Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was just browsing the system logs on my alestic Ubuntu 10.04 AWS EC2 production server, and found this:

daemon.log.1:Dec  9 22:45:42 server1 /etc/mysql/debian-start[865]: /usr/bin/mysqlcheck: Got error: 1045: Access denied for user 'debian-sys-maint'@'localhost' (using password: YES) when trying to connect
daemon.log.1:Dec  9 22:45:42 server1 /etc/mysql/debian-start[865]: FATAL ERROR: Upgrade failed

I'm assuming it came from a routine apt-get dist-upgrade. Is this something I need to address? It looks serious.

share|improve this question

it looks like you deleted the debian-sys-maint user, or the password for this user needs to be reset. The init scripts use this account for stopping/starting and maintanence. It expects the password for this account to match the password found in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf. The user is typically created having all privileges.

share|improve this answer
Ok, thanks. Is there some way (once I've fixed the debian-sys-maint account) to re-run the upgrade process? – aidan Dec 13 '11 at 17:13
dpkg --configure -a will configure any packages remaining to be configured. apt-get -f install will "fix" any broken dependencies if any were left over from the failed upgrade. I'd not expect broken packages, but it should never be harmful to run. – stew Dec 13 '11 at 17:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.