I want to enable remote access to my MySQL server so I've set the bind-address option under [mysqld], which looks like:

# skip-networking
# Disabling symbolic-links is recommended to prevent assorted security risks

When I comment bind-address, the server starts normally. However, when I comment it out it won't restart. The port is open and listens.

Can you please help me sort this out? Thanks

  • **.**.**.66 isn't a valid IP address...
    – womble
    Jul 19, 2011 at 0:38
  • @womble, eh? Isn't that just standard address obfuscation?
    – Zoredache
    Jul 19, 2011 at 0:41
  • @Zoredache: We don't know, do we? Perhaps that really is what he put in, and that's why it's not working. The correct way to obfuscate addresses is to use the RFC5737 documentation networks.
    – womble
    Jul 19, 2011 at 0:43
  • 1
    Probably I should clarify this, in the actual my.cnf file I use the real IP address. I use * just to hide it here.
    – Vasilis
    Jul 19, 2011 at 1:10
  • What was your configuration file? Was it "/etc/mysql/my.cnf"? Also do you solve the error?
    – Cloud Cho
    Oct 25, 2022 at 16:09

3 Answers 3


Why do you think you need to use bind-address to enable remote access?

Without the bind-address option try running the command netstat -ntlp | grep 3306. If you see output like below, then mysql is listening on every IP associated with the computer.

tcp        0      0  *               LISTEN      23465/mysqld 

You only really need the bind-address if you want to listen on a specific IP. If you want to listen for requests on all addresses you should leave that commented out or set it to Some packaged versions of mysql come with startup/maintenance scripts that will attempt to access mysql on If you use the bind-address option then mysql will only be bound to that specific IP, and nothing else, possibly breaking any scripts that you currently have.

  • netstat: option -p requires an argument
    – Almo
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:59
  • It does not require an argument on the net-tools version of netstat on Linux. What OS are you running on? I know netstat has different syntax/options on Windows, and on BSD.
    – Zoredache
    Dec 17, 2013 at 21:07

Maybe this will help some folks:

It appears that if bind-address is declared in 2 places, the service fails to restart.

Perhaps you quickly scanned your /etc/conf/my.cnf file and did not see a 2nd appearance of bind-address. However, note that the file may contain a !includedir directive, and some of those included files can contain a 2nd bind-address.


Make sure there isn't a stalled mysqld instance already started. Check

ps aux|grep mysqld

and kill all processes with

kill -9

then try to start mysqld again. Pay attention to mysqld processes in "Sl" state.

  • and make sure the sky isn't falling and that the power grid is still alive. Am I still breathing?
    – chicks
    Oct 20, 2015 at 16:09

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