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Integrate with MySQL

EMQX supports integrating with MySQL for password authentication.

Data Schema and Query Statement

MySQL authenticator supports almost all MySQL storage schema. You can determine how to store credentials and access them as your business needs, for example, using one or multiple tables, views, etc.

Users need to provide a query statement template and ensure the following fields are included:

  • password_hash: required; password (in plain text or hashed) stored in the database;
  • salt: optional; salt = "" or just remove this field to indicate no salt value will be added;
  • is_superuser: optional; flag if the current client is a superuser; default: false.

Example table structure for storing credentials:

CREATE TABLE `mqtt_user` (
  `id` int(11) unsigned NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT,
  `username` varchar(100) DEFAULT NULL,
  `password_hash` varchar(100) DEFAULT NULL,
  `salt` varchar(35) DEFAULT NULL,
  `is_superuser` tinyint(1) DEFAULT 0,
  `created` datetime DEFAULT NULL,
  PRIMARY KEY (`id`),
  UNIQUE KEY `mqtt_username` (`username`)


The above example has created an implicit UNIQUE index field (username) that is helpful for the queries. When there is a significant number of users in the system, please optimize and index the tables to be queried beforehand to shorten the query response time and reduce the load for EMQX.

In this table, MQTT users are identified by username.

For example, if we want to add a document for a superuser (is_superuser: true) with username emqx_u, password public, suffixed salt slat_foo123, and password hash sha256, the query statement should be:

mysql> INSERT INTO mqtt_user(username, password_hash, salt, is_superuser) VALUES ('emqx_u', SHA2(concat('public', 'slat_foo123'), 256), 'slat_foo123', 1);
Query OK, 1 row affected (0,01 sec)

The corresponding configuration parameters are:

password_hash_algorithm {
    name = sha256
    salt_position = suffix

query = "SELECT password_hash, salt, is_superuser FROM mqtt_user WHERE username = ${username} LIMIT 1"

Configure with Dashboard

You can use EMQX Dashboard to configure how to use MySQL for password authentication.

On EMQX Dashboard, click Access Control -> Authentication on the left navigation tree to enter the Authentication page. Click Create at the top right corner, then click to select Password-Based as Mechanism, and MySQL as Backend, this will lead us to the Configuration tab, as shown below.

Authentication with MySQL

Follow the instruction below on how to configure:

Connect: Fill in the information needed to connect MySQL.

  • Server: Specify the server address that EMQX is to connect (host:port).
  • Database: MySQL database name.
  • Username (optional): Specify user name.
  • Password (optional): Specify user password.

TLS Configuration: Turn on the toggle switch if you want to enable TLS. For more information on enabling TLS, see Network and TLS.

Connection Configuration: Set the concurrent connections and waiting time before a connection is timed out.

  • Pool size (optional): Input an integer value to define the number of concurrent connections from an EMQX node to MySQL. Default: 8.
  • Connect Timeout (optional): Specify the waiting period before EMQX assumes the connection is timed out. Units supported include milliseconds, second, minute, and hour.

Authentication configuration: Fill in the authentication-related settings:

  • Password Hash: Select the Hash function for storing the password in the database, for example, plain, md5, sha, bcrypt, pbkdf2.
    • If plain, md5, sha, sha256 or sha512 are selected, we also need to configure:
      • Salt Position: Specify the way (suffix, prefix, or disable) to add salt (random data) to the password. You can keep the default value unless you are migrating user credentials from external storage into EMQX built-in database. Note: If plain is selected, the Salt Position should be disable.
    • If bcrypt is selected, you also need to configure:
      • Salt Rounds: Specify the calculation times of Hush function (2^Salt Rounds). Default value: 10; Value range 4~31. You are recommended to use a higher value for better protection. Note: Increasing the cost factor by 1 doubles the necessary time.
    • If pkbdf2 is selected, we also need to configure:
      • Pseudorandom Function: Specify the Hush functions to generate the key, such as sha256.
      • Iteration Count: Specify the iteration times; Default: 4096
      • Derived Key Length (optional): Specify the length of the generated password. You can leave this field blank, then the key length will be determined by the pseudorandom function you selected.
  • SQL: Fill in the query statement according to the data schema. For more information, see SQL data schema and query statement.

After you finish the settings, click Create.

Configure with Configuration Items

You can configure the EMQX MySQL authenticator with EMQX configuration items.

MySQL authentication is identified with mechanism = password_based and backend = mysql.

Sample configuration:

  backend = "mysql"
  mechanism = "password_based"

  server = ""
  username = "root"
  database = "mqtt_user"
  password = ""
  pool_size = 8

  password_hash_algorithm {name = "sha256", salt_position = "suffix"}
  query = "SELECT password_hash, salt FROM mqtt_user where username = ${username} LIMIT 1"
  query_timeout = "5s"