How to Reset a Forgotten MySQL Password on Linux

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If you’re encountering the following error due to a forgotten password for your MySQL database, rest assured, you’ve come to the perfect destination for assistance.

ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for MySQL 'root'@'localhost' user

Follow along with the article to learn how to reset a forgotten MySQL password on Linux.

Tutorial Details

DescriptionResetting MySQL Forgotten Password
Difficulty LevelModerate
Root or Sudo PrivilegesYes
OS CompatibilityUbuntu, Manjaro, Fedora, etc.
Internet RequiredNo

A Note for Readers

All types of MySQL versions, including the mariadb (an open-source alternative to MySQL) that some distributions ship, have slightly different procedures for changing the MySQL password.

This article will guide you through the process of resetting forgotten passwords for the latest MySQL 8.x versions.

How to Reset a Forgotten MySQL Password on Linux

Kindly be aware that the upcoming steps involve system modifications that require root access or sudo privileges. With this in mind, let’s proceed.

1. Open your terminal and verify your current MySQL version, ensuring it’s 8.x.

$ mysql --version


Checking the MySQL version

2. Upon verifying your MySQL version, proceed to stop the MySQL service by executing one of the following commands:

$ sudo systemctl stop mysql


$ sudo /etc/init.d/mysql stop


Halting the MySQL service

3. Create a new β€œmysqld” directory within the β€œ/var/run” location and grant ownership to the MySQL user via the chown command.

$ sudo mkdir /var/run/mysqld && sudo chown mysql /var/run/mysqld


Creating a new directory and assigning ownership to a MySQL user

To be on the safe side, ensure that the ownership of the β€œmysqld” directory is changed to the MySQL user by using the ls command. (optional)

$ ls -ld /var/run/mysqld/


Checking the ownership of the mysqld directory

4. Start MySQL in safe mode using the β€œ--skip-grant-tables” parameter. This will deactivate the validation of user privileges and authentication, granting unrestricted connections without the requirement for a valid password.

$ sudo mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables&


Starting MySQL in safe mode

If, for any reason, you come across the following error while proceeding with the aforementioned method:

ERROR 2002 (HY000): Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock' (2)

Ensure to terminate all the active MySQL services by executing the following command:

$ sudo killall -u mysql

5. After starting MySQL in safe mode, open a new terminal session or tab and execute the following command to launch the MySQL console without requiring a password:

$ sudo mysql -u root mysql


Launching the MySQL console without a password

Congratulations! You’ve gained access to the MySQL console without requiring a password. Your next step is to proceed with resetting your forgotten password.

6. Once you gain access to the MySQL console, execute the following command to reset the password for the MySQL user β€œroot” by setting its authentication string to β€œnullβ€œ.

mysql> UPDATE mysql.user SET authentication_string=null WHERE User='root';


Resetting the MySQL user root password to null
Resetting the MySQL root user password to null

7. After successfully resetting the MySQL user β€œroot” password to β€œnullβ€œ, proceed by using the following command to set a new password for the root user.

Do not forget to replace the β€œnew_password” field with your preferred password choice.
mysql> ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH caching_sha2_password BY 'new_password';


Setting a new password for the MySQL root user

8. Finally, exit the MySQL console by entering the following command:

mysql> exit


Quitting MySQL safe mode

After successfully following the preceding steps, you can now move on to the next section, where you’ll be able to access your MySQL console using the newly set password.

Access MySQL with a New Password

The first step after resetting your MySQL password is to terminate all the active MySQL processes and restart the MySQL service by using the following commands:

$ sudo killall -u mysql 
$ sudo systemctl start mysql


Halting the existing MySQL processes and restarting the MySQL service

At long last, the highly anticipated moment arrives: you can now access your MySQL user root account by logging in using the recently updated password you’ve chosen.

$ mysql -u root -p


MySQL console

Final Word

I hope this guide helped you reset the MySQL user root password. However, if you have a question or encounter an error that is not mentioned in this article, feel free to tell us in the comment section.

Till then, peace!

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