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Sat, Jan 30, 2016 10:08 pm

Locating a MySQL password in the Bash history file

If you need to recover a forgotten MySQL or MariaDB password, if the password was entered at a shell prompt while starting either program with the mysql command and the user's account uses the Bash shell, you may be able to find the password in the Bash history file for the user's acount, which is .bash_history in the user's home directory. E.g., if the user entered the command below:
$ mysql --user=users_acct --password=users_password

If you viewed the contents of the Bash history file for that user's account you would see the command with the password just as you would see other commands entered from the user's account. E.g., if the user's account was jdoe:

# grep mysql ~jdoe/.bash_history
mysql --user=users_account --password=users_password

But, if the user entered the command mysql -u users_acct -p and didn't follow the `-p` or `--password` with the password, but, instead, just entered one of those parameters without putting the password immediately after it, that leads to the system prompting the user for the password and the password won't be in the Bash history file.

Note: if the user is still logged in to the account for which you are checking the .bash_history file, you won't see the commands entered during that login session until after the user logs out of the session.

If you are logged into the relevant account or use the su command, which is also referred to as the "substitute user", "switch user", or "super user" command, you can use the history command to view the commands entered at the command line. E.g., you could use history | grep mysql.

[/software/database/mysql] permanent link

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