Fedora is proposing to replace MySQL with MariaDB in Fedora 19 because of fears that Oracle is moving towards a more closed model for the software.
In an announcement of the proposal by Jaroslav Reznik of Redhat, the reasons given were summarized like this:
“Recent changes made by Oracle indicate they are moving the MySQL project to be more closed. They are no longer publishing any useful information about security issues (CVEs), and they are not providing complete regression tests any more, and a very large fraction of the mysql bug database is now not public.”
“MariaDB, which was founded by some of the original MySQL developers, has a more open-source attitude and an active community. We have found them to be much easier to work with, especially in regards to security matters.”
The proposal is that MySQL would remain available as an option for at least one release to make it easier for users to migrate at their own speed. However, MariaDB would become the default option.
Writing in support of this change on the Fedora wiki, two other Red Hat developers, Honza Horak and Tom Lane, said the advantages to Fedora would be that:
“Fedora will have a truly open-source MySQL implementation and won't depend on what Oracle decides to do with MySQL in the future. Compared to MySQL, MariaDB is faster in some cases, it includes some new engines and features, while the existing engines and features are enhanced and still compatible.”
MariaDB was started when Oracle took over the original MySQL. MariaDB is developed by the Monty Program, which was started by Monty Widenius, the main developer of the original version of MySQL. MariaDB retains API compatibility with MySQL, but has added extra features such as the Aria storage engine to enable faster complex queries, and XtraDB as a drop-in replacement for InnoDB.