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I am struggling to find a good way to copy over our production MongoDB database to overwrite our development database on demand. db.copyDatabase doesn't work from the command line using mongo-cli. Is there a better way to clone a database and overwrite a current one with Mongo?

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You could use a shell script to do that using the mongodump and mongorestore tools.

What I do for this same scenario is to use the --eval option from the mongo-cli to drop the database, take a dump of the production database and then restore to the development database.

  • ssh user@host 'mongodump --host dbhost --port dbport --db dbproduction; cd dump ; zip dump.zip dbproduction/* ;'
  • scp user@host:dump/dump.zip /desiredPath/dump.zip ;
  • mongo --eval 'new Mongo().getDB("dbdevelopment"); db.dropDatabase();'
  • unzip dump.zip -d dump ; cd dump/ ;
  • mongorestore --db dbdevelopment dbproduction;

This will need to run from the development database's server with access to the production databases's server and it will do exactly what you need it to: dump and zip the production database, download it, drop the development database, unzip the downloaded file, and restore.

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