“MySQL done better” is one way to describe MariaDB. It’s a fork of that popular open source database project, launched by one of MySQL’s own creators—but with a different development team, many powerful features included by default rather than only available as add-ons, and many performance, usability, and security improvements that aren’t guaranteed to show up in MySQL.
MariaDB is often billed as a “drop-in replacement” for MySQL, especially as the MariaDB project is kept in close sync with the original. That said, it’s sort of like saying a Mazda is a drop-in replacement for a Subaru. They’re both cars, and they’re both driven about the same way, but the features they offer and the ways they’re implemented are different enough to warrant attention.
In this article we’ll walk through the steps needed to bring up a standard MariaDB server installation. Along the way we’ll pay particular attention to things you need to keep in mind when upgrading from a previous MariaDB installation, or migrating a MySQL database instance to MariaDB.
Note that the discussion in this article focuses on the community open-source edition of MariaDB, not the for-pay editions aimed at enterprise users. Those include features like OLTP, clustering, and data adapters to services like Apache Kafka and Apache Spark.