Installing MongoDB on the Raspberry Pi?

MongoDB is a popular open source document-oriented database that can be installed on the Raspberry Pi to create a low-cost database server for applications and web projects. This guide will walk through how to install MongoDB on the Raspberry Pi and optimize the database for performance.

Installing MongoDB on the Raspberry Pi?

Prerequisites

Before installing MongoDB, make sure your Raspberry Pi environment meets these requirements:

  • Raspberry Pi model 2 or higher
  • Raspbian (latest version recommended)
  • Access to terminal/command line
  • Internet connectivity
  • At least 2 GB free disk space

Additional Recommended Hardware

  • MicroSD card with high write speeds for improved performance
  • External USB hard drive for more storage capacity

Step 1: Update Packages List

Log into the Raspberry Pi and update the packages list to ensure you download the latest available version of MongoDB:

sudo apt update

Step 2: Install MongoDB

Use the apt package manager to install MongoDB. This will also install any required dependencies:

sudo apt install -y mongodb

Step 3: Adjust System Configuration

There are a few system configuration tweaks required for MongoDB to run properly on the Raspberry Pi hardware.

Increase System Memory

The database process requires more free memory than the Pi allocates by default. Open the Raspberry Pi configuration tool:

sudo raspi-config

Under “Performance Options,” increase the GPU memory to 256 MB. Reboot the Pi for changes to take effect.

Set Swap File Size

Create a swap file to allow more memory for MongoDB operations:

sudo nano /etc/dphys-swapfile

Change CONF_SWAPSIZE parameter to 1024 for 1 GB swap file size. Save and exit nano, then reboot.

Step 4: Create Database Directories

MongoDB stores data in /data directory but Raspbian does not include it by default. Create the directory and set permissions:

sudo mkdir /data

sudo chmod 777 /data

For improved performance, optionally put database files on external USB hard drive mounted to /mnt/mongodb.

Step 5: Run MongoDB

Start the mongo daemon in one terminal window:

mongod

In another window, run the MongoDB shell to connect to database:

mongo

If successful, MongoDB is now installed and running on Raspberry Pi!

Step 6: Secure MongoDB (Optional)

MongoDB installs with no authentication by default. To set a username and password, as well as improve security follow these steps:

  1. Create admin user account

use adminĀ 

db.createUser({user:”myUserAdmin”,pwd:”123xyz456″,roles:[{role:”userAdminAnyDatabase”,db:”admin”}]})

Restart MongoDB daemon with auth enabled

mongod –auth

Connect and authenticate as admin

  1. mongo -authenticationDatabase “admin” -u “myUserAdmin” -p

Optimizing the Database

Here are some techniques for improving MongoDB performance on the Raspberry Pi.

Set WiredTiger as Storage Engine

The WiredTiger engine offers better performance than the default MMAPv1. To configure it:

mongod –storage Engine wiredTiger

Use Indexes

Adding relevant indexes on queried fields can provide major speed boosts.

See MongoDB documentation for detailed indexing guidelines tailored to specific use cases.

Limit Database Size

MongoDB can slow down as database size grows larger than available RAM.

Set up scaling techniques like sharding or purge older data over time.

Key Takeaways

  • Installing MongoDB expands the Raspberry Pi’s capabilities as an application server
  • Optimization techniques like using Wired Tiger and adding indexes improve database performance
  • Authentication and memory configuration are important initial security steps
  • Pay attention to database size and structure to prevent slow downs

With the low cost and versatility of the platform, a Raspberry Pi running MongoDB is great for learning or smaller project databases. Carefully monitoring hardware constraints allows room for the database to scale up comfortably over time.

Conclusion

Installing MongoDB on a Raspberry Pi leads to a capable, low-cost database server. By tuning configurations for available system memory, utilizing faster storage engines, and sizing within hardware limits, MongoDB can run efficiently.

The active open source community around MongoDB contributes to its strength for varied workloads. While Raspbian has its limitations relative to more robust servers, the accessibility of the Pi hardware makes it well-suited for education, experimentation and smaller applications. By following this install guide and referenced optimization tips as needed, your Raspberry Pi can handle full featured MongoDB databases.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is MongoDB compatible with Raspberry Pi OS 64-bit?
A: Yes, MongoDB works on the 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS. Follow the same installation process.

