After installing mysql on Ubuntu (10.4), when I try to set the root password (sudo mysqladmin password NEW_PASSWORD) I get the following error:

mysqladmin: connect to server at 'localhost' failed
error: 'Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)'

Anyone knows what's going on?

3 Answers 3


Your mysql database already has a root password. It was probably set when you installed mysql.

If you know the existing password, use this:

sudo mysqladmin -p password NEW_PASSWORD

The '-p' will tell mysql to prompt you to enter your old password first. Then, it will replace the existing password with the string NEW_PASSWORD.

If you do not remember the original password, you'll need to shut it down and start it following the instructions at http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/recover-mysql-root-password.html . This is easy to do, but does require some downtime.


Another option.

You can tell Ubuntu to reconfigure your MySQL server. This will reconfigure mysql-server-5.1 from scratch, and will ask you for a new password from the root user. Caution: This will completely wipe out any existing data, and will replace them with the default data. However, I'm guessing your database doesn't contain anything.

sudo dpkg-reconfigure mysql-server-5.1

(If I remember right, Ubuntu 10.04 comes with MySQL server 5.1, not 5.0)

  • I tried following those instructions, but I wasn't able to modify the table: mysql> update user set password=PASSWORD('1492549') where user='root'; Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) Rows matched: 3 Changed: 0 Warnings: 0 Any ideas?
    – cfischer
    Sep 3, 2010 at 22:06
  • Try dpkg-reconfigure mysql-server-5.1 to blow away and reconfigure your MySQL package, but this assumes you have nothing of value in the database. I updated my answer with this. Sep 3, 2010 at 22:48

To me, that error message suggests that there's already a root password set. It's been a while since I did a mysql install on Ubuntu, but I seem to remember the post-install dialogue asking me to specify a password at that point. Was this the case with your install?

If not, this section of the MySQL manual should be helpful.

  • I tried that, but I can't change the password (see comment above).
    – cfischer
    Sep 3, 2010 at 22:08

I had the same problem and tried the password of the first user. I could log in.

Typ in Terminal: mysql -u root -p

Enter password: [password of the first user]

If you use MySQL Administrator, you enter:

Server Hostname: localhost, Username: root, Password: [password of the first user]

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