I'm trying to use Zapier to connect to our MySQL database in order to add results from forms (hosting with WordPress) directly into our internal database.

The database is working properly and so are the forms but when I try to establish a connection to the database with Zapier I just get a timeout error.

I've spoken to Zapier about it and they've said that something is blocking them from being able to talk to our database and that I just need to ssh into the box that has the mysql client installed. I know I'm probably being very dumb but I don't understand what they mean. I asked them to clarify and they suggested I tried mysql --connect_timeout 5 -u zapper -p xxxxxxxxxxx I tried to connect to what I thought was the instance using ssh -i ~/.ssh/aws.pem -p 1903 [email protected] (I can do that without a problem) and then tried mysql --connect_timeout 5 -u zapper -p xxxxxxxxxxx

That gave me an error saying:

Warning: Using unique option prefix pass instead of password is deprecated and will be removed in a future release. Please use the full name instead.

Enter password:

I tried my admin password, the MySQL password, the password for the zapper user as well as the sftp password but none of them work. It just says:

ERROR 1045 (28000): Access denied for user 'zapier'@'localhost' (using password: YES)

I'd be grateful for any help on this please.


I think I might have been able to connect. I tried changing -p to password and the got this:

Copyright (c) 2000, 2014, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

Oracle is a registered trademark of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Usage: mysql [OPTIONS] [database] -?, --help Display this help and exit. -I, --help Synonym for -? --auto-rehash Enable automatic rehashing. One doesn't need to use 'rehash' to get table and field completion, but startup and reconnecting may take a longer time. Disable with --disable-auto-rehash. (Defaults to on; use --skip-auto-rehash to disable.) -A, --no-auto-rehash No automatic rehashing. One has to use 'rehash' to get table and field completion. This gives a quicker start of mysql and disables rehashing on reconnect. --auto-vertical-output Automatically switch to vertical output mode if the result is wider than the terminal width. -B, --batch Don't use history file. Disable interactive behavior. (Enables --silent.) --character-sets-dir=name Directory for character set files. --column-type-info Display column type information. -c, --comments Preserve comments. Send comments to the server. The default is --skip-comments (discard comments), enable with --comments. -C, --compress Use compression in server/client protocol. -#, --debug[=#] This is a non-debug version. Catch this and exit. --debug-check Check memory and open file usage at exit. -T, --debug-info Print some debug info at exit. -D, --database=name Database to use. --default-character-set=name Set the default character set. --delimiter=name Delimiter to be used. --enable-cleartext-plugin Enable/disable the clear text authentication plugin. -e, --execute=name Execute command and quit. (Disables --force and history file.) -E, --vertical Print the output of a query (rows) vertically. -f, --force Continue even if we get an SQL error. -G, --named-commands Enable named commands. Named commands mean this program's internal commands; see mysql> help . When enabled, the named commands can be used from any line of the query, otherwise only from the first line, before an enter. Disable with --disable-named-commands. This option is disabled by default. -i, --ignore-spaces Ignore space after function names. --init-command=name SQL Command to execute when connecting to MySQL server. Will automatically be re-executed when reconnecting. --local-infile Enable/disable LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE. -b, --no-beep Turn off beep on error. -h, --host=name Connect to host. -H, --html Produce HTML output. -X, --xml Produce XML output. --line-numbers Write line numbers for errors. (Defaults to on; use --skip-line-numbers to disable.) -L, --skip-line-numbers Don't write line number for errors. -n, --unbuffered Flush buffer after each query. --column-names Write column names in results. (Defaults to on; use --skip-column-names to disable.) -N, --skip-column-names Don't write column names in results. --sigint-ignore Ignore SIGINT (CTRL-C). -o, --one-database Ignore statements except those that occur while the default database is the one named at the command line. --pager[=name] Pager to use to display results. If you don't supply an option, the default pager is taken from your ENV variable PAGER. Valid pagers are less, more, cat [> filename], etc. See interactive help (\h) also. This option does not work in batch mode. Disable with --disable-pager. This option is disabled by default. -p, --password[=name] Password to use when connecting to server. If password is not given it's asked from the tty. -P, --port=# Port number to use for connection or 0 for default to, in order of preference, my.cnf, $MYSQL_TCP_PORT, /etc/services, built-in default (3306). --prompt=name Set the mysql prompt to this value. --protocol=name The protocol to use for connection (tcp, socket, pipe, memory). -q, --quick Don't cache result, print it row by row. This may slow down the server if the output is suspended. Doesn't use history file. -r, --raw Write fields without conversion. Used with --batch. --reconnect Reconnect if the connection is lost. Disable with --disable-reconnect. This option is enabled by default. (Defaults to on; use --skip-reconnect to disable.) -s, --silent Be more silent. Print results with a tab as separator, each row on new line. -S, --socket=name The socket file to use for connection. --ssl Enable SSL for connection (automatically enabled with other flags). --ssl-ca=name CA file in PEM format (check OpenSSL docs, implies --ssl). --ssl-capath=name CA directory (check OpenSSL docs, implies --ssl). --ssl-cert=name X509 cert in PEM format (implies --ssl). --ssl-cipher=name SSL cipher to use (implies --ssl). --ssl-key=name X509 key in PEM format (implies --ssl). --ssl-verify-server-cert Verify server's "Common Name" in its cert against hostname used when connecting. This option is disabled by default. -t, --table Output in table format. --tee=name Append everything into outfile. See interactive help (\h) also. Does not work in batch mode. Disable with --disable-tee. This option is disabled by default. -u, --user=name User for login if not current user. -U, --safe-updates Only allow UPDATE and DELETE that uses keys. -U, --i-am-a-dummy Synonym for option --safe-updates, -U. -v, --verbose Write more. (-v -v -v gives the table output format). -V, --version Output version information and exit. -w, --wait Wait and retry if connection is down. --connect-timeout=# Number of seconds before connection timeout. --max-allowed-packet=# The maximum packet length to send to or receive from server. --net-buffer-length=# The buffer size for TCP/IP and socket communication. --select-limit=# Automatic limit for SELECT when using --safe-updates. --max-join-size=# Automatic limit for rows in a join when using --safe-updates. --secure-auth Refuse client connecting to server if it uses old (pre-4.1.1) protocol. --server-arg=name Send embedded server this as a parameter. --show-warnings Show warnings after every statement. --plugin-dir=name Directory for client-side plugins. --default-auth=name Default authentication client-side plugin to use.

