Performing Filesystem Operations on MapR Database Tables

The MapR file system stores tables in the same namespace as files. You can move and delete tables in much the same way as you can with files. All file system operations remain accessible with the hadoop fs command.

Volume properties, such as replication factor or rack topology, that apply to the specified location also apply to tables stored at that location. You can move a table with the Linux mv command or the hadoop fs -mv command.

When you use Direct Access NFS or the hadoop fs -ls command to access a MapR cluster, tables and files are listed together. Because the client's Linux commands are not table-aware, other Linux file manipulation commands, notably file read and write commands, are not available for MapR Database tables.

This section describes the operations that you can perform on MapR Database tables through a Linux command line when you access the cluster through NFS or with the hadoop fs commands.

Setting Permissions

MapR Database tables do not support setting user permissions through the UNIX chmod command or the hadoop fs -chmod analogue. Instead, MapR Database table access is controlled with Access Control Expressions (ACEs). See Enabling Table and Stream Authorizations with ACEs.

Read and Write

You cannot perform read or write operations on a MapR Database table from a Linux file system context. For example, you cannot use the cat command to view the content of a table or search through a table with the grep command. MapR Filesystem returns an error when an application attempts to read or write to a MapR Database table.


You can move a MapR Database table within a volume with the mv command over NFS or with the hadoop fs -mv command. These moves are subject to the standard permissions restrictions. Moves across volumes are not currently supported.


You can remove a table with the rm command over NFS or with the hadoop fs -rm command. These commands remove the table from the namespace and asynchronously reclaims the disk space. You can remove a directory that includes both files and tables with the rm -r or hadoop fs -rmr commands.

Note: To prevent users from deleting a particular table, you must ensure that users do not have WRITE permission on the folder in which the table is located. Permissions on the table itself are not used in evaluating whether a user can delete the table. This convention follows standard UNIX rules for file and directory permissions.

Copy and Recursive/Directory Copy

Table copying at the file-system level is not supported. See Migrating Between Apache HBase Tables and MapR Database Tables for information on copying tables using the HBase shell.