By Charnjeet Singh

2013-07-23 12:44:32 8 Comments

I have install Hadoop, Hive, Hive JD BC. which are running fine for me. But I still have a problem. How to delete or update a single record using Hive because delete or update command of MySQL is not working in hive.


hive> delete from student where id=1;
Usage: delete [FILE|JAR|ARCHIVE] <value> [<value>]*
Query returned non-zero code: 1, cause: null


@Charles Menguy 2013-07-23 14:08:27

You should not think about Hive as a regular RDBMS, Hive is better suited for batch processing over very large sets of immutable data.

The following applies to versions prior to Hive 0.14, see the answer by ashtonium for later versions.

There is no operation supported for deletion or update of a particular record or particular set of records, and to me this is more a sign of a poor schema.

Here is what you can find in the official documentation:

Hadoop is a batch processing system and Hadoop jobs tend to have high latency and
incur substantial overheads in job submission and scheduling. As a result -
latency for Hive queries is generally very high (minutes) even when data sets
involved are very small (say a few hundred megabytes). As a result it cannot be
compared with systems such as Oracle where analyses are conducted on a
significantly smaller amount of data but the analyses proceed much more
iteratively with the response times between iterations being less than a few
minutes. Hive aims to provide acceptable (but not optimal) latency for
interactive data browsing, queries over small data sets or test queries.

Hive is not designed for online transaction processing and does not offer
real-time queries and row level updates. It is best used for batch jobs over
large sets of immutable data (like web logs).

A way to work around this limitation is to use partitions: I don't know what you id corresponds to, but if you're getting different batches of ids separately, you could redesign your table so that it is partitioned by id, and then you would be able to easily drop partitions for the ids you want to get rid of.

@Charnjeet Singh 2013-07-25 11:22:54

Thanks for Reply...i have question in mind,,,which is best from HIVE,PIG,BIGSQL,IMPALA,etc...

@Charles Menguy 2015-02-28 05:03:32

For the sake of completion, in the most recent Hive version (0.14), you can finally do mutations like inserts, updates, deletes.

@jcollum 2016-09-12 19:51:25

@CharnjeetSingh considering the new information you should change the accepted answer

@Dennis Jaheruddin 2017-02-08 11:44:37

For those who think that the ID partitioning is a solution: It is not, it is just a workaround (that may in fact be very useful for specific use cases). If you get over 10000 partitions hive starts to lose usability.

@Devesh Sharma 2019-04-07 19:27:09

Once you have installed and configured Hive , create simple table :

hive>create table testTable(id int,name string)row format delimited fields terminated by ',';

Then, try to insert few rowsin test table.

hive>insert into table testTable values (1,'row1'),(2,'row2');

Now try to delete records , you just inserted in table.

hive>delete from testTable where id = 1;

Error! FAILED: SemanticException [Error 10294]: Attempt to do update or delete using transaction manager that does not support these operations.

By default transactions are configured to be off. It is been said that update is not supported with the delete operation used in the conversion manager. To support update/delete , you must change following configuration.

vi conf/hive-site.xml

Add below properties to file


Restart the service and then try delete command again :


FAILED: LockException [Error 10280]: Error communicating with the metastore.

There is problem with metastore. In order to use insert/update/delete operation, You need to change following configuration in conf/hive-site.xml as feature is currently in development.


Restart the service and then delete command again :

hive>delete from testTable where id = 1;


FAILED: SemanticException [Error 10297]: Attempt to do update or delete on table default.testTable that does not use an AcidOutputFormat or is not bucketed.

Only ORC file format is supported in this first release. The feature has been built such that transactions can be used by any storage format that can determine how updates or deletes apply to base records (basically, that has an explicit or implicit row id), but so far the integration work has only been done for ORC.

Tables must be bucketed to make use of these features. Tables in the same system not using transactions and ACID do not need to be bucketed.

