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So, unix root user can connect to mysql root user without password:

root@server $ mysql -uroot
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 27
Server version: 5.7.13-0ubuntu0.16.04.2 (Ubuntu)

But unix user redmine can't:

root@server $ sudo -u redmine mysql -uroot
ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'

I guess that mysqld is checking uid=1 over the connecting unix domain socket but I can't see where this is explained in the mysql docs. (strace shows the mysql shell process opening the unix domain socket successfully and closing it after getting a reply from the server)

How do I connect to the database root user without password as a non-root unix user ? (please, spare me the "it's not a good idea" line)

  • FYI, it appears there is no way to keep the root user without a password and connect to it with a non-root unix user. – mathieu Aug 25 '16 at 12:08
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Maybe the root user has a /root/.my.cnf file which contains the login credentials? You can configure ~redmine/.my.cnf to contain your credentials:

[client]
password="yourpassword"

For more, see the MySQL documentation.

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