Ran across this one quite unexpectedly. I was creating a new database in MySQL and creating a user that would be associated with that database. when I executed the command:
CREATE USER 'abc'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
I was promptly presented with the error message: ERROR 1396 (HY000): Operation CREATE USER failed. This error didn’t give much explanation as to what the root cause was. After a bit of digging, I learned that the user must already exist or partially exist and that’s causing the issue. My first instinct was to do a
drop user 'abc'@'localhost'
delete from mysql.user where user = 'abc'@'localhost';
delete from mysql.db where user = 'abc'@'localhost';
My next attempt to create the user yielded the same error. I had forgotten one key command:
Once that was executed, I was able to create the user successfully.
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