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MariaDB is a reliable, high performance and full-featured database server which aims to be an 'always Free, backward compatible, drop-in' replacement of the MySQL Server. It is distributed under the GPLv2 license.

Started as a fork of MySQL by Widenius (creator of both servers), MariaDB is a project developed by the open source community under the technocracy model. Monty Program Ab, who employees most of the original core MySQL developers, is currently the main steward for the project.

MariaDB is kept up to date with the latest MySQL release from the same branch. A merge from the main MySQL branch is done for every new MySQL release or when there is some critical bugfix applied to the main branch.

The intent also being to maintain high fidelity with MySQL, ensuring a "drop-in" replacement capability with library binary equivalency and exacting matching with MySQL APIs and commands.


Without having MySQL installed

Install the mariadb package from the community repository.

After installing, the mysql system tables should be installed for you automatically. If not, this should reinstall them:

# /usr/bin/mysql_install_db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql
Note: If you experience errors or you want more information about it, read the official [documentation]

Now you should be able to start/stop the server

# /etc/rc.d/mysqld start

It is recommended to secure the installation, using the provided tool:

# mysql_secure_installation

To start MariaDB automatically at boot, edit /etc/rc.conf and add the mysqld daemon:

# DAEMONS=(... mysqld ...)

Or if using systemd, mariadb >= 5.5.25-3 has a service unit:

# systemctl enable mysql.service

Note that the original MySQL might not provide this service if you ever decide to revert to it.


If you are new to MySQL, read first the MySQL page on this wiki.