A seal of approval

Red Hat ditches MySQL in favour of MariaDB

Chris Mayer

The open source company are latest to say goodbye to Oracle, in favour of the MySQL fork.

MariaDB continues to gain admirers, with Red Hat
the latest to switch allegiance to the MySQL fork.

Red Hat revealed at Friday’s Red Hat Summit that
the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 distribution will ship
with the database as default, rather than MySQL.

the return of key MySQL members
back in
April, MariaDB has scored notable coups, with Wikimedia, Fedora and
now Red Hat abandoning MySQL for the forked project,

which is free of proprietary code.

After Oracle’s purchase of Sun Microsystems in
2009 , many MySQL users became disillusioned with the project, as
the new owners chose to tighten the budget,

cutting low-priced support
entirely. Already
supplying MySQL’s biggest closed source competitor, many felt there
was a conflict of interests and that the purchase would slow down
development of the open source counterpart.

Unhappy at the change of direction, Monty
Widenius, MySQL’s creator called upon the community to
save MySQL from Oracle’s clutches
.” This was
inevitably unsuccessful, so the Finnish developer left to found his
own project, aka Maria DB.

The project is
intended to be a drop-in replacement, meaning newcomers could
effectively switch to the GNU-licensed project with little hassle,
and with purported performance benefits. Importantly for some, it
relieved them of being tied to Oracle, which might suggest the
recent surge of switches. By moving across, Red Hat can
theoretically contribute to patches more frequently than under the
previous regime.

MariaDB, named after Widenius’ daughter, wasn’t
the only fork at the time, with Facebook also choosing to go their
own way. Several community Linux distributions, such as openSUSE
and Arch Linux, already offer MariaDB as default, but Red Hat’s
pledge is the biggest to date.

With half a million downloads each
year, MariaDB is
still some distance
behind MySQL. But with large companies switching across, there’s
nothing to suggest they won’t continue to shorten the

Update –
According to the H
, Red Hat say no decision has been made over
whether MySQL or MariaDB will be used as the default for RHEL

In an email sent to the
Mark Coggin Red Hat’s Director of
Product Marketing, said: ”We are also not in a position to
confirm the features or databases planned for Red Hat Software
Collections that will be offered with Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 7. Despite not sharing the details, databases will be
offered as part of the overall solution when Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 7 ships

The confusion has arisen from a
session given at Red Hat Summit
by Senior
Engineering Manager Radek Vokál, who categorically told the
audience that “we are replacing MySQL with MariaDB”. We shall wait
and see whether this happens when RHEL 7 is released later in the

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