Set up MySQL database server

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system.

1 Install

Execute on the command line:

sudo apt install mysql-server

2 Start

Since MySQL is an essential part of our web apps, so we want it always running and started automatically after a reboot.

By default, MySQL server will be started and enabled to automatically start after reboot on Ubuntu. If you want to manually start/stop/enable/disable it, you can use following commands:

sudo service mysql restart
sudo service mysql start
sudo service mysql stop
sudo service mysql status
sudo systemctl is-enabled mysql
sudo systemctl enable mysql
sudo systemctl disable mysql

3 Secure

3.1 Enable and configure root user

On Ubuntu by default the root user may be set up in a way that you can’t log in with credentials. If you’re not able to login with root:root, you will have to enable root user and set it’s password. In order to fix this, enter the MySQL shell as sudo:

sudo mysql

Then inside the MySQL command line execute the following commands:

ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'root';

Note: You can change root with another password that you want to use.

At last, you need to restart the MySQL service:

sudo service mysql restart

After that, you will be able to login with:

mysql -u root -p

3.2 Run MySQL secure installation

Improve the security of the installation by executing the following on the command line (note: Ubuntu will ask for root user’s password):


Follow the instructions to configure root as password for the root user.

Additionally, follow the instructions to:

  • skip setting up VALIDATE PASSWORD component
  • remove anonymous users and test databases
  • disallow the remote login for root

That will be sufficient for local development needs.

4 Create admin user

To avoid MySQL upgrade borking the database access by resetting the password authentication method, we will create a new user admin with password admin which will be used to access the server.

First, log into the server by executing the following on the command line:

mysql -uroot -p

Enter the password root when asked. If you set up everything correctly, you should arrive at the MySQL command-line client. Execute on the mysql> command line:

CREATE USER 'admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'admin';
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'admin'@'localhost';

Now you can exit the MySQL command-line client by typing exit.

5 Test

Test that you can use your newly created admin user to access the command line by executing:

mysql -uadmin -p

Enter the password admin when asked. You should again arrive at the MySQL command-line client:

Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 49

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6 Install a GUI client

You will probably also want a graphical UI client to work with the database server. For Ubuntu, you can use DBeaver Community which is free and multi-platform tool with support for all popular databases and offers a lot of features.

Install your preferred GUI client and configure the connection to the server with the admin user. If the connection works, you’ve finished installing and configuring your MySQL server.