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Set default JAVA_HOME path for Apache Spark


Currently, Apache Spark does not support JAVA 11 and later versions. When you try to run the Spark application, you may get the following exception


pyspark.sql.utils.IllegalArgumentException: 'Unsupported class file major version 55'


There are different ways to fix this exception like

  • Set environmental variable for JAVA_HOME
  • Modify Apache spark environment configuration file i.e. or spark-env.cmd

In this post, I will help you to set JAVA_HOME using Spark's configuration file

Windows Environment 

  • Go to the spark-directory\conf
  • Create a file by the name of spark-env.cmd
  •  Paste the following line spark-env.cmd      
           set JAVA_HOME=C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_201

Linux and Mac

  • Go to the spark-directory\conf
  • Open
  • Paste the following line spark-env.cmd 

      export JAVA_HOME=$(user/Java/jdk1.8.0_201 -v 1.8)

Note: Change the installed Java directory accordingly.

Please leave your comments in the comments box if you find this post useful.


  1. yes this is useful. keep updating

  2. worth noting that this does not change your actual JAVA_HOME path variable

  3. Worked for me, only difference was the file name was `` and it was in bin folder


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