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Read Concern "majority"

For read operations not associated with multi-document transactions, read concern "majority" guarantees that the data read has been acknowledged by a majority of the replica set members (i.e. the documents read are durable and guaranteed not to roll back).

Each node maintains in-memory a view of the data at the majority-commit point; the majority-commit point is calculated by the primary. To fulfill read concern "majority", the node returns data from this view and is comparable in performance cost to other read concerns.

For operations in multi-document transactions, read concern "majority" provides its guarantees only if the transaction commits with write concern “majority”. Otherwise, the "majority" read concern provides no guarantees about the data read in transactions.

To use read concern level of "majority", replica sets must use WiredTiger storage engine.

You can disable read concern "majority" for a deployment with a three-member primary-secondary-arbiter (PSA) architecture; however, this has implications for change streams (in MongoDB 4.0 and earlier only) and transactions on sharded clusters. For more information, see Disable Read Concern Majority.

Regardless of the read concern level, the most recent data on a node may not reflect the most recent version of the data in the system.

Example

Consider the following timeline of a write operation Write0 to a three member replica set:

Note

For simplification, the example assumes:

  • All writes prior to Write0 have been successfully replicated to all members.
  • Writeprev is the previous write before Write0.
  • No other writes have occured after Write0.
Timeline of a write operation to a three member replica set.
Time Event Most Recent Write Most Recent w: “majority” write
t0 Primary applies Write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
Primary: Writeprev
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
t1 Secondary1 applies write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Writeprev
Primary: Writeprev
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
t2 Secondary2 applies write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0
Primary: Writeprev
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
t3 Primary is aware of successful replication to Secondary1 and sends acknowledgement to client
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
t4 Primary is aware of successful replication to Secondary2
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Writeprev
Secondary2: Writeprev
t5 Secondary1 receives notice (through regular replication mechanism) to update its snapshot of its most recent w: “majority” write
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Writeprev
t6 Secondary2 receives notice (through regular replication mechanism) to update its snapshot of its most recent w: “majority” write
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0
Primary: Write0
Secondary1: Write0
Secondary2: Write0

Then, the following tables summarizes the state of the data that a read operation with "majority" read concern would see at time T.

Timeline of a write operation to a three member replica set.
Read Target Time T State of Data
Primary Before t3 Data reflects Writeprev
Primary After t3 Data reflects Write0
Secondary1 Before t5 Data reflects Writeprev
Secondary1 After t5 Data reflects Write0
Secondary2 Before or at t6 Data reflects Writeprev
Secondary2 After t6 Data reflects Write0

Storage Engine Support

Read concern "majority" is available for the WiredTiger storage engine.

Tip

The serverStatus command returns the storageEngine.supportsCommittedReads field which indicates whether the storage engine supports "majority" read concern.

Causally Consistent Sessions

Read concern majority is available for use with causally consistent sessions.

Read Concern "majority" and Transactions

Note

You set the read concern at the transaction level, not at the individual operation level. To set the read concern for transactions, see Transactions and Read Concern.

For operations in multi-document transactions, read concern "majority" provides its guarantees only if the transaction commits with write concern “majority”. Otherwise, the "majority" read concern provides no guarantees about the data read in transactions.

Read Concern "majority" and Aggregation

Starting in MongoDB 4.2, you can specify read concern level "majority" for an aggregation that includes an $out stage.

In MongoDB 4.0 and earlier, you cannot include the $out stage to use "majority" read concern for the aggregation.

Read Your Own Writes

Changed in version 3.6.

Starting in MongoDB 3.6, you can use causally consistent sessions to read your own writes, if the writes request acknowledgement.

Prior to MongoDB 3.6, you must have issued your write operation with { w: "majority" } write concern and then use either "majority" or "linearizable" read concern for the read operations to ensure that a single thread can read its own writes.

Disable Read Concern Majority

For 3-Member Primary-Secondary-Arbiter Architecture

You can disable read concern "majority" if you have a three-member replica set with a primary-secondary-arbiter (PSA) architecture or a sharded cluster with a three-member PSA shards.

Note

If you are using a deployment other than a 3-member PSA, you do not need to disable read concern majority.

With a three-member PSA architecture, the cache pressure will increase if any data bearing node is down. To prevent the storage cache pressure from immobilizing a deployment with a PSA architecture, you can disable read concern by setting either:

To check if read concern “majority” is disabled, You can run db.serverStatus() on the mongod instances and check the storageEngine.supportsCommittedReads field. If false, read concern “majority” is disabled.

Important

In general, avoid disabling "majority" read concern unless necessary. However, if you have a three-member replica set with a primary-secondary-arbiter (PSA) architecture or a sharded cluster with a three-member PSA shards, disable to prevent the storage cache pressure from immobilizing the deployment.

Change Streams

Disabling "majority" read concern disables support for Change Streams for MongoDB 4.0 and earlier. For MongoDB 4.2+, disabling read concern "majority" has no effect on change streams availability.

Transactions

Disabling "majority" read concern affects support for transactions on sharded clusters. Specifically:

  • A transaction cannot use read concern "snapshot" if the transaction involves a shard that has disabled read concern “majority”.
  • A transaction that writes to multiple shards errors if any of the transaction’s read or write operations involves a shard that has disabled read concern "majority".

However, it does not affect transactions on replica sets. For transactions on replica sets, you can specify read concern "majority" (or "snapshot" or "local" ) for multi-document transactions even if read concern "majority" is disabled.