Describes the role of the ApplicationMaster.

The ApplicationMaster is an instance of a framework-specific library that negotiates resources from the ResourceManager and works with the NodeManager to execute and monitor the granted resources (bundled as containers) for a given application. An application can be a process or set of processes, a service, or a description of work.

The ApplicationMaster is run in a container like any other application. The ApplicationsManager, part of the ResourceManager, negotiates for the container in which an application’s ApplicationMaster runs when the application is scheduled by the YarnScheduler.

While an application is running, the ApplicationMaster manages the following:
  • Application life cycle
  • Dynamic adjustments to resource consumption
  • Execution flow
  • Faults
  • Providing status and metrics

The ApplicationMaster is designed to support a specific framework, and can be written in any language since its communication with the NodeManagers and the ResourceManager is accomplished using extensible communication protocols. The ApplicationMaster can be customized to extend the framework or run any other code. For this reason, the ApplicationMaster is not considered trustworthy, and is not run as a trusted service.

An ApplicationMaster typically requests resources on multiple nodes to complete a job by sending the ResourceManager requests that include locality preferences and attributes of the containers. When the ResourceManager is able to allocate a resource to the ApplicationMaster, it generates a lease that the ApplicationMaster pulls on a subsequent heartbeat. A security token associated with the lease guarantees its authenticity when the ApplicationManager presents the lease to the NodeManager to gain access to the container.

The Application Master heartbeats to the ResourceManager to communicate its changing resource needs, and to let the ResourceManager know it is still alive. In response, the ResourceManager can return a lease on additional containers on other nodes, or cancel the lease on some containers. The ApplicationMaster can then adjust its execution strategy to fit the increase or decrease in available resources. When cluster resources become scarce, the ResourceManager can also request that the ApplicationMaster relinquish some resources. The ApplicationMaster can move work to other running containers in order to give up resources gracefully.


A YARN container is a result of a successful resource allocation, meaning that the ResourceManager has granted an application a lease to use a specific set of resources in certain amounts on a specific node. The ApplicationMaster presents the lease to the NodeManager on the node where the container has been allocated, thereby gaining access to the resources.

To launch the container, the ApplicationMaster must provide a container launch context (CLC) that includes the following information:
  • Environment variables
  • Dependencies (local resources such as data files or shared objects needed prior to launch)
  • Security tokens
  • The command necessary to create the process the application plans to launch

The CLC makes it possible for the ApplicationMaster to use containers to run a variety of different kinds of work, from simple shell scripts to applications to virtual machines.