Did you try to connect to the server from network ?
Try to force mysql client not to use the socket (what is does when
it's connecting to localhost).
Try to connect from another server or even from the same server but
with the --host=xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx where xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx is the IP of
the server (not 127.0.0.0 which is localhost !).
This way you should be able to shutdown mysqld safely.
When you restart Mysql, it will recreate the socket file.
d> Ok people, I'm desperate for the help. I'm going to try to be as detailed
d> as possible, because I need the two year old explanation. I recently
d> installed MySQL on my Cobalt Raq3. I was running fine, created a db, table
d> created a user, gave some permissions, and thought I was rolling along.
d> Somewhere in setting the permissions and using safe_mysql I messed something
d> up. I am now getting an Error 2002 can't connect to local Mysql through
d> socket var/lib/mysql/mysql.socket. I don't know much about the socket file,
d> so if that has something to do with the problem, I'll need a brief
d> explanation. Can someone PLEASE HELP because I'm desperate to get this
d> fixed yesterday.