Installing cassandra on Centos 5

Just a quick post on how-to install cassandra on Centos 5, and getting the required bits on to stop all the errors you will see, such as JNA and MX4J missing.

First you need to get all the required modules from yum, to prepare the server.

yum -y install gcc-c++ make cmake python-devel bzip2-devel zlib-devel
yum -y install log4cpp-devel git git-core cronolog google-perftools-devel
yum -y install readline-devel ncurses-devel libtool autoconf expat
yum -y install libevent-devel flex byacc expat-devel

# Perl Modules for Thrift Install
yum -y install perl-Bit-Vector perl-Class-Accessor

# Java Install
yum -y remove jpackage-utils
rpm -ivh jpackage-utils-1.7.5-1jpp.1.el5.centos.noarch.rpm
yum -y install xml-commons-apis xml-commons-apis-javadoc ant
yum -y install java
yum -y install log4j jakarta-commons-logging jakarta-commons-lang
yum -y install java-1.4.2-gcj-compat java-1.4.2-gcj-compat-devel

Next you will want to download the latest version of cassandra available at

I have chosen to install cassandra in the following location: /usr/local/share/cassandra

tar -xvf apache-cassandra-0.8.4-bin.tar.gz
mkdir /usr/local/share/cassandra/
cp ~/apache-cassandra-0.8.4/* /usr/local/share/cassandra -R -f;
cd /usr/local/share/cassandra

Installing JNA is done as follows:

wget “” –no-check-certificate -O /usr/local/share/cassandra/lib/jna.jar
chmod 755 /usr/local/share/cassandra/lib/jna.jar

MX4J is installed with:

wget “”
tar zxvf mx4j-3.0.2.tar.gz mx4j-3.0.2/lib/mx4j-tools.jar
cp mx4j-3.0.2/lib/mx4j-tools.jar /usr/local/share/cassandra/lib/
chmod 755 /usr/local/share/cassandra/lib/mx4j-tools.jar

Switching to Sun Java
You will need to download the latest JDK from SUN, and can switch from OpenJDK with the following

rpm /root/jdk-7-linux-x64.rpm -ivh
/usr/sbin/alternatives –install /usr/bin/java java /usr/java/jdk1.7.0/bin/java 2 && /usr/sbin/alternatives –config java

Just enter the number of the new JDK in the selection above, and hit enter (on a fresh install, its usually #3)

Finishing up.
After you have everything above done, you should just be able to edit the config file /usr/local/share/cassandra/conf/cassandra.yaml, and then run cassandra /usr/local/share/cassandra/bin/cassandra

If you are running a cluster setup with cassandra, you can use a token calculator such as which will evenly spread the data across your nodes.

Also be sure to set your commit log and data directory on different disks.

The best option I have found is having the commitlog and OS on an SSD drive, and the data stored on a Raid 0 disk array with SAS drives. You want to make sure you have at least double the space available on disk as what you will be consuming with your nodes.