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TLS/SSL Configuration for Clients

Clients must have support for TLS/SSL to connect to a mongod or a mongos instance that require TLS/SSL connections.

Note

  • The Linux 64-bit legacy x64 binaries of MongoDB do not include support for TLS/SSL.
  • Starting in version 4.0, MongoDB disables support for TLS 1.0 encryption on systems where TLS 1.1+ is available. For more details, see Disable TLS 1.0.

Important

A full description of TLS/SSL, PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) certificates, and Certificate Authority is beyond the scope of this document. This page assumes prior knowledge of TLS/SSL as well as access to valid certificates.

mongo Shell Configuration

The mongo shell provides various TLS/SSL Options settings, including:

Option Notes
--ssl Enables TLS/SSL connection.
--sslPEMKeyFile Specifies the .pem file that contains the mongo shell’s certificate and key to present to the mongod or mongos instance.
--sslPEMKeyPassword If the mongo shell’s .pem file is encrypted.
--sslCAFile Specifies the Certificate Authority (CA) .pem file for verification of the certificate presented by the mongod or the mongos instance.
--sslCertificateSelector If running on Windows or macOS, instead of specifying a certificate with --sslPEMKeyFile, use a certificate from the system certificate store. (New in version 4.0)

For a complete list of the mongo shell’s TLS/SSL settings, see TLS/SSL Options.

For TLS/SSL connections, the mongo shell validates the certificate presented by the mongod or mongos instance:

  • The mongo shell verifies that the certificate is from the specified Certificate Authority (--sslCAFile). If the certificate is not from the specified CA, the mongo shell will fail to connect.

  • The mongo shell verifies that the hostname (specified in --host option or the connection string) matches the SAN (or, if SAN is not present, the CN) in the certificate presented by the mongod or mongos. If SAN is present, mongo does not match against the CN. If the hostname does not match the SAN (or CN), the mongo shell will fail to connect.

    To connect a mongo shell to a mongod or mongos that requires TLS/SSL, specify the --host option or use a connection string.

Connect to MongoDB Instance Using Encryption

To connect to a mongod or mongos instance that requires encrypted communication, start mongo shell with:

For example, consider a mongod instance running on hostname.example.com with the following options:

mongod --sslMode requireSSL --sslPEMKeyFile <pem>

To connect to the instance, start a mongo shell with the following options:

mongo --ssl --host hostname.example.com --sslCAFile /etc/ssl/ca.pem

The mongo shell verifies the certificate presented by the mongod instance against the specified hostname and the CA file.

Connect to MongoDB Instance that Requires Client Certificates

To connect to a mongod or mongos that requires CA-signed client certificates, start the mongo shell with:

For example, consider a mongod instance running on hostname.example.com with the following options:

mongod --sslMode requireSSL --sslPEMKeyFile /etc/ssl/mongodb.pem --sslCAFile /etc/ssl/ca.pem

To connect to the instance, start a mongo shell with the following options:

mongo --ssl --host hostname.example.com --sslPEMKeyFile /etc/ssl/client.pem --sslCAFile /etc/ssl/ca.pem
On Windows and macOS,

You can also use the --sslCertificateSelector option to specify the client certificate from the system certificate store instead of using --sslPEMKeyFile. If the CA file is also in the system certificate store, you can omit the --sslCAFile option as well. For example, to use a certificate with the CN (Common Name) of my.client.server and the CA file from the system certificate store on macOS, start a mongo shell with the following options:

mongo --ssl  --host hostname.example.com --sslCertificateSelector subject=my.client.server

Avoid Use of --sslAllowInvalidCertificates Option

Warning

Although available, avoid using the --sslAllowInvalidCertificates option if possible. If the use of --sslAllowInvalidCertificates is necessary, only use the option on systems where intrusion is not possible.

If the mongo shell (and other MongoDB Tools) runs with the --sslAllowInvalidCertificates option, the mongo shell (and other MongoDB Tools) will not attempt to validate the server certificates. This creates a vulnerability to expired mongod and mongos certificates as well as to foreign processes posing as valid mongod or mongos instances. If you only need to disable the validation of the hostname in the TLS/SSL certificates, see --sslAllowInvalidHostnames.

MongoDB Atlas, MongoDB Cloud Manager and Ops Manager Monitoring Agent

MongoDB Atlas uses TLS/SSL to encrypt the connections to your databases.

The MongoDB Cloud Manager and Ops Manager Monitoring agents use encrypted communication to gather its statistics. Because the agents already encrypt communications to the MongoDB Cloud Manager/Ops Manager servers, this is just a matter of enabling TLS/SSL support in MongoDB Cloud Manager/Ops Manager on a per host basis.

For more information, see:

MongoDB Drivers

The MongoDB Drivers support encrypted communication. See:

MongoDB Tools

Various MongoDB utility programs support encrypted communication. These tools include:

To use encrypted communication with these tools, use the same TLS/SSL options as the mongo shell. See mongo Shell Configuration.