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Installing and Securing MongoDB on Ubuntu Focal Fossa (20.04)

Reviewed on 05 March 2024Published on 01 March 2022
  • database
  • mysql
  • mongoDB
  • UFW
  • bindIP

MongoDB is a document-oriented database, available for free as an open-source solution. Renowned for its scalability, robustness, reliability, and user-friendly nature, it is one of the premier choices among NoSQL database engines.

Diverging from traditional relational databases, MongoDB users no longer need an intricate predefined schema before adding data. This flexibility stems from its ability to modify schemas at any point in time. Embracing the NoSQL philosophy, it employs JSON-like documents for data storage, allowing the insertion of diverse and arbitrary data.

Powerful Production-Optimized Instance comes with the compute and storage capabilities you need to run your MongoDB Instance smoothly.

Tip

We recommend you follow this tutorial using a Production-Optimized Instance.

Before you start

To complete the actions presented below, you must have:

  • A Scaleway account logged into the console
  • Owner status or IAM permissions allowing you to perform actions in the intended Organization
  • An SSH key
  • An Instance running on Ubuntu Focal Foassa (20.04) or later
  • sudo privileges or access to the root user

Setting up MongoDB

Adding MongoDB repository

Important

You should always use the official MongoDB mongodb-org packages, to make sure you have the latest, up-to-date major and minor MongoDB releases.

  1. Connect to your Instance via SSH.

    ssh root@your.instance.ip.address

    If you do not know your server IP, you can list your existing servers using the Scaleway CLI scw instance server list.

    Tip

    If you use the root user, you can remove the sudo before each command.

  2. Update the Ubuntu package manager.

    apt update
  3. Upgrade the Ubuntu packages already installed.

    apt upgrade
  4. Import the key for the official MongoDB repository (Ubuntu ensures the authenticity of software packages by verifying that they are signed with GPG keys.).

    curl -fsSL https://pgp.mongodb.com/server-7.0.asc | \
    sudo gpg -o /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/mongodb-server-7.0.gpg \
    --dearmor

    The command above should respond with an OK.

  5. Add the MongoDB repository details so that Ubuntu’s apt command-line tool will know where to download the packages. Execute the following command to create a list file for MongoDB.

    echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] https://repo.mongodb.org/apt/ubuntu jammy/mongodb-org/7.0 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-7.0.list
    Tip

    If you are running a different version of Ubuntu Linux, the command above may differ. Check the official documentation for more information.

  6. Update the packages list:

    apt update

Installing MongoDB

  1. Install the mongodb-org meta-package, which includes the daemon, configuration, and init scripts, shell, and management tools on the server.

    apt install mongodb-org
  2. Press enter or type Y to proceed when prompted. Once the installation is completed, start the MongoDB daemon.

    systemctl start mongod.service
  3. Since systemctl does not provide output, verify that the service has started properly.

    systemctl status mongod
    ● mongod.service - MongoDB Database Server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service; disabled; vendor prese>
    Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-03-01 10:36:39 UTC; 1s ago
    Docs: https://docs.mongodb.org/manual
    Main PID: 21330 (mongod)
    Memory: 59.7M
    CGroup: /system.slice/mongod.service
    └─21330 /usr/bin/mongod --config /etc/mongod.conf
    systemctl status mongod.service
    ● mongod.service - MongoDB Database Server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service; disabled; vendor prese>
    Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-03-01 10:36:39 UTC; 1s ago
    Docs: https://docs.mongodb.org/manual
    Main PID: 21330 (mongod)
    Memory: 59.7M
    CGroup: /system.slice/mongod.service
    └─21330 /usr/bin/mongod --config /etc/mongod.conf

    Press q to exit.

  4. Ensure that it restarts automatically at each boot:

    systemctl enable mongod.service
    Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mongod.service to /lib/systemd/system/mongod.service.

Securing MongoDB

The default installation of MongoDB is vulnerable because no authentication is required to interact with the database. Any user could create and destroy databases, as well as read from and write to their contents by default. To secure MongoDB, we need to create an administrative user and enable authentication.

  1. Connect to the Mongo shell to add a new user.

    mongosh
    Connecting to: mongodb://127.0.0.1:27017/?directConnection=true&serverSelectionTimeoutMS=2000&appName=mongosh+1.10.6
    Using MongoDB: 7.0.0
    Using Mongosh: 1.10.6

    For mongosh info see: https://docs.mongodb.com/mongodb-shell/

    You can choose any preferred name for the administrative user since the privilege level is assigned from the role of `userAdminAnyDatabase`.
    The `admin` database designates where the credentials are stored. You can learn more about authentication in the [MongoDB Security Authentication section](https://docs.mongodb.com/manual/core/authentication/).
  2. Set the username of your choice and pick your own secure password, then substitute them in the command below:

    use admin
    db.createUser(
    {
    user: "AdminOce",
    pwd: "PWD2018AdminOce",
    roles: [ { role: "userAdminAnyDatabase", db: "admin" } ]
    }
    )

    The command above returns:

    { ok: 1 }
  3. Type exit and press ENTER or use CTRL+C to leave the client.

    admin> exit

Enabling authentication

To enforce authentication, we need to enable authentication and restart the MongoDB daemon.

