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Setting up a local MongoDB database

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Overview

This page explains how to install and configure a MongoDB database server and the default mongo shell. This guide will cover how to install and set up these components on your computer for local access.

This guide will cover the following platforms:

Navigate to the sections that match the platforms you will be working with.

RELATED ON PRISMA.IO

If you are using Prisma Client with MongoDB, you can use the MongoDB connector (currently in preview) to connect and manage your data.

Setting up MongoDB on Windows

MongoDB provides a native Windows installer to install and configure your databases.

Visit the download page for the MongoDB Community Server and select the latest msi package available for Windows. Click Download to get the installer:

MongoDB download page

Once the download is complete, double click on the file to run the installer (you may have to confirm that you wish to allow the program to make changes to your computer):

Once the download completes, double click on the file to run the installer (you may have to confirm that you wish to allow the program to make changes to your computer):

MongoDB installer greeting

Click Next on the initial page to continue.

On the next page, read and review the end-user license agreement and check the box confirming that you agree to the terms

MongoDB EULA agreement

Click Next to continue.

The next page allows you to choose which components you wish to install:

MongoDB installation type

Choose the Complete installation to install all of the MongoDB components.

The next screen allows you to customize the installation location and other configuration items:

MongoDB service configuration

The default values should work well for most scenarios. Click Next when you are satisfied with your selections.

Next, choose whether you want to install MongoDB Compass, a graphical interface that you can use to connect to and manage MongoDB servers. This component is optional:

MongoDB compass installation

Click Next after making your decision.

The next screen indicates that the pre-installation configuration is complete and that MongoDB is ready to install:

MongoDB ready to install

Click Install to begin installing all of the MongoDB components on your computer.

Once the installation is complete, MongoDB Compass may open automatically. If so, you can ignore it for now.

Now that MongoDB is installed, we can run the server and connect to it using the included MongoDB shell. Both of these components are run from the command line.

In your start menu, type cmd and click on the Windows Command Prompt to launch a terminal session.

Before you run the server, you need to create the default directory where MongoDB stores its data: \data\db. You can create that directory by typing:

md \data\db

MongoDB create data directory

Afterwards, you can start up the MongoDB server by typing in the absolute path to the mongod.exe executable file. Part of the path contains the MongoDB version number that you installed, so your installation path may be slightly different than the one used below:

C:\Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.4\bin\mongod.exe

MongoDB run server

If everything is functioning correctly, the server will start up and output diagnostic information to the console. To verify that the startup was successful, look for a message that indicates that it is now accepting connections from clients:

MongoDB waiting for connections

To connect to your running MongoDB server, open another Command Prompt window. Similar to before, we need to type in the absolute path to the executable file.

In this case, we are trying to run the mongo.exe executable so, taking into account the differences in version numbers, the command should look something like this:

C:\Program Files\MongoDB\Server\4.4\bin\mongo.exe

MongoDB run shell

Once the shell connects to the server, it will print information about the connection and drop you into a MongoDB prompt:

MongoDB connect to database

To verify that the server is responding to commands, run the show dbs command:

MongoDB show_dbs

If you installed the MongoDB Compass component, you can also connect to and manage your MongoDB server from a graphical interface.

Open up MongoDB Compass to begin.

The initial screen will give you the opportunity to connect to a running MongoDB server by providing a connection string:

MongoDB compass connect

If you click Connect without entering any information, Compass will automatically attempt to connect to a local MongoDB server running with the default configuration.

Click Connect to connect to the MongoDB server you are running.

Once Compass connects to your local server, it will display information about the databases within and allow you to manage your data using a friendly graphical interface:

MongoDB compass running

When you are finished working with your MongoDB server, you can stop each of the components.

In MongoDB Compass, click the Connect menu and select Disconnect to drop the connection to your MongoDB server. Afterwards, you can safely close the MongoDB Compass application.

In the MongoDB shell, you can type exit to end your session.

To stop the MongoDB server, type CTRL-c to begin the shutdown process for the server component.

Setting up MongoDB on macOS

MongoDB provides a native macOS installer to install and configure your database.

Visit the download page for the MongoDB Community Server and select the latest .tgz file available for macOS. Click Download to get the installer:

MongoDB download page

Once the download completes, open a new terminal window and navigate to the location where you downloaded the MongoDB .tgz file.

Extract the contents of the .tgz file by typing:

tar xzvf mongodb-macos*.tgz

MongoDB extract tarball

Change into the extracted directory and then copy the executables to your /usr/local/bin directory so that they are a part of PATH that the operating system uses to search for executables:

cd mongodb-macos*
sudo cp bin/* /usr/local/bin

MongoDB copy executables

Before you can start the MongoDB server, you need to create some of the directories that it will need.

First, create the MongoDB server data directory by typing:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/mongodb

MongoDB create data directory

Next, create a directory that MongoDB can use to store its logs:

sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/var/log/mongodb

MongoDB create log directory

Next, give your current user ownership over the new directories so that MongoDB can write to them when you run the server with your user:

sudo chown $USER /usr/local/var/mongodb
sudo chown $USER /usr/local/var/log/mongodb

MongoDB reassign ownership

Now that the directories that the MongoDB server needs are in order, you can run start the MongoDB server with the paths we created by typing:

mongod --dbpath /usr/local/var/mongodb --logpath /usr/local/var/log/mongodb/mongo.log --fork

MongoDB start server

Depending on your version of macOS, it's possible you will see a prompt stating that the execution of the MongoDB server has been blocked:

MongoDB execution blocked

This is a security policy that is activated whenever an application is run that Apple does not recognize. You can allow an exception for your MongoDB server by going in to your System Preferences, clicking Security and Privacy and then clicking Allow Anyway next to the MongoDB server entry:

MongoDB allow execution

When you run the command again, another prompt will likely appear. However, this time, you have the option to allow the program to execute by clicking Open:

MongoDB confirm execution

Now that the MongoDB server is running, you can start up the MongoDB shell to connect to and manage your server. To run the MongoDB shell, type:

mongo

MongoDB run_shell

Depending on your version of macOS, you may receive a notice that the execution was blocked again. If that's the case, go through the same procedure as before to allow an exception and confirm that you want to run the MongoDB shell.

