Skip to content



What is MariaDB?

MariaDB is an open source database (or DBMS) management system. It derives from the very famous MySQL DBMS, because the creator wanted to keep the latter’s free character.

In fact, MySQL was the main competitor of Oracle databases. In 2009, Oracle in its commercial strategy, wanted to acquire Sun Microsystems, owner at the time of MySQL. Michael Widenuis, the main developer of MySQL feared for the survival of MySQL after this takeover. A legitimate fear because Oracle had already in the past put an end after takeover, to competing projects. Thus, Michael Widenuis resigned from Sun Microsystems and set up the company Monty Program AB at the same time as the SGBD MariaDB.

It was designed to be 100% compatible with MySQL to facilitate migration from one to the other. In addition, its author wanted to keep the project open, so that his community takes care of its improvement. Many companies followed this change and abandoned MySQL including Google, LinkedIn. Likewise, several GNU / Linux distributions like Fedora, OpenSuse, Debian, RedHat also opted for MariaDB as the default DBMS.

Differences between MariaDB and MySQL

Since MariaDB arise from MySQL, these two DBMSs have many similarities. The development of the former mainly aimed to keep the best of MySQL while extending its functionality. The kernel is the same for both.

  • MariaDB is completely an open source, and MySQL is under a dual license: open source and commercial.
  • In addition to the standard MySQL storage engines, MariaDB has several additional search engines to meet the needs of different scenarios.
  • There are also a lot of extensions and new features. These include the use of virtual columns, pluggable authentication, faster joins and sub-requests, dynamic column support, extended user statistics.
  • The development philosophies of the two DBMS are different. MariaDB relies on the contribution of a real community with team-based code reviews, while the evolution of MySQL relies on Oracle’s closed team. This difference has repeatedly shown its benefits in improving MariaDB

What are the advantages of the MariaDB?

On the account of its features and its open source character, it appeals to many, especially users of other open source software. In fact, several web hosts who use open source software have turned to MariaDB for their shared web hosting plans. Of course, these changes are completely transparent to the end user who will still be able to use phpMyAdmin for managing their databases. The main advantages of MariaDB are:

  • Its open source license is advantageous for all projects that require customizing the DBMS to meet a particular need.
  • Security is very important and taken seriously within the MariaDB community. As soon as a problem is declared, it will be quickly repaired.
  • For MySQL users, the migration from one to the other is extremely fast for early versions. However, the new versions no longer keep such compatibility.
  • It works great with WordPress and offers very good performance.

However, its many advantages do not make MariaDB a perfect DBMS. There is indeed a slow performance during prolonged use of iit. Also, it is no longer fully compatible with MySQL from MySQL version 8. Caching is not the best and has the potential to be improved.