Default options are read from the following files in the given order: /etc/my.cnf /etc/mysql/my.cnf /usr/etc/my.cnf ~/.my.cnf The following groups are read: mysql client The following options may be given as the first argument: --print-defaults Print the program argument list and exit. --no-defaults Don't read default options from any option file. --defaults-file=# Only read default options from the given file #. --defaults-extra-file=# Read this file after the global files are read.

Variables (--variable-name=value) and boolean options {FALSE|TRUE} Value (after reading options)

auto-rehash TRUE auto-vertical-output FALSE character-sets-dir (No default value) column-type-info FALSE comments FALSE compress FALSE debug-check FALSE debug-info FALSE database mycroft default-character-set auto delimiter ; enable-cleartext-plugin FALSE vertical FALSE force FALSE named-commands FALSE ignore-spaces FALSE init-command (No default value) local-infile FALSE no-beep FALSE host (No default value) html FALSE xml FALSE line-numbers TRUE unbuffered FALSE column-names TRUE sigint-ignore FALSE port 3306 prompt mysql> quick FALSE raw FALSE reconnect TRUE socket /var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock ssl FALSE ssl-ca (No default value) ssl-capath (No default value) ssl-cert (No default value) ssl-cipher (No default value) ssl-key (No default value) ssl-verify-server-cert FALSE table FALSE user zapier_connect safe-updates FALSE i-am-a-dummy FALSE connect-timeout 5 max-allowed-packet 16777216 net-buffer-length 16384 select-limit 1000 max-join-size 1000000 secure-auth FALSE show-warnings FALSE plugin-dir (No default value) default-auth (No default value)

Does that mean I've managed to connect? If it does then Zapier said that means it's something to do with the instance or AWS security as to why it won't connect. I've never used AWS before so don't know exactly what this means.

  • 1
    Might help - if you're entering the password as part of the command there shouldn't be a gap between the -p and the password itself e.g.mysql -u Username -pMyPassword. Better to just have the -p and enter the password when prompted though.
    – georgeb
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:25
  • Thanks @georgeb_dba I managed to connect using mysql --connect_timeout 5 -u zapper password xxxxxxxxxxx in the end but I still can't connect to it with Zapier
    – Lucy
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:28
  • Is it "zapier" or "zapper"? You have spelled it both ways several times. Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Since Zapier is coming in from outside your instance, a possible cause of your problem is the security group for your instance. Most ports on EC2 instances (except the SSH port) are normally blocked by default unless you explicitly open them.

So you would need to open the mysql port 3306 on your instance up to the ip address Zapier is coming in from. (preferably you would not open it up to everyone in the world.)

See Using Amazon RDS/EC2 on the Zapier site, starting from the section where it says Can't Connect to My Database. They continue on to provide specific instructions for the security group settings.

You will also probably need to grant permission on the database using the mysql GRANT command to the user coming in from the Zapier ip address.

Something like this should work :

ON mydb.*
TO 'user'@''
IDENTIFIED BY 'newpassword';

Or you can allow that user to come in from any ip adress like this:

ON mydb.*
TO 'user'@'%'
IDENTIFIED BY 'newpassword';

(Incoming requests would still be limited to Zapier ip addresses due to the security group settings.)

  • Thanks, I've now opened up the port for their IP addresses but now I get this error: authorisation failed: (OperationalError) (2003, "Can't connect to MySQL server on '' (111)") None None
    – Lucy
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:47
  • You'll probably also have to grant rights in mysql to that user coming in from the new ip addresses. Currently it is probably only allowing incoming requests from localhost. I edited my response to include this info. The Zapier site does reference this by referring back to this tackexchange link: stackoverflow.com/questions/8348506/…
    – vjones
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:55
  • I did check that, it's got all privileges and grant rights to everything
    – Lucy
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 16:01
  • Okay I looked up that error and it seems your mysql server may be configured to only listen on the local host. See if this helps: stackoverflow.com/questions/16472175/…
    – vjones
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 16:06
  • I followed that and changed the bind-address then restarted the mysql. It wouldn't start. I used this sudo service mysql restart to restart it now all I get is stop: Unknown instance: start: Job failed to start ubuntu@ip-123-45-67-890:~$ Have I done something wrong? I put the bind-address back to what it was then was able to restart
    – Lucy
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 9:13

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