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mongo is an interactive JavaScript shell interface to MongoDB, which provides a powerful interface for systems administrators as well as a way for developers to test queries and operations directly with the database. mongo also provides a fully functional JavaScript environment for use with a MongoDB. This document addresses the basic invocation of the mongo shell and an overview of its usage.

See also

In addition to this page, consider Using the mongo Shell section of the manual.


mongo [--shell] [--nodb] [--norc] [--quiet] [--port <port>] [--host <host>] [--eval <JavaScript>] [-u <username>] [--username <username>] [-p <password>] [--password <password>] [--help] [-h] [--version] [--verbose] [--ipv6] [database] [file.js]




Enables the shell interface after evaluating a JavaScript file. If you invoke the mongo command and specify a JavaScript file as an argument, or use --eval to specify JavaScript on the command line, the --shell option provides the user with a shell prompt after the file finishes executing.


Prevents the shell from connecting to any database instances. Later, to connect to a database within the shell, see Opening New Connections.


Prevents the shell from sourcing and evaluating ~/.mongorc.js on start up.


Silences output from the shell during the connection process.

--port <port>

Specifies the port where the mongod or mongos instance is listening. Unless specified mongo connects to mongod instances on port 27017, which is the default mongod port.

--host <hostname>

specifies the host where the mongod or mongos is running to connect to as <hostname>. By default mongo will attempt to connect to a MongoDB process running on the localhost.

--eval <javascript>

Evaluates a JavaScript expression specified as an argument to this option. mongo does not load its own environment when evaluating code: as a result many options of the shell environment are not available.

--username <username>, -u <username>

Specifies a username to authenticate to the MongoDB instance. Use in conjunction with the --password option to supply a password. If you specify a username and password but the default database or the specified database do not require authentication, mongo will exit with an exception.

--password <password>, -p <password>

Specifies a password to authenticate to the MongoDB instance. Use in conjunction with the --username option to supply a username. If you specify a --username without the --password option, mongo will prompt for a password interactively, if the mongod or mongos requires authentication.

--help, -h

Returns a basic help and usage text.


Returns the version of the shell.


Increases the verbosity of the output of the shell during the connection process.


Enables IPv6 support that allows mongo to connect to the MongoDB instance using an IPv6 network. All MongoDB programs and processes, including mongo, disable IPv6 support by default.

<db address>

Specifies the “database address” of the database to connect to. For example:

mongo admin

The above command will connect the mongo shell to the admin database on the local machine. You may specify a remote database instance, with the resolvable hostname or IP address. Separate the database name from the hostname using a / character. See the following examples:

mongo mongodb1/admin

Specifies a JavaScript file to run and then exit. Must be the last option specified. Use the --shell option to return to a shell after the file finishes running.



mongo maintains a history of commands in the .dbshell file.


mongo does not recorded interaction related to authentication in the history file, including authenticate and db.addUser().


Versions of Windows mongo.exe earlier than 2.2.0 will save the .dbshell file in the mongo.exe working directory.


mongo will read the .mongorc.js file from the home directory of the user invoking mongo. In the file, users can define variables, customize the mongo shell prompt, or update information that they would like updated every time they launch a shell. If you use the shell to evaluate a JavaScript file or expression either on the command line with --eval or by specifying a .js file to mongo, mongo will read the .mongorc.js file after the JavaScript has finished processing.

Specify the --norc option to disable reading .mongorc.js.


Created by mongo when editing a file. If the file exists mongo will append an integer from 1 to 10 to the time value to attempt to create a unique file.


Created by mongo.exe on Windows when editing a file. If the file exists mongo will append an integer from 1 to 10 to the time value to attempt to create a unique file.



Specifies the path to an editor to use with the edit shell command. A JavaScript variable EDITOR will override the value of EDITOR.


Specifies the path to the home directory where mongo will read the .mongorc.js file and write the .dbshell file.


On Windows systems, HOMEDRIVE specifies the path the directory where mongo will read the .mongorc.js file and write the .dbshell file.


Specifies the Windows path to the home directory where mongo will read the .mongorc.js file and write the .dbshell file.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The mongo shell supports the following keyboard shortcuts: [1]

Keybinding Function
Up arrow Retrieve previous command from history
Down-arrow Retrieve next command from history
Home Go to beginning of the line
End Go to end of the line
Tab Autocomplete method/command
Left-arrow Go backward one character
Right-arrow Go forward one character
Ctrl-left-arrow Go backward one word
Ctrl-right-arrow Go forward one word
Meta-left-arrow Go backward one word
Meta-right-arrow Go forward one word
Ctrl-A Go to the beginning of the line
Ctrl-B Go backward one character
Ctrl-C Exit the mongo shell
Ctrl-D Delete a char (or exit the mongo shell)
Ctrl-E Go to the end of the line
Ctrl-F Go forward one character
Ctrl-G Abort
Ctrl-J Accept/evaluate the line
Ctrl-K Kill/erase the line
Ctrl-L or type cls Clear the screen
Ctrl-M Accept/evaluate the line
Ctrl-N Retrieve next command from history
Ctrl-P Retrieve previous command from history
Ctrl-R Reverse-search command history
Ctrl-S Forward-search command history
Ctrl-T Transpose characters
Ctrl-U Perform Unix line-discard
Ctrl-W Perform Unix word-rubout
Ctrl-Y Yank
Ctrl-Z Suspend (job control works in linux)
Ctrl-H Backward-delete a character
Ctrl-I Complete, same as Tab
Meta-B Go backward one word
Meta-C Capitalize word
Meta-D Kill word
Meta-F Go forward one word
Meta-L Change word to lowercase
Meta-U Change word to uppercase
Meta-Y Yank-pop
Meta-Backspace Backward-kill word
Meta-< Retrieve the first command in command history
Meta-> Retrieve the last command in command history
[1]MongoDB accommodates multiple keybinding. Since 2.0, mongo includes support for basic emacs keybindings.


Typically users invoke the shell with the mongo command at the system prompt. Consider the following examples for other scenarios.

To connect to a database on a remote host using authentication and a non-standard port, use the following form:

mongo --username <user> --password <pass> --host <host> --port 28015

Alternatively, consider the following short form:

mongo -u <user> -p <pass> --host <host> --port 28015

Replace <user>, <pass>, and <host> with the appropriate values for your situation and substitute or omit the --port as needed.

To execute a JavaScript file without evaluating the ~/.mongorc.js file before starting a shell session, use the following form:

mongo --shell --norc alternate-environment.js

To print return a query as JSON, from the system prompt using the --eval option, use the following form:

mongo --eval 'db.collection.find().forEach(printjson)'

Use single quotes (e.g. ') to enclose the JavaScript, as well as the additional JavaScript required to generate this output.

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