This is the documentation for Cloudera Impala 2.0.x.
Documentation for other versions is available at Cloudera.com.

DEFAULT_ORDER_BY_LIMIT

Now that the ORDER BY clause no longer requires an accompanying LIMIT clause in Impala 1.4.0 and higher, this query option is deprecated and has no effect.

Prior to Impala 1.4.0, Impala queries that use the ORDER BY clause must also include a LIMIT clause, to avoid accidentally producing huge result sets that must be sorted. Sorting a huge result set is a memory-intensive operation. In Impala 1.4.0 and higher, Impala uses a temporary disk work area to perform the sort if that operation would otherwise exceed the Impala memory limit on a particular host.

Default: -1 (no default limit)