Authentication to the MySQL server occurs by means of authentication plugins. The plugin that authenticates a given connection may request that the connecting (external) user be treated as a different user for privilege-checking purposes. This enables the external user to be a proxy for the second user; that is, to have the privileges of the second user:
The external user is a “proxy user” (a user who can impersonate or become known as another user).
The second user is a “proxied user” (a user whose identity can be taken on by a proxy user).
This section describes how the proxy user capability works. For general information about authentication plugins, see Section 6.3.6, “Pluggable Authentication”. For information about specific plugins, see Section 6.5.1, “Authentication Plugins”. For information about writing authentication plugins that support proxy users, see Section 126.96.36.199.4, “Implementing Proxy User Support in Authentication Plugins”.
For proxying to occur for a given authentication plugin, these conditions must be satisfied:
The plugin must support proxying.
For a client connecting to the proxy account to be treated as a proxy user, the authentication plugin must return a user name different from the client user name, to indicate the user name for the proxied account.
The proxy mechanism permits mapping only the client user name to the proxied user name. There is no provision for mapping host names. When a connecting client matches a proxy account, the server attempts to find a match for a proxied account using the user name returned by the authentication plugin and the host name of the proxy account.
Consider the following definitions:
-- create proxy user CREATE USER 'employee_ext'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH my_auth_plugin AS 'my_auth_string'; -- create proxied user CREATE USER 'employee'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'employee_pass'; -- grant PROXY privilege for proxy user to proxied user GRANT PROXY ON 'employee'@'localhost' TO 'employee_ext'@'localhost';
When a client connects as
employee_ext from the
local host, MySQL uses
perform authentication. Suppose that
my_auth_plugin returns a user name of
employee to the server, based on the content of
'my_auth_string' and perhaps by consulting some
external authentication system. The name
employee differs from
employee_ext, so returning
employee serves as a request to the server to
employee_ext client, for purposes of
privilege checking, as the
employee local user.
In this case,
employee_ext is the proxy user
employee is the proxied user.
The server verifies that proxy authentication for
employee is possible for the
employee_ext user by checking whether
employee_ext (the proxy user) has the
PROXY privilege for
employee (the proxied user). If this privilege
has not been granted, an error occurs.
When proxying occurs, the
CURRENT_USER() functions can be
used to see the difference between the connecting user (the proxy
user) and the account whose privileges apply during the current
session (the proxied user). For the example just described, those
functions return these values:
SELECT USER(), CURRENT_USER();+------------------------+--------------------+ | USER() | CURRENT_USER() | +------------------------+--------------------+ | employee_ext@localhost | employee@localhost | +------------------------+--------------------+
CREATE USER statement that
creates the proxy user account, the
WITH clause that names the authentication plugin is
optionally followed by an
specifying a string that the server passes to the plugin when the
user connects. If present, the string provides information that
helps the plugin determine how to map the external client user
name to a proxied user name. It is up to each plugin whether it
AS clause. If so, the format of
the authentication string depends on how the plugin intends to use
it. Consult the documentation for a given plugin for information
about the authentication string values it accepts.
GRANT PROXY ON '
proxied_user' TO '
The statement creates a row in the
mysql.proxies_priv grant table.
At connection time,
represent a valid externally authenticated MySQL user, and
proxied_user must represent a valid
locally authenticated user. Otherwise, the connection attempt
REVOKE PROXY ON '
proxied_user' FROM '
GRANT PROXY ON 'a' TO 'b', 'c', 'd'; GRANT PROXY ON 'a' TO 'd' IDENTIFIED BY ...; GRANT PROXY ON 'a' TO 'd' WITH GRANT OPTION; GRANT PROXY ON 'a' TO ''@''; REVOKE PROXY ON 'a' FROM 'b', 'c', 'd';
In the preceding example,
''@'' is the
default proxy user and means “any user.” Default
proxy user are discussed in
Default Proxy Users.
PROXY privilege can be
granted in these cases:
root account created during MySQL
installation has the
PROXY ... WITH GRANT
OPTION privilege for
is, for all users and all hosts. This enables
root to set up proxy users, as well as to
delegate to other accounts the authority to set up proxy users.
root can do this:
CREATE USER 'admin'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'test'; GRANT PROXY ON ''@'' TO 'admin'@'localhost' WITH GRANT OPTION;
Those statements create an
admin user that
can manage all
GRANT PROXY mappings. For
admin can do this:
GRANT PROXY ON sally TO joe;
To specify that some or all users should connect using a given
authentication plugin, create a “blank” MySQL user,
associate it with that plugin for authentication, and let the
plugin return the real authenticated user name (if different
from the blank user). For example, suppose that there exists a
ldap_auth that implements LDAP
authentication and maps connecting users onto either a developer
or manager account. To set up proxying of users onto these
accounts, use the following statements:
-- create default proxy user CREATE USER ''@'' IDENTIFIED WITH ldap_auth AS 'O=Oracle, OU=MySQL'; -- create proxied users CREATE USER 'developer'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'developer_pass'; CREATE USER 'manager'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'manager_pass'; -- grant PROXY privilege for default proxy user to proxied users GRANT PROXY ON 'manager'@'localhost' TO ''@''; GRANT PROXY ON 'developer'@'localhost' TO ''@'';
Now assume that a client tries to connect as follows:
mysql --user=myuser --password='myuser_pass' ...
