Role-Based Access Control

MongoDB employs Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) to govern access to a MongoDB system. A user is granted one or more roles that determine the user’s access to database resources and operations. Outside of role assignments, the user has no access to the system.

Enable Access Control

MongoDB does not enable access control by default. You can enable authorization using the --auth or the security.authorization setting. Enabling internal authentication also enables client authorization.

Once access control is enabled, users must authenticate themselves.


A role grants privileges to perform the specified actions on resource. Each privilege is either specified explicitly in the role or inherited from another role or both.


A privilege consists of a specified resource and the actions permitted on the resource.

A resource is a database, collection, set of collections, or the cluster. If the resource is the cluster, the affiliated actions affect the state of the system rather than a specific database or collection. For information on the resource documents, see Resource Document.

An action specifies the operation allowed on the resource. For available actions see Privilege Actions.

Inherited Privileges

A role can include one or more existing roles in its definition, in which case the role inherits all the privileges of the included roles.

A role can inherit privileges from other roles in its database. A role created on the admin database can inherit privileges from roles in any database.

View Role’s Privileges

You can view the privileges for a role by issuing the rolesInfo command with the showPrivileges and showBuiltinRoles fields both set to true.

Users and Roles

You can assign roles to users during the user creation. You can also update existing users to grant or revoke roles. For a full list of user management methods, see User Management

A user assigned a role receives all the privileges of that role. A user can have multiple roles. By assigning to the user roles in various databases, a user created in one database can have permissions to act on other databases.


The first user created in the database should be a user administrator who has the privileges to manage other users. See Enable Auth.

Built-In Roles and User-Defined Roles

MongoDB provides built-in roles that provide set of privileges commonly needed in a database system.

If these built-in-roles cannot provide the desired set of privileges, MongoDB provides methods to create and modify user-defined roles.