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Use db.addUser() to add privilege documents to the system.users collection in a database, which creates database credentials in MongoDB.

Changed in version 2.4: The schema of system.users changed in 2.4 to accommodate a more sophisticated privilege model. In 2.4 db.addUser() supports both forms of privilege documents.

In MongoDB 2.4 you must pass db.addUser() a document that contains a well-formed system.users document. In MongoDB 2.2 pass arguments to db.addUser() that describe user credentials. A 2.4 privilege document has a subset of the following fields:

Field Type Description
user string The username for a new database user.
roles array An array of user roles.
pwd hash Optional. A shared secret used to authenticate the user. The pwd field and the userSource field are mutually exclusive. The document cannot contain both.
userSource string Optional. The database that contains the credentials for the user. The userSource field and the pwd field are mutually exclusive. The document cannot contain both.
otherDBRoles document Optional. Roles this user has on other databases. Only valid for roles defined on the admin database.

See system.users Privilege Documents for documentation of the 2.4 privilege documents.


The following are prototype db.addUser() operations:

db.addUser( { user: "<user>", pwd: "<password>", roles: [<roles>] } )

This operation creates a system.users document with a password using the pwd field

In the following prototype, rather than specify a password directly, you can delegated the credential to another database using the userSource field:

db.addUser( { user: "<user>", userSource: "<database>", roles: [<roles>] } )

To create and add a 2.4-style privilege document to system.users to grant readWrite privileges to a user named “author” with privileges, use the following operation:

db.addUser( { user: "author", pwd: "pass", roles: [ "readWrite" ] } )

If you want to store user credentials in a single users database, you can use delegated credentials, as in the following example:

db.addUser( { user: "author", userSource: "users", roles: [ "readWrite" ] } )

Legacy Privilege Documents

To create legacy (2.2. and earlier) privilege documents, db.addUser() accepts the following parameters:

Parameter Type Description
user string The username.
password string The corresponding password.
readOnly boolean Optional. Defaults to false. Grants users a restricted privilege set that only allows the user to read the this database.

The command takes the following form:

db.addUser( "<username>", "<password>",  <read-only> )


To create and add a legacy (2.2. and earlier) privilege document with a user named guest and the password pass that has only readOnly privileges, use the following operation:

db.addUser( "guest", "pass", true )


The mongo shell excludes all db.addUser() operations from the saved history.

Deprecated since version 2.4: The roles parameter replaces the readOnly parameter for db.addUser(). 2.4 also adds the otherDBRoles and userSource fields to documents in the system.users collection.