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Enable Access Control

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  • Overview
  • User Administrator
  • Procedure
  • Additional Considerations

Enabling access control on a MongoDB deployment enforces authentication, requiring users to identify themselves. When accessing a MongoDB deployment that has access control enabled, users can only perform actions as determined by their roles.

The following tutorial enables access control on a standalone mongod instance and uses the default authentication mechanism. For all supported authentication mechanisms, see Authentication Mechanisms.

With access control enabled, ensure you have a user with userAdmin or userAdminAnyDatabase role in the admin database. This user can administrate user and roles such as: create users, grant or revoke roles from users, and create or modify customs roles.

The following procedure first adds a user administrator to a MongoDB instance running without access control and then enables access control.

Note

The example MongoDB instance uses port 27017 and the data directory /var/lib/mongodb directory . The example assumes the existence of the data directory /var/lib/mongodb. Specify a different data directory as appropriate.

1

Start a standalone mongod instance without access control.

For example, open a terminal and issue the following:

mongod --port 27017 --dbpath /var/lib/mongodb
2

For example, open a new terminal and connect mongosh to the instance:

mongosh --port 27017

Specify additional command line options as appropriate to connect mongosh to your deployment, such as --host.

3

From mongosh, add a user with the userAdminAnyDatabase role in the admin database. Include additional roles as needed for this user. For example, the following creates the user myUserAdmin in the admin database with the userAdminAnyDatabase role and the readWriteAnyDatabase role.

Tip

Starting in version 4.2 of the mongo shell, you can use the passwordPrompt() method in conjunction with various user authentication/management methods/commands to prompt for the password instead of specifying the password directly in the method/command call. However, you can still specify the password directly as you would with earlier versions of the mongo shell.

use admin
db.createUser(
{
user: "myUserAdmin",
pwd: passwordPrompt(), // or cleartext password
roles: [ { role: "userAdminAnyDatabase", db: "admin" }, "readWriteAnyDatabase" ]
}
)
Note

The database where you create the user (in this example, admin) is the user's authentication database. Although the user would authenticate to this database, the user can have roles in other databases; i.e. the user's authentication database does not limit the user's privileges.

4
  1. Shut down the mongod instance. For example, from mongosh, issue the following command:

    db.adminCommand( { shutdown: 1 } )
  2. Exit mongosh.
  3. Start the mongod with access control enabled.

Clients that connect to this instance must now authenticate themselves as a MongoDB user. Clients can only perform actions as determined by their assigned roles.

5

Using mongosh, you can:

6

Once authenticated as the user administrator, use db.createUser() to create additional users. You can assign any built-in roles or user-defined roles to the users.

The following operation adds a user myTester to the test database who has readWrite role in the test database as well as read role in the reporting database.

Tip

Starting in version 4.2 of the mongo shell, you can use the passwordPrompt() method in conjunction with various user authentication/management methods/commands to prompt for the password instead of specifying the password directly in the method/command call. However, you can still specify the password directly as you would with earlier versions of the mongo shell.

use test
db.createUser(
{
user: "myTester",
pwd: passwordPrompt(), // or cleartext password
roles: [ { role: "readWrite", db: "test" },
{ role: "read", db: "reporting" } ]
}
)
Note

The database where you create the user (in this example, test) is that user's authentication database. Although the user would authenticate to this database, the user can have roles in other databases; i.e. the user's authentication database does not limit the user's privileges.

After creating the additional users, disconnect mongosh.

7

After disconnecting mongosh as myUserAdmin, reconnect as myTester. You can:

8

As myTester, you have privileges to perform read and write operations in the test database (as well as perform read operations in the reporting database). Once authenticated as myTester, insert a document into a collection in test database. For example, you can perform the following insert operation in the test database:

db.foo.insert( { x: 1, y: 1 } )
Tip
See also:

Replica sets and sharded clusters require internal authentication between members when access control is enabled. For more details, please see Internal/Membership Authentication.

You can create users either before or after enabling access control. If you enable access control before creating any user, MongoDB provides a localhost exception which allows you to create a user administrator in the admin database. Once created, you must authenticate as the user administrator to create additional users as needed.

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On this page

  • Overview
  • User Administrator
  • Procedure
  • Additional Considerations