Procedure to Allow Non-Root Users to Stop/Start/Restart "mongod" Process
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Systems' security plays a fundamental role in today's modern applications. It is very important to restrict non-authorized users' access to root capabilities. With this blog post, we intend to document how to avoid jeopardizing root system resources, but allow authorized, non-root users, to perform administrative operations on
mongodprocesses such as starting or stopping the daemon.
The methodology is easily extensible to other administrative operations such as preventing non-authorized users from modifying
Use this procedure for Linux based systems to allow users with restricted permissions to stop/start/restart
mongodprocesses. These users are set up under a non-root Linux group. Further, the Linux group of these users is different from the Linux user group under which the
WARNING: The procedure requires root access for the setup. Incorrect settings can lead to an unresponsive system, so always test on a development environment before implementing in production. Ensure you have a current backup of your data.
It's recommended to perform this procedure while setting up a new system. If it is not possible, perform the procedure during the maintenance window.
The settings will impact only one local system, thus in case of replica set or a sharded cluster perform the procedure in a rolling matter and never change all nodes at once.
- CentOS 6|7
- RHEL 6|7
- Ubuntu 18.04
- Amazon Linux 2
Disclaimer: For other Linux distributions the procedure should work in a similar way however, only the above versions were tested while writing this article.
- Add the user with limited permissions (replace testuser with your user):
- Edit the MongoDB configuration file
With this configuration, only the mongod user (and root) will have permissions to access and edit the
mongod.conffile. No other user will be allowed to read/write and have access to its content.
This procedure works for CentOS 7 and RHEL 7.
Note: The root user account may become non-functional if a syntax error is introduced in the sudoers file.
This procedure works for CentOS 6, RHEL 6, Amazon Linux 2 and Ubuntu 18.04.
For CentOS 6, RHEL 6 and Amazon Linux 2:
For Ubuntu 18.04:
Note: The root may become non-functional if a syntax error is introduced in the sudoers file.
So with these settings testuser has no permissions to read /etc/mongod.conf but can start and stop the mongod service:
Note: The authorization is given when using the
/bin/systemctlcommand. With this procedure, the
sudo systemctl start mongodwill prompt the sudo password for the testuser.
Use sudo service mongod [start|stop|restart]:
Note: Additionally, test restarting other services with the testuser with (and without) the required permissions.
It is one of the critical security requirements, not to give unauthorized users full root privileges. With that requirement in mind, it is important for system administrators to know that it is possible to give access to actions like restart/stop/start for a
mongodprocess (or any other process) without giving root privileges, using Linux systems capabilities.