKs, this is a Pig step.

Runs a Spark application. In the console, this is a Spark step.

hadoop-lzo Runs the Hadoop LZO indexer on a directory.
s3-dist-cp Distributed copy large amounts of data from Amazon S3 into HDFS. For more information, see S3DistCp (s3-dist-cp).