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I have a working MariaDB 10.2 running on my CentOS 6 server. I can connect to the DB from another machine on the LAN.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to revisit how this was made possible. Everything I read mentions using bind-address in the my.cnf file, but when I examine this file, there is no such directive. Neither is there anything in the files /etc/my.cnf.d/*.cnf.

Is network access a default in this case, or is there some other mysterious directive?

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https://mariadb.com/kb/en/configuring-mariadb-for-remote-client-access/ says :

MariaDB only supports one bind-address, but binds to 0.0.0.0, or :: (every IP) if the bind-address directive is left out).

I understand that in this case mariadb listens on every IP address of the machine. However even in this case you can filter on hostname at user account level with the user@host syntax.

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