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MySQL 5.7 Reference Manual  /  Restrictions and Limits  /  Restrictions on Pluggable Authentication

C.9 Restrictions on Pluggable Authentication

The first part of this section describes general restrictions on the applicability of the pluggable authentication framework described at Section 7.3.8, “Pluggable Authentication”. The second part describes how third-party connector developers can determine the extent to which a connector can take advantage of pluggable authentication capabilities and what steps to take to become more compliant.

The term native authentication used here refers to authentication against passwords stored in the mysql.user table. This is the same authentication method provided by older MySQL servers, before pluggable authentication was implemented. It remains the default method, although now it is implemented using plugins. Windows native authentication refers to authentication using the credentials of a user who has already logged in to Windows, as implemented by the Windows Native Authentication plugin (Windows plugin for short).

General Pluggable Authentication Restrictions

  • Connector/C, Connector/C++: Clients that use these connectors can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication.

    Exception: A connector supports pluggable authentication if it was built to link to libmysqlclient dynamically (rather than statically) and it loads the current version of libmysqlclient if that version is installed, or if the connector is recompiled from source to link against the current libmysqlclient.

  • Connector/J: Clients that use this connector can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication.

  • Connector/Net: Before Connector/Net 6.4.4, clients that use this connector can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication. As of 6.4.4, clients can also connect to the server through accounts that use the Windows plugin.

  • Connector/ODBC: Before Connector/ODBC 3.51.29 and 5.1.9, clients that use this connector can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication. As of 3.51.29 and 5.1.9, clients that use binary releases of this connector for Windows can also connect to the server through accounts that use the PAM or Windows plugins. (These capabilities result from linking the Connector/ODBC binaries against the MySQL 5.5.16 libmysqlclient rather than the MySQL 5.1 libmysqlclient used previously. The newer libmysqlclient includes the client-side support needed for the server-side PAM and Windows authentication plugins.)

  • Connector/PHP: Clients that use this connector can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication, when compiled using the MySQL native driver for PHP (mysqlnd).

  • MySQL Proxy: Before MySQL Proxy 0.8.2, clients can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication. As of 0.8.2, clients can also connect to the server through accounts that use the PAM plugin. As of 0.8.3, clients can also connect to the server through accounts that use the Windows plugin.

  • MySQL Enterprise Backup: MySQL Enterprise Backup before version 3.6.1 supports connections to the server only through accounts that use native authentication. As of 3.6.1, MySQL Enterprise Backup can connect to the server through accounts that use nonnative authentication.

  • Windows native authentication: Connecting through an account that uses the Windows plugin requires Windows Domain setup. Without it, NTLM authentication is used and then only local connections are possible; that is, the client and server must run on the same computer.

  • Proxy users: Proxy user support is available to the extent that clients can connect through accounts authenticated with plugins that implement proxy user capability (that is, plugins that can return a user name different from that of the connecting user). For example, the native authentication plugins do not support proxy users, whereas the PAM and Windows plugins do.

  • Replication: Replication slaves can employ not only master accounts using native authentication, but can also connect through master accounts that use nonnative authentication if the required client-side plugin is available. If the plugin is built into libmysqlclient, it is available by default. Otherwise, the plugin must be installed on the slave side in the directory named by the slave plugin_dir system variable.

  • FEDERATED tables: A FEDERATED table can access the remote table only through accounts on the remote server that use native authentication.

Pluggable Authentication and Third-Party Connectors

Third-party connector developers can use the following guidelines to determine readiness of a connector to take advantage of pluggable authentication capabilities and what steps to take to become more compliant:

  • An existing connector to which no changes have been made uses native authentication and clients that use the connector can connect to the server only through accounts that use native authentication. However, you should test the connector against a recent version of the server to verify that such connections still work without problem.

    Exception: A connector might work with pluggable authentication without any changes if it links to libmysqlclient dynamically (rather than statically) and it loads the current version of libmysqlclient if that version is installed.

  • To take advantage of pluggable authentication capabilities, a connector that is libmysqlclient-based should be relinked against the current version of libmysqlclient. This enables the connector to support connections though accounts that require client-side plugins now built into libmysqlclient (such as the cleartext plugin needed for PAM authentication and the Windows plugin needed for Windows native authentication). Linking with a current libmysqlclient also enables the connector to access client-side plugins installed in the default MySQL plugin directory (typically the directory named by the default value of the local server's plugin_dir system variable).

    If a connector links to libmysqlclient dynamically, it must be ensured that the newer version of libmysqlclient is installed on the client host and that the connector loads it at runtime.

  • Another way for a connector to support a given authentication method is to implement it directly in the client/server protocol. Connector/Net uses this approach to provide support for Windows native authentication.

  • If a connector should be able to load client-side plugins from a directory different from the default plugin directory, it must implement some means for client users to specify the directory. Possibilities for this include a command-line option or environment variable from which the connector can obtain the directory name. Standard MySQL client programs such as mysql and mysqladmin implement a --plugin-dir option. See also Section 25.8.14, “C API Client Plugin Functions”.

  • Proxy user support by a connector depends, as described earlier in this section, on whether the authentication methods that it supports permit proxy users.


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