Access Apache Hadoop YARN application logs on Windows-based HDInsight

This document explains how to access the logs for Apache Hadoop YARN applications that have finished on a Windows-based Apache Hadoop cluster in Azure HDInsight


The information in this document applies only to Windows-based HDInsight clusters. Linux is the only operating system used on HDInsight version 3.4 or greater. For more information, see HDInsight retirement on Windows. For information on accessing YARN logs on Linux-based HDInsight clusters, see Access Apache Hadoop YARN application logs on Linux-based Apache Hadoop on HDInsight.


YARN Timeline Server

The Apache Hadoop YARN Timeline Server provides generic information on completed applications as well as framework-specific application information through two different interfaces. Specifically:

  • Storage and retrieval of generic application information on HDInsight clusters has been enabled with version or higher.
  • The framework-specific application information component of the Timeline Server is not currently available on HDInsight clusters.

Generic information on applications includes the following sorts of data:

  • The application ID, a unique identifier of an application
  • The user who started the application
  • Information on attempts made to complete the application
  • The containers used by any given application attempt

On your HDInsight clusters, this information is stored by Azure Resource Manager. The information is saved to the history store in the default storage for the cluster. This generic data on completed applications can be retrieved through a REST API:

GET on https://<cluster-dns-name>

YARN applications and logs

YARN supports multiple programming models by decoupling resource management from application scheduling/monitoring. YARN uses a global ResourceManager (RM), per-worker-node NodeManagers (NMs), and per-application ApplicationMasters (AMs). The per-application AM negotiates resources (CPU, memory, disk, network) for running your application with the RM. The RM works with NMs to grant these resources, which are granted as containers. The AM is responsible for tracking the progress of the containers assigned to it by the RM. An application may require many containers depending on the nature of the application.

  • Each application may consist of multiple application attempts.
  • Containers are granted to a specific attempt of an application.
  • A container provides the context for a basic unit of work.
  • Work that is done within the context of a container is performed on the single worker node that the container was allocated to.

For more information, see Apache Hadoop YARN Concepts.

Application logs (and the associated container logs) are critical in debugging problematic Hadoop applications. YARN provides a nice framework for collecting, aggregating, and storing application logs with the Log Aggregation feature. The Log Aggregation feature makes accessing application logs more deterministic, as it aggregates logs across all containers on a worker node and stores them as one aggregated log file per worker node on the default file system after an application finishes. Your application may use hundreds or thousands of containers, but logs for all containers run on a single worker node are aggregated to a single file, resulting in one file per worker node used by your application. Log Aggregation is enabled by default on HDInsight clusters (version 3.0 and above), and aggregated logs can be found in the default container of your cluster at the following location:


In that location, user is the name of the user who started the application, and applicationId is the unique identifier of an application as assigned by the YARN RM.

The aggregated logs are not directly readable, as they are written in a TFile, binary format indexed by container. YARN provides CLI tools to dump these logs as plain text for applications or containers of interest. You can view these logs as plain text by running one of the following YARN commands directly on the cluster nodes (after connecting to it through RDP):

yarn logs -applicationId <applicationId> -appOwner <user-who-started-the-application>
yarn logs -applicationId <applicationId> -appOwner <user-who-started-the-application> -containerId <containerId> -nodeAddress <worker-node-address>

YARN ResourceManager UI

The YARN ResourceManager UI runs on the cluster headnode, and can be accessed through the Azure portal dashboard:

  1. Sign in to Azure portal.
  2. On the left menu, click Browse, click HDInsight Clusters, click a Windows-based cluster that you want to access the YARN application logs.
  3. On the top menu, click Dashboard. You see a page opened on a new browser tab called HDInsight Query Console.
  4. From HDInsight Query Console, click Yarn UI.