How to log in to MySQL server without password

In order to log in to a MySQL server, you can run mysql command along with your login credentials and server's IP address as arguments. For example:

$ mysql -u $MYSQL_ROOT -p $MYSQL_PASS -h 192.168.10.1

However, besides the inconvenience of typing extra arguments, using plain-text login credentials in a command line like above is really not a secure way to access a MySQL server. In a multi-user Linux environment, what you type in command line can easily be revealed to others who happen to run ps on the same host at the same time.

MySQL offers a way for you to log in to MySQL server without password, by using an external MySQL configuration file. In Linux, there are two different kinds of MySQL configuration files: (1) /etc/my.cnf and (2) ~/.my.conf. While any system-wide MySQL configuration is defined in /etc/my.cnf, any user-specific MySQL configuration is stored in ~/.my.cnf. You can leverage ~/.my.cnf, to define your MySQL login credential in the file.

$ vi ~/.my.cnf
[client]
user=alice
password=alice_passwd
host=192.168.10.1

Make sure to have the configuration file readable to you only.

$ chmod 0600 ~/.my.cnf

Once ~/.my.cnf is created, simply typing mysql command will let you log in to 192.168.10.1 as alice, and you no longer need to provide login password separately.

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Dan Nanni is the founder and also a regular contributor of Xmodulo.com. He is a Linux/FOSS enthusiast who loves to get his hands dirty with his Linux box. He likes to procrastinate when he is supposed to be busy and productive. When he is otherwise free, he likes to watch movies and shop for the coolest gadgets.
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