Temporary Driver Update for Snowflake

  • 24 August 2017
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Snowflake recently announced that they are requiring a new JDBC driver in order to connect to their database. The newer driver supports better encryption, and so they are requiring the update in order to provide a higher degree of security.

Looker is updating the instances that we host. If you are self-hosting Looker, however, you will need to upgrade your Looker instance to a version that includes the newer driver. This will be available shortly.

A few self-hosted customers may be running older versions of Looker and may not be able to upgrade in a short time window. In that case you can override the bundled driver with the newer driver, provided you are using Looker version 3.40 or later.

Download the Driver

You can get the newest driver from the Snowflake website, or get it from

Obtain the driver and copy it to the server hosting your looker instance.

Install the Driver

In the directory where Looker is installed (usually named looker), create a subdirectory custom_jdbc_drivers/snowflake.

# log in as the looker user

cd ~/looker

mkdir -p custom_jdbc_drivers/snowflake

Next, move the file snowflake-jdbc-3.1.1.jar into that directory.

mv snowflake-jdbc-3.1.1.jar ~/looker/custom_jdbc_drivers/snowflake

Create the file custom_jdbc_config.yml in the ~/looker directory and add the following content.

- name: snowflake

file_name: snowflake/snowflake-jdbc-3.1.1.jar

module_path: net.snowflake.client.jdbc.SnowflakeDriver

If the file lookerstart.cfg exists, add the startup parameter --use-custom-jdbc-config to LOOKERARGS. If it doesn’t exist, create the file ~/looker/lookerstart.cfg and add the following content…

# when using a different port, define it here so that the startup

# scripts will point to the right port and add

# --port=${LOOKERPORT}




LOOKERARGS="--use-custom-jdbc-config ${LOOKERARGS} --port=${LOOKERPORT}"

FYI the original startup scripts including the basic version of lookerstart.cfg can be found at

Restart looker. The log file should show the a line similar to this if everything is installed properly…

2017-08-24 17:54:18.473 +0000 [INFO|007d0|jdbc_config] :: Installed custom JDBC driver net.snowflake.client.jdbc.SnowflakeDriver for snowflake from /home/looker/looker/custom_jdbc_drivers/snowflake

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