Enable remote access to MySQL database server

By default, MySQL database server remote access disabled for security reasons. However, some time you need to provide the remote access to database server from home or from web server.


Step # 1: Login over ssh

First, login over ssh to remote MySQL database server

Step # 2: Enable networking

Once connected you need edit the mysql configuration file my.cfg using text editor such as vi.

In Debian Linux file is located at /etc/mysql/my.cnf

# vi /etc/my.cnf

Step # 3: Once file open, locate line that read as [mysqld]

Make sure line skip-networking is commented (or remove line) and add following line


For example, if your MySQL server IP is then entire block should be look like as follows:

user = mysql
pid-file = /var/run/mysqld/
socket = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
port = 3306
basedir = /usr
datadir = /var/lib/mysql
tmpdir = /tmp
language = /usr/share/mysql/English
bind-address =

# skip-networking


bind-address : IP address to bind to.
skip-networking : Dont listen for TCP/IP connections at all. All interaction with mysqld must be made via Unix sockets. This option is highly recommended for systems where only local requests are allowed. Since you need to allow remote connection this line should removed from file or put it in comment state.

Step# 4 Save and Close the file.

Restart your mysql service to take change in effect

# /etc/init.d/mysql restart

Step # 5 Grant access to remote IP address

# mysql -u root p mysql

Grant access to new database

If you want to add new database called foo for user bar and remote IP then you need to type following commands at mysql> prompt:


mysql> GRANT ALL ON foo.* TO [email protected]'' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD';

Grant access to existing database

Let us assume that you are always making connection from remote IP called for database called webdb for user webadmin then you need to grant access to this IP address. At mysql> prompt type following command for existing database:

mysql> update db set Host='' where Db='webdb';

mysql> update user set Host='' where user='webadmin';

Step # 5: Logout of MySQL

Type exit command to logout mysql

mysql> exit

Step # 6: Test it

From remote system type command

$ mysql -u webadmin h p

You can also use telnet to connect to port 3306 for testing purpose

$ telnet 3306

Solution 2

All you need to do is specify remote mysql host with h option. For example to connect remote mysql server called you need to type command as follows

$ mysql u ruchi h -p

OR if you with to use MySQL server ip address (

$ mysql u vivek h -p