I have a brand new WSL2, running on the latest Windows 10 (2004) with Ubuntu 20.04, MySQL installed, I can access it from Bash and get the status --

mysql> status
mysql  Ver 8.0.20-0ubuntu0.20.04.1 for Linux on x86_64 ((Ubuntu))

Connection id:          10
Current database:
Current user:           root@localhost
SSL:                    Not in use
Current pager:          stdout
Using outfile:          ''
Using delimiter:        ;
Server version:         8.0.20-0ubuntu0.20.04.1 (Ubuntu)
Protocol version:       10
Connection:             Localhost via UNIX socket
Server characterset:    utf8mb4
Db     characterset:    utf8mb4
Client characterset:    utf8mb4
Conn.  characterset:    utf8mb4
UNIX socket:            /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock
Binary data as:         Hexadecimal
Uptime:                 13 sec

Next I want to connect with MySQL Workbench. All I ever get is

Your connection failed for user 'root' to the MySQL server at
Access denied for user 'root'@'localhost'

My WSL2 list is ---

PS C:\Users\gymdo> wsl -l -v
  NAME            STATE           VERSION
* Ubuntu-20.04    Running         2

My WSL2 info is ---

Installation successful!
To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo <command>".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

Welcome to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (GNU/Linux 4.19.104-microsoft-standard x86_64)

 * Documentation:  https://help.ubuntu.com
 * Management:     https://landscape.canonical.com
 * Support:        https://ubuntu.com/advantage

  System information as of Sat Jun 13 02:35:32 EDT 2020

  System load:  1.97               Processes:             8
  Usage of /:   0.4% of 250.98GB   Users logged in:       0
  Memory usage: 0%                 IPv4 address for eth0:
  Swap usage:   0%

0 updates can be installed immediately.
0 of these updates are security updates.

I have tried using the from above --- same error

Looking at it from the Windows side with ---

Ethernet adapter vEthernet (WSL):

   Connection-specific DNS Suffix  . :
   Link-local IPv6 Address . . . . . : fe80::c54a:f83c:a5f8:40b2%43
   IPv4 Address. . . . . . . . . . . :
   Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
   Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

I have tried using the from above --- same error

One strange thing is --- when I try user name of root@localhost instead of simply root, the workbench pops up the "enter password" popup. So excited I was, but when I leave the password field blank it still fails with password: NO

I'm a beaten down man --- I need help.

  • How do you start MySQL in Ubuntu? Do you start with sudo mysql or mysql -u root -p? – Kulfy Jun 13 '20 at 19:04
  • From inside WSL2 box -- I start it with: $ service mysql start then I access it with: $ mysql -uroot – Jim Dunn Jun 13 '20 at 21:26
  • Do you use sudo before mysql -uroot? Is your password blank? – Kulfy Jun 14 '20 at 6:35
  • I start up WSL2 fromPowerShell using WSL -u root without any password, so I am logged in as root so I don't need sudo – Jim Dunn Jun 15 '20 at 3:03

I had the same problem with WSL 2 MySQL-Server; I fixed it by replacing in the config of workbench connection with localhost. config

Failed to connect error with Hostname:

Localhost config

successful connection with Hostname: localhost

I hope it will be useful for someone!


After some more searching I found hints that I may need to GRANT access. From inside the WSL2 box I added a new user and GRANTed access.

mysql> CREATE USER 'newguy'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'ratfink';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.02 sec)

mysql> GRANT ALL ON mysql.* TO 'newguy'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.01 sec)

Check the examples down the page here.

I am now able to connect via MySQL Workbench with user: newguy and password: ratfink from MySQL Workbench. I have not been able to GRANT access to root. I even tried removing root as a user and re-adding root without success. Shouldn't mess with Mother Nature I guess.


The problem is how the root user is authenticated. By default this is set to use auth_socket instead of mysql_native_password.

Log into the mysql server in wsl as root user and run:

mysql > SELECT user, authentication_string, plugin, host FROM mysql.user;

The output will list the authentication method for each user.

Now change the method for the root user with the following command:

mysql > ALTER USER 'root'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH mysql_native_password BY 'password';

Make sure to change 'password' to the correct password for the root user.

Now run command to update changes:


Now run the command again to make sure the authentication method updated:

mysql > SELECT user, authentication_string, plugin, host FROM mysql.user;

Now the output should show that the authentication method for the root user is with mysql_native_password. You should now be able to log into workbench as root user using the password.

  • WORKED PERFECTLY!!! THANK YOU!!! – DaveyJake Mar 30 at 23:02

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