How to Install MongoDB on Ubuntu

This tutorial presents two ways to install MongoDB on Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions.

MongoDB is an increasingly popular free and open-source NoSQL database that stores data in collections of JSON-like, flexible documents, in contrast to the usual table approach you’ll find in SQL databases.

You are most likely to find MongoDB used in modern web applications. Its document model makes it very intuitive to access and handle with various programming languages.

mongodb Ubuntu

In this article, I’ll cover two ways you can install MongoDB on your Ubuntu system.

Installing MongoDB on Ubuntu based Distributions

  1. Install MongoDB using Ubuntu’s repository. Easy but not the latest version of MongoDB
  2. Install MongoDB using its official repository. Slightly complicated but you get the latest version of MongoDB.

The first installation method is easier, but I recommend the second method if you plan on using the latest release with official support.

Some people might prefer using snap packages. There are snaps available in the Ubuntu Software Center, but I wouldn’t recommend using them; they’re outdated at the moment and I won’t be covering that.

Method 1. Install MongoDB from Ubuntu Repository

This is the easy way to install MongoDB on your system, you only need to type in a simple command.

Installing MongoDB

First, make sure your packages are up-to-date. Open up a terminal and type:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

Go ahead and install MongoDB with:

sudo apt install mongodb

That’s it! MongoDB is now installed on your machine.

The MongoDB service should automatically be started on install, but to check the status type

sudo systemctl status mongodb
Check if the MongoDB service is running.

You can see that the service is active.

Running MongoDB

MongoDB is currently a systemd service, so we’ll use systemctl to check and modify it’s state, using the following commands:

sudo systemctl status mongodb
sudo systemctl stop mongodb
sudo systemctl start mongodb
sudo systemctl restart mongodb

You can also change if MongoDB automatically starts when the system starts up (default: enabled):

sudo systemctl disable mongodb
sudo systemctl enable mongodb

To start working with (creating and editing) databases, type:


This will start up the mongo shell. Please check out the manual for detailed information on the available queries and options.

Note: Depending on how you plan to use MongoDB, you might need to adjust your Firewall. That’s unfortunately more involved than what I can cover here and depends on your configuration.

Uninstall MongoDB

If you installed MongoDB from the Ubuntu Repository and want to uninstall it (maybe to install using the officially supported way), type:

sudo systemctl stop mongodb
sudo apt purge mongodb
sudo apt autoremove

This should completely get rid of your MongoDB install. Make sure to backup any collections or documents you might want to keep since they will be wiped out!

Method 2. Install MongoDB Community Edition on Ubuntu

This is the way the recommended way to install MongoDB, using the package manager. You’ll have to type a few more commands and it might be intimidating if you are newer to the Linux world.

But there’s nothing to be afraid of! We’ll go through the installation process step by step.

Installing MongoDB

The package maintained by MongoDB Inc. is called mongodb-org, not mongodb (this is the name of the package in the Ubuntu Repository). Make sure mongodb is not installed on your system before applying this steps. The packages will conflict. Let’s get to it!

First, we’ll have to import the public key:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp:// --recv 9DA31620334BD75D9DCB49F368818C72E52529D4

Now, you need to add a new repository in your sources list so that you can install MongoDB Community Edition and also get automatic updates:

echo "deb [ arch=amd64 ] $(lsb_release -cs)/mongodb-org/4.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list

To be able to install mongodb-org, we’ll have to update our package database so that your system is aware of the new packages available:

sudo apt update

Now you can ether install the latest stable version of MongoDB:

sudo apt install -y mongodb-org

or a specific version (change the version number after equal sign)

sudo apt install -y mongodb-org=4.0.6 mongodb-org-server=4.0.6 mongodb-org-shell=4.0.6 mongodb-org-mongos=4.0.6 mongodb-org-tools=4.0.6

If you choose to install a specific version, make sure you change the version number everywhere. If you only change it in the mongodb-org=4.0.6 part, the latest version will be installed.

By default, when updating using the package manager (apt-get), MongoDB will be updated to the newest updated version. To stop that from happening (and freezing to the installed version), use:

echo "mongodb-org hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo "mongodb-org-server hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo "mongodb-org-shell hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo "mongodb-org-mongos hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections
echo "mongodb-org-tools hold" | sudo dpkg --set-selections

You have now successfully installed MongoDB!

Configuring MongoDB

By default, the package manager will create /var/lib/mongodb and /var/log/mongodb and MongoDB will run using the mongodb user account.

I won’t go into changing these default settings since that is beyond the scope of this guide. You can check out the manual for detailed information.

The settings in /etc/mongod.conf are applied when starting/restarting the mongodb service instance.

Running MongoDB

To start the mongodb daemonmongod, type:

sudo service mongod start

Now you should verify that the mongod process started successfully. This information is stored (by default) at /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log. Let’s check the contents of that file:

sudo cat /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log
Check MongoDB logs to see if the process is running properly.

As long as you get this: [initandlisten] waiting for connections on port 27017 somewhere in there, the process is running properly.

Note: 27017 is the default port of mongod.

To stop/restart mongod enter:

sudo service mongod stop 
sudo service mongod restart

Now, you can use MongoDB by opening the mongo shell:


Uninstall MongoDB

Run the following commands

sudo service mongod stop 
sudo apt purge mongodb-org*

To remove the databases and log files (make sure to backup what you want to keep!):

sudo rm -r /var/log/mongodb 
sudo rm -r /var/lib/mongodb

Wrapping Up

MongoDB is a great NoSQL database, easy to integrate into modern projects. I hope this tutorial helped you to set it up on your Ubuntu machine! Let us know how you plan on using MongoDB in the comments below.

About the author


I'm a student passionate about anything involving creativity, especially music and poetry. I play music with friends, write and code. Linux and coffee are also at the top of my ever-growing list of p

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