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MySQL and MariaDB, What are their differences?

MySQL and MariaDB differences

In this article, we'll explore the differences between MySQL and MariaDB. Both are open source relational database management systems, but there are some key distinctions between the two. We'll cover the history of both systems, their major features, and performance considerations.

Key Points

  1. Introduction to MySQL

  2. Introduction to MariaDB

  3. What is MariaDB

  4. Why MariaDB was launched

  5. Major Differences between them

  6. Conclusion

 MySQL :


MySQL is an open-source relational database management system(RDBMS) based on Structured Query Language (SQL). It is developed and managed by oracle corporation and initially released on 23 may, 1995. It is widely being used in many small and large scale industrial applications and capable of handling a large volume of data. After the acquisition of MySQL by Oracle, some issues happened with the usage of the database and hence MariaDB was developed.

MySQL was created by MySQL AB, a Swedish company, in 1995. The developers of the platform were Michael Widenius (Monty), David Axmark and Allan Larsson. The primary purpose was to provide efficient and reliable data management options to home and professional users. Over half a dozen alpha and beta versions of the platform were released by 2000. These versions were compatible with almost all major platforms.
MySQL's open source status means that it is available for anyone to download and use. There are no licensing fees associated with using MySQL.

MySQL became popular among home and professional users alike starting 2001. In 2002, the company decided to expand its operations by opening US headquarters in addition to Swedish headquarters. In the same year, the platform had 3 million users and $6.5 million in revenue.

In January 2008, MySQL was acquired by Sun Microsystems for $1 billion. The decision was criticized by Michael Widenius and David Axmark, the co-founders of MySQL AB. At that time, MySQL was already the first choice of large corporations, banks, and telecommunications companies.

Sun's acquisition of MySQL was not successful and in April 2009, an agreement was reached between Sun Microsystems and Oracle Corporation according to which Oracle would purchase Sun Microsystems along with MySQL copyrights and trademark.

 MariaDB :


MariaDB is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is a compatible drop-in replacement for the widely used MySQL database technology. It is developed by MariaDB Foundation and initially released on 29 October 2009. MariaDB has a significantly high number of new features, which makes it better in terms of performance and user-orientation than MySQL.


What is MariaDB.

MariaDB is an open source relational database management system (RDBMS) that is a replacement for the widely used MySQL database technology.

MariaDB is a community-developed, commercially supported fork of the MySQL relational database management system (RDBMS), intended to remain free and open-source software under the GNU General Public License. Development is led by some of the original developers of MySQL, who forked it due to concerns over its acquisition by Oracle Corporation in 2009.

Why MariaDB was launched.

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Its name is derived from combination of "My", the name of co-founder Michael Widenius's daughter My, and "SQL", the abbreviation for Structured Query Language. MySQL was owned and sponsored by the Swedish company MySQL AB. MySQL AB was bought by Sun Microsystems on 26 Feb 2008. In 2010 Oracle acquired Sun Microsystem. After Sun Microsystem was acquired by Oracle Corporation Widenius forked the open-source MySQL project to create MariaDB. MariaDB is named after Widenius' younger daughter, Maria. (MySQL is named after his other daughter, My.)

Widenius believed that after acquiring MySQL, Oracle would slowly move MySQL from open source to commercial, and MySQL would not be fully open sourced.

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Oracle's treatment of MySQL and its community since its purchase of Sun has proved Widenius' original fears correct, the developer says. Not mincing words, Widenius says that Oracle has made it clear "that they have no love for open source, working with the community, or MySQL in general".

According to Widenius, Oracle has shown a disregard for open source principles in several ways, such as the September 2011 announcement of commercial extensions to MySQL, the bugs database not being public any more, and a lack of test cases for new code in MySQL 5.5 and 5.6.

Major Differences

One key difference between MySQL and MariaDB is the license. MySQL uses a proprietary license, while MariaDB uses the GPL. This means that MariaDB is more open and community-driven. Another key difference is the storage engines. MySQL and MariaDB use different storage engines. MySQL uses InnoDB as its default storage engine, while MariaDB uses XtraDB. InnoDB is a robust and feature-rich storage engine, while XtraDB is a drop-in replacement for InnoDB with better performance. Finally, there are some performance differences between MySQL and MariaDB. MariaDB generally has better performance than MySQL, due to its more modern codebase.

Finally, there are some performance differences between MySQL and MariaDB

MariaDB generally has better performance than MySQL, due to its more modern codebase.

Major customers of MariaDB are Bandwidth, DigiCert, InfoArmor, Oppenheimer, Samsung, SelectQuote and SpendHQ are some of industry leaders who use MariaDB database products to run their business

Coming to MySQL, there are thousand of well-known companies who are using MySQL. The list includes Fortune 100 companies to government organizations to education institutes. Some of the well known organizations which use MySQL are Twitter, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, Netflix, Shopify, Udemy

With a rich set of tools for managing databases, users, storage engines, access privileges, and more MariaDB clearly leads the race.


While there are some key differences between MySQL and MariaDB, they are both excellent relational database management systems. However, it's ultimately up to you to decide which one is right for your needs.