[How To] Find my.cnf File Location

MySQL, a popular open-source relational database management system, relies on a configuration file to store various settings. Locating this file is essential for managing your MySQL server effectively. In this article, we’ll explore different methods to find the MySQL configuration file on a Linux system.

Table of Contents

Default Locations

By default, MySQL looks for its configuration file in the following directories:

  1. /etc/my.cnf
  2. /etc/mysql/my.cnf
  3. /usr/local/mysql/data/my.cnf

If you have a standard installation, one of these paths should contain the configuration file.

Using the ‘mysqld’ Command

If you have access to the command line on your server, you can use the following command to find the location of the .cnf files:

sudo mysqld --help --verbose | grep cnf

This command will display the search path for the my.cnf file. Look for lines that mention the file locations.

Using locate command

If you’re using the locate command, type:

locate my.cnf

This will provide a list of all my.cnf files on your system. However, keep in mind that it may return multiple results, so choose the one relevant to your MySQL instance.

Using the find command

The find command is another powerful tool. To search for the my.cnf file, execute:

sudo find / -name my.cnf

This command will search the entire filesystem for the my.cnf file.


Locating the MySQL configuration file is crucial for managing your MySQL server. Whether you’re configuring a new installation or troubleshooting an existing one, understanding the file’s location ensures efficient administration. Remember to check the default paths, use commands like mysqld –help, or employ locate to find the right my.cnf file for your setup.

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