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  • Post last modified:May 9, 2024
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You are currently viewing Most Useful Basic MongoDB Commands

The basic commands of MongoDB include connecting to the database, listing existing databases, and collections, creating databases and collections, inserting documents, updating documents, deleting documents, etc. MongoDB provides a powerful set of commands that allow us to interact with the database, view collections, monitor MongoDB, and perform administrative tasks from CLI or GUI.


Here, we provided some basic common commands used in MongoDB. Note that all these basic commands are executed with MongoDB 6.0 version.

1. Basic MongoDB Commands

The legacy Mongo shell command mongo was deprecated in MongoDB 5.0 and removed in MongoDB 6.0. The new Mongo shell command mongosh has improved and has many advantages, for example, compatibility with the MongoDB Node.js driver, better syntax highlighting, improved error messages, and enhanced auto-completion.

1.1 Connect to MongoDB

Run the mongosh command to connect to the MongoDB. This command by default connects to ‘test‘ database.

# Use mongosh command

mongosh –nodb command

You can also launch MongoDB Shell without first connecting to a particular database with the mongosh --nodb command. As a result, we can perform administrative commands, connect to databases, and complete other operations using the shell without a special database environment.

# Usage of --nodb command
mongosh --nodb

Hence, we are in the mongosh shell with no database connection.

basic MongoDb Commands

Note that if you used mongosh --nodb, exit from command and use just mongosh to continue the below article and run these basic commands.

1.2 show.help command

In MongoDB, basic information on databases, collections, indexes, and other system components can be viewed using the show command. To see a list of available sub-commands for the show command, we can use the help option like this.

# Usage of show.help command

Therefore, it displayed a list of the subcommands that are accessible to use with the show command.

basic MongoDb Commands

Let’s look at some show commands in the below sections.

1.3 Show Databases Command

The show dbs command can be used to list the database currently present in MongoDB of our system. We can use the show command with the databases keyword or either dbs. Both generate the same results.

# Usage of show dbs command
show dbs

This, the above command generates a list of available databases below.

basic MongoDb Commands

1.4 Create or Change Database

As you learned by default the mongosh command connects to the test database. However, you can change this and connect to any of your databases by using the use command.

Note that If the database name used with the use command doesn’t exist, this creates a new empty database.

# Syntax of use command
use [db name]

# use command to switch database
use MyDatabase

# Output:
# switched to db MyDatabase

1.5 Create Collection

The createCollection() method is used to create the collection in the current database. The takes the collection name you wanted to create as an argument.

# Syntax of creating collection
db.createCollection("[collection name]")

# Examples

The above example creates three collections course, student and users. To verify that the collection has been created, you can list all the collections in the current database using the show collections command.

1.6 Show Collections Command

The list of collections from the current database can be viewed via the show command of MongoDB. All you have to do is place the keyword collections along with the show command.

# Usage of show collections command
show collections

The collections stored in the database are listed as follows.

Common MongoDb Commands

1.7 Insert Documents into the Collection

To insert documents into a MongoDB collection, you can use the insertOne() method to insert a single document or the insertMany() method to insert multiple documents at once. Here are examples of how to insert documents using both methods in a Node.js environment with the official MongoDB Node.js driver:

# Syntax
db.[collection name].insert({})

# Example of insert one document
db.student.insert({"name": "Chris", "gender": "M"})

# Example of insert multiple documents
    {"name": "Lyn", "gender": "F"},
    {"name": "Scott", "gender": "M"},
    {"name", "Dan", "gender": "M"}

1.8 List Documents from the Collection

Use the find() method to list or query documents from a MongoDB collection. This method retrieves documents from a collection based on specified criteria. Here’s how you can list documents from a MongoDB collection student using the find() method. Additionally, you can use the .pretty() to print the documents well indented list.

# Syntax to list documents
db.[collection name].find()
db.[collection name].find().pretty()

# Example

1.9 Update Document

The update() method is used to update the document in a collection.

# Syntax
db.[collection name].update({},{$set: {}})

# Example of updating document
        {"name": "NNK"}

1.10 Remove Collection from Document

To remove the collection from the document use the remove() method.

# Syntax
db.[collection name].remove({})

# Example

2. Basic MongoDB Admin Commands

2.1 “setFreeMonitoring” command

Next, we have the setFreeMonitoring command of MongoDB which is available in MongoDB version 4.0 and later, and it is used to set up a free tier monitoring service. The setFreeMonitoring command called with the action parameter is used to enable or disable free cloud-based monitoring for a MongoDB deployment. Here’s a command of setFreeMonitoring with the enable action.

# Usage of setFreeMonitoring command
     setFreeMonitoring: 1,
     action: "enable"
Common MongoDb Commands

Similarly, we used the disable action to disable the free monitoring service like this.

# Usage of disable option
     setFreeMonitoring: 1,
     action: "disable"
Common MongoDb Commands

2.2 “CreateUser” command

Further, if we are required to create a new user with a specified set of privileges, then, we should use the CreateUser command of MongoDB is given as follows.

# Usage of CreateUser command
    createUser: "User21",  
    pwd: passwordPrompt(),  
    roles: [  
      { role: "dbOwner", db: "admin" }  

Above, we create a new user named User21 with the password entered by the user at runtime. The new user is granted the dbOwner role on the admin database, which provides full access to the database.

Hence, the output verifies that the user is created under the specified privileges.

Common MongoDb Commands

2.3 “hostInfo” command

There, we have the hostInfo command which is the MongoDB administrative command. It retrieves information about the host where the MongoDB instance is running. Here is the command given with its parameters.

# Usage of hostInfo command
     hostInfo: 1

The output displayed various details about the host, including its operating system, architecture, and CPU information.

Common MongoDb Commands

3. “explain” command

There, we have another command which is explain to provide information about a query execution by the database. The explain command here is used with the find command.

# Usage of explain command

Here, the explain() command is used to get an object that provides information about the query plan used by MongoDB to execute the find() method on the student collection.

The following output contains the details about the query.

Common MongoDb Commands

More details about explain command can be found here.

4. MongoDB “getLogComponents” command

In addition to all the above commands, we have the getLogComponents command in MongoDB to retrieve information about the current logging verbosity and levels for various components of the MongoDB system.

# Usage of getLogComponents command

Here, it includes the following logging information for all components of the MongoDB system.

Common MongoDb Commands

More details about other MongoDB commands can be found here.

2. Conclusion

In conclusion, we have discussed some common basic commands of MongoDB. Among the many commands that MongoDB supports, these are just a few. However, the MongoDB documentation has an extensive set of commands.