I tried to find in some articles describing how to correctly start & stop mysql server.

I found this link: How to start/stop MySql server on Ubuntu 8.04 | Abhi's Blogging World

I ran this command:

/etc/init.d/mysql start 

but I see this error

ERROR 1045 (28000) Access denied for user....

After I tried this command:

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start

I entered my password, and again I see the same error.

Next command:

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql - root -p start

results in:

ERROR 1049 (42000) Unknown database 'start'.

And when I run this command:

sudo service mysql start

MySQL server success started. Cool!

So, what's wrong with the other commands? Why do they result in error?

  • 3
    In fact, even with sudo it didn't work for me, but then I found in the script the following hint: Rather than invoking init scripts through /etc/init.d, use the service(8) and it was ok – Timofey Sep 20 '12 at 20:21
  • 2
    Tim is correct. Use sudo service mysql start. – Ed Manet Mar 15 '13 at 18:07
  • Generally you can use sudo -l to see what your specific user on your specific system is allowed to do with sudo. (Your permissions are configured in /etc/sudoers.) However I don't know for sure if it would help in this particular case. EDIT: Wait, never mind, the access denied error looks like it is coming from MySQL or something, not sudo. – David Winiecki Dec 16 '16 at 19:41

10 Answers 10


Your first two commands weren't run as root so that is expected behaviour. You need to be root to stop/start mysql.


sudo /etc/init.d/mysql start

should work. Indeed it does, for me:

kojan:~> sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart
[sudo] password for chris: 
Stopping MySQL database server: mysqld.
Starting MySQL database server: mysqld.
Checking for corrupt, not cleanly closed and upgrade needing tables..

I used restart rather than start, since it was already running, but the effect is the same. Are you sure you entered your password correctly? :) Have you edited your sudo config at all which would stop this working?

This one..

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql - root -p start

The arguments are wrong. an init.d script only takes start or stop or restart - just one word telling it what to do. You cannot give it multiple arguments as you were trying to do.

Anyway, the short answer is the one you actually got to work, is the recommended way. service is replacing all the init.d scripts over time, so you should get into the habit of using service. The page you link is 3 years old so has to be taken with some salt :)

| improve this answer | |
  • 12
    Also try sudo service mysql start – user108762 Nov 17 '12 at 12:45
  • 2
    start mysql worked for me (Ubuntu 12.04.4). – Tim May 12 '14 at 7:28
  • 3
    sudo /etc/init.d/mysql restart restarted MySQL for me – Edward Jul 13 '16 at 20:23
  • 8
    how about sudo systemctl start mysql for Ubuntu 16.04 and up? – Ankit Balyan Feb 2 '17 at 3:16
  • this still worked for me on ubuntu 18 – lewis Aug 28 at 7:34

Also helps to double check that "mysql" is the correct service name. In my case it wasn't. I kept getting following response: mysql: unrecognized service when running

service mysql status 

Then I checked /etc/init.d and found script named mysqld which listed process name: mysqld and prog=mysqld

So then I did

service mysqld status
service mysqld stop
service mysqld start 

and they all worked fine.

| improve this answer | |
  • 5
    mysql: unrecognized service – Green Jul 20 '13 at 1:06
  • 7
    At least on 13.10, you'll need to run it with root privileges. eg, "sudo service mysql status". – Bryce Mar 4 '14 at 5:09
  • 14
    For 14.10 I needed to use "mysql" not mysqld – redanimalwar Oct 23 '14 at 1:39
  • 1
    when running without root rights, it'll say unknown job: mysql. a bit confusing. – phil294 Mar 20 '16 at 15:55
  • 1
    Failed to start mysqld.service: Unit mysqld.service not found. – JCarlosR Nov 23 '17 at 23:54

For Ubuntu 12.10 to 14.04 (Upstart)

Newer versions of Ubuntu use systemd.


sudo start mysql


sudo restart mysql # The service must be running


sudo stop mysql # The service must be running
| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    stop: Unknown job: mysql – Green Jul 20 '13 at 1:07
  • @Green I just tried this (one year later) and it is still working. This is my result: mysql stop/waiting. You must know that you have to be already running mysql to stop this ;) – Lucio Jul 24 '13 at 22:45
  • 1
    Hero, you save my life, that mysqld has been occupied my machine memory for so long. I tried all kinds of methods to remove it, but all failed, until I met your answer. – Zen Sep 2 '14 at 13:07
  • 1
    sudo: start: command not found – JCarlosR Nov 23 '17 at 23:55
  • 1
    @JCarlos Do apt install upstart – Edward Dec 28 '17 at 17:06

Actually, I got a strange error, when I installed mysql-workbench on my Ubuntu machine. After that I tried to start the mysql service using this command:

service mysql start

So I got the solution that the MySQL server was not installed, so I installed it and my problem was solved. The command to install mysql-server is:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

After successful installation, start the MySQL server as:

service mysql start
| improve this answer | |

I had the same issue with Ubuntu64 and I fixed by simply not using systemctl but instead this:

sudo service mysql restart

hopefully this command will work for you.

| improve this answer | |

after installing MySQL on your system just do that:

$ service mysql status

if service down just does this :

$ service mysql start

and for stopping my service that :

$ service mysql stop

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    /etc/init.d/mysql start and service mysql start are exactly the same. – storm Jul 26 '17 at 8:55

This one should work for the manually built mysql server:

sudo /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysqld_safe --user=mysql
| improve this answer | |

On ubuntu 18.04 the socket is defined in the file


 socket     = /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock

The directory was not present so I created it manually as below:

sudo mkdir -p /var/run/mysqld

Restart mysql. That solved it for my case here.

| improve this answer | |
  • This was definitely the case with mine! Had to make a directory. – Shaze Apr 28 at 13:34

I got strucked up with the same issue and I uninstalled and installed again by following below commands:

1) sudo apt-get --purge remove mysql-server mysql-common mysql-client

2) sudo apt update && sudo apt dist-upgrade && sudo apt autoremove

3) sudo apt-get install -y mysql-server mysql-client

| improve this answer | |

A little script to cover both cases [server running/server not running]:


service mysql restart
if [ "$?" != "0" ]; then
  service mysql start
| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.