The server will not find
myuser defined as a
MySQL user. But because there is a blank user account
''@''), that matches the client user name
and host name, the server authenticates the client against that
account: The server invokes the
authentication plugin and passes
myuser_pass to it as the user name and
ldap_auth plugin finds in the LDAP
myuser_pass is not the correct
myuser, authentication fails and
the server rejects the connection.
If the password is correct and
myuser is a developer, it returns
the user name
developer to the MySQL server,
myuser. Returning a user name
different from the client user name of
signals to the server that it should treat
myuser as a proxy. The server verifies that
''@'' can authenticate as
developer (because it has the
PROXY privilege to do so) and
accepts the connection. The session proceeds with
myuser having the privileges of
developer, the proxied user. (These
privileges should be set up by the DBA using
GRANT statements, not shown.) The
CURRENT_USER() functions return
SELECT USER(), CURRENT_USER();+------------------+---------------------+ | USER() | CURRENT_USER() | +------------------+---------------------+ | myuser@localhost | developer@localhost | +------------------+---------------------+
If the plugin instead finds in the LDAP directory that
myuser is a manager, it returns
manager as the user name and the session
myuser having the privileges of
SELECT USER(), CURRENT_USER();+------------------+-------------------+ | USER() | CURRENT_USER() | +------------------+-------------------+ | myuser@localhost | manager@localhost | +------------------+-------------------+
For simplicity, external authentication cannot be multilevel:
Neither the credentials for
manager are taken into account in
the preceding example. However, they are still used if a client
tries to connect and authenticate directly as the
account, which is why those accounts should be assigned
If you intend to create a default proxy user, check for other existing “match any user” accounts that take precedence over the default proxy user and thus prevent that user from working as intended.
In the preceding discussion, the default proxy user account has
'' in the host part, which matches any host.
If you set up a default proxy user, take care to also check
whether nonproxy accounts exist with the same user part and
'%' in the host part, because
'%' also matches any host, but has precedence
'' by the rules that the server uses to
sort account rows internally (see
Section 6.2.4, “Access Control, Stage 1: Connection Verification”).
Suppose that a MySQL installation includes these two accounts:
-- create default proxy user CREATE USER ''@'' IDENTIFIED WITH some_plugin AS 'some_auth_string'; -- create anonymous user CREATE USER ''@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_password';
The first account (
''@'') is intended as the
default proxy user, used to authenticate connections for users
who do not otherwise match a more-specific account. The second
''@'%') is an anonymous-user
account, which might have been created, for example, to enable
users without their own account to connect anonymously.
Both accounts have the same user part (
which matches any user. And each account has a host part that
matches any host. Nevertheless, there is a priority in account
matching for connection attempts because the matching rules sort
a host of
'%' ahead of
For accounts that do not match any more-specific account, the
server attempts to authenticate them against
''@'%' (the anonymous user) rather than
''@'' (the default proxy user). The result is
that the default proxy account is never used.
To avoid this problem, use one of the following strategies:
Remove the anonymous account so that it does not conflict with the default proxy user. This might be a good idea anyway if you want to associate every connection with a named user.
Use a more-specific default proxy user that matches ahead of the anonymous user. For example, to permit only
localhostproxy connections, use
CREATE USER ''@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH some_plugin AS 'some_auth_string';
In addition, modify any
GRANT PROXYstatements to name
''@''as the proxy user.
Be aware that this strategy prevents anonymous-user connections from
Create multiple proxy users, one for local connections and one for “everything else” (remote connections). This can be useful particularly when local users should have different privileges from remote users.
Create the proxy users:
-- create proxy user for local connections CREATE USER ''@'localhost' IDENTIFIED WITH some_plugin AS 'some_auth_string'; -- create proxy user for remote connections CREATE USER ''@'%' IDENTIFIED WITH some_plugin AS 'some_auth_string';
Create the proxied users:
-- create proxied user for local connections CREATE USER 'developer'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_password'; -- create proxied user for remote connections CREATE USER 'developer'@'%' IDENTIFIED BY 'some_password';
Grant the proxy privilege to each proxy user for the corresponding proxied user:
GRANT PROXY ON 'developer'@'localhost' TO ''@'localhost'; GRANT PROXY ON 'developer'@'%' TO ''@'%';
Finally, grant appropriate privileges to the local and remote proxied users (not shown).
Assume that the
some_pluginto map the client user name to
developer. Local connections match the
''@'localhost'proxy user, which maps to the
'developer'@'localhost'proxied user. Remote connections match the
''@'%'proxy user, which maps to the
Two system variables help trace the proxy login process:
proxy_user: This value is
NULLif proxying is not used. Otherwise, it indicates the proxy user account. For example, if a client authenticates through the
''@''proxy account, this variable is set as follows:
SELECT @@proxy_user;+--------------+ | @@proxy_user | +--------------+ | ''@'' | +--------------+
external_user: Sometimes the authentication plugin may use an external user to authenticate to the MySQL server. For example, when using Windows native authentication, a plugin that authenticates using the windows API does not need the login ID passed to it. However, it still uses a Windows user ID to authenticate. The plugin may return this external user ID (or the first 512 UTF-8 bytes of it) to the server using the
external_userread-only session variable. If the plugin does not set this variable, its value is