Installing Spark 1.6.1 on a Mac with Scala 2.11

I have recently gone through the process of installing Spark in my mac for testing and development purposes. I also wanted to make sure I could use the installation not only with Scala, but also with PySpark through a Jupyter notebook.

If you are interested in doing the same, here are the steps I followed. First of all, here are the packages you will need:

  • Python 2.7 or higher
  • Java SE Development Kit
  • Scala and Scala Build Tool
  • Spark 1.6.1 (at the time of writing)
  • Jupyter Notebook


You can chose the best python distribution that suits your needs. I find Anaconda to be fine for my purposes. You can obtain a graphical installer from I am using Python 2.7 at the time of writing.

Java SE Development Kit

You will need to download Oracle Java SE Development Kit 7 or 8 at Oracle JDK downloads page. In my case, at the time of writing I am using 1.7.0_80. You can check the version you have by opening a terminal and typing

You also have to make sure that the appropriate environment variable is set up. In your ~/.bashr_profile  add the following lines:

Scala and Scala Build Tool

In this case, I found it much easier to use Homebrew to install and manage the Scala language. I f you have never used Homebrew, I recommend that you take a look. To install it you have to type the following in your terminal:

Once you have Hombrew you can install Scala and the Scala Build Tool as follows:

You may want to create appropriate environments in your  ~/.bashr_profile :

Spark 1.6.1

Obtain Spark from

Note that for building Spark with Scala 2.11 you will need to download the Spark source code and build it appropriately.


Once you have downloaded the tgz file, unzip it into an appropriate location (your home directory for example) and navigate to the unzipped folder (for example ~/spark-1.6.1 )

To build Spark with Scala 2.11 you need to type the following commands:

This may take a while, so sit tight! When finished, you can check that everything is working by launching either the Scala shell:

or the Python shell:

Once again there are some environment variables that are recommended:

The last line is an alias that will enable us to launch a Jupyter notebook with PySpark. Totally optional!

Jupyter Notebook

If all is working well you are ready to go. Source your bash_profile  and  launch a Jupyter notebook:

Et voilà!