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How can I enable remote access to my MySQL Debian server?

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You should only allow a static remote IP access to your local MySQL server, since enabling all IP addresses is a security hazard. Use the guide below as a reference for the procedure that you need to follow to enable remote access.

SOURCE

Change mysql config

Start with editing mysql config file

vim /etc/mysql/my.cnf

Comment out following lines.

#bind-address           = 127.0.0.1
#skip-networking

If you do not find skip-networking line, add it and comment out it.

Restart mysql server.

~ /etc/init.d/mysql restart

Change GRANT privilege

You may be surprised to see even after above change you are not getting remote access or getting access but not able to all databases.

By default, mysql username and password you are using is allowed to access mysql-server locally. So need to update privilege.

Run a command like below to access from all machines. (Replace USERNAME and PASSWORD by your credentials.)

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'USERNAME'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD' WITH GRANT OPTION;

Run a command like below to give access from specific IP. (Replace USERNAME and PASSWORD by your credentials.)

mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON *.* TO 'USERNAME'@'1.2.3.4' IDENTIFIED BY 'PASSWORD' WITH GRANT OPTION;

You can replace 1.2.3.4 with your IP. You can run above command many times to GRANT access from multiple IPs.

You can also specify a separate USERNAME & PASSWORD for remote access.

You can check final outcome by:

SELECT * from information_schema.user_privileges where grantee like "'USERNAME'%";

Finally, you may also need to run:

mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Test Connection

From terminal/command-line:

mysql -h HOST -u USERNAME -pPASSWORD

If you get a mysql shell, don’t forget to run show databases; to check if you have right privileges from remote machines.

Bonus-Tip: Revoke Access

If you accidentally grant access to a user, then better have revoking option handy.

Following will revoke all options for USERNAME from all machines:

mysql> REVOKE ALL PRIVILEGES, GRANT OPTION FROM 'USERNAME'@'%';
Following will revoke all options for USERNAME from particular IP:

mysql> REVOKE ALL PRIVILEGES, GRANT OPTION FROM 'USERNAME'@'1.2.3.4';
Its better to check information_schema.user_privileges table after running REVOKE command.

If you see USAGE privilege after running REVOKE command, its fine. It is as good as no privilege at all. I am not sure if it can be revoked.

  • After that, don't forget about the firewall. Set whatever kind of drop response will pass PCI. You need the right drop because not masking the 3306 may cause PCI failure...if that is important to you. Then whitelist the client ip, but tethered to that incoming 3306 TCP port only. – dhaupin Sep 19 '16 at 19:19

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