How do I resolve ExecutorLostFailure "Slave lost" errors in Spark on Amazon EMR?

Last updated: 2020-09-24

I submitted an Apache Spark application to an Amazon EMR cluster. The application fails with this error:

"Most recent failure: Lost task 1209.0 in stage 4.0 (TID 31219, ip-xxx-xxx-xx-xxx.compute.internal, executor 115): ExecutorLostFailure (executor 115 exited caused by one of the running tasks) Reason: Slave lost"

Short description

This error indicates that a Spark task failed because a node terminated or became unavailable. There are many possible causes of this error. The following resolution covers these common root causes:

  • High disk utilization
  • Using Spot Instances for cluster nodes
  • Aggressive Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Auto Scaling policies


High disk utilization

In Hadoop, NodeManager periodically checks the Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) volumes that are attached to the cluster's nodes. If disk utilization on a node that has one volume attached is greater than the YARN property yarn.nodemanager.disk-health-checker.max-disk-utilization-per-disk-percentage (default value 90%), the node is considered unhealthy. When a node is unhealthy, ResourceManager kills all containers running on that node. ResourceManager doesn't schedule new containers on unhealthy nodes. For more information, see NodeManager in the Hadoop documentation.

If ResourceManager kills multiple executors because of unhealthy nodes, then the application fails with a "slave lost" error. To confirm that a node is unhealthy, review the NodeManager logs or the instance controller logs:

  • The location of the NodeManager logs is defined in the YARN_LOG_DIR variable in
  • The instance controller logs are stored at /emr/instance-controller/log/instance-controller.log on the master node. The instance controller logs provide an aggregated view of all the nodes of the cluster.

If a node is unhealthy, the logs show an entry that looks like this:

2019-10-04 11:09:37,163 INFO Poller: InstanceJointStatusMap contains 40 entries (R:40):
  i-006baxxxxxx  1829s R   1817s ig-3B ip-xxx-xx-xx-xxx I:    7s Y:U    11s c: 0 am:    0 H:R  0.0%Yarn unhealthy Reason : 1/1 local-dirs are bad: /mnt/yarn; 1/1 log-dirs are bad: /var/log/hadoop-yarn/containers
  i-00979xxxxxx  1828s R   1817s ig-3B ip-xxx-xx-xx-xxx I:    7s Y:R     9s c: 3 am: 2048 H:R  0.0%
  i-016c4xxxxxx  1834s R   1817s ig-3B ip-xxx-xx-xx-xxx I:   13s Y:R    14s c: 3 am: 2048 H:R  0.0%
  i-01be3xxxxxx  1832s R   1817s ig-3B ip-xxx-xx-xx-xxx I:   10s Y:U    12s c: 0 am:    0 H:R  0.0%Yarn unhealthy Reason : 1/1 local-dirs are bad: /mnt/yarn; 1/1 log-dirs are bad: /var/log/hadoop-yarn/containers

To resolve this problem, increase the size of the EBS volumes that are attached to the core and task nodes. Or, delete unused data from HDFS.

Spot Instances

If you're using Amazon EC2 Spot Instances for EMR cluster nodes—and one of those instances terminates—you might get a "slave lost" error. Spot Instances might terminate for the following reasons:

  • The Spot Instant price is greater than your maximum price.
  • There aren't enough unused EC2 instances to meet the demand for Spot Instances.

For more information, see Reasons for interruption.

To resolve this problem:

Amazon EC2 Auto Scaling policies

When a scaling policy performs many scale-in and scale-out events in sequence, a new node might get the same IP address that a previous node used. If a Spark application is running during a scale-in event, Spark adds the decommissioned node to the deny list to prevent an executor from launching on that node. If another scale-out event occurs and the new node gets the same IP address as the previously decommissioned node, YARN considers the new node valid and attempts to schedule executors on it. However, because the node is still on the Spark deny list, attempts to launch executors on that node fail. When you reach the maximum number of failures, the Spark application fails with a "slave lost" error.

To resolve this problem:

To remove a node from the Spark deny list, decrease the Spark and YARN timeout properties, as shown in the following examples:

Add the following property in /etc/spark/conf/spark-defaults.conf. This reduces the amount of time that a node in the decommissioning state remains on the deny list. The default is one hour. For more information, see Configuring node decommissioning behavior.

spark.blacklist.decommissioning.timeout 600s

Modify the following YARN property in /etc/hadoop/conf/yarn-site.xml. This property specifies the amount of time to wait for running containers and applications to complete before a decommissioning node transitions to the decommissioned state. The default is 3600 seconds.

yarn.resourcemanager.nodemanager-graceful-decommission-timeout-secs 600