The Story Behind Acquisition of ‘MySQL’ by Sun Microsystem and the Rise of ‘MariaDB’

A database is an information organized in such a fashion that a computer program can access the stored data or a part of it. This electronic file system is stored, updated, selected and deleted using a special program called Database Management System (DBMS). There is a huge list of DBMS, a few of which makes to the list here are – MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, LibreOffice Base, Microsoft Access, etc.

Story of MySQL Acquisition by Sun Microsystem

Story of MySQL Acquisition by Sun Microsystem

Those who have worked on Linux Environment must have been knowing that MySQL used to be the Default Relational Database Management System for a very long time before it was replaced by MariaDB. What happened all of a sudden? Why Linux project waved bye to this project. Before we continue this topic lets have a brief note.

About MySQL

MySQL was founded by Allan Larsson, Michael Widenius and David Axmark in the year 1995, 19 years ago. It was released under the name of co-founder Michael Widenius daughter, ‘My‘. This project was released under GNU General Public License as well as under certain Proprietary License. MySQL was owned by MySQL AB firm until it went into the hands of Oracle Corporation. It is written in Programming Language – C and C++ and is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, MacOS and FreeBSD.

About MariaDB

After the Acquisition of MySQL by Oracle Inc. and the need of a reliable and scalable Database led the scholars to think an alternatives like PostgreSQL and MongoDB. Switching to either of two was neither easy nor better replacement from future perspective.

At the same time in the year 2009, Michael Widenius started working on MarisDB as a fork of MySQL. In the year 2012 the bricks of nonprofit MariaDB Foundation was laid. It was named after the founder’s daughter Maria.

MariaDB is a fork of MySQL Relational Database Management System which again is released under GNU General Public License. It is written in Programming Language – C, C++, Perl and Bash and is available for Systems Linux, Windows, Solaris, MacOS and FreeBSD.

The Acquisition of MySQL

$1 billion was not a small amount for the MySQL AB firm moreover they don’t want to let the chance go into vain for an Open-Source project to come into Mainstream world and hence MySQL came under the Collar of Sun Microsystem in the Year 2008.

It was a matter of chance that Oracle Inc., purchased Sun Microsystem and eventually MySQL was a property of Oracle, in the year 2009. With this takeover a lot of questions were generated that time. Such as:

  1. Is it going to be good for Market?
  2. Is it going to be beneficial for users ?
  3. Oracle by providing support and releasing updates for an Open source DBMS, on the way of Oracle, doing any good?
  4. Is it going to be proved as an acquired Armour of oracle?
  5. What will be its effect on proprietary Market?
  6. Is Companies like Microsoft, Apple will show a boost-up trend in market?
  7. Is it going to be healthy or harmful for IBM?
  8. Will it demoralize FOSS Enthusiastic?

Even today, we not have the answer of all the questions but certainly market has proved a lot. Some of the changes world has witnessed.


The world’s Sixth most Popular website has moved its Database from MySQL to MariaDB.


The world’s most popular site transferred from MySQL to MariaDB.

MariaDB is performing better and hence world busiest Web Sites are using it. And anyone running Linux Seriously must know that the ‘M‘ of LAMP stack has changed.

Several On-line forums and business analyst’s viewed this as a trump played by Oracle to finish-off MySQL user base. Darwin said ‘Survival of the Fittest‘ and market tends to understand this. MySQL fork MariaDB foundation and survival created history.

MySQL and MariaDB – A Comparative Study

The compatibility of MariaDB with MySQL and even some advanced feature became the strength of MariaDB.

Name MySQL MariaDB
 Description  Relational Database Management System.  A drop-in MySQL replacement.
 DB Engine Ranking  2  27
 Developer  Oracle Inc.  Michael Widenius
 First Release  1995  2009
 License  GNU/GPL  GNU/GPL
 Language  C and C++  C, C++, Perl and Bash
 Server Support  Linux, Solaris, Windows, FreeBSD and MacOS  Linux, Solaris, Windows and FreeBSD
 Data Scheme  Yes  Yes
 Database Model  Relational Database Management System  Relational Database Management System
 Data-Type  Yes  Yes
 SQL  Yes  Yes
 Access Method  JDBC, ODBC  JDBC, ODBC
 Scripting  Yes  Yes
 Trigger function  Yes  Yes
 Replication  Yes  Yes
 Replication Method  Master-Master, Master-Slave and Cluster  Master-Master and Master-Slave
 Foreign Keys  Yes  Yes
 Durability  Yes  Yes

NOTE: Drop-­in replacement means, if an application works on MySQL 5.5, it will also work on MariaDB 5.5 without any glitch.

Installation of MariaDB in Linux

MariaDB 10.0.12 is the current stable release. Moreover MariaDB download page contains distro specific binaries for RPM based distro’s as well as DPKG based Distros, which can be downloaded from the link below.


Just download the appropirate RPM and DPKG package and install it as shown below.

# rpm -ivh maria*.rpm [For RedHat based systems]
# dpkg -i maria*.deb [For Debian based systems]

You can also install MariaDB from the repository, but it is important to setup the repo, first. Follow the link below and select your distro and go.

  1. Setup MariaDB Repository

This is the easiest way to install MariaDB on latest as well as old stable Linux Distribution. However, if you don’t know how to setup repositories under Linux systems. You can follow our below articles, where we’ve covered MariaDB installation on few selected distributions.

  1. Setup LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP/PhpMyAdmin) in RHEL/CentOS
  2. Install LAMP (Linux, Apache, MariaDB, PHP) on Ubuntu 14.04 Server
  3. Installing LEMP (Nginx, PHP, MySQL with MariaDB engine and PhpMyAdmin) in Arch Linux
  4. Installing LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL/MariaDB, and PHP/PhpMyAdmin) in Arch Linux
  5. Installing LEMP (Linux, Nginx, MySQL/MariaDB, PHP/PHP-FPM and PhpMyAdmin) in Gentoo Linux

That’s all for now. Its not the end. Its a beginning. A Journey that was started in 2009 is still continuing and it has to go a long way from here. MariaDB has the maturity of MySQL and your feels at home who has experienced MySQL.

We will be coming up with an article shortly which will guide from making small tables to running small queries. Till then stay tuned and connected to Tecmint. Don’t forget to provide us with your valuable feedback in the comment section below.

Posted by Web Monkey