macOS MongoDB Installation Made Simple



MongoDB is a document database which belongs to a family of databases called NoSQL that is used for building scalable and high-performance applications. 

In MongoDB, records are documents which behave a lot like JSON objects in JavaScript. Values in documents can be looked up by their field’s key. Documents can have some fields/keys and not others, which makes Mongo extremely flexible. 

It is open-source and cross-platform, which means it can run on a variety of operating systems, including macOS. In this blog, we will provide a simple installation guide for beginners to install MongoDB on macOS. 

System Requirements: 

Before we begin, there are a few prerequisites that need to be met:

  • A machine running macOS.
  • An internet connection.
  • At least 4 GB of RAM (8 GB or more recommended).
  • At least 10 GB of free disk space. 

Installing MongoDB: 

Follow these step-by-step instructions to install MongoDB on macOS: 

Download the MongoDB Community Server from the official MongoDB website: 

Open the downloaded file and drag the MongoDB application to the Applications folder. 

Create a directory where MongoDB will store its data. By default, MongoDB uses the /data/db directory, but you can specify a different directory if desired. To create a directory in the root directory, open a terminal window and run the following command:

sudo mkdir -p /data/db

Set the permissions for the /data/db directory to allow the current user to read and write to the directory. To do this, run the following command:

sudo chown -R `id -un` /data/db

Create a configuration file for MongoDB. To do this, open a terminal window and run the following command:

sudo nano /usr/local/etc/mongod.conf 

In the configuration file, add the following lines: 

destination: file
path: /usr/local/var/log/mongodb/mongo.log
dbPath: /data/db 

These lines specify the location of the log file and the data directory for MongoDB. 

Save the configuration file and exit the nano text editor by pressing CTRL + X, then Y, then ENTER. 

Start the MongoDB server by running the following command in a terminal window:

mongod --config /usr/local/etc/mongod.conf 

This command will start the MongoDB server with the configuration file that you created. 

Verify that the MongoDB server is running by opening a new terminal window and running the following command:


This command will open the MongoDB shell, which allows you to interact with the MongoDB server. 

Verifying the Installation: 

To verify that MongoDB is installed correctly, you can run the following command in the MongoDB shell:


This command will display the version of MongoDB that is installed on your macOS machine. 

You can also test basic database operations in the MongoDB shell, such as creating a new database and adding data to it. 

Troubleshooting Common Issues: 

If you encounter any issues during the installation process, here are some common problems and solutions: 

Problem: MongoDB fails to start. 

Solution: Check the log file at /usr/local/var/log/mongodb/mongo.log for any error messages. Make sure that the data directory and log directory have the correct permissions. 

Problem: MongoDB shell is not recognized as a command.

Solution: Make sure that the MongoDB bin directory is in your system's PATH environment variable. You can add the following line to your ~/.bash_profile file to add the MongoDB bin directory to your PATH: 

export PATH="/usr/local/opt/mongodb-community/bin:$PATH"

Problem: MongoDB server is unable to bind to a port. 

Solution: Make sure that the port specified in the configuration file is not already in use by another application. You can also try specifying a different port in the configuration file. 

There are several advantages to installing MongoDB on macOS. Let's explore some of the key benefits: 

Easy Integration with macOS Environment:

MongoDB provides a native installation package specifically designed for macOS, ensuring seamless integration with the operating system. By installing MongoDB on macOS, you can take full advantage of the functionalities and features offered by both MongoDB and macOS, resulting in a smooth and efficient development experience.

Widely Supported and Documented:

MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database used by developers worldwide. It is extensively supported and documented, making it easier for macOS users to find resources, tutorials, and solutions to any issues they may encounter during installation or while working with MongoDB. The large community surrounding MongoDB ensures a wealth of knowledge and assistance is readily available. 

Versatile and Scalable:

MongoDB is known for its flexibility and scalability, allowing you to handle a wide range of data types and workloads. Whether you're developing a small application or building a complex system, MongoDB can adapt to your needs. By installing MongoDB on macOS, you gain access to a powerful and versatile database solution for your projects. 

