Debugging and Troubleshooting MongoDB on CentOS, AlmaLinux, and RockyLinux Print

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Debugging and Troubleshooting MongoDB on CentOS, AlmaLinux, and RockyLinux

When working with MongoDB on CentOS, AlmaLinux, or RockyLinux, there could be situations where you encounter issues due to the specifics of the CPU architecture, virtualization settings, or unexpected software errors. A common issue that arises when MongoDB is incompatible with the server's CPU instructions or virtualization settings is the "Illegal instruction" error. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to debug and troubleshoot this problem and checks to consider during the debugging process.

Identifying the Problem

The "Illegal instruction" error typically manifests when you're trying to start MongoDB using the `systemctl` command or during its operation. The first step in diagnosing this issue is to inspect the MongoDB service status. Use the following commands to start the service and check its status:

sudo systemctl start mongod
sudo systemctl status mongod

checking the MongoDB logs for more detailed error messages. You can check MongoDB logs with the following command:

sudo journalctl -u mongod

Next, you can try running the MongoDB shell:


If you're encountering the "Illegal instruction" error when trying to run MongoDB, it could indicate an incompatibility issue between the MongoDB binary and your server's CPU or virtualization settings.

To further investigate this issue, you can examine the last few lines of the MongoDB logs:

sudo tail -n 50 /var/log/mongodb/mongod.log

The "Illegal instruction" error typically surfaces when trying to start MongoDB using the `systemctl` command or during its operation. To spot this issue, you may run the following command:

sudo dmesg | grep -i "mongod"

If you encounter a series of "traps: mongod" messages and the "Illegal instruction" error when trying to run MongoDB, it suggests an incompatibility between the MongoDB binary and your server's CPU or virtualization settings.

Understanding the Problem

MongoDB is compiled with certain CPU instructions that enhance its performance. However, some virtual private server (VPS) providers do not fully emulate these instructions, leading to compatibility issues. Specifically, MongoDB binaries use SSE4.2 CPU instructions which may not be supported in all environments.

Verifying CPU Instruction Support

To check if your CPU supports the SSE4.2 instructions, run the following command:

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep sse4_2

If the command doesn't return any output, your CPU doesn't support SSE4.2 instructions.

Checking Virtualization Settings

Virtualization settings are crucial to ensure the smooth running of MongoDB. In the case of QEMU/KVM, enabling host passthrough for your CPU or ensuring that the appropriate extensions are enabled might be required. You can check your current CPU model for QEMU/KVM by running:

virsh domcapabilities --virttype kvm | grep vcpu

`virsh` is a command-line utility used for managing virtual machines and other virtualization functionalities, and it comes with the `libvirt` package.

To install the `libvirt` package and the `virt-install` tool which also includes the `virsh` utility, you can use the following command:

sudo yum install -y libvirt virt-install

After that, start the `libvirtd` service and enable it to run at boot time:

sudo systemctl start libvirtd
sudo systemctl enable libvirtd

You may need to install or check the QEMU package on your system. You can install it with the following command:

sudo yum install qemu-kvm

Then, you should be able to use the `virsh` command:

virsh domcapabilities --virttype kvm | grep vcpu

But keep in mind that, because you are on a VPS, some providers may not allow the installation or use of these virtualization tools due to security reasons. If that's the case, you'll need to check with your VPS provider to see if they can provide you with the information you need.

Checking Compatibility Mode

Ensure your server is operating under the appropriate compatibility mode. The mode should be compatible with the software you're running. To check the current mode, use the following command:

lscpu | grep "CPU op-mode"

AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions)

You can check whether your CPU supports AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) by examining the information in the `/proc/cpuinfo` file on Linux systems. Here's a command you can use:

grep -o 'avx\|avx2' /proc/cpuinfo | sort | uniq

This command checks the CPU information for mentions of 'avx' or 'avx2', sorts the results, and removes duplicates. If AVX or AVX2 is supported by the CPU, the command will output 'avx' or 'avx2'. If not, there will be no output.

If you want to check AVX-512 support, you can add 'avx512' to the grep command like this:

grep -o 'avx\|avx2\|avx512' /proc/cpuinfo | sort | uniq

If your CPU supports AVX-512, this will output 'avx512' along with 'avx' or 'avx2'. If not, there will be no 'avx512' in the output.

Downgrading MongoDB to version 4.4 on CentOS, AlmaLinux, and RockyLinux

If your server doesn't support AVX instructions, running MongoDB 5.0 or above could cause problems. MongoDB 5.0 requires a CPU with AVX support. However, the previous version, MongoDB 4.4, does not have this requirement.

In such situations, downgrading MongoDB to an older version that doesn't require AVX support can be a viable solution. Here's how you can downgrade MongoDB to version 4.4 on CentOS, AlmaLinux, and RockyLinux.

MongoDB Installation

When installing MongoDB on CentOS, AlmaLinux, or RockyLinux, ensure that you're installing the correct version that's compatible with your server's architecture. MongoDB provides different binaries for various system architectures. When installing MongoDB using a package manager like `yum`, ensure the repositories point to the correct architecture for your system.

If the MongoDB installation is incorrect, you may need to remove the existing MongoDB repository and clean all the packages:

sudo rm /etc/yum.repos.d/mongodb-org.repo # This will remove the existing incorrect repo file
sudo yum clean all

Follow the [official MongoDB installation guide] or A-Step-By-Step-Guide-to-Installing-MongoDB for a detailed walk-through of the installation process on different Linux distributions.

Compiling MongoDB from Source

If the "Illegal instruction" error persists, a last resort could be compiling MongoDB from source, making sure to disable the unsupported CPU instructions. Be aware that this is a more complex process and should be undertaken if you're comfortable with the potential for additional maintenance overhead. Here's a general guide on how to compile MongoDB from source:

1. Install the necessary build tools and libraries:

sudo yum groupinstall "Development Tools"
sudo yum install git python2 scons

2. Clone the MongoDB source code:

git clone

3. Checkout the version of MongoDB you want to install:

cd mongo
git checkout r<version>

4. Build MongoDB:

scons --disable-warnings-as-errors --ssl

After building, the MongoDB binaries will be in the `build` directory. You may need to add other flags to disable the specific CPU instructions causing the issues.

Remember, compiling MongoDB from source is a complex task, and it's crucial to be sure about the compatibility and other related details of your environment. If you're not comfortable with these steps, contacting your VPS provider might be the best course of action. They may have solutions specific to their environment which can solve your issue.

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