Basic MySQL Commands


Securing A Fresh MySql Installation

Answer all the questions in this security script that comes with MySQL installations.

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Show Accounts With No Password

Ideally there should be none of these!

SELECT User,Password,Host FROM mysql.user WHERE Password='';  

Remove anonymous user

drop user ''@localhost
drop user ''

Change Root Password

Changing root password (change abc with your current password and 123456 with your desired new one).

mysqladmin -u root -p'abc' password '123456'  

Setting Up Password For First Time

If you are using CentOS and just perform a yum install mysql-server, you may notice that it never asks you for a password. By default there is no password and you can just log in as root. In fact if you specify password, then it will fail. To set the root user's password for the first time, run the following command.

mysqladmin -u root password [your password here]

User Administration

Add Fully Priviledged Local User

TO 'USERNAME_HERE'@'localhost' 

Adding a read-only local user to a database

TO 'USERNAME_HERE'@'localhost' \

Add a remote user to a MySQL

Adding a user to a MySQL and allow them to connect remotely from any IP

GRANT ALL ON *.* to [username]@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

This will also work

GRANT ALL ON *.* to [username] IDENTIFIED BY 'password';

If you only want to allow localhost then use [username]@'localhost'.
If you only want to allow a certain IP then use [username]@[IP Address]'

The above examples uses GRANT ALL ON *.* which will give the user all privileges across all databases. You may want to change this.

Give Remote root User Full Privileges

GRANT ALL ON *.* TO root WITH grant option;  

Allow Users To Create Their Own Databases

Find out here.

Data Integrity

To check your database for any issues, run the following command:

mysqlcheck -u [user] -p --databases [database name]

You can also use --all-databases to check all the databases, and --auto-repair to automatically try to fix problems, not just find them. E.g.

mysqlcheck -u root -p --all-databases --auto-repair

For more options, refer to the mysqlcheck documentation.

Dumping Databases

Dump a Single Database

This is useful for copying/moving/backups

mysqldump \
-h localhost \

Dump All Databases

mysqldump \
-h localhost \

Dump Structure Of a Database

Dumping just the structure of a database is exactly the same but with the -d switch:

mysqldump \
-h localhost \

Dump Data Of a Database

Dumping just the data (no structure) of a database:

mysqldump \
-h localhost \
--skip-triggers \
--compact \
--no-create-info \

Dump Table To CSV

mysqldump \
-u [user] \
--password="[password]" \
-t \
-T[dump folder path] [database name] [table name] \

If you're using Ubuntu, AppArmor restricts where you can save to. Using /var/lib/mysql works. Debian users do not have to worry about this.

Import Database

Importing a database from a dumped database (previous command) can be done like so:

mysql \
-h localhost \


Initialize the MySQL data directory

If you just changed the datadir in your my.cnf file, then you probably want to initialize the new directory.

sudo mysql_install_db  

Reinstall MySql

You may want to do this because cant login/set root password

sudo service mysql stop
sudo apt-get remove --purge mysql-server mysql-client mysql-common
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo deluser mysql

Diagnosing Connections/Processes

If you ever get a "too many connections" error message, make sure to log into your database and run the following command to see what connections are open:


If you are ok with showing a truncated query, then SHOW PROCESSLIST will suffice




Stuart is a software developer with a passion for Linux and open source projects.

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