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How to change dataframe column names in pyspark?


Question

I come from pandas background and am used to reading data from CSV files into a dataframe and then simply changing the column names to something useful using the simple command:

df.columns = new_column_name_list

However, the same doesn't work in pyspark dataframes created using sqlContext. The only solution I could figure out to do this easily is the following:

df = sqlContext.read.format("com.databricks.spark.csv").options(header='false', inferschema='true', delimiter='\t').load("data.txt")
oldSchema = df.schema
for i,k in enumerate(oldSchema.fields):
  k.name = new_column_name_list[i]
df = sqlContext.read.format("com.databricks.spark.csv").options(header='false', delimiter='\t').load("data.txt", schema=oldSchema)

This is basically defining the variable twice and inferring the schema first then renaming the column names and then loading the dataframe again with the updated schema.

Is there a better and more efficient way to do this like we do in pandas ?

My spark version is 1.5.0

2015/12/03
1
203
12/3/2015 10:21:55 PM

Accepted Answer

There are many ways to do that:

  • Option 1. Using selectExpr.

    data = sqlContext.createDataFrame([("Alberto", 2), ("Dakota", 2)], 
                                      ["Name", "askdaosdka"])
    data.show()
    data.printSchema()
    
    # Output
    #+-------+----------+
    #|   Name|askdaosdka|
    #+-------+----------+
    #|Alberto|         2|
    #| Dakota|         2|
    #+-------+----------+
    
    #root
    # |-- Name: string (nullable = true)
    # |-- askdaosdka: long (nullable = true)
    
    df = data.selectExpr("Name as name", "askdaosdka as age")
    df.show()
    df.printSchema()
    
    # Output
    #+-------+---+
    #|   name|age|
    #+-------+---+
    #|Alberto|  2|
    #| Dakota|  2|
    #+-------+---+
    
    #root
    # |-- name: string (nullable = true)
    # |-- age: long (nullable = true)
    
  • Option 2. Using withColumnRenamed, notice that this method allows you to "overwrite" the same column. For Python3, replace xrange with range.

    from functools import reduce
    
    oldColumns = data.schema.names
    newColumns = ["name", "age"]
    
    df = reduce(lambda data, idx: data.withColumnRenamed(oldColumns[idx], newColumns[idx]), xrange(len(oldColumns)), data)
    df.printSchema()
    df.show()
    
  • Option 3. using alias, in Scala you can also use as.

    from pyspark.sql.functions import col
    
    data = data.select(col("Name").alias("name"), col("askdaosdka").alias("age"))
    data.show()
    
    # Output
    #+-------+---+
    #|   name|age|
    #+-------+---+
    #|Alberto|  2|
    #| Dakota|  2|
    #+-------+---+
    
  • Option 4. Using sqlContext.sql, which lets you use SQL queries on DataFrames registered as tables.

    sqlContext.registerDataFrameAsTable(data, "myTable")
    df2 = sqlContext.sql("SELECT Name AS name, askdaosdka as age from myTable")
    
    df2.show()
    
    # Output
    #+-------+---+
    #|   name|age|
    #+-------+---+
    #|Alberto|  2|
    #| Dakota|  2|
    #+-------+---+
    
2020/03/10
343
3/10/2020 6:34:17 PM


If you want to change all columns names, try df.toDF(*cols)

2017/06/06

In case you would like to apply a simple transformation on all column names, this code does the trick: (I am replacing all spaces with underscore)

new_column_name_list= list(map(lambda x: x.replace(" ", "_"), df.columns))

df = df.toDF(*new_column_name_list)

Thanks to @user8117731 for toDf trick.

2018/04/23

If you want to rename a single column and keep the rest as it is:

from pyspark.sql.functions import col
new_df = old_df.select(*[col(s).alias(new_name) if s == column_to_change else s for s in old_df.columns])
2017/01/15

df.withColumnRenamed('age', 'age2')

2018/07/11

this is the approach that I used:

create pyspark session:

import pyspark
from pyspark.sql import SparkSession
spark = SparkSession.builder.appName('changeColNames').getOrCreate()

create dataframe:

df = spark.createDataFrame(data = [('Bob', 5.62,'juice'),  ('Sue',0.85,'milk')], schema = ["Name", "Amount","Item"])

view df with column names:

df.show()
+----+------+-----+
|Name|Amount| Item|
+----+------+-----+
| Bob|  5.62|juice|
| Sue|  0.85| milk|
+----+------+-----+

create a list with new column names:

newcolnames = ['NameNew','AmountNew','ItemNew']

change the column names of the df:

for c,n in zip(df.columns,newcolnames):
    df=df.withColumnRenamed(c,n)

view df with new column names:

df.show()
+-------+---------+-------+
|NameNew|AmountNew|ItemNew|
+-------+---------+-------+
|    Bob|     5.62|  juice|
|    Sue|     0.85|   milk|
+-------+---------+-------+
2018/12/07