What’s a clean way to stop mongod on Mac OS X?


Question or issue on macOS:

i’m running mongo 1.8.2 and trying to see how to cleanly shut it down on Mac.

on our ubuntu servers i can shutdown mongo cleanly from the mongo shell with:

> use admin
> db.shutdownServer()

but on my Mac, it does not kill the mongod process. the output shows that it ‘should be’ shutdown but when i ps -ef | grep mongo it shows me an active process. also, i can still open a mongo shell and query my dbs like it was never shutdown.

the output from my db.shutdownServer() locally is:

MongoDB shell version: 1.8.2
connecting to: test
> use admin                  
switched to db admin
> db.shutdownServer()
Tue Dec 13 11:44:21 DBClientCursor::init call() failed
Tue Dec 13 11:44:21 query failed : admin.$cmd { shutdown: 1.0 } to:
server should be down...
Tue Dec 13 11:44:21 trying reconnect to
Tue Dec 13 11:44:21 reconnect failed couldn't connect to server
Tue Dec 13 11:44:21 Error: error doing query: unknown shell/collection.js:150

i know i can just kill the process but i’d like to do it more cleanly.

How to solve this problem?

Solution no. 1:

It’s probably because launchctl is managing your mongod instance. If you want to start and shutdown mongod instance, unload that first:

launchctl unload -w ~/Library/LaunchAgents/org.mongodb.mongod.plist

Then start mongod manually:

mongod -f path/to/mongod.conf --fork

You can find your mongod.conf location from ~/Library/LaunchAgents/org.mongodb.mongod.plist.

After that, db.shutdownServer() would work just fine.

Added Feb 22 2014:

If you have mongodb installed via homebrew, homebrew actually has a handy brew services command. To show current running services:

brew services list

To start mongodb:

brew services start mongodb

To stop mongodb if it’s already running:

brew services stop mongodb


As edufinn pointed out in the comment, brew services is now available as user-defined command and can be installed with following command: brew tap gapple/services.

Solution no. 2:

If you installed mongodb with homebrew, there’s an easier way:

List mongo job with launchctl:

launchctl list | grep mongo

Stop mongo job:

launchctl stop 

(For me this is launchctl stop homebrew.mxcl.mongodb)

Start mongo job:

launchctl start 

Solution no. 3:

Simple way is to get the process id of mongodb and kill it.
Please note DO NOT USE kill -9 pid for this as it may cause damage to the database.

1. get the pid of mongodb

$ pgrep mongo

you will get pid of mongo, Now

$ kill

You may use kill -15 as well

Solution no. 4:

If you have installed mongodb community server via homebrew, then you can do:

brew services list

This will list the current services as below:

Name              Status  User          Plist
mongodb-community started thehaystacker /Users/thehaystacker/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community.plist

redis             stopped

Then you can restart mongodb by first stopping and restart:

brew services stop mongodb
brew services start mongodb

Solution no. 5:

I prefer to stop the MongoDB server using the port command itself.

sudo port unload mongodb

And to start it again.

sudo port load mongodb

Solution no. 6:

Check out these docs:


If you started it in a terminal you should be ok with a ctrl + 'c' — this will do a clean shutdown.

However, if you are using launchctl there are specific instructions for that which will vary depending on how it was installed.

If you are using Homebrew it would be launchctl stop homebrew.mxcl.mongodb

Solution no. 7:

This is an old question, but its one I found while searching as well.

If you installed with brew then the solution would actually be the this:

launchctl unload ~/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb.plist

Solution no. 8:

If the service is running via brew, you can stop it using the following command:

brew services stop mongodb

Solution no. 9:

The solutions provided by others used to work for me but is not working for me anymore, which is as below.

brew services stop mongodb
brew services start mongodb

brew services list gives

Name              Status  User      Plist
mongodb-community started XXXXXXXXX /Users/XXXXXXXXX/Library/LaunchAgents/homebrew.mxcl.mongodb-community.plist

So I used mongodb-community instead of mongodb which worked for me

brew services stop mongodb-community
brew services start mongodb-community

Hope this helps!