Chapter 2. Installing Cassandra

For those among us who like instant gratification, we’ll start by installing Cassandra. Because Cassandra introduces a lot of new vocabulary, there might be some unfamiliar terms as we walk through this. That’s OK; the idea here is to get set up quickly in a simple configuration to make sure everything is running properly. This will serve as an orientation. Then, we’ll take a step back and understand Cassandra in its larger context.

Installing the Binary

Cassandra is available for download from the Web at Just click the link on the home page to download the latest release version as a gzipped tarball. The prebuilt binary is named apache-cassandra-x.x.x-bin.tar.gz, where x.x.x represents the version number. The download is around 10MB.

Extracting the Download

The simplest way to get started is to download the prebuilt binary. You can unpack the compressed file using any regular ZIP utility. On Linux, GZip extraction utilities should be preinstalled; on Windows, you’ll need to get a program such as WinZip, which is commercial, or something like 7-Zip, which is freeware. You can download the freeware program 7-Zip from

Open your extracting program. You might have to extract the ZIP file and the TAR file in separate steps. Once you have a folder on your filesystem called apache-cassandra-x.x.x, you’re ready to run Cassandra.

What’s In There?

Once you decompress the tarball, you’ll see that the Cassandra binary ...

Get Cassandra: The Definitive Guide now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.