Map-Reduce HBase Jobs on CDH5.0.0 fail - IllegalAccessError: cannot access its superclass

Problem

Some mapreduce jobs that use HBase fail to launch. The symptom is an exception similar to the following:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.IllegalAccessError: class
    com.google.protobuf.ZeroCopyLiteralByteString cannot access its superclass
    com.google.protobuf.LiteralByteString
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass1(Native Method)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.defineClass(ClassLoader.java:792)
    at java.security.SecureClassLoader.defineClass(SecureClassLoader.java:142)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader.defineClass(URLClassLoader.java:449)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader.access$100(URLClassLoader.java:71)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:361)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader$1.run(URLClassLoader.java:355)
    at java.security.AccessController.doPrivileged(Native Method)
    at java.net.URLClassLoader.findClass(URLClassLoader.java:354)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:424)
    at java.lang.ClassLoader.loadClass(ClassLoader.java:357)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.protobuf.ProtobufUtil.toScan(ProtobufUtil.java:818)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.mapreduce.TableMapReduceUtil.convertScanToString(TableMapReduceUtil.java:433)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.mapreduce.TableMapReduceUtil.initTableMapperJob(TableMapReduceUtil.java:186)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.mapreduce.TableMapReduceUtil.initTableMapperJob(TableMapReduceUtil.java:147)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.mapreduce.TableMapReduceUtil.initTableMapperJob(TableMapReduceUtil.java:270)
    at
    org.apache.hadoop.hbase.mapreduce.TableMapReduceUtil.initTableMapperJob(TableMapReduceUtil.java:100)
...

This is because of an optimization introduced in HBASE-9867 that inadvertently introduced a classloader dependency.

More details are available from Apache here: https://hbase.apache.org/book.html#mapreduce

Solution

To resolve this issue, ensure that the hbase-protocol.jar file is within the HADOOP_CLASSPATH directory.