Howto: Remote Root Access to MySql

Update: This post has garnered a lot of attention.  So I’d like to clarify up front: this article is not about hacking into other databases.  This is about configuring a server you own so that you can access it from a remote machine on the same network.  It is completely insecure and should never be used for production deployments.

Very quickly, another thing that I typically like to do on my server boxes is allow root access to my Mysql database from remote computers. I don’t forward the port through my router and I use a very secure password (doesn’t everyone?). I don’t want to create a security risk, I just want to connect to the database from other computers around my network - particularly from my laptop.

Again (like most of my instructions) these instructions are for Ubuntu - currently Edgy Eft.

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Ubuntu installs Mysql at /etc/mysql/ by default. Now we need to set a root password.

mysql -u root mysql> SET PASSWORD FOR 'ROOT'@'LOCALHOST"

= PASSWORD(‘new_password’);</code>

Now while we’re still here, we’ll create a new HOST for root and allow root to login from anywhere.

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'root'@'%'

IDENTIFIED BY ‘password’ WITH GRANT OPTION; mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES; mysql> exit</code>

Thanks to Thom for the Flush Privileges comment.  I think it depends on other settings in your MySQL setup, since I didn’t have to, but just in case, I’ve added it here.  We’re almost done now. We just have to tell Mysql to allow remote logins.

sudo vi /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Out-of-the-box, MySQL only allows connections from the localhost identified by the IP Address of  We need to remove that restriction, so find the line that says

bind-address =

and comment it out. That’s all there is to it! Now get your favorite MySql client and start developing.

Written on January 15, 2007