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MySQL Reset Root Password

I forgot the MySQL root password. How do I reset MySQL root password?

It is possible to reset the root password. Use the following procedure for resetting the password for any MySQL root accounts on Unix / Linux / BSD like operating systems.

You need to login as root user under UNIX / Linux.

Step # 1: Stop MySQL

Type the following command to stop mysql server under RHEL / Fedora / CentOS Linux:
# /etc/init.d/mysqld stop
Use the following command if you are using FreeBSD:
# /usr/local/etc/rc.d/mysql-server stop
Use the following command if you are using Debian / Ubuntu Linux:
# /etc/init.d/mysql stop
Alternatively, you can stop the MySQL server by sending a kill to the mysqld process, using the path name of the .pid file in the following bash specific command:
# kill $(cat /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.pid)
# pgrep -u mysql mysqld
# kill PID

Or, simply use killall command under Linux:
# killall mysql

Step # 2: Create new mysql password sql script

Create a sql file called /root/mysql.reset.sql as follows (replace YOUR-NEW-MYSQL-PASSWORD with actual new password you would like to use):
# vi /root/mysql.reset.sql
Append the following code:


Save and close the file.

Step # 3: Set new mysql root password

Type the following command:
# mysqld_safe --init-file=/root/mysql.reset.sql &
Sample output:

nohup: ignoring input and redirecting stderr to stdout
Starting mysqld daemon with databases from /var/lib/mysql
mysqld_safe[20970]: started

And you are done with resetting operation. Simply, stop server and start again:
# killall mysqld
# /etc/init.d/mysql start

{ 17 comments… add one }

  • yoander (sedlav) April 6, 2009, 1:39 pm

    In RHEL / Fedora / CentOS Linux yun can type also service mysqld stop

  • Raheem April 6, 2009, 4:35 pm

    Thank you ! Nice piece of info.
    In fact, my colleague did the most stupid thing of his life yesterday by deleting all the users in the mysql table :(
    I did get back everything by simply altering the commands in the above given example to insert a user called root, then granting permission to all databases, reset its password etc.

  • Mihai Secasiu April 6, 2009, 4:58 pm

    Or you could simply stop mysql then start it without privilege checking like this:
    mysqld –skip-grant-tables
    connect to it as root, run that update query, then kill the server and start it normally

    • nixCraft April 6, 2009, 5:04 pm

      mysqld –skip-grant-tables method is considered as insecure and in some case it may corrupt the data.


  • dardo April 6, 2009, 8:15 pm

    Excuse me for my bad English, I usually read it all time but rather speak or write it.

    Thanks for share this method.

    I install mySQL on my NSLU2 this weekend and with the Debian default install there are no root user, but the debconf ask it’s password twice at install time.

    I use the skip-grant-tables method, but i was thinking on more secure ways to do it because withe the skip-grant-tables any user potentially can take the control of your databases.

  • micman April 11, 2009, 2:59 pm

    thanks :)

  • GaQuay April 16, 2009, 12:00 am

    for gui, you can use webmin, it so easy for change password mysql :)

  • Frank Wang April 20, 2009, 2:07 pm

    Thanks, very nice instruction. A little typo at the end:
    “# /etc/init.d/mysql start” should be “# /etc/init.d/mysqld start”

  • V.Balaviswanathan April 21, 2009, 9:30 am

    Thanks a lot for the tips that you have provided and I would like to know the same for debian and Ubuntu systems as in Ubuntu there is no root login as such right?

  • nixCraft April 21, 2009, 12:44 pm


    MySQL has root user too. Do not confuse it with system root user (to become root user Ubuntu enter sudo -s).

    @ Frank,
    /etc/init.d/mysql or /etc/init.d/mysqld depends upon your distro.

  • V.Balaviswanathan April 21, 2009, 12:52 pm

    Thanks a lot Vivek for the tip that you have provided :)

  • Antony Dick M. May 22, 2009, 7:21 am

    When there is a crash in connecting the MySQL Database do the following procedures

    To Stop:
    etc/init.d/mysql stop

    To Start:
    etc/init.d/mysql start

    To Restart:
    etc/init.d/mysql restart

    To Reset The Password:
    /etc/init.d/mysql reset-password

    To Make Your Database To Get Connected When You Are In A Network:
    gedit /etc/mysql/my.cnf
    //search for bind address and then
    change bind address

  • rizky June 5, 2009, 10:50 pm

    whoa that’s cool dude

  • Camilo September 19, 2010, 11:40 pm

    I use Fedora 12 and It doesn’t work for me.

  • Paul Jardine March 17, 2012, 8:11 am

    I had problems in Ubuntu, due to apparmor preventing mysql from reading sql files from the root directory.
    Placing the init-file in /usr/share/mysql directory solved the problem. Or you can look at /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.mysqld

  • jenie April 24, 2012, 2:51 pm



  • cgz - exito en los negocios por internet January 3, 2013, 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the information, but I can`t go to mysql. this is de error:
    ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user ‘root’@’localhost’ (using password: YES)


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