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Why does local root need a password?
I’ve submitted a proposal to the MySQL team to allow the system administrator, when logging in via a local socket that indicates reliably that the DB client is the superuser (e.g., SO_PEERCRED in Linux), to not need a password. As implemented, my suggestion allows root to log in as any user.
The rationale is that the system administrator can do anything on the server (including manual edits to the DB files) anyway; thus, every user already implicitly trusts that user with their data.
This will simplify DB administration on several levels, but most conspicuously because a lost DB admin password will no longer necessitate the awkward one-time-init-file recovery method.
Would MariaDB be interested in this proposal?