Q: Can I run MongoDB on older Raspberry Pi boards?
A: Performance will struggle on Pi 1 or Zero models. Pi 2 or newer is strongly recommended.

Q: How do I connect remotely to MongoDB on my Raspberry Pi?
A: Enable MongoDB network binding, create admin user, then connect from another system with mongo client and user credentials.

Q: Why am I seeing “out of memory” errors in MongoDB on my Pi?
A: Configure a swap file and increase GPU memory per this guide’s recommendations. If issue persists try limiting database size.

Q: Is sharding available to scale MongoDB on the Raspberry Pi?
A: For full sharding at least two database nodes are required. But the Pi can be used as part of a sharded cluster.

Q: Can I backup my MongoDB database from the Raspberry Pi to a cloud provider?
A: Yes, use MongoDB Atlas cloud or Stitch cloud stitching to integrate backups to AWS, Google or Azure clouds.

Q: Is MongoDB on the Pi sufficient to support a production web application?
A: For lightweight traffic levels it can suffice. But for heavier workloads another host would be more robust.

Q: What programming languages can I use to access MongoDB on the Pi?
A: All major languages have MongoDB drive support including JavaScript, Python, Java, C#, PHP and more.

Q: Is authentication required to secure MongoDB databases on Raspberry Pi?
A: Authentication is recommended, but not strictly required. Follow this guide’s steps to set up a user admin.

Q: Can I run multiple MongoDB databases on a single Raspberry Pi server?
A: Yes, MongoDB can support multiple independent database instances on a single Pi server.

Q: How do I export and import MongoDB databases from my Pi server?
A: Use either mongodump and mongorestore utilities or MongoDB Atlas to migrate databases in and out.

Q: Can I load a MongoDB database from my workstation into the Pi server?
A: Yes, after installing MongoDB on the Pi, shutdown MongoDB on your workstation and copy the database files over then start mongod to load.

Q: What is the maximum database size MongoDB supports on the Pi platform?
A: As available disk space fills up performance will degrade. Target under 500GB database size for smoothest operations.

Q: How much RAM should be assigned to MongoDB on the Raspberry Pi?
A: MongoDB requires a minimum 100MB. For best Pi performance allocate 20-25% of total RAM to database processes.

Q: What is the ideal micro SD card speed for running MongoDB on the Pi?
A: Aim for write speeds > 20MB/s minimum. A V30 or U3 class microSD delivering 90MB/s+ is recommended.

Q: Can I run MongoDB on a Raspberry Pi 400 model?
A: Yes, the Pi 400 hardware specifications fully support installing and running MongoDB databases.

Q: How do I enable authentication for the MongoDB admin user on my Pi?
A: Use the db.createUser() method to create the user in admin db. Then restart mongod with the –auth option and authenticate with mongo client.

Q: What embedded JavaScript engine does MongoDB use on the Raspberry Pi platform?
A: MongoDB leverages V8 for JavaScript processing and integration on the ARM architecture Raspberry Pi hardware.

Q: Can MongoDB scale horizontally with sharding on a cluster of Pi servers?
A: Yes, sharding can be enabled across a cluster of Raspberry Pis to distribute data and load horizontally.

Q: Is the Wired Tiger engine more efficient than MMAPv1 on the Pi platform?
A: Yes, Wired Tiger utilizes compression and typically runs faster for most workloads on Raspberry Pi hardware configurations.

Q: How do I configure MongoDB to use a specific data directory on the Pi?
A: Use the mongod –dbpath option to specify the file system path to store database files in when starting the mongod process.

Q: What Linux security measures should be used to harden MongoDB on the Pi?
A: User access controls, firewall rules only exposing necessary ports, avoiding root access, and regular patches.

Q: Can I run MongoDB Compass GUI on the Raspberry Pi device?
A: Unfortunately no, MongoDB Compass is not supported on the ARM architecture. Use command line tools instead.

Q: Is there an optimized MongoDB server image for Raspberry Pi OS?
A: Yes, MongoDB provides an official Raspbian-optimized image with recommendations from this guide preconfigured.

Q: How do I upgrade MongoDB versions on the Raspberry Pi server?
A: Use the apt package manager again to install new packages from repositories or manual binary upgrades.

Q: Can older generations of MongoDB be installed on the Pi platform?
A: Yes, older versions can be installed but are not recommended. Always run supported and updated MongoDB releases.

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