I want to install a mysql-server on a Raspberry Pi (Debian) using a SSH-connection and a bash script, which contains the installation commands. The point is, that the installation needs to be done automatically using the script. I don`t want any user interaction or graphical prompts in the SSH window.

That's why I'm using the following code, to setup a mysql-server but prevent any graphical feedback:

sudo DEBIAN_PRIORITY=critical apt-get install -y -q mysql-server php5-mysql

So far it's working well and the installation runs without any prompts, etc. But when I try to change the root password of the MySQL server after the installation, I always get the response:

$ mysql -u root

ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)

I expected that the silent installation uses the standard user "root" and an empty password, but I also tried a lot of other possible options. I also tried other commands like:

$ mysql -u "root" -p ""
$ mysql --user="root" --password=""


$ mysqladmin -u root password ""

mysqladmin: connect to server at 'localhost' failed
error: 'Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost' (using password: NO)'

but unfortunately without any success.

Does anybody know a way to silently and non-graphical install a mysql-server in a script with configuring the root password in the script or change it after setting up everything?

2 Answers 2


In Debian, you have in /etc/mysql/debian.cnf the password for the user debian-sys-maint.

# Automatically generated for Debian scripts. DO NOT TOUCH!
host     = localhost
user     = debian-sys-maint
password = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
socket   = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
host     = localhost
user     = debian-sys-maint
password = xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
socket   = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
basedir  = /usr

Using the user and password in the [client] section, you are able to change root password after MySQL installation.

You can do then:

PASS=`sudo awk '/password/ { print $3;exit }' /etc/mysql/debian.cnf`
echo "SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'localhost' = PASSWORD('MyNewPass');" \
| mysql -u debian-sys-maint -p$PASS
  • 1
    Thank you for your response! I checked the debian.cnf file on my RaspberryPi with nano /etc/mysql/debian.cnf after the silent mysql-server installation but it's empty. Did I understand it right, that this file should contain the credentials of a default user after the installation? EDIT: I forgot to sudo the nano command!!! Great solution! Thank you very much! Feb 23, 2016 at 21:31
  • Great, I was reading it before the edit in my iPhone, and was getting puzzled. Feb 23, 2016 at 21:36
  • Ohh yes it's working well, just one parameter I had to edit. I changed the last parameter from -pPASS to password PASS but then it's working like a charm! Feb 23, 2016 at 21:46
  • Silly me should be $PASS, or just put there the `sudo ...` verbatim Feb 23, 2016 at 21:56

I believe you are trying to connect to mysql-server without starting it.

In mysql you have two main components, the server (mysqld) and the client (mysql). Your first call

apt-get install mysql-server php5-mysql

installs the server (and mysql support for php). You do not list mysql client in this call, but it will be installed automatically. Then you need to start the server. In CentOS this can be done (not sure about Ubuntu, but probably something similar) by calling

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/mysqld start

and only then you can connect to mysql server with your command

$ mysql -u root
  • If the OP is getting an access denied message the service is already running. May 16, 2018 at 7:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.