This bit me in the rear end again today. Had to reinstall mysql-server-5.7 for other reasons.

You just installed mysql-server locally for your development environment on a recent version of Ubuntu (I have 17.10 artful installed). You did it with a blank password for root user. You type mysql -u root and you see Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'.


Issue: Because you chose to not have a password for the root user, the auth_plugin for my MySQL defaulted to auth_socket. That means if you type sudo mysql -u root you will get in. If you don’t, then this is NOT the fix for you.

Solution: Change the auth_plugin to mysql_native_password so that you can use the root user in the database.

$ sudo mysql -u root

mysql> USE mysql;
mysql> UPDATE user SET plugin='mysql_native_password' WHERE User='root';
mysql> exit;

$ sudo systemctl restart mysql
$ sudo systemctl status mysql

NB ALWAYS set a password for mysql-server in staging/production.