MariaDB vs MySQL: The differences

MariaDB vs MySQL: The differences
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Written by Debarghya DasDecember 3, 2021
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Debarghya Das

Junior Front-End Developer

This article explains to you the main differences between MariaDB and MySQL.

About MariaDB

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.

MariaDB is intended to maintain high compatibility with MySQL, ensuring a drop-in replacement capability with library binary parity and exact matching with MySQL APIs and commands. However, new features are diverging. It includes new storage engines like Aria, ColumnStore, and MyRocks.

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About MySQL

MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Its name is a combination of "My", the name of co-founder Michael Widenius's daughter, and "SQL", the abbreviation for Structured Query Language. A relational database organizes data into one or more data tables in which data types may be related to each other; these relations help structure the data. SQL is a language programmers use to create, modify and extract data from the relational database, as well as control user access to the database. In addition to relational databases and SQL, an RDBMS like MySQL works with an operating system to implement a relational database in a computer's storage system, manages users, allows for network access and facilitates testing database integrity and creation of backups.

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Key Differences Between MariaDB and MySQL

Let us discuss some of the major key differences between MariaDB vs MySQL:

  • MariaDB has a GPL license, while MySQL has a dual license.
  • MariaDB has many storage engines, while MySQL does not have many storage engines.
  • MariaDB codes are truly open source, but we cannot call MySQL codes as fully open source after the Oracle acquisition.
  • Test cases are provided for all fixed bugs in MariaDB, but MySQL does not provide test cases.
  • Client libraries are released under LGPL in MariaDB, while in MySQL, it is released under GPL.
  • Closed source modules are not present in MariaDB, while in MySQL, closed source modules are present.
  • JSON files are stored as true text in MariaDB, while in MySQL, they are stored in binary format.
  • When JSON_SEARCH is done, MariaDB provides a warning while MySQL shows an error for the same.
  • While doing statements abort, MariaDB kills any queries that come in its way while MySQL stops only SELECTs.
  • Max_statement_time is defined in seconds in MariaDB, while in MySQL, it is measured in milliseconds.
  • Oracle provides technical support and training for MySQL, while MariaDB has its support system to help in technicality.
  • MariaDB accepts contributions from the community, but MySQL has much documentation for the users to contribute bug fixes.
  • MariaDB supports virtual columns that we cannot find in MySQL. Virtual columns help in doing calculations at the database level.
  • MariaDB is written in C, C++, Bash, and Perl, while MySQL is written in C and C++.
  • MariaDB has master-master and master-slave replication, while MySQL has only master-master replication.
  • The MariaDB Foundation maintains MariaDB documentation, and the public can participate in the documentation. Oracle does MySQL documentation.
  • The public has no access to MySQL decisions, while MariaDB allows the public for development and bug decisions.
  • Closed source modules are not found in MariaDB, while in MySQL, closed source modules are found.

Head to Head Comparison between MariaDB and MySQL

The table below summarizes the comparisons between MariaDB vs MySQL:

MariaDB:

  • The performance of MariaDB is better.
  • MariaDB allows linking with closed source software.
  • MariaDB is more transparent.
  • MariaDB provides a drop-in replacement for MySQL.
  • MariaDB does not have a validation password plugin by default.
  • MariaDB does not support native JSON type but supports text column type.
  • MySQL protocol is not followed in MariaDB.
  • MariaDB supports temporary table Space and binary encryption.
  • The key management plugin of MariaDB is AWS.
  • MariaDB does not have any schema for the optimization and interpretation of data.
  • MariaDB has the option of creating invisible columns.
  • Connection thread pools are present in MariaDB.
  • The default format of the binary log in MariaDB is mixed.
  • A binary log can be compressed in MariaDB.
  • Bug fixes are done more frequently in MariaDB.
  • Only those tables which are queried will be visible in MariaDB.
  • Scaling is done in MariaDB with the help of the Columnstore.
  • Due to data compression, MariaDB shows good performance in storage.
  • Multiple threads work in parallel, giving better database performance.
  • New features are released often.
  • MariaDB is faster.
  • Data masking is not done in MariaDB.
  • Large-sized data can be used easily in MariaDB.
  • MariaDB has backward compatibility.
  • Linking with closed source software is done in MariaDB.
  • Test cases for all fixed bugs are provided.
  • Collations are supported more in MariaDB.
  • Different configurations are available for feature testing in MariaDB.
  • Testing with the test suite is better in MariaDB.
  • Complex queries can be solved faster.
  • The memory storage engine is better in MariaDB.
  • Proprietary code is not accessible in MariaDB.
  • Secondary database models are Document store and Graph DBMS.
  • OS X is not supported as a server in MariaDB.
  • Delphi language is not supported in MariaDB.
  • Privilege checks are done faster in MariaDB.

MySQL:

  • MySQL’s performance is not that great when compared with MariaDB.
  • MySQL does not allow linking with closed source software.
  • MySQL is not transparent at all.
  • MySQL does not provide a replacement for MariaDB.
  • MySQL has a validation password plugin by default.
  • MySQL supports native JSON type.
  • MySQL follows the MySQL protocol.
  • MySQL does not support binary logs or temporary table Space.
  • The key management plugin of MySQL is available only in Enterprise edition.
  • MySQL has an SYS schema for the optimization and interpretation of data.
  • MySQL does not have an option to create invisible columns.
  • Thread pools are not available in MySQL.
  • The default format of the MySQL binary log is row-based.
  • A binary log cannot be compressed in MySQL.
  • In MySQL, bug fixes are done less frequently.
  • All the tables will be shown irrespective of the query.
  • Columnstore is not available in MySQL.
  • Storage performance is not that great when compared with MariaDB.
  • Threads do not work in parallel in MySQL.
  • The release of new features takes time.
  • MySQL is not as fast as MariaDB.
  • Data masking is done in MySQL.
  • Large-sized data cannot be used easily in MySQL.
  • MySQL does not support backward compatibility.
  • Linking with closed source software is not done in MySQL.
  • Test cases are not provided.
  • Collations are supported less in MySQL.
  • Configurations for feature testing is not available in MySQL.
  • Testing is not as good as MariaDB in MySQL.
  • Complex queries are not solved faster.
  • In MySQL, memory storage engines are not as faster as MariaDB.
  • Proprietary code is accessible in the MySQL enterprise edition.
  • The secondary database model is the Document Store.
  • OS X is supported as a server in MySQL.
  • Go language is not supported in MySQL.
  • Privilege checks are not that fast in MySQL.

Conclusion

MariaDB upholds MySQL and is viable with it in all structures. Since MariaDB is somewhat new, we might need to pay for its persistent help however it is free at this moment. MariaDB developers make a point to refresh new highlights frequently, and henceforth the software must be constantly refreshed for its elements.

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Debarghya Das
Junior Front-End Developer
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