How to View ORC File Contents using the Java ORC Tools Jar

Published Dec 17, 2021  ∙  Updated May 13, 2022

Suppose we want to print the data of an ORC file to validate its contents.

The process is quite simple with Java ORC Tools.

Install Java

First things first. Let’s check if Java is installed on our machine.

java -version

If Java is not installed, we’ll get an output like this:

'java' is not recognized as an internal or external command,
operable program or batch file.

In this case, we’ll want to go through the steps to download Java.

Download the JAR

Let’s go to this repository of orc-tools jar files:

Select the latest version available, then download orc-tools-x.x.x-uber.jar.

Alternatively, if we know the version number already (e.g. 1.7.0), we can get the file from the CLI using wget.


Use the JAR to view file contents

Suppose we’ve navigated to a directory with the jar and ORC file.

  • JAR: orc-tools-1.7.0-uber.jar
  • ORC: orcfile

We can view the metadata of this file.

java -jar orc-tools-1.7.0-uber.jar meta orcfile

We can also view the contents of this file.

java -jar orc-tools-1.7.0-uber.jar data orcfile

We’ll be able to see all the rows represented as JSON documents.

Much better than reading binary.