Understand the HDFS metadata directory details taken from a NameNode.

The following example shows an HDFS metadata directory taken from a NameNode. This shows the output of running the tree command on the metadata directory, which is configured by setting in hdfs-site.xml.

├── current│ 
├── edits_0000000000000000001-0000000000000000007
│ ├── edits_0000000000000000008-0000000000000000015
│ ├── edits_0000000000000000016-0000000000000000022
│ ├── edits_0000000000000000023-0000000000000000029
│ ├── edits_0000000000000000030-0000000000000000030
│ ├── edits_0000000000000000031-0000000000000000031
│ ├── edits_inprogress_0000000000000000032
│ ├── fsimage_0000000000000000030
│ ├── fsimage_0000000000000000030.md5
│ ├── fsimage_0000000000000000031
│ ├── fsimage_0000000000000000031.md5
│ └── seen_txid
└── in_use.lock

In this example, the same directory has been used for both fsimage and edits. Alternative configuration options are available that allow separating fsimage and edits into different directories. Each file within this directory serves a specific purpose in the overall scheme of metadata persistence:


Text file that contains the following elements:


Version of the HDFS metadata format. When you add new features that require a change to the metadata format, you change this number. An HDFS upgrade is required when the current HDFS software uses a layout version that is newer than the current one.


Unique identifiers of an HDFS cluster. These identifiers are used to prevent DataNodes from registering accidentally with an incorrect NameNode that is part of a different cluster. These identifiers also are particularly important in a federated deployment. Within a federated deployment, there are multiple NameNodes working independently. Each NameNode serves a unique portion of the namespace (namespaceID) and manages a unique set of blocks (blockpoolID). The clusterID ties the whole cluster together as a single logical unit. This structure is the same across all nodes in the cluster.


Always NAME_NODE for the NameNode, and never JOURNAL_NODE.


Creation time of file system state. This field is updated during HDFS upgrades.

edits_start transaction ID-end transaction ID

Finalized and unmodifiable edit log segments. Each of these files contains all of the edit log transactions in the range defined by the file name. In an High Availability deployment, the standby can only read up through the finalized log segments. The standby NameNode is not up-to-date with the current edit log in progress. When an HA failover happens, the failover finalizes the current log segment so that it is completely caught up before switching to active.

fsimage_end transaction ID

Contains the complete metadata image up through . Each fsimage file also has a corresponding .md5 file containing a MD5 checksum, which HDFS uses to guard against disk corruption.


Contains the last transaction ID of the last checkpoint (merge of edits into an fsimage) or edit log roll (finalization of current edits_inprogress and creation of a new one). This is not the last transaction ID accepted by the NameNode. The file is not updated on every transaction, only on a checkpoint or an edit log roll. The purpose of this file is to try to identify if edits are missing during startup. It is possible to configure the NameNode to use separate directories for fsimage and edits files. If the edits directory accidentally gets deleted, then all transactions since the last checkpoint would go away, and the NameNode starts up using just fsimage at an old state. To guard against this, NameNode startup also checks seen_txid to verify that it can load transactions at least up through that number. It aborts startup if it cannot verify the load transactions.


Lock file held by the NameNode process, used to prevent multiple NameNode processes from starting up and concurrently modifying the directory.