When all goes well, the MongoDB shell will connect to your local MongoDB server and provide you with a MongoDB prompt:

MongoDB shell connected

To verify that the server is responding to commands, run the show dbs command:

show dbs

MongoDB show databases

You can also optionally install a graphical MongoDB manager called MongoDB compass. To install Compass, use the install_compass command that's been included in the MongoDB installation:

install_compass

MongoDB install compass

Occasionally, the installer will run into an error, as shown above, but usually it does not affect the actual installation.

The initial screen will give you the opportunity to connect to a running MongoDB server by providing a connection string:

MongoDB compass connect

If you click Connect without entering any information, Compass will automatically attempt to connect to a local MongoDB server running with the default configuration.

Click Connect to connect to the MongoDB server you are running.

Once Compass connects to your local server, it will display information about the databases within and allow you to manage your data using a friendly graphical interface:

MongoDB compass connect

When you are finished working with your MongoDB server, you can stop each of the components.

In MongoDB Compass, click the Connect menu and select Disconnect to drop the connection to your MongoDB server. Afterwards, you can safely close the MongoDB Compass application.

In the MongoDB shell, you can type exit to end your session.

To stop the MongoDB server, you can find and kill the MongoDB server process by typing:

pkill mongod

Setting up MongoDB on Linux

Installation methods differ depending on the Linux distribution you are using. Follow the section below that matches your Linux distribution.

Debian and Ubuntu

The best way to install MongoDB on Ubuntu or Debian is to configure your system to use the repositories that MongoDB maintains.

First, download the MongoDB GPG key to your collection of trusted apt signing keys by typing:

curl -L https://www.mongodb.org/static/pgp/server-4.4.asc | sudo apt-key add -

Next, find and record the latest version of MongoDB available for your operating system by typing:

LATEST_MONGO_VERSION=$(. /etc/os-release && curl -L repo.mongodb.org/apt/${ID}/dists/${VERSION_CODENAME}/mongodb-org | grep -Eo '[0-9]+\.[0-9]+' | sort -V | tail -1)

Afterwards, configure the apt repository appropriate for your operating system.

If you are running Ubuntu, type:

(. /etc/os-release && echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] https://repo.mongodb.org/apt/${ID} ${VERSION_CODENAME}/mongodb-org/${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION} multiverse") | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}.list

If you are running Debian, type this instead:

(. /etc/os-release && echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] https://repo.mongodb.org/apt/${ID} ${VERSION_CODENAME}/mongodb-org/${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION} main") | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}.list

With the MongoDB apt repository configured, update the local package index and install MongoDB by typing:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install mongodb-org

Once the software is installed, you can start the MongoDB server by typing:

sudo systemctl start mongod.service

Optionally, you can also automatically start MongoDB on boot with the enable command:

sudo systemctl enable mongod.service

Now that the MongoDB server is running, you can start up the MongoDB shell to connect to and manage your server. To run the MongoDB shell, type:

mongo

When all goes well, the MongoDB shell will connect to your local MongoDB server and provide you with a MongoDB prompt. To verify that the server is responding to commands, run the show dbs command:

show dbs

When you are finished working with your MongoDB server, you can stop each of the components.

In the MongoDB shell, you can type exit to end your session.

To stop the MongoDB server, type:

sudo systemctl stop mongod.service

CentOS

The best way to download and install MongoDB on CentOS is to use the repositories maintained by the MongoDB.

First, find and record the latest version of MongoDB available for your operating system by typing:

LATEST_MONGO_VERSION=$(. /etc/os-release && curl -L repo.mongodb.org/yum/redhat/${VERSION_ID}/mongodb-org | grep -Eo '[0-9]+\.[0-9]+' | sort -V | tail -1)

Next, write the repository definition file using the version info you just queried. You can type the following command to write the repository file to the filesystem:

sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/mongodb-org-${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}.repo << EOF
[mongodb-org-${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}]
name=MongoDB Repository
baseurl=https://repo.mongodb.org/yum/redhat/\$releasever/mongodb-org/${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}/x86_64/
gpgcheck=1
enabled=1
gpgkey=https://www.mongodb.org/static/pgp/server-${LATEST_MONGO_VERSION}.asc
EOF

With the repository definition file in place, you can install the MongoDB server package by typing:

sudo yum install mongodb-org

Once the software is installed, you can start the MongoDB server by typing:

sudo systemctl start mongod.service

Optionally, you can also automatically start MongoDB on boot with the enable command:

sudo systemctl enable mongod.service

Now that the MongoDB server is running, you can start up the MongoDB shell to connect to and manage your server. To run the MongoDB shell, type:

mongo

When all goes well, the MongoDB shell will connect to your local MongoDB server and provide you with a MongoDB prompt. To verify that the server is responding to commands, run the show dbs command:

show dbs

When you are finished working with your MongoDB server, you can stop each of the components.

In the MongoDB shell, you can type exit to end your session.

To stop the MongoDB server, type:

sudo systemctl stop mongod.service
RELATED ON PRISMA.IO

If you are using Prisma Client with MongoDB, you can use the MongoDB connector (currently in preview) to connect and manage your data.