The system is Fedora 32. Mariadb was installed and operational; it is now necessary to reinitialize Mariadb and all data and users.

I removed mariadb-server and mariadb and erased /etc/my.cnf and my.cnf.d. I then reinstalled mariadb and mariadb-server and ran the mysql_secure_installation script. It found the original root password but otherwise completed normally.

I then logged into mariadb. I expected to find the users from the original installation had been removed; however they had not.

show databases; shows the original tables. They were not removed.

select * from mysql.user; showed the original users.

How can mariadb be completely removed including all users, data, and passwords?

2 Answers 2


You need to delete the data in your datadir, since that is where this is stored. The default location is /var/lib/mysql/. Shut down MariaDB and delete everything inside the datadir without deleting the datadir itself (as you want to avoid having to recreate the directory with exactly the right permissions):

sudo systemctl stop mariadb
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/mysql/*

Then use mysql_install_db to re-initialise the datadir.

  • Thank you. That worked through to 'systemcth start mariadb.service'. It errored with: Process: 1390711 ExecStart=/usr/libexec/mysqld --basedir=/usr $MYSQLD_OPTS $_WSREP_NEW_CLUSTER (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
    – dan sawyer
    Nov 21, 2020 at 23:46
  • Second update: Somehow in that process the directory /var/lib/mysql ended up being owned by root. Changing it to mysql allowed mariadb to initialize.
    – dan sawyer
    Nov 22, 2020 at 13:19

For each of the user,host from select user,host from mysql.user;

DROP USER '{user}'@'{host}'

If there are non-system database (exclude 'mysql', 'information_schema' and 'performance_schema'), in SHOW DATABASES they can be removed with `DROP DATABASE'

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