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TiDB User Account Management

This document describes how to manage a TiDB user account.

User names and passwords

TiDB stores the user accounts in the table of the mysql.user system database. Each account is identified by a user name and the client host. Each account may have a password.

You can connect to the TiDB server using the MySQL client, and use the specified account and password to login. For each user name, make sure that it contains no more than 32 characters.

mysql --port 4000 --user xxx --password

Or use the abbreviation of command line parameters:

mysql -P 4000 -u xxx -p

Add user accounts

You can create TiDB accounts in two ways:

  • By using the standard account-management SQL statements intended for creating accounts and establishing their privileges, such as CREATE USER and GRANT.
  • By manipulating the privilege tables directly with statements such as INSERT, UPDATE, or DELETE. It is not recommended to use this method to create accounts, because it might lead to incomplete updates.

You can also create accounts by using third party GUI tools.


After you assign the password, TiDB encrypts and stores the auth_string in the mysql.user table.


The name of a TiDB account consists of a user name and a hostname. The syntax of the account name is 'user_name'@'host_name'.

  • user_name is case sensitive.

  • host_name is a hostname or IP address, which supports the wild card % or _. For example, the hostname '%' matches all hosts, and the hostname '192.168.1.%' matches all hosts in the subnet.

The host supports fuzzy matching:

CREATE USER 'test'@'192.168.10.%';

The test user is allowed to log in from any hosts on the 192.168.10 subnet.

If the host is not specified, the user is allowed to log in from any IP. If no password is specified, the default is empty password:


Equivalent to:


If the specified user does not exist, the behavior of automatically creating users depends on sql_mode. If the sql_mode includes NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER, the GRANT statement will not create users with an error returned.

For example, assume that the sql_mode does not include NO_AUTO_CREATE_USER, and you use the following CREATE USER and GRANT statements to create four accounts:

CREATE USER 'finley'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_pass';
CREATE USER 'finley'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_pass';
CREATE USER 'admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'admin_pass';
GRANT RELOAD,PROCESS ON *.* TO 'admin'@'localhost';
CREATE USER 'dummy'@'localhost';

To see the privileges granted for an account, use the SHOW GRANTS statement:

SHOW GRANTS FOR 'admin'@'localhost';
+-----------------------------------------------------+ | Grants for admin@localhost | +-----------------------------------------------------+ | GRANT RELOAD, PROCESS ON *.* TO 'admin'@'localhost' | +-----------------------------------------------------+

Remove user accounts

To remove a user account, use the DROP USER statement:

DROP USER 'test'@'localhost';

This operation clears the user's records in the mysql.user table and the related records in the privilege table.

Reserved user accounts

TiDB creates the 'root'@'%' default account during the database initialization.

Set account resource limits

TiDB can limit the resources consumed by users using resource groups. For more information, see Use resource control to achieve resource isolation.

Assign account passwords

TiDB stores passwords in the mysql.user system database. Operations that assign or update passwords are permitted only to users with the CREATE USER privilege, or, alternatively, privileges for the mysql database (INSERT privilege to create new accounts, UPDATE privilege to update existing accounts).

  • To assign a password when you create a new account, use CREATE USER and include an IDENTIFIED BY clause:

    CREATE USER 'test'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mypass';
  • To assign or change a password for an existing account, use SET PASSWORD FOR or ALTER USER:

    SET PASSWORD FOR 'root'@'%' = 'xxx';


    ALTER USER 'test'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'mypass';

Forget the root password

  1. Modify the configuration file:

    1. Log in to the machine where one of the tidb-server instances is located.

    2. Enter the conf directory under the TiDB node deployment directory, and find the tidb.toml configuration file.

    3. Add the configuration item skip-grant-table in the security section of the configuration file. If there is no security section, add the following two lines to the end of the tidb.toml configuration file:

      [security] skip-grant-table = true
  2. Stop the tidb-server process:

    1. View the tidb-server process:

      ps aux | grep tidb-server
    2. Find the process ID (PID) corresponding to tidb-server and use the kill command to stop the process:

      kill -9 <pid>
  3. Start TiDB using the modified configuration:

    1. Enter the scripts directory under the TiDB node deployment directory.

    2. Switch to the root account of the operating system.

    3. Run the script in the directory in the foreground.

    4. Log in as root in a new terminal window and change the password.

      mysql -h -P 4000 -u root
  4. Stop running the script, remove the content added in the TiDB configuration file in step 1, and wait for tidb-server to start automatically.


Information related to users and privileges is stored in the TiKV server, and TiDB caches this information inside the process. Generally, modification of the related information through CREATE USER, GRANT, and other statements takes effect quickly within the entire cluster. If the operation is affected by some factors such as temporarily unavailable network, the modification will take effect in about 15 minutes because TiDB will periodically reload the cache information.

If you modified the privilege tables directly, run the following command to apply changes immediately:


For details, see Privilege Management.

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