OpenSUSE also considers switching from MySQL to MariaDB

OpenSUSE also considers switching from MySQL to MariaDB

Summary: MariaDB, the MySQL fork, continues to pick up steam as openSUSE is also considering using it as the Linux distribution's default database management system.

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MySQL may still be the "most popular open-source database" for now, but its day may be ending. Just like Fedora, which is considering switching out MySQL for the MySQL fork MariaDB, openSUSE is also considering making MariaDB its default database management system (DBMS).

MariaDB
Like Fedora, openSUSE is also considering making MariaDB its default DBMS.
(Credit: MariaDB)

Fedora's change to MariaDB looks to be more certain than openSUSE's (SUSE's community Linux) potential move. In Fedora's case, the shift is being suggested by Jaroslav Reznik, Red Hat's Fedora project manager, and there seems to be no opposition.

At openSUSE, though, the move is being proposed by Michal Hrušecký, an openSUSE developer and the MySQL maintainer for openSUSE and SUSE., rather than a SUSE staffer. His arguments for MariaDB are similar to Reznik's. Hrušecký wrote, "Originally I was sticking to Oracle's MySQL as a default to keep it conservative and stable, but over the years MariaDB proved to be stable and lately they were even faster in fixing some security issues."

In addition, he said that while he's not "unhappy with Oracle's MySQL...but I believe that new default will bring some more goodies to our users without any unpleasant side effects. And as we believe in choice, you can still choose Oracle's MySQL over MariaDB."

Fedora's developers, however, want to not only make MariaDB the default DBMS, but to stop shipping MySQL with their distribution. Of course, you would still be able to download and install MySQL on Fedora.

The openSUSE community isn't as sold on this changeover as the Fedora programmers. A few openSUSE developers have objected to the proposal. In particular, several think there's not enough time left to make MariaDB the default DBMS in openSUSE 12.3. After all, openSUSE 12.3 just went into its first and only beta. Personally, I don't see MariaDB becoming the default in openSUSE 12.3 by its March delivery date.

Other Linux distribution communities have considered replacing MySQL with MariaDB, but little has come of it. Debian, for example, still doesn't have a native MariaDB port. While there has been discussion of making MariaDB Debian's default DBMS, nothing has come of it.

That said, I'll be watching developments here very closely. If the snowflake of Fedora, and thus eventually Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), switching to MariaDB falls into place, I can see an avalanche of other Linux distributions moving away from Oracle's MySQL to MariaDB. That will change everything about Linux DBMS and that, in turn, will transform the Web server, data-center, and enterprise application worlds. We are living in interesting times.

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Topics: Data Management, Enterprise Software, Linux, Open Source, Oracle

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8 comments
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  • Fedora – Honza Horak and Tom Lane

    -feature was proposed by current mysql maintainers - Honza Horak and Tom Lane. I'm just that messenger to be shoot :-)- Jaroslav Reznik 23 January, 2013 15:32

    http://www.zdnet.com/fedora-linux-considering-switching-out-mysql-for-mariadb-7000010156/
    daikon
  • At least it starts with an 'M'

    LAMP stack = good. Always nice to have options. But MySQL isn't broken - yet.
    beau parisi
  • Relationships

    From the article:
    "Fedora's change to MariaDB looks to be more certain than openSUSE's, SUSE's community Linux, potential move. In Fedora's case, the shift is being suggested by Jaroslav Reznik, Red Hat's Fedora project manager, and there seems to be no opposition.

    Oracle is using RHEL source code to create Oracle Enterprise Linux and compete directly with Red Hat's server products. Thus, one can easily imagine a bit of enmity at Red Hat towards Oracle. As well as a desire to 'stick it' to Oracle by replacing MySQL with MariaDB in Fedora's LAMP stack. Would this change translate to RHEL server at some point in the future? Most likely.

    From the article:
    "At openSUSE, though, the move is being proposed by Michal Hrušecký, an openSUSE developer rather than a SUSE official.

