Run a mongodb ReplicaSet on a Mac using `brew services`

I like to install a MongoDB ReplicaSet on my MacBook Air M2 for development purpose only. I run a similar setup on a MacBook Pro with Intel processor. But there I have 64 GB RAM and run a Linux VM for that. However, I like to get rid of virtualization and run all my stuff directly on the Mac. This saves me a lot of time to maintain linux VMs etc.

Unfortunately I cannot get this thing going with homebrew. There seem to be several problems:

  • No idea how to run three mongod instances, each with a different port on a Mac. I don’t know how to give each instance a different name.
  • It starts one instance but is using the default .conf file instead of the one I passed as parameter.

What I have done so far:

  • created a folder where I store my individual versions of the homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community.plist property files.
  • added three plist files named homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs1-0.plist , homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs1-1.plist , homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs1-2.plist each pointing in the ProgrammArguments tag to an individual conf file for each instance. (rs1-0 means ReplicaSet 1 node 0, rs1-1 means ReplicaSet 1 node 1, etc)
  • created a shell script which should start the entire ReplicaSet and another one to stop it.

# Start the mongodb replica set as services
brew services run mongodb-community --file=~/services/mongodb/runtime-config/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs0.plist
brew services run mongodb-community --file=~/services/mongodb/runtime-config/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs1.plist
brew services run mongodb-community --file=~/services/mongodb/runtime-config/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community-rs2.plist

The problem is, that this script starts the same formulae mongodb-community and I have no idea how I can give these different names . I should start them like brew service run mongodb-community-rs10 --file.... , brew service run mongodb-community-rs11 --file.... , etc.

The result of the above script is:

[mongodb] ./startMongoDbReplicaSet.zsh
==> Successfully ran `mongodb-community` (label: homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community)
Service `mongodb-community` already running, use `brew services restart mongodb-community` to restart.
Service `mongodb-community` already running, use `brew services restart mongodb-community` to restart.

And the only started mongod instance is running on port 27017 and therefore completely ignoring my parameter file.

So here is one of my plist files as a sample:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "">
<plist version="1.0">

The three files only differ on line 11 where I load different .conf files for each instance (these are the config file parameters, each line in ONE of the three files) :


And here is a sample of a .conf file:

# mongod.conf suitable for MACOSX on APPLE SILICON machines only

# for documentation of all options, see:

# where to write logging data.
  destination: file
  logAppend: true
  logRotate: reopen
  path: /opt/homebrew/var/log/mongodb/mongod_rs0-0.log

# Where and how to store data.
  dbPath: /opt/homebrew/var/mongodb/mongod_rs0-0
    enabled: true
    commitIntervalMs: 100
  directoryPerDB: true
  engine: "wiredTiger"
      cacheSizeGB: 1
      journalCompressor: none
      directoryForIndexes: false
      blockCompressor: none
      prefixCompression: false

#  mmapv1:

# how the process runs
#  fork: true  # fork and run in background
#  pidFilePath: /var/run/mongodb/  # location of pidfile
#  timeZoneInfo: /usr/share/zoneinfo

# network interfaces
  port: 37017
  bindIp: # Enter,:: to bind to all IPv4 and IPv6 addresses or, alternatively, use the net.bindIpAll setting.



  replSetName: "dev_pinklady_rs0"
  oplogSizeMB: 128


## Enterprise-Only Options



These config files differ in the following values:

  • log path
  • database path
  • network port

Can anybody help me with that or point me to some documentation how to install three mongod instances to run a ReplicaSet on one single Mac computer with Apple Silicon chip?

Hi @Thomas_Bednarz ,

I’m not sure about the specifics of setting up a replica set to run via Homebrew services, but for development convenience I use mlaunch (part of the mtools Python scripts collection) to manage local deployments.

For example:

$ mlaunch --repl
launching: "mongod" on port 27017
launching: "mongod" on port 27018
launching: "mongod" on port 27019
replica set 'replset' initialized.
$ mlaunch list


mongod     27017    running    43667
mongod     27018    running    43672
mongod     27019    running    43682
$ mlaunch stop
sent signal Signals.SIGTERM to 3 processes.
$ mlaunch start
launching: "mongod" on port 27017
launching: "mongod" on port 27018
launching: "mongod" on port 27019

mlaunch uses MongoDB binaries found via your default PATH environment variable or a provided --binarypath parameter, so you can use this with binaries installed via Homebrew as well as alternative approaches.

Note: I also happen to be the maintainer for mtools in my spare time :). I use mlaunch with both Intel and Apple Silicon.



Hi @Stennie

Thank you very much, that sounds like an interesting alternative! I am not familiar with py but I think I get this one done. Just figured out, that the problem is NOT only with MongoDB but also with Redis, which I use as simple cache.

To me it looks like brew services is doing a lot of magic behind the scene and is taking the configurations from several places. The bad thing is, that it is different on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. What I need is a shell script that starts all my services and another one which stops them correctly (especially the ReplicaSet). I need to be able to change configuration quickly and then restart again to test very specific things.

So I will give mtools with mlaunch a try later today.

Regards, Tom

1 Like

Hi @Stennie

Sorry, I did not have the time to come back to this last week.

But today I played around a bit. I was able to init a RS, to stop, start etc and to connect to it using mongosh and Studio3T. However I do not understand how I can pass config files, and I do not know where the log files are etc.

So to test, I initialized with mlaunch init --replicaset --nodes 3 --name "dev_pinklady_rs0" --port 37017. That works perfect, but as you can see in my initial message, I have config files with a bunch of additional parameters in a YAML conf file.

Is it possible to pass such a file to mlauch init and if yes, do I have to pass ONE file for EACH node?

Thanks a lot for your help.

Regards, Tom