Hillview: Distributed Data Visualization
Release Date: March 10, 2021
Hillview is a simple cloud-based spreadsheet program for browsing large data collections. The data manipulated is read-only. Users can sort, find, filter, transform, query, zoom-in/out, and chart data. Operations are performed using direct manipulation in the GUI. Hillview is designed to work on very large data sets (billions of rows). Hillview can import data from a variety of sources: CSV files, ORC files, Parquet files, databases, parallel databases; new connectors can be added with relatively little effort. Hillview takes advantage of all the cores of the worker machines for fast visualizations.
Hillview is a distributed system, composed of two pieces:
- A distributed set of one or many workers, which should be installed close to the data (e.g., on the machines that host the data).
- A front-end service that runs a web server and aggregates data from all workers.
The source code of Hillview is available as an open-source project with an Apache-2 license from Hillview's github repository. For any questions, feature requests or bug reports please file an issue on github.
- Java 8 on all machines involved.
- Python 2 or 3 for the installation scripts in deploying on a cluster or set of machines.
- Windows subsystem for Linux if using Windows.
- A modern web browser.
Instructions for installation on a cluster
- Please read the requirements.
- Install Java 8 on all cluster machines where the service will run.
- The Hillview service runs with the permissions of a local user.
- Enable password-less ssh access to all machines for the user account used by Hillview.
- Download and extract the zip archive.
- The next commands assume a bash shell. On Windows start bash from a command prompt. (You should have installed WSL as part of the requirements.)
- Edit the Hillview configuration file
config.jsonThis file describes the machines where Hillview will be installed. The comments in the file should serve as a guide.
- Run the deployment script to install Hillview on the cluster machines.
- To start the services run
- To use Hillview open a web browser and connect to the webserver you have configured, using port 8080.
- Try loading the Hillview logs: Load/Hillview logs.
- When loading data remember that the data itself in general must be on the worker machines.
- To stop the services run
There are additional simplified instructions for running Hillview on a single machine (MacOS, Windows or Linux) here.
The user manual is online.
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