MySQL 5.6 Reference Manual Including MySQL NDB Cluster 7.3-7.4 Reference Guide

6.4.3 The Password Validation Plugin

The validate_password plugin serves to improve security by requiring account passwords and enabling strength testing of potential passwords. This plugin exposes a set of system variables that enable you to configure password policy.

The validate_password plugin implements these capabilities:


For statements that assign, modify, or generate account passwords (CREATE USER, GRANT, and SET PASSWORD; statements that use PASSWORD() and OLD_PASSWORD()), the validate_password capabilities described here apply only to accounts that use an authentication plugin that stores credentials internally in the mysql.user system table (mysql_native_password or sha256_password). For accounts that use plugins that perform authentication against an external credential system, password management must be handled externally against that system as well.

The preceding restriction does not apply to use of the VALIDATE_PASSWORD_STRENGTH() function because it does not affect accounts directly.


To configure password checking, modify the system variables having names of the form validate_password_xxx; these are the parameters that control password policy. See Section, “Password Validation Plugin Options and Variables”.

If validate_password is not installed, the validate_password_xxx system variables are not available, passwords in statements are not checked, and the VALIDATE_PASSWORD_STRENGTH() function always returns 0. For example, without the plugin installed, accounts can be assigned passwords shorter than 8 characters, or no password at all.

Assuming that validate_password is installed, it implements three levels of password checking: LOW, MEDIUM, and STRONG. The default is MEDIUM; to change this, modify the value of validate_password_policy. The policies implement increasingly strict password tests. The following descriptions refer to default parameter values, which can be modified by changing the appropriate system variables.