Mysql – ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’


I'm setting up a new server and keep running into this problem.

When I try to log into the MySQL database with the root user, I get the error:

ERROR 1698 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'

It doesn't matter if I connect through the terminal (SSH), through phpMyAdmin or a MySQL client, e.g., Navicat. They all fail.

I looked in the mysql.user table and get the following:

| user             | host              |
| root             | %                 |
| root             |         |
| amavisd          | localhost         |
| debian-sys-maint | localhost         |
| iredadmin        | localhost         |
| iredapd          | localhost         |
| mysql.sys        | localhost         |
| phpmyadmin       | localhost         |
| root             | localhost         |
| roundcube        | localhost         |
| vmail            | localhost         |
| vmailadmin       | localhost         |
| amavisd          | |
| iredadmin        | |
| iredapd          | |
| roundcube        | |
| vmail            | |
| vmailadmin       | |

As you can see, user root should have access.

The Server is quite simple, as I have tried to troubleshoot this for a while now.

It's running Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) with Apache, MySQL and PHP, so that it can host websites, and iRedMail 0.9.5-1, so that it can host mail.

Log into the MySQL database works fine before I installed iRedMail. I also tried just installing iRedMail, but then root also doesn't work.

How can I fix my MySQL login problem or how can I install iRedMail over an existing MySQL install? And yes, I tried the Installation Tips and I can't find those variables in the configuration files.

Best Solution

Some systems like Ubuntu, MySQL is using the UNIX auth_socket plugin by default.

Basically it means that: db_users using it, will be "authenticated" by the system user credentials. You can see if your root user is set up like this by doing the following:

sudo mysql -u root # I had to use "sudo" since it was a new installation

mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> SELECT User, Host, plugin FROM mysql.user;

| User             | plugin                |
| root             | auth_socket           |
| mysql.sys        | mysql_native_password |
| debian-sys-maint | mysql_native_password |

As you can see in the query, the root user is using the auth_socket plugin.

There are two ways to solve this:

  1. You can set the root user to use the mysql_native_password plugin
  2. You can create a new db_user with you system_user (recommended)

Option 1:

sudo mysql -u root # I had to use "sudo" since it was new installation

mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> UPDATE user SET plugin='mysql_native_password' WHERE User='root';
mysql> exit;

sudo service mysql restart

Option 2: (replace YOUR_SYSTEM_USER with the username you have)

sudo mysql -u root # I had to use "sudo" since is new installation

mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> UPDATE user SET plugin='auth_socket' WHERE User='YOUR_SYSTEM_USER';
mysql> exit;

sudo service mysql restart

Remember that if you use option #2 you'll have to connect to MySQL as your system username (mysql -u YOUR_SYSTEM_USER).

Note: On some systems (e.g., Debian 9 (Stretch)) the 'auth_socket' plugin is called 'unix_socket', so the corresponding SQL command should be: UPDATE user SET plugin='unix_socket' WHERE User='YOUR_SYSTEM_USER';

From @andy's comment it seems that MySQL 8.x.x updated/replaced the auth_socket for caching_sha2_password. I don't have a system setup with MySQL 8.x.x to test this. However, the steps above should help you to understand the issue. Here's the reply:

One change as of MySQL 8.0.4 is that the new default authentication plugin is 'caching_sha2_password'. The new 'YOUR_SYSTEM_USER' will have this authentication plugin and you can log in from the Bash shell now with "mysql -u YOUR_SYSTEM_USER -p" and provide the password for this user on the prompt. There isn’t any need for the "UPDATE user SET plugin" step.

For the 8.0.4 default authentication plugin update, see