How to Install and Configure MongoDB on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

How to Install and Configure MongoDB on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

MongoDB is a NoSQL database that offers high performance, high availability and automatic scaling of the enterprise level database. MongoDB is a NoSQL database, so you cannot use SQL (Structured Query Language) to insert and retrieve data, and it does not store data in tables like MySQL or Postgres. The data is stored in a “document” structure in JSON format (called BSON in MongoDB). MongoDB was introduced in 2009 and is currently being developed by MongoDB Inc.

MongoDB only offers packages for 64-bit LTS (long-term support) Ubuntu versions. For example 14.04 LTS (trusty), 16.04 LTS (xenial), 18.04 LTS (bionic) and so on.

In this tutorial I will install MongoDB 4.0 on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.


  • Ubuntu Server 18.04 – 64 bit
  • Root privileges

What we will do in this tutorial:

  1. Install MongoDB
  2. Configure MongoDB
  3. Conclusion

Install MongoDB on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Step 1 – Importing the Public Key

GPG keys of the software distributor are required by the Ubuntu package manager apt (Advanced Package Tool) to ensure the consistency and authenticity of the package. Execute this command to import MongoDB keys to your server.sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv 68818C72E52529D4

Step 2 – Create source list file MongoDB

Create a MongoDB list file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ with this command:sudo echo "deb http://repo.mongodb.org/apt/ubuntu bionic/mongodb-org/4.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.0.list

Step 3 – Update the repository

update the repository with the apt command:sudo apt-get update

Step 4 – Install MongoDB

Now you can install MongoDB by typing this command:sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org

The MongoDB apt installer created a mongod.service file for Systemd automatically, so there is no need to create it manually anymore.

Start MongoDB and add it as a service to be started at boot time:

sudo systemctl start mongod
sudo systemctl enable mongod

Now check that MongoDB has been started on port 27017 with the netstat command.sudo netstat -plntu

Configure MongoDB username and password

When the MongoDB packages are installed you can configure username and password for the database server:

Step 1 – Open mongo shell

Before you set up a username and password for MongoDB, you need to open the MongoDB shell on your server. You can login by typing:mongo

If you get error Failed global initialization: BadValue Invalid or no user locale set. Please ensure LANG and/or LC_* environment variables are set correctly, try the command:export LC_ALL=C

Step 2 – Switch to the database admin

Once you`re in the MongoDB shell, switch to the database named admin:use admin

Step 3 – Create the root user

Create the root user with this command :db.createUser({user:"admin", pwd:"admin123", roles:[{role:"root", db:"admin"}]})

Desc: Create user admin with password admin123 and have the permission/role as root and the database is admin.

Now type exit to exit from MongoDB shell.exit

And you are back on the Linux shell.

Step 4 – Enable MongoDB authentication

Edit the mongodb service file ‘/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service’ with your editor.sudo nano /lib/systemd/system/mongod.service

On the ‘ExecStart‘ line 9, add the new option ‘–auth‘.ExecStart=/usr/bin/mongod --auth --config /etc/mongod.conf

Save the service file and exit nano.

Reload the systemd service:sudo systemctl daemon-reload

Step 5 – Restart MongoDB and try to connect

Now restart MongoDB and connect with the user created.sudo service mongod restart

and connect to the MongoDB shell with this command:mongo -u admin -p admin123 --authenticationDatabase admin

and you will see the output like this:

Enable external access and configure the UFW Firewall

UFW is the default firewall in Ubuntu. In this chapter, I will show how to configure UFW to allow external access to MongoDB.

Check the UFW statussudo ufw status

When the result is: Status: inactive

Enable UFW with this command and open the SSH port first if connected by SSH:sudo ufw allow ssh
sudo ufw enable

before you proceed with the next steps.

For security reasons, you should allow access to the MongoDB port 27017 only from IP addresses that need to access the database. By default, localhost is always able to access it, so no need to open the MongoDB port for IP

UFW Firewall Syntaxsudo ufw allow from <target> to <destination> port <port number>

Open MongoDB Port in UFW

To allow access from external IP to MongoDB, use this command:sudo ufw allow from to any port 27017

Replace the IP address in the above command with the external Ip you want to allow access to MongoDB.

If you want to open the MongoDB port for any IP, e.g. in case you run it in a local network and all systems in that network shall be able to access MongoDB, then use this command:sudo ufw allow 27017

Check the status of the UFW firewall with this command:sudo ufw status

MongoDB listens to localhost by default, to make the database accessible from outside, we have to reconfigure it to listen on the server IP address too.

Open the mongod.conf file in nano editor:sudo nano /etc/mongod.conf

and add the IP address of the server in the bind_ip line like this:# network interfaces
port: 27017

Replace with the IP of your server, then restart MongoDB to apply the changes.sudo service mongod restart

Now you can access the MongoDB database server over the network.

Virtual Machine image

This tutorial is available as a ready to use virtual machine in OVA / OVF format for Howtoforge subscribers. The VM format is compatible with VMWare and Virtualbox and other tools that can import the ova or ovf format. You can find the download link in the right menu on the top. Click on the filename to start the download.

The login details of the VM are:

SSH Login

Username: administrator
Password: howtoforge

The administrator user has sudo permissions.

Please change the passwords after the first boot.

The VM is configured for the static IP Instructions on how to change the static IP can be found here.


MongoDB is a well-known NoSQL database that offers high performance, high availability and automatic scaling. It differs from RDBMS such as MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite because it does not use SQL to set and retrieve data. MongoDB stores data in `documents` called BSON (binary representation of JSON with additional information). MongoDB is only available for the 64-bit long-term support Ubuntu release.

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