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Mongolicious provides an easy way to backup your Mongo databases to S3.


gem install mongolicious


Create a new YAML file that looks like the one below. This file defines the backup jobs, that will be run in the defined interval.

  access_id: <your_s3_access_id>
  secret_key: <your_s3_secret_key>

  - interval: 1h
    db: mongodb://user:password@host:port/database
    location: bucket_name/prefix
    versions: 5
    compress_tar_file: False
    temp_directory: /mnt/some_ebs_location/backups
    cron: 0 22 * * 1-5

The s3 section contains the credentials, to authenticate with AWS S3. The jobs section contains a list ob jobs, that will be executed in the given interval. Each job must contain the following keys:

  • interval - Defines the interval, the job will be executed in. This can be any numerical value followed by a quantifier like s, m, h, d for second, minute, hour, day.
  • db - Is a URI, that defines the database host, database name and auth credentials.
  • location - The location is the S3 bucket, where to put the dump and a prefix.
  • versions - Keep the latest X versions of the backup.
  • compress_tar_file - True/False A large backup might take too long to compress on smaller EC2 instances
  • temp_directory - (optional) Use this directory for storing temp dump and tar files. If not provided it will use system's temp directory
  • cron - 0 22 * * 1-5 (optional every day of the week at 22:00 (10pm). If it's not provided interval is used instead

Cron explained:

Field name Mandatory Allowed values Allowed special characters
Minutes Yes 0-59 * / , -
Hours Yes 0-23 / , -
Day of month Yes 1-31 * / , - ? L W
Month Yes 1-12 or JAN-DEC * / , -
Day of week Yes 0-6 or SUN-SAT * / , - ? L #
Year No 1970–2099 * / , -

Please consider, that the location option works like this:

results in an archive on S3 with the following object key

The current date will be appended to each archive.


Simple call the mongolicious bin with the jobs.yml file as argument.

mongolicious jobs.yml

This will start the scheduler and run the backup jobs as defined in the jobs.yml file. You can put the process into background or run it in a screen terminal.

screen mongolicious jobs.yml



  • Add testcases.
  • Catch Ctrl + C.
  • Add more configuration examples.


  • Add multiple storage engines (Rackspace Files, Google Storage...)

Contributing to mongolicious

  • Check out the latest master to make sure the feature hasn't been implemented or the bug hasn't been fixed yet
  • Check out the issue tracker to make sure someone already hasn't requested it and/or contributed it
  • Fork the project
  • Start a feature/bugfix branch
  • Commit and push until you are happy with your contribution
  • Make sure to add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Please try not to mess with the Rakefile, version, or history. If you want to have your own version, or is otherwise necessary, that is fine, but please isolate to its own commit so I can cherry-pick around it.


Copyright (c) 2011 Marc Boeker. See LICENSE.txt for further details.