get "ERROR: Can't get master address from ZooKeeper; znode data == null" when using Hbase shell

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I installed Hadoop2.2.0 and Hbase0.98.0 and here is what I do :

$ ./bin/ 

$ ./bin/hbase shell

2.0.0-p353 :001 > list

then I got this:

ERROR: Can't get master address from ZooKeeper; znode data == null

Why am I getting this error ? Another question: do I need to run ./sbin/ and ./sbin/ before I run base ?

Also, what are used ./sbin/ and ./sbin/ for ?

Here is some of my conf doc :



      <description>The name of the default file system.</description>

      <description>A base for other temporary directories.</description>






If you just want to run HBase without going into Zookeeper management for standalone HBase, then remove all the property blocks from hbase-site.xml except the property block named hbase.rootdir.

Now run /bin/ HBase comes with its own Zookeeper, which gets started when you run /bin/, which will suffice if you are trying to get around things for the first time. Later you can put distributed mode configurations for Zookeeper.

You only need to run /sbin/ for running HBase since the value of hbase.rootdir is set to hdfs:// in your hbase-site.xml. If you change it to some location on local the filesystem using file:///some_location_on_local_filesystem, then you don't even need to run /sbin/

hdfs:// says it's a place on HDFS and /sbin/ starts namenode and datanode which provides underlying API to access the HDFS file system. For knowing about Yarn, please look at

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This could also happen if the vm or the host machine is put to sleep ,Zookeeper will not stay live. Restarting the VM should solve the problem.

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You need to start zookeeper and then run Hbase-shell

{HBASE_HOME}/bin/ {start,stop} zookeeper

and you may want to check this property in

# Tell HBase whether it should manage its own instance of Zookeeper or not.
export HBASE_MANAGES_ZK=false

Refer to Source - Zookeeper

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One quick solution could be to Restart hbase:


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I had the exact same error. The Linux firewall was blocking connectivity. One can test ports via telnet. A quick fix is to turn off the firewall and see if it fixes it:

Completely disable the firewall on all of your nodes. Note: this command will not survive a reboot of your machines.

systemctl stop firewalld

Long term fix is that you must configure the firewall to allow the hbase ports.

Note, your version of hbase may use different ports:

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  • thanks for your patient answer which is really helpful to me, and I was also wondering if I want to connect Hbase with java api and do some 'CRUD' operation in java code locally, can standalone mode satisfy my requirement? How could I do that? I have already have some code here but just don't know how to configure. I google it but seems no example online.
  • Can you put your code here so that I can see if there is anything wrong? Or better make a new question ,where i could give you code feedback.
  • thanks again, and here is the new question where I attach my code :…
  • Thanks, it was facing this issue because the machine was put to sleep. A simple vagrant halt; vagrant up solved the problem :)
  • Exactly. Restarting hbase is a simple way to solve the issue.