Archive for September, 2012

How to get a MongoDB oplog without a full replica set

September 3, 2012 6 comments

The MongoDB oplog is a rolling log of the most recent operations that occurred in a MongoDB instance. It’s intended for replication so that multiple data nodes can follow the oplog and immediately get updates, however, your application code has access to it as well. This means you can “tail the oplog” and your application code is notified as soon as an insert, update, or delete operation occurs anywhere on the database.  This is very cool stuff, so cool, in fact, that it’s nice to be able to enable it even if you aren’t using a multiple node replica sets. Replica sets provide high availability and disaster recovery, but you might not need that or have the extra server resources for it – maybe you just want real time notification.  Here is how you enable the oplog on a standalone MongoDB instance.

In the /etc/mongodb.conf file on Debian or similar file on RHEL, you should set two options and then restart your MongoDB instance.


Or you can set these at the command line, as you might on Windows:

--replSet rs0 --oplogSize 100

The first setting, “replSet rs0” tells you this will be a replica set node, which will allow you to run “rs.initiate()” from the mongo shell.  Doing so makes this into a single node replica set.  The name “rs0” is complete arbitrary – call it whatever you want.  The next option, “oplogSize 100” limits the oplog to 100 MB.  You can leave this option off and it will default to using 5% of your free disk space.  You’d want to support a huge oplog if your need multiple data nodes to survive an outtage of several hours or days and be able to catch back up without needing a full resync.  However, if you’re running a single node just to get an oplog and real time notifications, you can cap it at 100 MB, or maybe much less.

After setting these options and starting your MongoDB instance, connect to the shell, change to the local database, and run “rs.initiate()”.  You’ll now have an oplog and to tail for real time notifications.

> show dbs
local (empty)
> use local
switched to db local
> rs.initiate()
 "info2" : "no configuration explicitly specified -- making one",
 "me" : "MONGOSERVER:27017",
 "info" : "Config now saved locally. Should come online in about a minute.",
 "ok" : 1
> show collections

Categories: MongoDB