I am using debian-sys-maint as practical way to do database dumps in our debian systems, somenthing like this:

mysqldump -u debian-sys-maint -p`cat /etc/mysql/debian.cnf | grep password | tail -n 1 | cut -d' ' -f3`

I would like to know if there is a similar user to this in CentOS, I just need the user to be able to make backups. This way I don't have to create a new user on every system. The interesting part of this is that /etc/mysql/debian.cnf contains the clear password for the debian-sys-maint.

2 Answers 2


No, there is no such MySQL user created by default in CentOS.

  • That's a pity, then how is it handled when doing an upgrade from i.e. mysql 4.1 to 50 (where there are queries involved) or the mysqlcheck that needs to be done in case a table crashed? Or the log rotations? In debian all this stuff is being/can be done with the debian-sys-maint user. For all those actions you are prompted for the mysql root password?
    – aseques
    Oct 7, 2013 at 12:19
  • Major version upgrades must be performed by the user manually, since a given distro version will not contain a major version upgrade. The other operations are left to the sysadmin to prepare for. Oct 7, 2013 at 12:21
  • I accept you solution, alought it sadly confirms that I will have to precreate a user for dumps in all the centos I manage. Thanks anyway
    – aseques
    Oct 9, 2013 at 6:48

debian-sys-maint user is by default a root equivalent on RHEL/CentOS. root exists on any mysql installations.

  • The interesting part is that on every debian install there's the password for that user in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf, so the database dumps can be scripted even when you don't know the password for the root user.
    – aseques
    Oct 7, 2013 at 12:17
  • You need to have Linux root access to be able to read the contents of /etc/mysql/debian.cnf. But as you said, you don't need the MySQL ` root` password, as debian-sys-maint is equvivalent to MySQL root user. I would make a backup user anyway, as that would not have write access to all databases, just read.
    – Anders
    Jan 2, 2015 at 5:07

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