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MySQL, MariaDB & openSUSE 12.3
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openSUSE 12.3 is getting closer and closer and probably one of the last changes I pushed for MySQL was switching the default MySQL implementation. So in openSUSE 12.3 we will have MariaDB as a default.

If you are following what is going on in openSUSE in regards to MySQL, you probably already know, that we started shipping MariaDB together with openSUSE starting with version 11.3 back in 2010. It is now almost three years since we started providing it. There were some little issues on the way to resolve all conflicts and to make everything work nicely together. But I believe we polished everything and smoothed all rough edges. And now everything is working nice and fine, so it’s time to change something, isn’t it? So let’s take a look of the change I made…

MariaDB as default, what does it mean?

First of all, for those who don’t know, MariaDB is MySQL fork – drop-in replacement for MySQL. Still same API, still same protocol, even same utilities. And mostly the same datafiles. So unless you have some deep optimizations depending on your current version, you should see no difference. And what will switch mean?

Actually, switching default doesn’t mean much in openSUSE. Do you remember the time when we set KDE as a default? And we still provide great Gnome experience with Gnome Shell. In openSUSE we believe in freedom of choice so even now, you can install either MySQL or MariaDB quite simply. And if you are interested, you can try testing beta versions of both – we have MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 10.0 in server:database repo. So where is the change of default?

Actually, the only thing that changed is that everything now links against MariaDB and uses MariaDB libraries – no change from users point of view. And if you will try to update from system that used to have just one package called ‘mysql’, you’ll end up with MariaDB. And it will be default in LAMP pattern. But generally, you can still easily replace MariaDB with MySQL, if you like Oracle Yes, it is hard to make a splash with a default change if you are supporting both sides well…

What happens to MySQL?

Oracles MySQL will not go away! I’ll keep packaging their version and it will be available in the openSUSE. It’s just not going to be a default, but nothing prevents you from installing it. And if you had it in past and you are going to do just a plain upgrade, you’ll stick to it – we are not going to tell you what to use if you know what you want.

Why?

As mentioned before, being default doesn’t have many consequences. So why the switch? Wouldn’t it break stuff? Is that MariDB safe enough? Well, I’m personally using MariaDB since 2010 with few switches to MySQL and back, so it is better tested from my point of view. I originally switched for the kicks of living on the edge, but in the end I found MariaDB boringly stable (even though I run their latest alpha). I never had any serious issue with it. It also has some interesting goodies that it can offer to it’s user over MySQL. Even Wikipedia decided to switch. And our friends at Fedora are considering it too, but AFAIK they don’t have MariaDB yet in their distribution….

Don’t take it as a complain about MySQL guys and girls at Oracle, I know that they are doing a great job that even MariaDB is based on as they do periodical merges to get newest MySQL and they “just” add some more tweaks, engines and stuff.

So, as I like MariaDB and I think it’s time to move, I, as a maintainer of both, proposed to change the default. There were no strong objections, so we are doing it!

Overview

So overall, yes, we are changing default MySQL provider, but you probably wouldn’t even notice

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