See below built table example with ORCFileformat, bucket enabled and ('transactional'='true').

hive>create table testTableNew(id int ,name string ) clustered by (id) into 2 buckets stored as orc TBLPROPERTIES('transactional'='true');

Insert :

hive>insert into table testTableNew values (1,'row1'),(2,'row2'),(3,'row3');

Update :

hive>update testTableNew set name = 'updateRow2' where id = 2;

Delete :

hive>delete from testTableNew where id = 1;

Test :

hive>select * from testTableNew ;

@Yardi 2019-04-03 10:37:17

Recently I was looking to resolve a similar issue, Apache Hive, Hadoop do not support Update/Delete operations. So ? So you have two ways:

  1. Use a backup table: Save the whole table in a backup_table, then truncate your input table, then re-write only the data you are intrested to mantain.
  2. Use Uber Hudi: It's a framework created by Uber to resolve the HDFS limitations including Deletion and Update. You can give a look in this link:

an example for point 1:

Create table bck_table like input_table;
Insert overwrite table bck_table 
    select * from input_table;
Truncate table input_table;
Insert overwrite table input_table
    select * from bck_table where id <> 1;

NB: If the input_table is an external table you must follow the following link: How to truncate a partitioned external table in hive?

@Mufaddal Kamdar 2017-02-08 09:21:34

Good news,Insert updates and deletes are now possible on Hive/Impala using Kudu.

You need to use IMPALA/kudu to maintain the tables and perform insert/update/delete records. Details with examples can be found here: insert-update-delete-on-hadoop

Please share the news if you are excited.


@ie979 2018-08-09 02:52:37

One can also perform Updates/Deletes/Upserts in Kudu using Spark

@dilshad 2016-12-28 09:54:33

Configuration Values to Set for INSERT, UPDATE, DELETE In addition to the new parameters listed above, some existing parameters need to be set to support INSERT ... VALUES, UPDATE, and DELETE.

Configuration key Must be set to true (default is false) hive.enforce.bucketing true (default is false) (Not required as of Hive 2.0) hive.exec.dynamic.partition.mode nonstrict (default is strict)

Configuration Values to Set for Compaction

If the data in your system is not owned by the Hive user (i.e., the user that the Hive metastore runs as), then Hive will need permission to run as the user who owns the data in order to perform compactions. If you have already set up HiveServer2 to impersonate users, then the only additional work to do is assure that Hive has the right to impersonate users from the host running the Hive metastore. This is done by adding the hostname to hadoop.proxyuser.hive.hosts in Hadoop's core-site.xml file. If you have not already done this, then you will need to configure Hive to act as a proxy user. This requires you to set up keytabs for the user running the Hive metastore and add hadoop.proxyuser.hive.hosts and hadoop.proxyuser.hive.groups to Hadoop's core-site.xml file. See the Hadoop documentation on secure mode for your version of Hadoop (e.g., for Hadoop 2.5.1 it is at Hadoop in Secure Mode).

The UPDATE statement has the following limitations:

The expression in the WHERE clause must be an expression supported by a Hive SELECT clause.

Partition and bucket columns cannot be updated.

Query vectorization is automatically disabled for UPDATE statements. However, updated tables can still be queried using vectorization.

Subqueries are not allowed on the right side of the SET statement.

The following example demonstrates the correct usage of this statement:

UPDATE students SET name = null WHERE gpa <= 1.0;

DELETE Statement

Use the DELETE statement to delete data already written to Apache Hive.

DELETE FROM tablename [WHERE expression];

The DELETE statement has the following limitation: query vectorization is automatically disabled for the DELETE operation. However, tables with deleted data can still be queried using vectorization.

The following example demonstrates the correct usage of this statement:

DELETE FROM students WHERE gpa <= 1,0;

@Rushikesh Garadade 2016-10-25 06:40:16

To achieve your current need, you need to fire below query

> insert overwrite table student 
> select *from student 
> where id <> 1;

This will delete current table and create new table with same name with all rows except the rows that you want to exclude/delete

I tried this on Hive 1.2.1

@Dennis Jaheruddin 2017-02-08 11:47:03

Do you have any ideas about what happens if this process is either cancelled or gets stuck whilst in progress?

@Abid 2016-05-29 06:23:35

Delete has been recently added in Hive version 0.14 Deletes can only be performed on tables that support ACID Below is the link from Apache .

@Kaushik Lele 2015-08-25 12:53:40

If you want to delete all records then as a workaround load an empty file into table in OVERWRITE mode

hive> LOAD DATA LOCAL INPATH '/root/hadoop/textfiles/empty.txt' OVERWRITE INTO TABLE employee;
Loading data to table default.employee
Table default.employee stats: [numFiles=1, numRows=0, totalSize=0, rawDataSize=0]
Time taken: 0.19 seconds

hive> SELECT * FROM employee;
Time taken: 0.052 seconds

@Abhinandan Dubey 2019-02-07 16:52:56

You're a lifesaver !

