Show/List MySQL databases using Linux/Ubuntu command-line (CLI) statement

mysql is a program for connecting to a MySQL server. For the purposes of this tutorial, I'll assume you are connecting to a MySQL server that's running on the same machine as the 'mysql' program you will be running (i.e. "localhost").

SQL statements can be used outside the MySQL command-line program. If just need want the relevant SQL statement(s), you can disregard steps 1 and 2 and skip to step 3.

1. Connect to mysql server


mysql -u [username] -p
  • -u -- This flag must preceed the username. Without this flag, mysql will assume that the MySQL username makes the OS username of the logged in user running the program.
  • [username] -- MySQL username.*
  • -p -- Prompts user to provide password. Without this flag, mysql will search for a setting file that contains relevant password.

  • You may have a MySQL username that's identical to your Linux/OS username and they may even share the same password. But it's imporant to understand that these are different user accounts--much like using the same username and password on multiple web sites. For example, Linux has a default user called "root" and MySQL also has a default user called "root."


mysql -u root -p

2. When prompted, enter your password

Remember: You are entering the username for the MySQL username you specified.

3. Enter "USE" statement


USE [table];
  • [table] -- The name of the relevant table.


USE wordpress;

You should see a message that says something like "Database changed."

4. Enter "SHOW TABLES" statement


5. Result

You should get back something that looks like this...

| Tables_in_wordpress                      |
| wp_commentmeta                           |
| wp_comments                              |
| wp_links                                 |
| wp_options                               |
| wp_postmeta                              |
| wp_posts                                 |
| wp_term_relationships                    |
| wp_term_taxonomy                         |
| wp_termmeta                              |
| wp_terms                                 |
| wp_usermeta                              |
| wp_users                                 |
12 rows in set (0.01 sec)