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I am trying to setup a website with database and I executed the following to install phpmyadmin. (already a root user)

apt-get install phpmyadmin

installation finished successfully.

When I tried logging in from /phpmyadmin I got the following error(s):

mysqli_real_connect(): (HY000/1698): Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'

I tried logging in from terminal using mysql -u root -p root and that worked.

What can be done in order to overcome this issue?

This is not a duplicate of "forgotten phpmyadmin password" because the password works on serverside, mysql.

The config.inc.php file looks like this :

<?php
/**
 * Debian local configuration file
 *
 * This file overrides the settings made by phpMyAdmin interactive setup
 * utility.
 *
 * For example configuration see
 *   /usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/examples/config.sample.inc.php
 * or
 *   /usr/share/doc/phpmyadmin/examples/config.manyhosts.inc.php
 *
 * NOTE: do not add security sensitive data to this file (like passwords)
 * unless you really know what you're doing. If you do, any user that can
 * run PHP or CGI on your webserver will be able to read them. If you still
 * want to do this, make sure to properly secure the access to this file
 * (also on the filesystem level).
 */

if (!function_exists('check_file_access')) {
    function check_file_access($path)
    {
        if (is_readable($path)) {
            return true;
        } else {
            error_log(
                'phpmyadmin: Failed to load ' . $path
                . ' Check group www-data has read access and open_basedir restrictions.'
            );
            return false;
        }
    }
}

// Load secret generated on postinst
if (check_file_access('/var/lib/phpmyadmin/blowfish_secret.inc.php')) {
    require('/var/lib/phpmyadmin/blowfish_secret.inc.php');
}

// Load autoconf local config
if (check_file_access('/var/lib/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php')) {
    require('/var/lib/phpmyadmin/config.inc.php');
}

/**
 * Server(s) configuration
 */
$i = 0;
// The $cfg['Servers'] array starts with $cfg['Servers'][1].  Do not use $cfg['Servers'][0].
// You can disable a server config entry by setting host to ''.
$i++;

/**
 * Read configuration from dbconfig-common
 * You can regenerate it using: dpkg-reconfigure -plow phpmyadmin
 */
if (check_file_access('/etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php')) {
    require('/etc/phpmyadmin/config-db.php');
}

/* Configure according to dbconfig-common if enabled */
if (!empty($dbname)) {
    /* Authentication type */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'cookie';
    /* Server parameters */
    if (empty($dbserver)) $dbserver = 'localhost';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = $dbserver;

    if (!empty($dbport) || $dbserver != 'localhost') {
        $cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'tcp';
        $cfg['Servers'][$i]['port'] = $dbport;
    }
    //$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = false;
    /* Select mysqli if your server has it */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['extension'] = 'mysqli';
    /* Optional: User for advanced features */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = $dbuser;
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = $dbpass;
    /* Optional: Advanced phpMyAdmin features */
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = $dbname;
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma__bookmark';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma__relation';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma__table_info';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma__table_coords';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma__pdf_pages';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma__column_info';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma__history';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_uiprefs'] = 'pma__table_uiprefs';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['tracking'] = 'pma__tracking';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['userconfig'] = 'pma__userconfig';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['recent'] = 'pma__recent';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['favorite'] = 'pma__favorite';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['users'] = 'pma__users';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['usergroups'] = 'pma__usergroups';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['navigationhiding'] = 'pma__navigationhiding';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['savedsearches'] = 'pma__savedsearches';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['central_columns'] = 'pma__central_columns';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_settings'] = 'pma__designer_settings';
    $cfg['Servers'][$i]['export_templates'] = 'pma__export_templates';

    /* Uncomment the following to enable logging in to passwordless accounts,
     * after taking note of the associated security risks. */
    // $cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = TRUE;

    /* Advance to next server for rest of config */
    $i++;
}

/* Authentication type */
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_type'] = 'cookie';
/* Server parameters */
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['host'] = 'localhost';
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['connect_type'] = 'tcp';
//$cfg['Servers'][$i]['compress'] = false;
/* Uncomment the following to enable logging in to passwordless accounts,
 * after taking note of the associated security risks. */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['AllowNoPassword'] = TRUE;

/**
 * phpMyAdmin configuration storage settings.
 */

/* User used to manipulate with storage */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlhost'] = '';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlport'] = '';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controluser'] = 'pma';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['controlpass'] = 'pmapass';

/* Storage database and tables */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pmadb'] = 'phpmyadmin';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['bookmarktable'] = 'pma__bookmark';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['relation'] = 'pma__relation';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_info'] = 'pma__table_info';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_coords'] = 'pma__table_coords';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['pdf_pages'] = 'pma__pdf_pages';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['column_info'] = 'pma__column_info';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['history'] = 'pma__history';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['table_uiprefs'] = 'pma__table_uiprefs';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['tracking'] = 'pma__tracking';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['userconfig'] = 'pma__userconfig';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['recent'] = 'pma__recent';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['favorite'] = 'pma__favorite';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['users'] = 'pma__users';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['usergroups'] = 'pma__usergroups';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['navigationhiding'] = 'pma__navigationhiding';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['savedsearches'] = 'pma__savedsearches';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['central_columns'] = 'pma__central_columns';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['designer_settings'] = 'pma__designer_settings';
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['export_templates'] = 'pma__export_templates';
/* Contrib / Swekey authentication */
// $cfg['Servers'][$i]['auth_swekey_config'] = '/etc/swekey-pma.conf';

/*
 * End of servers configuration
 */

/*
 * Directories for saving/loading files from server
 */
$cfg['UploadDir'] = '';
$cfg['SaveDir'] = '';

/* Support additional configurations */
foreach (glob('/etc/phpmyadmin/conf.d/*.php') as $filename)
{
    include($filename);
}

edit: the website is on an ubuntu(bionic) server

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