One of the things I love about using Ubuntu as my primary operating system is that I can have quickly set up a ‘bare metal’ LAMP development environment. While I unusually run my client websites inside on of my custom Vagrant boxes, for working on personal projects or plugin/theme customisation everything’s much faster when it’s able to use the full power of the machine I’m working on.

After I switched back to a computer as my every day workstation, I came across a weird little issue with installing MySQL. Usually during the install process it asks me to set a root password, but this time it did not. This meant that I wouldn’t be able to access the database using the root user. Not a huge issue, as I could create another user to access any database, but as it’s a local install, connecting as the root MySQL user is just much easier.

As it turns out, on Ubuntu installs running MySQL 5.7 or later, the root  user is set to authenticate using the auth_socket plugin rather than using a  password. Thankfully the folks over at Digital Ocean have released an article which explains this information and provides the steps to switch the root user authentication from auth_socket to using a password.