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How to set up MongoChef to ease your MongoDB admin challenges

MongoDB is much more complex than your typical enterprise database. One GUI tool that makes using MongoDB easier is MongoChef.

Image: Jack Wallen

If you're considering dipping your toes into the realm of big data-level databases, you probably looked into MongoDB and realized it's a bit more complicated than your average relational database. To that end, you might be interested in a GUI tool to help you administer those enterprise-size databases.

MongoChef is a GUI tool that fully supports MongoDB shell integration and offers all the features to help you master your enterprise-level databases.

  • Drag and drop search
  • Import/export
  • In-place editor
  • Users and roles
  • Indexes
  • GridFS
  • Intellishell
  • Advanced security
  • Visualization of schema
  • Data compare

You might think it would be a major challenge to get MongoChef up and running, but believe it or not, it's actually quite easy.

SEE: Google wants to commercialize database Spanner, but MongoDB or Cassandra could be safer bets

What you'll need

You must have a MongoDB server up and running; you'll connect the MongoChef tool to this database (it can be local or remote).

Next, you need to determine whether you'll use MongoChef for personal or business usage. There is a free version of MongoChef for non-commercial usage. If you plan on using MongoChef for commercial usage, you can purchase one of three licenses:

  • Core: $149.00 USD
  • MongoChef Pro: $299.00 USD
  • MongoChef Enterprise: $499.00 USD

"Installing" MongoChef

MongoChef is a fully contained executable application, so there really isn't any installation; instead, you download the file, extract the file, and run the binary executable. I'll demonstrate installing MongoChef Core on an Elementary OS Freya desktop.

  1. Download the mongochef-linux-x64-dist.tar.gz file.
  2. Open your default file manager.
  3. Navigate to where the newly downloaded file has been saved.
  4. Right-click the file and select Extract Here.
  5. Navigate into the newly created mongochef-X.X.X-linux-x64-dist folder (X.X.X is the release number).
  6. Navigate into the bin folder.
  7. Double-click the mongochef.sh file.

You should see a window appear asking you to select a license model. If you purchased a license key or you're planning on giving the 14-day trial a go, click Free 14-day Trial License For Commercial Purposes/I Have A License Key. Otherwise, select Free Personal, Non-Commercial License (Figure A) and click OK.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
The MongoChef license agreement.

Then you have to agree that you will not use MongoChef for commercial purposes and then agree to the EULA.

Now you'll be in the MongoChef main window, where you should click Connect and then New Connection. In the New Connection window, you have to decide how you'll connect to the MongoDB server; if it's on your local machine, give the connection a name, leave everything else default, and click Save (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Creating a connection to your MongoDB server.

You can also connect to your remote MongoDB server via SSH. To do this, click the SSH Tunnel tab and fill out the necessary information (IP address, Username, Password).

After you set up your connection, select it from the Connection Manager and click Connect, and MongoChef will open so you can begin to work with your databases (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen
Connection to a remote MongoDB server via SSH.

You can start adding databases, users, collections, and so much more...all without having to dive into the MongoDB shell. If you want to work within the shell, you can use the MongoChef Intellishell (we'll cover that in a future article).

MongoDB made easy

MongoDB doesn't have to be that challenging. If you prefer a GUI tool over the the shell, MongoChef might be the exact software you're looking for.

If you're serious about learning the ins and outs of MongoDB, you'll want to become very familiar with its built-in shell tool first. Once you know that, you can use MongoChef as a more convenient means of managing your ever-growing, enterprise-grade databases.

Update (8/2/17): MongoChef is now known as Studio 3T.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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