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My provider has supplied a Ubuntu 12.04 LTS LAMP installation with a bunch of software preinstalled. The system is supposed to be mantained using Parallels Plesk (which I unfortunately didn't know and realize and it was not what I wanted).

When trying to install a mysql database I ran into the issue that I couldn't login as root. Googling for a solution I found: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/MysqlPasswordReset

which states:


sudo apt-get --purge remove mysql-server mysql-common mysql-client

sudo apt-get install mysql-server mysql-common mysql-client

In the next step be sure to chance the your-new-password with the password you want!

mysqladmin -u root password your-new-password
sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart

mysql -u root -p

and I used this method but it didn't fix the problem:

wf@tol:~$ sudo mysqladmin -u root password ...
mysqladmin: connect to server at 'localhost' failed
error: 'Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)'

so i tried this approach:

sudo service mysql stop
mysql stop/waiting
sudo /usr/sbin/mysqld --skip-grant-tables --skip-networking &
140516 11:15:14 [Warning] Using unique option prefix key_buffer instead of key_buffer_size is  
deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Please use the full name instead.

where you are supposed to be able to update the root user's password. Only now did i find out that there is no root user:

mysql> select host,user,password from user;
: host      : user             : password                                  :
: localhost : pma_ge6fIb1m66WN : *A91A0B3F55E08D656C1F02B49C2E3B9A952***** :
: localhost : horde            : *10BAAE10EA4CB8E80F3DFD5D0F8FE157C82***** :
: localhost : pp_sb_db         : *CFC07C49312DFC07CF7C11F8C1EEAD8CB1B***** :
: localhost : debian-sys-maint : *0542B4030EE6D3BA94A760B9B99D6B1A42E***** :
: localhost : admin            : *B1121453FC3ECD98D6959602B59D8A0257B***** :
: localhost : apsc             : *5432E7B03E9C9C22FCFF79CD137E372B289***** :
: localhost : pma_uSHcuKHoQEMx : *F0015847972CEE46D3CC86CEDCDF5F17647***** :

So i thought how about recreating it as outlined in: http://www.helpfromfriend.com/database/mysql/how-to-recreate-root-account-in-mysql/

 insert into user(host,user,password) values ('localhost','root',password('********'));
 Query OK, 1 row affected, 3 warnings (0.00 sec)

update user set 
where user='root';

now I was up for a surprise to find out that this question is not a duplicate of:


all the conditions in the accepted answer of that question above are met but you can't access root.

What would be a solution to get the root user working in this situation in a non-invasive way?

I ended up

  1. finding out that there was still some data in /var/lib/mysql and some configuration in /etc that blocked proper installation of mysql - i moved those directories and files and reinstalled
  2. this ended in a system that doesn't work properly any more e.g. you can't send e-mail any more since the system itself needs the mysql database and it's users. I reinstalled the whole linux box from an image without plesk.

which is obviously a big bummer after having spent a few hours analyzing why the root user was not available in the first place.

share|improve this question
Why do you need a user named root? Plesk more or less just renames it to admin. Why not use the admin user instead? –  faker May 22 at 14:40
plesk seems to try to fix something which is not broken. I have a gazillion tools and scripts that work with mysql and the "standard" setup. Plesk even breaks ubuntu's standard installation tools. No thank you. –  Wolfgang Fahl May 22 at 14:56
Plesk is meant to be the only system you'll use to manage your server. Good for you that you noticed early that it's not the right tool for you! I too dislike it a lot. That being said, it's now hard to say what may have happened on a system which now does not exist anymore... –  faker May 22 at 15:04

1 Answer 1

When you install MySQL, you're supposed to use mysql_secure_installation to set the root pass.

Reinstall and run the above.

share|improve this answer
this was one of the things i tried. Didn't work since there were plesk leftover's at the time i tried and I didn't realize it. –  Wolfgang Fahl May 22 at 14:57
Even after reinstalling? Can you show us what is in your mysql config? (generally found at /etc/my.cnf) –  Vasili Syrakis May 22 at 21:36

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