Remove a MySQL User on Linux via Command Line

Posted on by Justin Palmer | Updated:
Reading Time: 2 minutes
Preflight Check
  • These instructions are intended for removing a MySQL user on Linux via the command line
  • I’ll be working from a Liquid Web Core Managed CentOS 6.5 server, and I'll be logged in as root.
How to Remove a MySQL User on Linux via Command Line
Login to MySQL

First we'll log in to the MySQL server from the command line with the following command:

mysql -u root -p

In this case, I've specified the user root with the -u flag, and then used the -p flag so MySQL prompts for a password. Enter your current password to complete the login.

If you need to change your root (or any other) password in the database, then follow this tutorial on changing a password for MySQL via the command line.

You should now be at a MySQL prompt that looks very similar to this:

mysql>

If you haven't yet created a MySQL user, please refer to our tutorial on creating a MySQL user.

View a List of MySQL Users

Viewing a full list of MySQL users, including the host they're associated with, can be done with the following select statement:

SELECT User,Host FROM mysql.user;

Remove a MySQL User

To remove a user from MySQL, we again use the DROP command.

It only takes one simple command to delete a user in MySQL, but BEWARE; dropping a user can not be undone! The command is as follows:

DROP USER 'testuser'@'localhost';

If a user of the name testuser does not exist, then you'll receive this error:

ERROR 1396 (HY000): Operation DROP USER failed for 'testuser'@'localhost'

Refer to the View a List of MySQL Users section above if you receive the above error, and double check the username and host.

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