Authentication Plugin - mysql_native_password

The mysql_native_password authentication plugin is the default authentication plugin that will be used for an account created when no authentication plugin is explicitly mentioned and old_passwords=0 is set. It uses the password hashing algorithm introduced in MySQL 4.1, which is also used by the PASSWORD() function when old_passwords=0 is set. This hashing algorithm is based on SHA-1.

It is not recommended to use the mysql_native_password authentication plugin for new installations that require high password security. If someone is able to both listen to the connection protocol and get a copy of the mysql.user table, then the person would be able to use this information to connect to the MariaDB server. The ed25519 authentication plugin is a more modern authentication plugin that provides simple password authentication using a more secure algorithm.

Installing the Plugin

The mysql_native_password authentication plugin is statically linked into the server, so no installation is necessary.

Creating Users

The easiest way to create a user account with the mysql_native_password authentication plugin is to make sure that old_passwords=0 is set, and then create a user account via CREATE USER that does not specify an authentication plugin, but does specify a password via the IDENTIFIED BY clause. For example:

SET old_passwords=0;
CREATE USER username@hostname IDENTIFIED BY 'mariadb';

If SQL_MODE does not have NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER set, then you can also create the user account via GRANT. For example:

SET old_passwords=0;
GRANT SELECT ON db.* TO username@hostname IDENTIFIED BY 'mariadb';

You can also create the user account by providing a password hash via the IDENTIFIED BY PASSWORD clause, and MariaDB will validate whether the password hash is one that is compatible with mysql_native_password. For example:

SET old_passwords=0;
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.000 sec)

SELECT PASSWORD('mariadb');
+-------------------------------------------+
| PASSWORD('mariadb')                       |
+-------------------------------------------+
| *54958E764CE10E50764C2EECBB71D01F08549980 |
+-------------------------------------------+
1 row in set (0.000 sec)

CREATE USER username@hostname IDENTIFIED BY PASSWORD '*54958E764CE10E50764C2EECBB71D01F08549980';

Similar to all other authentication plugins, you could also specify the name of the plugin in the IDENTIFIED VIA clause while providing the password hash as the USING clause. For example:

CREATE USER username@hostname IDENTIFIED VIA mysql_native_password USING '*54958E764CE10E50764C2EECBB71D01F08549980';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.000 sec)

Changing User Passwords

You can change a user account's password with the SET PASSWORD statement while providing the plain-text password as an argument to the PASSWORD() function. For example:

SET PASSWORD =  PASSWORD('new_secret')

You can also change the user account's password with the ALTER USER statement. You would have to make sure that old_passwords=0 is set, and then you would have to specify a password via the IDENTIFIED BY clause. For example:

SET old_passwords=0;
ALTER USER username@hostname IDENTIFIED BY 'new_secret';

Client Authentication Plugins

For clients that use the libmysqlclient or MariaDB Connector/C libraries, MariaDB provides one client authentication plugin that is compatible with the mysql_native_password authentication plugin:

  • mysql_native_password

When connecting with a client or utility to a server as a user account that authenticates with the mysql_native_password authentication plugin, you may need to tell the client where to find the relevant client authentication plugin by specifying the --plugin-dir option. For example:

mysql --plugin-dir=/usr/local/mysql/lib64/mysql/plugin --user=alice

However, the mysql_native_password client authentication plugin is generally statically linked into client libraries like libmysqlclient or MariaDB Connector/C, so this is not usually necessary.

mysql_native_password

The mysql_native_password client authentication plugin hashes the password before sending it to the server.

Support in Client Libraries

The mysql_native_password authentication plugin is one of the conventional authentication plugins, so all client libraries should support it.

Known Old Issues (Only Relevant for Old Installations)

Mismatches Between Password and authentication_string Columns

For compatibility reasons,the mysql_native_password authentication plugin tries to read the password hash from both the Password and authentication_string columns in the mysql.user table. This has caused issues in the past if one of the columns had a different value than the other.

Starting with MariaDB 10.2.19 and MariaDB 10.3.11, CREATE USER, ALTER USER, GRANT, and SET PASSWORD will set both columns whenever an account's password is changed.

See MDEV-16774 for more information.

See Also

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