Altering Column Families

There are several methods that you can use to edit column families in MapR-DB tables. These methods also let you change permissions on column families.

Permissions Required

  • readAce and writeAce on the volume
  • lookupdir on directories in the path to the table
  • createrenamefamilyperm on the table

Methods Common to Both Table Types

These methods allow you to create column families in both binary tables and JSON tables.

maprcli command

The basic command to edit a column family is:
maprcli table cf edit -path <path> -cfname <name_of_column_family> options
For the full list of options for this command, see table cf edit.

The format of the value of the -path parameter depends on whether you are creating a table on a local cluster or a remote cluster:

  • For a path on the local cluster, start the path at the volume mount point. For example, for a table named test under a volume with a mount point at /volume1, specify the following path: /volume1/test
  • For a path on a remote cluster, you must also specify the cluster name in the path. For example, for a table named customer under volume1 in the sanfrancisco cluster, specify the following path:/mapr/sanfrancisco/volume1/customer


  1. Open the table that contains the column family that you want to edit.
  2. Click the Column Families tab.

    Figure: Where to find the Column Families tab

  3. Click the Edit Column Family button.

The Edit Column Family window opens.

Method for Binary Tables Only

HBase Shell

After starting the HBase shell, run the alter command. Type help to see a list of commands and their syntax.