Copying MongoDB from

Posted 7/19/2014

Copying MongoDB from

I started deploying my latest Meteor app (now defunct, leads to a portfolio page highlighting its features) to my own VPS and wanted to use the data from my beta system hosted at

First of all, I was surprised about how simple and easy it was to deploy using Meteor Up (MUP). Some weeks before, I spend an entire day on installing the Meteor environment on a Debian machine—now it takes less than 15 minutes! One caveat though, it did not work for me on Debian, I had to drop my previous Debian VM and replaced it with Ubuntu as MUP depends on Upstart and it seems rather tricky to replace Debian’s SysVinit with Upstart. Okay, different story, but a biiig thanks to Arunoda for the great work on MUP!!

So, how to db.copyDatabase(); the data from the original DB to yours?

The method signature is db.copyDatabase("[app-name]_meteor_com", "[your-db-name]", "[meteor-mongo-domain]", "[username]", "[password]");. For this example, let’s assume “app” to be the app name. General approach: get the MongoDB URL, extract all the parameters above, log into your own MongoDB installation and use db.CopyDatabase(); to move the data over.

All commands need to be executed on the same machine. (FYI, the username and password get automatically generated and it did not work to get the URL on my machine and use the username and password on the server… strange though).

Thus, install Meteor on your server curl | sh. Then, get the MongoDB URL meteor mongo --url It will look something like this mongodb://\

Inside this example URL, you can find all necessary parts:

  • username: client-fd532e7d
  • password: 683a9a4e-1604-5729-07fd-df1ba7dcbbf9
  • meteor-mongo-domain:

Start a MongoDB CLI by typing mongo. In my case, the database created by the app and MUP was called “admin” (i.e. [your-db-name]=“admin”). How to find yours? Use show dbs in the MongoDB CLI to see which one is yours. Then write use [your-db-name] to switch to your DB.

And finally, using the data from above… 

db.copyDatabase("app_meteor_com", "admin", "", "client-2fbeb6ef", "1bd44ece-b3fa-7d1b-0046-83b917927f35");

… will copy the data over in a few seconds. When I tried first, I got an error about a duplicate key (the deployed app had created some data already), dropping the entire DB fixed it. Also, the username and password are valid for a short time only, so maybe having two terminals open is a good idea.

Archived references: Cloning MongoDBMeteor dumpClone DB from meteor.comCopy DB from one server to another