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If you restore your MySQL database from a backup, you might end up missing grants for the debian-sys-maint user. To restore it, you can do this:

/etc/init.d/mysql stop
dpkg-reconfigure mysql-server-VERSION
/etc/init.d/mysql start

This will not destroy your current database, just recreate the debian-sys-maint user.

The server version can be figured out using this command:

dlocate -S /usr/bin/mysqld_safe