Native macOS Tools:

MongoDB provides a set of native tools and utilities that are compatible with macOS. These tools enable efficient management, administration, and monitoring of MongoDB databases and clusters. By installing MongoDB on macOS, you can leverage these tools, enhancing your productivity and simplifying your database management tasks.

Developer-Friendly Environment:

macOS is known for its user-friendly and developer-centric environment. By installing MongoDB on macOS, you can take advantage of the robust development tools and frameworks available for macOS, such as Xcode and Homebrew. This integration allows developers to streamline their development workflow and maximize their productivity when working with MongoDB. 

Seamless Collaboration:

If you are collaborating with a team of developers or data professionals, installing MongoDB on macOS ensures compatibility across different team members' machines. This allows for easier sharing and synchronization of MongoDB databases, facilitating smooth collaboration and reducing any compatibility issues that may arise. 

Enhanced Security:

MongoDB provides robust security features, including access control, authentication mechanisms, and encryption options. By installing MongoDB on macOS, you can benefit from these security features, ensuring the protection of your data and enhancing the overall security of your applications. 

In summary, installing MongoDB on macOS offers a range of advantages, including easy integration with the macOS environment, extensive support and documentation, versatility and scalability, access to native macOS tools, a developer-friendly environment, seamless collaboration, and enhanced security. These advantages make macOS an excellent platform for utilizing MongoDB and harnessing its full potential for your projects. 

While there are numerous advantages to installing MongoDB on macOS, it's important to be aware of some potential disadvantages as well. Let's explore a few: 

Limited Hardware Resources:

macOS devices, especially laptops, often have limited hardware resources compared to dedicated servers or cloud-based infrastructure. This can impact the performance and scalability of MongoDB, especially when dealing with large datasets or high-volume workloads. It's important to consider the hardware limitations of your macOS machine when installing and using MongoDB. 

Lack of Production-Grade Stability:

macOS is primarily designed for personal computing and is not typically recommended as a production environment for databases like MongoDB. While it's suitable for development and testing purposes, running MongoDB on macOS may not provide the same level of stability and reliability as running it on dedicated server platforms or cloud services. It's essential to consider the specific requirements of your use case before opting for macOS as your production environment.

Limited Deployment Options:

Installing MongoDB on macOS limits your deployment options compared to server-grade operating systems. macOS is not commonly used in enterprise or cloud environments for database deployments. This can restrict your ability to scale your MongoDB installation and take advantage of advanced features like sharding and distributed clusters. If your application requires extensive scaling or distributed architecture, macOS may not be the most suitable choice.

Reduced Community Support:

While MongoDB has a thriving community, the majority of MongoDB users and developers are more likely to be using server-grade operating systems such as Linux or Windows. This means that you may find comparatively less community support and resources specifically tailored for MongoDB on macOS. Troubleshooting issues or finding platform-specific solutions may be more challenging, requiring additional research and effort. 

Limited Operating System Compatibility:

MongoDB regularly releases updates and new features, some of which may not be immediately compatible with the latest version of macOS. This can lead to potential compatibility issues and delays in adopting the latest MongoDB features on your macOS machine. It's important to ensure that your MongoDB installation remains compatible with the version of macOS you are using.

Performance Implications:

As macOS is a multitasking operating system, it may not provide the same level of performance optimization for MongoDB as dedicated server platforms. The presence of other applications and processes running simultaneously on your macOS machine can impact the performance and responsiveness of MongoDB, especially during resource-intensive operations.

While installing MongoDB on macOS offers many advantages, such as easy integration, developer-friendly tools, and versatility, it's important to be aware of the potential limitations and disadvantages. Consider your specific requirements, including scalability, stability, and long-term support, before deciding to run MongoDB on macOS. It's essential to weigh these factors and evaluate alternative deployment options, such as dedicated servers or cloud platforms, depending on the needs of your project.


In this blog, we provided a simple installation guide for beginners to install MongoDB on macOS. We covered the system requirements, step-by-step instructions for installation, verifying the installation, and troubleshooting common issues. By following these steps, you should now have MongoDB installed on your macOS machine and be ready to start building powerful applications.