@Devopam Mittra 2015-04-09 03:59:34

Upcoming version of Hive is going to allow SET based update/delete handling which is of utmost importance when trying to do CRUD operations on a 'bunch' of rows instead of taking one row at a time.

In the interim , I have tried a dynamic partition based approach documented here .

Please see if it suits your need.

@ashtonium 2015-03-03 13:44:40

As of Hive version 0.14.0: INSERT...VALUES, UPDATE, and DELETE are now available with full ACID support.


INSERT INTO TABLE tablename [PARTITION (partcol1[=val1], partcol2[=val2] ...)] VALUES values_row [, values_row ...]

Where values_row is: ( value [, value ...] ) where a value is either null or any valid SQL literal

UPDATE Syntax:

UPDATE tablename SET column = value [, column = value ...] [WHERE expression]

DELETE Syntax:

DELETE FROM tablename [WHERE expression]

Additionally, from the Hive Transactions doc:

If a table is to be used in ACID writes (insert, update, delete) then the table property "transactional" must be set on that table, starting with Hive 0.14.0. Without this value, inserts will be done in the old style; updates and deletes will be prohibited.

Hive DML reference:
Hive Transactions reference:

@Hack-R 2016-03-14 18:02:50

This seems like a far better answer, but the delete syntax doesn't seem to work for those of us stuck with version 0.13 :/

@Padmanabhan Vijendran 2017-01-05 14:57:14

And make sure that you are using AcidOutputFormat else update and delete wont work.

@ie979 2018-08-09 02:51:21

This feature comes with certain limitations and one of those is that you can only use this feature with ORC format.

@user11788 2014-09-30 10:08:34

You can delete rows from a table using a workaround, in which you overwrite the table by the dataset you want left into the table as a result of your operation.

insert overwrite table your_table 
    select * from your_table 
    where id <> 1

The workaround is useful mostly for bulk deletions of easily identifiable rows. Also, obviously doing this can muck up your data, so a backup of the table is adviced and care when planning the "deletion" rule also adviced.

@Sudeesh Kumar 2014-03-10 05:57:23

Yes, rightly said. Hive does not support UPDATE option. But the following alternative could be used to achieve the result:

Update records in a partitioned Hive table:

  1. The main table is assumed to be partitioned by some key.
  2. Load the incremental data (the data to be updated) to a staging table partitioned with the same keys as the main table.
  3. Join the two tables (main & staging tables) using a LEFT OUTER JOIN operation as below:

insert overwrite table main_table partition (c,d) select t2.a, t2.b, t2.c,t2.d from staging_table t2 left outer join main_table t1 on t1.a=t2.a;

In the above example, the main_table & the staging_table are partitioned using the (c,d) keys. The tables are joined via a LEFT OUTER JOIN and the result is used to OVERWRITE the partitions in the main_table.

A similar approach could be used in the case of un-partitioned Hive table UPDATE operations too.

@David H 2016-11-08 18:21:42

I think you will miss data with left outer join, you should use full outer join. am I right?

@trshiv 2017-02-20 13:01:59

@DavidH - You are correct - a left outer join in this case will lose records from the right table. Left-outer join assumes that the left table (A) is the fully updated version of the right table (B), and this is not usually the "update case". A full-outer join is required.

@zeekvfu 2013-12-12 09:35:41

UPDATE or DELETE a record isn't allowed in Hive, but INSERT INTO is acceptable.
A snippet from Hadoop: The Definitive Guide(3rd edition):

Updates, transactions, and indexes are mainstays of traditional databases. Yet, until recently, these features have not been considered a part of Hive's feature set. This is because Hive was built to operate over HDFS data using MapReduce, where full-table scans are the norm and a table update is achieved by transforming the data into a new table. For a data warehousing application that runs over large portions of the dataset, this works well.

Hive doesn't support updates (or deletes), but it does support INSERT INTO, so it is possible to add new rows to an existing table.

@Apaachee 2013-07-23 13:14:03

The CLI told you where is your mistake : delete WHAT? from student ...

Delete : How to delete/truncate tables from Hadoop-Hive?

Update : Update , SET option in Hive

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