How to reset MySQL root password on Linux

It’s a pretty common situation when you lost your MySQL root password. In earlier versions there was a possibility to open my.cnf file and get the password. But in our situation it’s not that easy. Anyway, we can stop MySQL service, then start with certain key, reset password and restart the service. That’s method advised on the official website.

Now we are on Centos 7 machine, but the guide can still be used on different Linux systems.

At first you need to stop MySQL service. To do it just type in this command:

systemctl stop mysqld

Now, we need to start MySQL service in safe mode. Run the command below:

mysqld_safe --skip-grant-tables &

After that you have to connect to MySQL client over SSH. Type in this command:

mysql -u root

It’s time to reset MySQL password. You need to perform multiple commands:

use mysql;
update user set password = PASSWORD ( "NewPassword") where User = 'root';
flush privileges;

If you did everything right, your terminal should look like that:

mysql -u root
Welcome to the MariaDB monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 39
Server version: 5.5.37-MariaDB-wsrep MariaDB Server, wsrep_25.10.r3980
Copyright (c) 2000, 2014, Oracle, Monty Program Ab and others.
Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
MariaDB [(none)]> use mysql;
Reading table information for completion of table and column names
You can turn off this feature to get a quicker startup with -A
Database changed
MariaDB [mysql]> update user set password=PASSWORD("NewPassword") where User='root';
Query OK, 3 rows affected (0.00 sec)
Rows matched: 3 Changed: 3 Warnings: 0
MariaDB [mysql]> flush privileges;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec)
MariaDB [mysql]> quit

Once it is done, just press CTRL+C to stop MySQL service.

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That’s pretty much it. Now you can start it again by using:

systemctl start mysqld

Connect to it by using your new password:

mysql -u root -p

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