So, being the execution speed demon that I am, I went ahead and compiled Hadoop 2.4.1 from source on 64-bit Linux. It was a rough ride!
I generally followed this guide but preferring to download and compile Snappy from source, and yum installing java-1.7.0-openjdk-devel(1). I Used RHEL7 64-bit(2).
After getting the prerequisites, the magic command to compile is:
mvn clean install -Pdist,native,src -DskipTests -Dtar -Dmaven.javadoc.skip=true -Drequire.snappy -Dcompile.native=true (3)
You'll find the binaries in <your hadoop src>/hadoop-dist/target. I checked access to native libraries by issuing hadoop checknative after exporting the appropriate environment variables (such as in .bashrc. Refer to a Hadoop setup guide).
Non-obvious solutions to difficulties:
(1). yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk won't do! yea openjD(evelopment)k-devel makes sense!
(2). Gave up with Ubuntu
(3). -Dcompile.native=true was responsible for including the native calls to snappy in libhadoop.so. I did not see this in any guide on building Hadoop! Also, my compile process ran out of memory making javadocs, so I skipped it with -Dmaven.javadoc.skip=true
On a personal note, I really got frustrated with trying different things out but I had a sense of satisfaction in the end. It took me 4 days to figure out the issues and I know a thing or two about Linux!