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Open Source


MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system, the impetus being the community maintenance of its free status under the GNU GPL. Being a fork of a leading open source software system, it is notable for being led by its original developers and triggered by concerns over direction by an acquiring commercial company Oracle.

By default, MariaDB uses the XtraDB storage engine, a performance enhanced fork of the InnoDB storage engine. Percona XtraDB is an enhanced version of the InnoDB storage engine, designed to better scale on modern hardware, and it includes a variety of other features useful in high performance environments. Note that it is possible to use InnoDB as a plugin in MariaDB instead of XtraDB.
The Aria storage engine is compiled in by default in MariaDB 5.1 and it is required to be 'in use' when mysqld is started. Additionally, internal on-disk tables are in the Aria table format instead of the MyISAM table format. This should speed up some GROUP BY and DISTINCT queries because Aria has better caching than MyISAM. The inclusion of Aria is one of the differences between MariaDB 5.1 and MySQL 5.1.
PrimeBase XT (PBXT) is a general purpose transactional storage engine designed for high concurrency environments. The PBXT storage engine is included in the MariaDB source and binaries by default. PBXT is no longer maintained, and is not part of MariaDB 5.5 or later.
The Open Query GRAPH computation engine, or OQGRAPH as the engine itself is called, allows you to handle hierarchies (tree structures) and complex graphs (nodes having many connections in several directions). OQGRAPH is unlike other storage engines, consisting of an entirely different architecture to a regular storage engine such as Aria, MyISAM or InnoDB. It is intended to be used for retrieving hierarchical information, such as those used for graphs, routes or social relationships, in plain SQL.
The FederatedX Storage Engine is a storage engine that works with both MariaDB and MySQL. Where other storage engines are built as interfaces to lower-level file-based data stores, FederatedX uses libmysql to talk to the data source, the data source being a remote RDBMS. Currently, since FederatedX only uses libmysql, it can only talk to another MySQL RDBMS. The plan is of course to be able to use other RDBMS systems as a data source. There is an existing project Federated ODBC which was able to use PostgreSQL as a remote data source, and it is this type of functionality which will be brought to FederatedX in subsequent versions.
As of MariaDB 5.2.2, the Sphinx storage engine is included in the source, binaries, and packages of MariaDB. SphinxSE is built as a dynamically loadable .so plugin. To use it you need to perform a one-time INSTALL and PLUGIN.


Version Features

MariaDB Version Features
version Features
5.5 mariaDBSupport a Thread Pool
mariaDBSupport a Non-blocking client API Library
mariaDBAccept SphinxSE 2.0.4 version
mariaDBExtended keys support for XtraDB and InnoDB
mariaDBNew LIMIT ROWS EXAMINED optimization
mariaDBSupport SQL_ERROR_LOG Plug-in
5.3 mariaDBMicroseconds in MariaDB
mariaDBGroup commit for the binarylog
mariaDBProgress reporting for Query
mariaDBEnhanced join, sub query operation
mariaDBHandlerSocket and faster Handler Calls
mariaDBSupport Dynamic Columns
mariaDBSupport GIS function
5.2 mariaDBVirtual Columns
mariaDBExtended User Statistics
mariaDBSegmented Key Cache
mariaDBPluggable Authentication
mariaDBStorage-engine-specific Create Table
mariaDBEnhancements to Information_Schema.PLUGINS table
mariaDBAdded --rewrite-db mysqlbinlog option to change the used database
5.1 mariaDBMicroseconds Precision in Processlist
mariaDBPool of Threads
mariaDBTable Elimination


MySQL vs MariaDB

MySQL vs MariaDB
Feature MySQL 5.5 MariaDB 5.5 MySQL 5.6 MariaDB 10.0
Multi-source Replication X X X O
NoSQL Cassandra Storage Engine X X X O
NoSQL Handlersocket interface X O X O
NoSQL memcache interface X X O X
Dynamic Columns X O X O
Virtual Columns X O X O
Join Optimizations X O X O
Engine Independent Statistics X X X O
SHOW EXPLAIN of a running thread X X X O
Explain Improvements X X O
Global Transaction ID X X O
Online Alter Table X X O
Parallel Slave Threads X X O X
Partitioning Improvements X X O X
InnoDB Improvements X X O
Performance Schema Improvements X X O O
Optimizer Enhancements X O O O
Binlog Group Commit X O O O
Disk Access Optimizations X O O O
Subquery Optimizations X O O O
Microseconds Precision X O O O


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