Resolving MySQL Error 1014: Can’t Get Working Directory

When working with MySQL, encountering an Error 1014 with the message SQLSTATE: HY000 (ER_CANT_GET_WD) Can't get working directory (errno: %d) can be a bit perplexing. This error indicates that MySQL is having trouble accessing or determining the current working directory. Understanding the root causes of this issue is the first step in troubleshooting and fixing it. Let’s go through the possible causes and their solutions.

Possible Causes and Solutions

Incorrect Permissions

The most common cause for this error is insufficient permissions on the MySQL data directory or the working directory. MySQL needs to have the appropriate read and write permissions to operate correctly.

Check the permissions of your MySQL data directory (typically /var/lib/mysql on Linux systems) and ensure that the MySQL user has the correct permissions.


# On a Linux system, you might use the following commands:
sudo chown -R mysql:mysql /var/lib/mysql
sudo chmod -R 755 /var/lib/mysql

Misconfigured AppArmor or SELinux

If you’re using AppArmor (on Ubuntu/Debian) or SELinux (on CentOS/Red Hat) and these security modules are not correctly configured for MySQL, you could encounter Error 1014.

Adjust the AppArmor or SELinux policies to allow MySQL to access its data directory and working directory.

For AppArmor, you might need to edit the /etc/apparmor.d/usr.sbin.mysqld file to add the correct paths.

For SELinux, you might need to use chcon or semanage to update the file context for the MySQL data directory.

Incorrect Ownership

If the MySQL data directory or the working directory is owned by a user other than the one running the MySQL process, this error can occur.

Ensure the data directory is owned by the MySQL user.


# On a Linux system, you might use the following command:
sudo chown -R mysql:mysql /var/lib/mysql

Corrupted Data Directory

A corrupted data directory or an unexpected shutdown of the MySQL server can also lead to Error 1014.

Check for data corruption and consider restoring from a backup if necessary. Ensure a proper shutdown of the MySQL server to prevent data corruption.

Mismatched Directory Paths

If MySQL is configured to use a data directory that doesn’t match the actual location of the data files, it will be unable to set the working directory correctly.

Check your MySQL configuration file (typically my.cnf or my.ini) for the datadir variable and ensure it matches the actual data directory path.




To fix MySQL Error 1014, you should:

  1. Verify and correct the permissions and ownership of the MySQL data directory.
  2. Adjust AppArmor or SELinux policies if they are causing access issues.
  3. Check for data directory corruption and restore from a backup if necessary.
  4. Confirm that the datadir variable in the MySQL configuration file points to the correct directory.

By systematically checking and addressing these potential issues, you can resolve Error 1014 and get your MySQL server back to a functional state. If you continue to experience difficulties, consulting the MySQL documentation or seeking assistance from the MySQL community may provide additional insights specific to your situation.

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