Databricks Quickstart

This quickstart gets you going with Databricks: you create a cluster and a notebook, create a table from a dataset, query the table, and display the query results.


You are logged into a Databricks workspace. See Try Databricks.

Step 1: Orient yourself to the Databricks UI


From the sidebar at the left and the Common Tasks list on the home page, you access fundamental Databricks entities: Workspace, clusters, tables, notebooks, jobs, and libraries. The Workspace is the special root folder that stores your Databricks assets, such as notebooks and libraries, and the data that you import.

To get help, click the question icon Question Icon at the top right-hand corner.

Help Menus

Step 2: Create a cluster

A cluster is a collection of Databricks computation resources. To create a cluster:

  1. In the sidebar, click the Clusters button Clusters Icon.

  2. On the Clusters page, click Create Cluster.

  3. On the New Cluster page, specify the cluster name Quickstart and select 4.2 (includes Apache Spark 2.3.1, Scala 11) in the Databricks Runtime Version drop-down.

  4. Click Create Cluster.

Step 3: Create a notebook

A notebook is a collection of cells that run computations on a Spark cluster. To create a notebook in the Workspace:

  1. In the sidebar, click the Workspace button Workspace Icon.

  2. In the Workspace folder, select Down Caret Create > Notebook.

  3. On the Create Notebook dialog, enter a name and select SQL in the Language drop-down.

  4. Click Create. The notebook opens with an empty cell at the top.

Step 4: Create a table

Run a SQL statement to create a table using data from a sample CSV data file available in Databricks Datasets.

  1. Copy and paste this code snippet into the notebook cell.

    DROP TABLE IF EXISTS diamonds;
    CREATE TABLE diamonds
      USING csv
      OPTIONS (path "/databricks-datasets/Rdatasets/data-001/csv/ggplot2/diamonds.csv", header "true")
  2. Press SHIFT + ENTER. The notebook automatically attaches to the cluster you created in Step 2, creates the table, loads the data, and returns OK.


Step 5: Query the table

Run a SQL statement to query the table for the average diamond price by color.

  1. To add a cell to the notebook, mouse over the cell bottom and click the Add Cell icon.

  2. Copy this snippet and paste it in the cell.

    SELECT color, avg(price) AS price FROM diamonds GROUP BY color ORDER BY COLOR
  3. Press SHIFT + ENTER. The notebook displays a table of diamond color and average price.


Step 6: Display the data

Display a chart of the average diamond price by color.

  1. Click the Bar chart icon Chart Button.

  2. Click Plot Options.

    • Drag color into the Keys box.

    • Drag price into the Values box.

    • In the Aggregation drop-down, select AVG.

  3. Click Apply to display the bar chart.


What’s next

We’ve now covered the basics of Databricks, including creating a cluster and a notebook, running SQL commands in the notebook, and displaying results.