On cPanel when I am logged in as root and type "mysql" without hostname and password it gives me direct access to mysql root user.

I would like to do this for one of my non-cpanel server where the linux root user gets password less logon to mysql root user in the same way as it does on cPanel.

Is this possible ?


The easiest way to do this is to use a client section of the ~/.my.cnf file, and add the credentials there.


it's a good idea to make that file readable only by root too.

  • 1
    Yes this works and this is how cPanel is doing it – user1066991 Dec 27 '13 at 9:23
  • 9
    I need to point towards a potential security problem.. You need to be a bit careful that you don't edit this in the /etc/my.cnf which the mysql server uses to boot up. If you put the mysql root user in the /etc/my.cnf ANYONE can use the mysql server with ALL privileges on EVERY database without a password. Iain points towards the shell user's own .my.cnf in the root's home which is correct of course. – Koen van der Rijt Dec 27 '13 at 9:59
  • What if there is no ~/.my.cnf file? If I create it and restart mysqld, am I then supposed to be able to do this? – Amalgovinus Sep 10 '18 at 23:44

For mysql 5.7+, if you set empty password for the initial setup, mysql will automatically use auth_socket as a strategy. An attempt to update password without change the strategy will have no result. You can always able to login without using password if your user is root.

Solution Run following command to change the authentication strategy and set the password

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'ANY_PASSWORD'

reference: https://www.percona.com/blog/2016/03/16/change-user-password-in-mysql-5-7-with-plugin-auth_socket/

  • 2
    I had to add an empty string at the end to make it work: ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY ''; – kramer65 Apr 3 '18 at 19:55
  • Intersting @kramer, only works if I set it as you ... BY "";. Thanks! – Juan Antonio Jan 14 at 16:04

As of MySQL 5.6.6, you can use the mysql_config_editor to create an encrypted file that will log you in automatically:

mysql_config_editor set --login-path=client --host=localhost --user=root --password

Then enter the password when prompted.

Note: if your password has '#' in it, and possibly other characters, use single quotes when entering the password.

  • Can you elaborate on the single-quote comment? It is prompting you for the password on the terminal, are you wrapping the password in single quotes – user2299958 Oct 6 '17 at 20:33
  • Yes, I found that entering it without quotes did not work if it had special characters. So when prompted, just enter ' (single quote), then the password, then '. – Brian Deterling Oct 8 '17 at 0:11

Make a file with only contains the mysql root password and only root can read.

# ls -l /root/.mysqlpw 
-rw------- 1 root root 7 2013-08-19 13:24 /root/.mysqlpw

You can import a database with

# mysql -u root -p`cat /root/.mysqlpw ` yourdatabase < databasedump.sql

or connect to you database and issue mysql commands

# mysql -u root -p`cat /root/.mysqlpw ` yourdatabase
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 20460
Server version: 5.1.63-0ubuntu0.10.04.1 (Ubuntu)

Copyright (c) 2000, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its
affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

mysql> show databases;
| Database           |
| information_schema |
| mysql              |
| yourdatabase       |
3 rows in set (0.00 sec)

mysql> show tables;
  • 5
    This is much more work than the other answer. And your password is too short. :) – Michael Hampton Jan 2 '14 at 17:56
  • 7
    Do not do this. It puts the password on the command line which any one can read with ps(1) – camh May 17 '17 at 10:07

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