• MySQL – reset a lost MySQL root password (Linux)

    The MySQL root password allows full access to the MySQL database and allows for all actions to be undertaken including creating new users, new databases, setting access rules and so on.

    Losing one can be a difficult issue to encounter. Luckily, resetting the root password is easy as long as you have sudo access to the Slice.

    Not the Slice root user

    A common issue is confusing the Slice root user with the MySQL root user.

    The Slice root user is the server’s main user. The MySQL root user has complete control over MySQL only. The two ‘root’ users are not connected in any way.

    Stop MySQL

    The first thing to do is stop MySQL. Assuming you are using Ubuntu Hardy the command is as follows:

    sudo /etc/init.d/mysql stop

    Safe mode

    Next we need to start MySQL in safe mode – that is to say, we will start MySQL but skip the user privileges table. Again, note that you will need to have sudo access for these commands so you don’t need to worry about any user being able to reset the MySQL root password:

    sudo mysqld_safe –skip-grant-tables &

    Note: The ampersand (&) at the end of the command is required.


    All we need to do now is to log into MySQL and set the password.

    mysql -u root

    Note: No password is required at this stage as when we started MySQL we skipped the user privileges table.

    Next, instruct MySQL which database to use:

    use mysql;

    Reset password

    Enter the new password for the root user as follows:

    update user set password=PASSWORD(“mynewpassword”) where User=’root’;

    and finally, flush the privileges:

    flush privileges;


    Now the password has been reset, we need to restart MySQL by logging out:


    and simply stopping and starting MySQL:

    sudo /etc/init.d/mysql stop

    sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start



    Test the new password by logging in:

    mysql -u root -p

    You will be prompted for your new password.

    Categories: Mysql

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