Information about account privileges is stored in the user, db, host, tables_priv, and columns_priv tables in the mysql database. The MySQL server reads the contents of these tables into memory when it starts and re-reads them under the circumstances indicated in Section 4.4.7, "When Privilege Changes Take Effect." Access-control decisions are based on the in-memory copies of the grant tables.
The names used in this manual to refer to the privileges provided by MySQL are shown in the following table, along with the table column name associated with each privilege in the grant tables and the context in which the privilege applies. Further information about the meaning of each privilege may be found in the MySQL Language Reference.
The CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES, EXECUTE, LOCK TABLES, REPLICATION CLIENT, REPLICATION SLAVE, SHOW DATABASES, and SUPER privileges were added in MySQL 4.0.2.
The EXECUTE and REFERENCES privileges currently are unused.
The SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE privileges allow you to perform operations on rows in existing tables in a database.
SELECT statements require the SELECT privilege only if they actually retrieve rows from a table. Some SELECT statements do not access tables and can be executed without permission for any database. For example, you can use the mysql client as a simple calculator to evaluate expressions that make no reference to tables:
mysql> SELECT 1+1; mysql> SELECT PI()*2;
The CREATE and DROP privileges allow you to create new databases and tables, or to drop (remove) existing databases and tables. If you grant the DROP privilege for the mysql database to a user, that user can drop the database in which the MySQL access privileges are stored!
The INDEX privilege allows you to create or drop (remove) indexes. INDEX applies to existing tables. If you have the CREATE privilege for a table, you can include index definitions in the CREATE TABLE statement.
The ALTER privilege allows you to use ALTER TABLE to change the structure of or rename tables.
The GRANT privilege allows you to give to other users those privileges that you yourself possess.
The FILE privilege gives you permission to read and write files on the server host using the LOAD DATA INFILE and SELECT ... INTO OUTFILE statements. A user who has the FILE privilege can read any file on the server host that is either world-readable or readable by the MySQL server. (This implies the user can read any file in any database directory, because the server can access any of those files.) The FILE privilege also allows the user to create new files in any directory where the MySQL server has write access. Existing files cannot be overwritten.
The remaining privileges are used for administrative operations. Many of them can be performed by using the mysqladmin program or by issuing SQL statements. The following table shows which mysqladmin commands each administrative privilege allows you to execute:
The reload command tells the server to re-read the grant tables into memory. flush-privileges is a synonym for reload. The refresh command closes and reopens the log files and flushes all tables. The other flush-xxx commands perform functions similar to refresh, but are more specific and may be preferable in some instances. For example, if you want to flush just the log files, flush-logs is a better choice than refresh.
The shutdown command shuts down the server. This command can be issued only from mysqladmin. There is no corresponding SQL statement.
The processlist command displays information about the threads executing within the server (that is, about the statements being executed by clients associated with other accounts). The kill command terminates server threads. You can always display or kill your own threads, but you need the PROCESS privilege to display threads initiated by other users and the SUPER privilege to kill them. Prior to MySQL 4.0.2 when SUPER was introduced, the PROCESS privilege controls the ability to both see and terminate threads for other clients.
The CREATE TEMPORARY TABLES privilege allows the use of the keyword TEMPORARY in CREATE TABLE statements.
The LOCK TABLES privilege allows the use of explicit LOCK TABLES statements to lock tables for which you have the SELECT privilege. This includes the use of write locks, which prevents anyone else from reading the locked table.
The REPLICATION CLIENT privilege allows the use of SHOW MASTER STATUS and SHOW SLAVE STATUS.
The REPLICATION SLAVE privilege should be granted to accounts that are used by slave servers when they connect to the current server as their master. Without this privilege, the slave cannot request updates that have been made to databases on the master server.
The SHOW DATABASES privilege allows the account to see database names by issuing the SHOW DATABASE statement. Accounts that do not have this privilege see only databases for which they have some privileges, and cannot use the statement at all if the server was started with the --skip-show-database option.
It is a good idea in general to grant privileges to only those accounts that need them, but you should exercise particular caution in granting administrative privileges:
There are some things that you cannot do with the MySQL privilege system:
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