OPTIONS

db.collection.distinct()

Definition

db.collection.distinct(field, query)

Finds the distinct values for a specified field across a single collection and returns the results in an array.

Parameter Description
field The field for which to return distinct values.
query A query that specifies the documents from which to retrieve the distinct values.

The db.collection.distinct() method provides a wrapper around the distinct command. Results must not be larger than the maximum BSON size.

Behavior

Array Fields

If the value of the specified field is an array, db.collection.distinct() considers each element of the array as a separate value.

For instance, if a field has as its value [ 1, [1], 1 ], then db.collection.distinct() considers 1, [1], and 1 as separate values.

For an example, see Return Distinct Values for an Array Field.

Index Use

When possible, db.collection.distinct() operations can use indexes.

Indexes can also cover db.collection.distinct() operations. See Covering a Query for more information on queries covered by indexes.

Examples

The examples use the inventory collection that contains the following documents:

{ "_id": 1, "dept": "A", "item": { "sku": "111", "color": "red" }, "sizes": [ "S", "M" ] }
{ "_id": 2, "dept": "A", "item": { "sku": "111", "color": "blue" }, "sizes": [ "M", "L" ] }
{ "_id": 3, "dept": "B", "item": { "sku": "222", "color": "blue" }, "sizes": "S" }
{ "_id": 4, "dept": "A", "item": { "sku": "333", "color": "black" }, "sizes": [ "S" ] }

Return Distinct Values for a Field

The following example returns the distinct values for the field dept from all documents in the inventory collection:

db.inventory.distinct( "dept" )

The method returns the following array of distinct dept values:

[ "A", "B" ]

Return Distinct Values for an Embedded Field

The following example returns the distinct values for the field sku, embedded in the item field, from all documents in the inventory collection:

db.inventory.distinct( "item.sku" )

The method returns the following array of distinct sku values:

[ "111", "222", "333" ]

See also

Dot Notation for information on accessing fields within embedded documents

Return Distinct Values for an Array Field

The following example returns the distinct values for the field sizes from all documents in the inventory collection:

db.inventory.distinct( "sizes" )

The method returns the following array of distinct sizes values:

[ "M", "S", "L" ]

For information on distinct() and array fields, see the Behavior section.

Specify Query with distinct

The following example returns the distinct values for the field sku, embedded in the item field, from the documents whose dept is equal to "A":

db.inventory.distinct( "item.sku", { dept: "A" } )

The method returns the following array of distinct sku values:

[ "111", "333" ]