MySQL is an open-source database management software that helps users store, organize, and later retrieve data. It has a variety of options to grant specific users nuanced permissions within the tables and databases—this tutorial will give a short overview of a few of the many options.
Throughout this tutorial, any lines that the user needs to enter or customize will be highlighted! The rest should mostly be copy-and-pastable.
In Part 1 of the MySQL Tutorial, we did all of the editing in MySQL as the root user, with full access to all of the databases. However, in cases where more restrictions may be required, there are ways to create users with custom permissions.
Let’s start by making a new user within the MySQL shell:
Note: When adding users within the MySQL shell in this tutorial, we will specify the user’s host as
localhost and not the server’s IP address.
localhost is a hostname which means “this computer,” and MySQL treats this particular hostname specially: when a user with that host logs into MySQL it will attempt to connect to the local server by using a Unix socket file. Thus,
localhost is typically used when you plan to connect by SSHing into your server or when you’re running the local
mysql client to connect to the local MySQL server.
At this point newuser has no permissions to do anything with the databases. In fact, even if newuser tries to login (with the password, password), they will not be able to reach the MySQL shell.
Therefore, the first thing to do is to provide the user with access to the information they will need.
The asterisks in this command refer to the database and table (respectively) that they can access—this specific command allows to the user to read, edit, execute and perform all tasks across all the databases and tables.
Please note that in this example we are granting newuser full root access to everything in our database. While this is helpful for explaining some MySQL concepts, it may be impractical for most use cases and could put your database’s security at high risk.
Once you have finalized the permissions that you want to set up for your new users, always be sure to reload all the privileges.
Your changes will now be in effect.
Here is a short list of other common possible permissions that users can enjoy.
SELECTcommand to read through databases
To provide a specific user with a permission, you can use this framework:
If you want to give them access to any database or to any table, make sure to put an asterisk (*) in the place of the database name or table name.
Each time you update or change a permission be sure to use the Flush Privileges command.
If you need to revoke a permission, the structure is almost identical to granting it:
Note that when revoking permissions, the syntax requires that you use
FROM, instead of
TO as we used when granting permissions.
You can review a user’s current permissions by running the following:
Just as you can delete databases with DROP, you can use DROP to delete a user altogether:
To test out your new user, log out by typing:
and log back in with this command in terminal:
After completing this tutorial, you should have a sense of how to add new users and grant them a variety of permissions in a MySQL database. From here, you could continue to explore and experiment with different permissions settings for your database, or you may want to learn more about some higher-level MySQL configurations.