I edited the MongoDB config file to store it's data in /home/user/data/mongod.

But data is still written to the old directory, supposedly because the permissions to the new folder are not granted - how can I give MongoDB the necessary permissions for that directory?

  • 1
    How did you edit your configuration? Why do you suppose it's a problem with the permissions? Why do you think that Mongo uses the default directory instead of throwing an error? (This is a way of asking: have you checked the errors log file?) – Andrea Corbellini Feb 18 '13 at 12:12

To change the location used by MongoDB to store its data, you need to:

  1. Edit /etc/mongod.conf and change the line dbpath=/var/lib/mongodb to the path that you desire, e.g. dbpath=/home/user/data/mongodb
  2. Update the permissions of your chosen path to allow the mongodb user to write to it, e.g. chown $USER -R /home/user/data/mongodb
  3. Restart the MongoDB service by running sudo service mongodb restart

Note that if you have any data in the old location that you want to keep, you'll need to stop the MongoDB service first, manually move the files and then start the service again.

To stop the MongoDB server use sudo service mongodb stop

  • which files do i need to move? – chovy Dec 17 '16 at 9:15
  • @chovy The files in the storage directory. – David Edwards Dec 17 '16 at 12:50
  • I deleted everything in /var/lib/mongodb – chovy Dec 17 '16 at 22:35
  • @chovy Then you've probably deleted all your data, if you had any, and have no files that you can move. – David Edwards Dec 21 '16 at 13:03
  • yeah, that's fine. i didn't need to save it. wasn't sure if there were non-data files i needed in there. apparently not because it seems to work still – chovy Dec 22 '16 at 5:59

You need to restart the daemon for changes to take effect.

sudo service mongodb restart

If you start mongodb from the command line you can use the --dbpath argument: mkdir mydata && mongod --dbpath mydata You may run into some issue related with "file exists" or something, it is a well known limitation of MongoDb, more on this here. Just change the disk drive and test if now you don't have that issue again.


I ran into same issue today and I solved the issue using following steps.

  1. Edit mongod.conf file and edit dbPath variable value.

    sudo -H gedit /etc/mongod.conf
  2. Then use following command to start mongod service

    sudo mongod --dbpath "your db path"

    I tried to run above command without sudo and I got an error. So use sudo to run the command.


mv the /var/lib/mongodb(the directory you saved data) to the /path and chown mondodb:mongodb /path(the directory you want to save the data)

edit the /etc/mongod.conf

service mongod restart (if cannot connect,check the /path if not contains the mongod.lock,if it exists,delete it and restart again)

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