How To Easily Set Up A MEVN Stack Server

MEVN stack is a tech stack where you use MongoDB as your DB, Express.JS/Node.JS as backend and Vue.JS frontend. Once you are done with the app development. You need to deploy it. Here is the easy guide to do that.

Which OS?

When you talk about server setup of some stack, the first thing comes to your mind is Server OS. Which server OS you want? In case of MEVN Stack, Linux is most preferable due to various number of reasons.

Which Linux distro?

There are some great options here but I personally prefer Ubuntu. It is because Ubuntu is easy to setup and has a great Community support. Most of the tools and libraries needed for MEVN Stack are easily available.

1. SSH to the Server

SSH is the protocol used to access the server in a secure manner. You can SSH using SSH Key or using password. SSH Key is preferred for better security.

Here is the simple command in order to get SSH access to the server.

$ ssh -i "MyServer.pem" ubuntu@server-ip

2. Install MongoDB

a) Run this command

$ wget -qO - | sudo apt-key add -

This will copy MongoDB’s public GPG Key. The version in above command will change according to the latest version. Refer official MongoDB docs for more on this.

b) Create sources list file for MongoDB

$ echo "deb [ arch=amd64,arm64 ] bionic/mongodb-org/4.2 multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mongodb-org-4.2.list

This is the official URL of MongoDB Community Edition and related packages.

c) Reload the local package database using following command

$ sudo apt-get update

d) Install MongoDB using following command

$ sudo apt-get install -y mongodb-org

This will install latest version of Community Edition of MongoDB

e) Start MongoDB using following command

$ sudo systemctl start mongod

This will initiate MongoDB service.

After this process you need to setup user authentication on MongoDB. I will discuss this in a separate post.

3. Install NodeJS

There are many ways to install NodeJS on a typical Linux Distro. But as promised in the title I will give you the easiest way. Run the command below

$ sudo apt install nodejs

Done!! Sweet.

You can check the version of NodeJS using following command.

$ node -v
Check Installed version of Node.JS
Check latest Node.JS version on your Ubuntu Server

This is latest stable version of Node.JS on Ubuntu as of this writing.

4. Install npm

If you are familiar with Node.JS, then definitely you cannot do without npm.

NPM is the world’s largest software repository for publishing open source packages. It acts as a package manager when you work with “real-world” Node.JS app.

Run this command

$ sudo apt install npm

Just like Node.JS, you can check the latest version of npm on your machine.

$ npm -v
Check Installed version of npm
Check version of npm on your machine

5. Install PM2

PM2 is advanced and most preferred process manger for Node.JS Apps.

Note for beginners: As you know you can run Node script using node script.js to run any Node Script. But as soon as you close the terminal window. Your node script will come to a halt. PM2 enables you to keep your script running even when you disconnect from your terminal. Although very naive, this is the most basic function of PM2.

As the home page of PM2 mentions. It needs a very simple command

$ npm install pm2 -g

If you want to run your Node App. Go to the base directory of your app in terminal using cd. Suppose if your script file is index.js. Then run this command

$ pm2 start index.js

This will run your Node Project in the background.

You can also run multiple Node Scripts on same server. You can list all the currently running PM2 processes by this simple command

$ pm2 list
PM2 List

6. Install NGINX

NGINX is open source software which can be used as web server, reverse proxy , load balancer or all of these.

Installing NGINX is very simple using ubuntu’s package manager.

$ sudo apt install nginx

You need to allow it on your firewall. Assuming that you are using ufw. Here is the command to do that

$ sudo ufw allow 'Nginx HTTP'

Next you need to start the nginx, using the following command

$ sudo systemctl start nginx

Here’s an additional step which you need to do in order to start nginx on each boot. (Because you want your web-server to be up and running all the time)

$ sudo systemctl enable nginx

Now NGINX is running but it is not configured to your web-app yet.

Important: Make sure your DNS server points the appropriate Domain to this server.

Let’s say your Node script is running at port 3000.

Open the default config file for NGINX.

$ sudo nano /etc/nginx/sites-available/default

Scroll down using arrow key to server block of the file.

Server block would of the form of

server {
//some lines of config

Now you need to replace it with the following

server {
  listen       80;

  location / {
    proxy_pass http://localhost:3000;
    proxy_http_version 1.1;
    proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
    proxy_set_header Connection 'upgrade';
    proxy_set_header Host $host;
    proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;

Make sure you don’t override/ remove any other line of the file. Also, make sure you replace with your domain name.

Save the file and exit.

You can verify that your NGINX changes are fine using following command.

sudo nginx -t

Tip: This command tests your current NGINX config for any errors. Make sure you do it everytime you make any changes to your NGINX config.

If you made changes correctly then it will give you success like this.

NGINX Conf Test Successful

Now you are ready to deploy config changes to NGINX. Just restart or reload NGINX.

$ sudo service nginx reload

That’s it your server configuration is done.


This is the easiest way to setup your MEVN Stack server for development. If you are facing any issues then contact me on our email or comment below.

Happy Coding 🙂

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How To Easily Set Up A MEVN Stack Server

by Mohit Sehgal time to read: 4 min