  1. Open the configuration file.

    nano /etc/mongod.conf
  2. Remove the hash in front of security to enable the section. Then, we add the authorization lines (indented with two spaces) as per the following excerpt below:

    security:
    authorization: "enabled"
  3. Restart the daemon.

    systemctl restart mongod.service
  4. Check the status to verify that the service has rebooted.

    systemctl status mongod
    ● mongod.service - MongoDB Database Server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service; disabled; vendor prese>
    Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-03-01 10:43:45 UTC; 2s ago
    Docs: https://docs.mongodb.org/manual
    Main PID: 21449 (mongod)
    Memory: 153.2M
    CGroup: /system.slice/mongod.service
    └─21449 /usr/bin/mongod --config /etc/mongod.conf
    systemctl status mongod.service
    ● mongod.service - MongoDB Database Server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mongod.service; disabled; vendor prese>
    Active: active (running) since Tue 2022-03-01 10:43:45 UTC; 2s ago
    Docs: https://docs.mongodb.org/manual
    Main PID: 21449 (mongod)
    Memory: 153.2M
    CGroup: /system.slice/mongod.service
    └─21449 /usr/bin/mongod --config /etc/mongod.conf

    Press q to exit.

  5. Ensure that the daemon restarts automatically at boot.

    systemctl enable mongod
    systemctl enable mongod.service
    Jun 27 15:36:34 mongoDB systemd[1]: Started High-performance, schema-free document-oriented database.

Testing authentication

  1. Connect without credentials to verify that our actions are restricted.

    mongosh
    Connecting to: mongodb://127.0.0.1:27017/?directConnection=true&serverSelectionTimeoutMS=2000&appName=mongosh+1.10.6
    Using MongoDB: 7.0.0
    Using Mongosh: 1.10.6
    For mongosh info see: https://docs.mongodb.com/mongodb-shell/
    test>

    We are connected to the test database.

  2. Test that the access is restricted with the show dbs command:

    test> show dbs
    MongoServerError: command listDatabases requires authentication
  3. Exit the shell to proceed.

    > exit
    bye

Verifying the administrative user’s access

  1. Connect as our administrator with the -u option to supply a username and -p to be prompted for a password. Supply the database where we stored the user’s authentication credentials with the --authenticationDatabase option.
    mongosh -u AdminOce -p --authenticationDatabase admin
  2. Once the correct password is entered, we are dropped into the shell, where we can issue the show dbs command:
    test> show dbs
    admin 135 kB
    config 61.4 kB
    local 73.7 kB

Type exit or press CTRL+C to exit.

Configuring remote access (optional)

Enabling UFW

Uncomplicated Firewall (UFW), is a front-end to iptables. Its main goal is to make managing your firewall drop-dead simple and to provide an easy-to-use interface.

Note

If UFW is already installed on your computer, go directly to step 5.

  1. Install UFW.
    apt install ufw
  2. Check UFW status.
    ufw status
  3. Enable UFW, as it is probably inactive.
    ufw enable
  4. Ensure to allow SSH.
    ufw allow OpenSSH
  5. Rerun the UFW status command.
    ufw status
    Status: active
    To Action From
    -- ------ ----
    OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere
    OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)
  6. Allow access to the default MongoDB port 27017 but restrict that access to a specific host.
    ufw allow from client_ip_address to any port 27017
  7. Re-run this command using the IP address for each additional client that needs access. To double-check the rule, run ufw status again:
    ufw status
    To Action From
    -- ------ ----
    OpenSSH ALLOW Anywhere
    27017 ALLOW client_ip_address
    OpenSSH (v6) ALLOW Anywhere (v6)

Configuring a public bindIP

  1. To allow remote connections, add our host’s publically routable IP address to the mongod.conf file.

    nano /etc/mongod.conf
  2. In the net section, add the MongoHost’s IP to the bindIp line.

    Note

    Verify your NAT IP with the ifconfig command.

    net:
    port: 27017
    bindIp: 127.0.0.1,IP_of_MongoHost
  3. Restart the daemon.

    systemctl restart mongod.service
  4. Check the daemon status.

    systemctl status mongod.service
    Active: active (running) since Thu 2018-xx-yy 13:15:35 UTC; 5s ago

Testing remote connections

Ensure that Mongo is listening on its public interface by adding the --host flag with the IP address from the mongodb.conf file.

mongosh -u AdminOce -p --authenticationDatabase admin --host IP_address_of_MongoHost
Connecting to: mongodb://127.0.0.1:27017/?directConnection=true&serverSelectionTimeoutMS=2000&appName=mongosh+1.10.6
Using MongoDB: 7.0.0
Using Mongosh: 1.10.6
For mongosh info see: https://docs.mongodb.com/mongodb-shell/

Uninstalling MongoDB

Important

This process will completely remove MongoDB, its configuration, and all databases. This process is not reversible, so ensure that all of your configuration and data are backed up before proceeding.

  1. Stop MongoDB.
    service mongod stop
  2. Remove any MongoDB packages that you had previously installed.
    apt purge mongodb-org*
  3. Remove MongoDB databases and log files.
    rm -r /var/log/mongodb
    rm -r /var/lib/mongodb
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