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Security in MySQL  /  ...  /  Old Native Pluggable Authentication

6.1.2 Old Native Pluggable Authentication

MySQL includes two plugins that implement native authentication; that is, authentication based on the password hashing methods in use from before the introduction of pluggable authentication. This section describes mysql_old_password, which implements authentication against the mysql.user system table using the older (pre-4.1) native password hashing method. For information about mysql_native_password, which implements authentication using the native password hashing method, see Section 6.1.1, “Native Pluggable Authentication”. For information about these password hashing methods, see Section 2.2.4, “Password Hashing in MySQL”.


Passwords that use the pre-4.1 hashing method are less secure than passwords that use the native password hashing method and should be avoided. Pre-4.1 passwords are deprecated; expect support for them to be removed in a future MySQL release. For account upgrade instructions, see Section 6.1.3, “Migrating Away from Pre-4.1 Password Hashing and the mysql_old_password Plugin”.

The following table shows the plugin names on the server and client sides.

Table 6.2 Plugin and Library Names for Old Native Password Authentication

Plugin or File Plugin or File Name
Server-side plugin mysql_old_password
Client-side plugin mysql_old_password
Library file None (plugins are built in)

The following sections provide installation and usage information specific to old native pluggable authentication:

For general information about pluggable authentication in MySQL, see Section 4.11, “Pluggable Authentication”.

Installing Old Native Pluggable Authentication

The mysql_old_password plugin exists in server and client forms:

  • The server-side plugin is built into the server, need not be loaded explicitly, and cannot be disabled by unloading it.

  • The client-side plugin is built into the libmysqlclient client library and is available to any program linked against libmysqlclient.

Using Old Native Pluggable Authentication

MySQL client programs can use the --default-auth option to specify the mysql_old_password plugin as a hint about which client-side plugin the program can expect to use:

$> mysql --default-auth=mysql_old_password ...

If an account row specifies no plugin name, the server authenticates the account using either the mysql_native_password or mysql_old_password plugin, depending on whether the password hash value in the Password column used native hashing or the older pre-4.1 hashing method. Clients must match the password in the Password column of the account row.