    SUSE is a business unit of Attachmate. And CPTN Holdings assisted with Attachmate's acquisition of Novell (SUSE's previous home) by paying $450 million U.S. to Novell for various patents. Oracle, along with Microsoft, EMC and Apple, is a member of CPTN Holdings. Thus, SUSE's parent company, Attachmate, may not be favorably disposed towards 'sticking it' to Oracle (even if Oracle Enterprise Linux now competes with SLES too).
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Not Sure of a Big Effect

    Since MariaDB will basically function as a drop in replacement for MySQL, I don't know if I would go so far as to say this move "will change everything about Linux DBMS and that, in turn, will transform the Web server, data-center, and enterprise application worlds." That would probably only be true if development of MariaDB accelerates to the point where they leave MySQL behind.
    CFWhitman
    • re: Not Sure of a Big Effect

      I think the major, and immediate effect, is that this is a change to ensure that true open source packages are in the distribution.

      With the new features slated for MariaDB 10.0 we will start to see MariaBD include some great new features that will not be in MySQL from Oracle.
      Marc Sherwood
      • RE: "ensure that true open source packages are in the distribution

        The MySQL Community Server downloads are available here:

        http://www.mysql.com/downloads/mysql/

        Is the MySQL Community Server not true open-source?
        Rabid Howler Monkey
        • MySQL and open source

          No, MySQL in practice is not "true" open source. For quite a long time now, MySQL doesn't publish most test cases, and the latest development tree. For a while they published the source only as an archive (a bunch of text files), and not as a source code repository.

          Anyone who have worked on a big software project would tell you that it is practically impossible to develop it without regression test cases and version history. So yes, there is GPL-ed source code but soon it will be useless for anyone outside of MySQL. Thus, while in theory the source code is there and Oracle continues to pretend that MySQL is OSS, in few years this source will be as good as assembler.

          In summary, Oracle is making it extremely hard for anyone to contribute to MySQL, and even more so, to work on MySQL branches. This leaves only one side of the open source equation - "free" as "free beer". This could change to one or another extent at any time.

          Some other comments on the topic:
          http://mysqlha.blogspot.com/2012/08/less-open-source.html
          http://ronaldbradford.com/blog/when-is-a-crashing-mysql-bug-not-a-bug-2012-08-15/
          http://blog.mariadb.org/author/serg/
          Timour Katchaounov
          • Thanks for a great response: the links were both enlighteniing and sobering

            "Oracle is making it extremely hard for anyone to contribute to MySQL, and even more so, to work on MySQL branches

            With regard to Oracle "making it extremely hard for anyone to contribute to MySQL", I can understand how longtime MySQL users and contributors would be unhappy as Oracle, through their acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has benefited from their prior contributions. This is essentially how Google develops Android (with their OHA partners), Chrome OS and Chrome browser. Google really isn't interested in working with outside developers on these products.

            However, Google does a very good job of making Android, Chromium browser and Chromium OS source code available as evidenced by the number of after-market Android-derived distros (including competitors Amazon and Barnes & Noble) along with after-market Chromium-based browsers such as SRWare Iron and Comodo Dragon. In addition, many Linux distros and the BSDs provide the Chromium browser through their repositories for their users.

            Oracle's "making it extremely hard for anyone ... to work on MySQL branches" is much harder to stomach as it flies in the face of a statement Larry Ellison made during a 2006 interview with The Financial Times. Here is the link to the Financial Times Interview along with Mr. Ellison's statement:

            "Transcript: FT interview with Larry Ellison
            http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/5f7bdc18-ce85-11da-a032-0000779e2340.html
            "So the great thing about open source is nobody owns it – a company like Oracle is free to take it for nothing, include it in our products and charge for support, and that’s what we’ll do.

            Apparently, Oracle believes that MySQL's open-source source code is Oracle's alone.

            Steven, how about an article detailing Oracle's behavior with MySQL? And how about contacting both Oracle Corp. and The Free Software Foundation for comments to be included in the article? If you receive comments once you have published the article on ZDNet, you can update it as appropriate.
            Rabid Howler Monkey