Create HDInsight clusters using the Azure CLI

The steps in this document walk-through creating a HDInsight 3.6 cluster using the Azure CLI.


Billing for HDInsight clusters is prorated per minute, whether you use them or not. Be sure to delete your cluster after you finish using it. See how to delete an HDInsight cluster.

If you don't have an Azure subscription, create a free account before you begin.


Azure CLI. If you haven't installed the Azure CLI, see Install the Azure CLI for steps.

Use Azure Cloud Shell

Azure hosts Azure Cloud Shell, an interactive shell environment that you can use through your browser. Cloud Shell lets you use either bash or PowerShell to work with Azure services. You can use the Cloud Shell pre-installed commands to run the code in this article without having to install anything on your local environment.

To launch Azure Cloud Shell:

Option Example/Link
Select Try It in the upper-right corner of a code block. Selecting Try It doesn't automatically copy the code to Cloud Shell. Example of Try It for Azure Cloud Shell
Go to or select the Launch Cloud Shell button to open Cloud Shell in your browser. Launch Cloud Shell in a new window
Select the Cloud Shell button on the top-right menu bar in the Azure portal. Cloud Shell button in the Azure portal

To run the code in this article in Azure Cloud Shell:

  1. Launch Cloud Shell.

  2. Select the Copy button on a code block to copy the code.

  3. Paste the code into the Cloud Shell session with Ctrl+Shift+V on Windows and Linux, or Cmd+Shift+V on macOS.

  4. Press Enter to run the code.

Create a cluster

  1. Login to your Azure subscription. If you plan to use Azure Cloud Shell then simply select Try it in the upper-right corner of the code block. Else, enter the command below:

    az login
    # If you have multiple subscriptions, set the one to use
    # az account set --subscription "SUBSCRIPTIONID"
  2. Set environment variables. The use of variables in this article is based on Bash. Slight variations will be needed for other environments. See az-hdinsight-create for a complete list of possible parameters for cluster creation.

    Parameter Description
    --size The number of worker nodes in the cluster. This article uses the variable clusterSizeInNodes as the value passed to --size.
    --version The HDInsight cluster version. This article uses the variable clusterVersion as the value passed to --version. See also: Supported HDInsight versions.
    --type Type of HDInsight cluster, like: hadoop, interactivehive, hbase, kafka, storm, spark, rserver, mlservices. This article uses the variable clusterType as the value passed to --type. See also: Cluster types and configuration.
    --component-version The versions of various Hadoop components, in space-separated versions in 'component=version' format. This article uses the variable componentVersion as the value passed to --component-version. See also: Hadoop components.

    Replace RESOURCEGROUPNAME, LOCATION, CLUSTERNAME, STORAGEACCOUNTNAME, and PASSWORD with the desired values. Change values for the other variables as desired. Then enter the CLI commands.

    export resourceGroupName=RESOURCEGROUPNAME
    export location=LOCATION
    export clusterName=CLUSTERNAME
    export httpCredential='PASSWORD'
    export sshCredentials='PASSWORD'
    export AZURE_STORAGE_CONTAINER=$clusterName
    export clusterSizeInNodes=1
    export clusterVersion=3.6
    export clusterType=hadoop
    export componentVersion=Hadoop=2.7
  3. Create the resource group by entering the command below:

    az group create \
        --location $location \
        --name $resourceGroupName

    For a list of valid locations, use the az account list-locations command, and then use one of the locations from the name value.

  4. Create an Azure storage account by entering the command below:

    # Note: kind BlobStorage is not available as the default storage account.
    az storage account create \
        --name $AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT \
        --resource-group $resourceGroupName \
        --https-only true \
        --kind StorageV2 \
        --location $location \
        --sku Standard_LRS
  5. Extract the primary key from the Azure storage account and store it in a variable by entering the command below:

    export AZURE_STORAGE_KEY=$(az storage account keys list \
        --account-name $AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT \
        --resource-group $resourceGroupName \
        --query [0].value -o tsv)
  6. Create an Azure storage container by entering the command below:

    az storage container create \
        --account-key $AZURE_STORAGE_KEY \
        --account-name $AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT
  7. Create the HDInsight cluster by entering the following command:

    az hdinsight create \
        --name $clusterName \
        --resource-group $resourceGroupName \
        --type $clusterType \
        --component-version $componentVersion \
        --http-password $httpCredential \
        --http-user admin \
        --location $location \
        --size $clusterSizeInNodes \
        --ssh-password $sshCredentials \
        --ssh-user sshuser \
        --storage-account $AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT \
        --storage-account-key $AZURE_STORAGE_KEY \
        --storage-default-container $AZURE_STORAGE_CONTAINER \
        --version $clusterVersion


    HDInsight clusters come in various types, which correspond to the workload or technology that the cluster is tuned for. There is no supported method to create a cluster that combines multiple types, such as Storm and HBase on one cluster.

    It may take several minutes for the cluster creation process to finish. Usually around 15.

Clean up resources

After you complete the article, you may want to delete the cluster. With HDInsight, your data is stored in Azure Storage, so you can safely delete a cluster when it is not in use. You are also charged for an HDInsight cluster, even when it is not in use. Since the charges for the cluster are many times more than the charges for storage, it makes economic sense to delete clusters when they are not in use.

Enter all or some of the following commands to remove resources:

# Remove cluster
az hdinsight delete \
    --name $clusterName \
    --resource-group $resourceGroupName

# Remove storage container
az storage container delete \
    --account-name $AZURE_STORAGE_ACCOUNT \

# Remove storage account
az storage account delete \
    --resource-group $resourceGroupName

# Remove resource group
az group delete \
    --name $resourceGroupName


If you run into issues with creating HDInsight clusters, see access control requirements.

Next steps

Now that you have successfully created an HDInsight cluster using the Azure CLI, use the following to learn how to work with your cluster:

Apache Hadoop clusters

Apache HBase clusters

Apache Storm clusters