December 12, 2022 By Matthew Rathbone *

MariaDB and MySQL are both popular open-source relational database management systems (RDBMS). They are both based on the Structured Query Language (SQL) and have a similar feature set because they are based on the same codebase. However, there are some important differences between the two that are worth noting.

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MariaDB Is Community Driven

One of the key differences between MariaDB and MySQL is the parent company. MySQL is owned by Oracle Corporation, while MariaDB is a community-developed fork of MySQL, which was created by the original developers of MySQL when MySQL was acquired by Oracle. This means that MariaDB is not controlled by a single company and is instead developed and maintained by a community of volunteers.

Support And Compatibility

Another important difference between MariaDB and MySQL is the level of support and compatibility. Because MariaDB is a fork of MySQL, it is fully compatible with MySQL, meaning that it can use the same APIs, connectors, and tools. This means that if you have existing MySQL code or applications, you can easily switch to MariaDB without having to make any changes. In contrast, MySQL may not be fully compatible with MariaDB, depending on the version and any custom modifications that have been made.

Performance Differences

In terms of performance, MariaDB has been shown to be slightly faster than MySQL in some benchmarks. This is because MariaDB includes several enhancements and improvements to the MySQL codebase, such as a new storage engine and improvements to the query optimizer. However, the difference in performance is usually not significant enough to be noticeable in most applications.

Security Differences

In terms of security, MariaDB and MySQL are both considered to be secure, with regular security updates and patches. However, MariaDB includes some additional security features that are not present in MySQL, such as the ability to encrypt data at rest and support for password expiration policies.

MySQL vs MariaDB Summary

Overall, both MariaDB and MySQL are solid choices for a relational database management system. The decision of which one to use ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a database system that is fully compatible with MySQL and includes some additional enhancements and improvements, then MariaDB may be the better choice for you. However, if you are looking for a database system that is supported by a large corporation with a proven track record, then MySQL may be the better choice.