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Apache Hive

This page contains information about connecting Looker to Apache Hive.


Looker is architected to connect to a database server via JDBC. In the case of Hive, this is the thrift server (HiveServer2). See the Apache documentation for more information.

By default, this server will listen on port 10000.

Looker is an interactive querying tool, so it expects to work with an interactive SQL engine. If Hive is running on MapReduce — hive.execution.engine is set to mr — then Hive will return query results too slowly to be practical.

Looker was tested with Hive on Tez (hive.execution.engine=tez), although it is also possible to run Looker against Hive on Spark. Spark support was added in Hive version 1.1. (Looker supports Hive 1.2.1+.)

Persistent derived tables (PDTs)

To enable persistent derived tables (PDTs) in Looker using a Hive connection, create a scratch schema for Looker to use. Here is an example of a command you can use to create a looker_scratch schema:

CREATE SCHEMA looker_scratch;

The user account that Looker uses to connect to Hive (which can be anonymous if no authentication is used) must have the following abilities in the scratch schema:

Test this with a JDBC client before attempting to create PDTs with Hive.


If you want queries from Looker to go into a specific queue, enter the queue name parameter in the Additional Params field on the Connection Settings page:


Other Hive parameters can be set this way in the Additional Params field on the Connection Settings page.

Using user attributes, it is possible for queries from different users or different groups of users to go into different queues. To do this, create a user attribute named something like queue_name, then in the Additional Params field, add:

?tez.queue.name={{ _user_attributes['queue_name'] }}

You can use this to customize other hive-site.xml parameters on a per-user or per-group basis as well.

Adding the connection

In the Admin section of Looker, select Connections, and then select New Connection.

Fill out the connection details (see the Connecting Looker to your database documentation page for more information):

Feature support

For Looker to support some features, your database dialect must also support them.

In Looker 22.10, Apache Hive 2 supports the following Looker features:

In Looker 22.10, Apache Hive 2.3+ supports the following Looker features:

In Looker 22.10, Apache Hive 3.1.2+ supports the following Looker features:

Next steps

After you have connected your database to Looker, configure sign-in options for your users.