How To Create a MySQL 8 Database User With Remote Access

At some point, you’re going to need to connect to a MySQL 8 database remotely to manage your databases. Jack Wallen shows you how to make this possible.

A new user being added to a MySQL 8 database.
Image: greenbutterfly/Adobe Stock

Recently, I was tasked to add a MySQL database GUI for a client and came up against an issue where the database server wasn’t properly configured to accept remote connections. This can be a bit tricky to pull off, but it’s not impossible.

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I’m going to walk you through the process of configuring MySQL 8 to connect to it remotely as a user with access to all databases. Understand, this can be considered a security issue for some instances, so you want to make absolutely certain that not only is your LAN secure but you’re using very strong passwords for the MySQL users (which you should be doing anyway).

With that said, let’s get this configuration up and running.

What you’ll need

To make this connection, you’ll need a running instance of MySQL and either a Linux machine to test the connection or any number of MySQL clients that allow for remote connection setup. You’ll also need a user on the MySQL server with sudo privileges.

That’s it. Let’s make some database magic.

1. Configure MySQL for remote connections

The first thing we must do is configure MySQL for remote connections. To do this:

  1. Log into your MySQL database server and open the configuration file with the command:
    sudo nano /etc/mysql/mysql.conf.d/mysqld.cnf
  2. In that file, look for the line:
    bind-address =
  3. Change that line to:
    bind-address =
  4. Save and close the file.
  5. Restart the MySQL service with:
    sudo systemctl restart mysql

At this point, MySQL is open for remote connections, but you’ve yet to create a user for access.

2. Create a user for remote access

Next, create a new MySQL user. We’re going to call this user root. Yes, there is already a root user, but that user is bound to localhost connections only.

  1. First, access the MySQL console from the server hosting MySQL with the command:
    sudo mysql -u root -p
  2. Once at the MySQL console, create the new user and add GRANT OPTION, which gives the user the ability to grant privileges to other users, with the command:
    where PASSWORD is a strong and unique password.
  3. Next, grant the new user access to all the databases:
    GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* to 'root'@'%';
  4. Flush the privileges and exit the console with:

3. Test the connection

We can now test our connection.

If you have access to another Linux machine with MySQL installed, you can test the connection by running the command (on the second machine):

mysql -u root -h SERVER -p

where SERVER is the IP address or domain of the MySQL hosting server.

When prompted for the password, type the strong password you created for the new root user. You should be granted access to the MySQL console, where you can manage any of the databases on the system.

Once the system tests out fine, you can then connect to that database server with a GUI tool such as Beekeeper Studio.

With Beekeeper studio, create a new connection, select MySQL as the connection type, and fill out the following details (Figure A):

Figure A

The Beekeeper Studio database connection window.
The Beekeeper Studio database connection window.
  • Host: The IP address or domain of your MySQL server.
  • Port: 3306.
  • User: Root.
  • Password: The password you set for the newly created root user.
  • Default Database: The name of one of your databases found on the MySQL server, which can be listed from the MySQL console with the query SHOW DATABASES;.

Once you’ve filled out the details, click Test to make sure the connection works. After getting the OK, give the connection a name and click Save. Finally, click Connect, and the GUI should successfully connect to your remote database (Figure B).

Figure B

Beekeeper Studio has successfully connected to a remote database.
Beekeeper Studio has successfully connected to a remote database.

Congratulations, not only have you configured MySQL 8 for remote connections, you’ve created a user with access to all databases and connected to the remote server with both the command line and a GUI. Time to don your database admin hat and get to work.

Now that you’ve learned how to set up remote connections for MySQL 8, here’s how you can connect the MySQL database with LibreOffice, DBeaver and Grana.

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This post originally appeared on TechToday.