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Red Hat to ditch MySQL for MariaDB in RHEL 7

The Register - In a surprise move, Red Hat has announced that version 7 of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) will ship with the MariaDB database installed by default, in place of MySQL.

The announcement was made at the company's Red Hat Summit, which wrapped up in Boston on Friday.

MariaDB is a fork of MySQL that was launched in 2009 by original MySQL coder Ulf Michael "Monty" Widenius. It's meant to be a drop-in replacement, meaning any application that runs on MySQL should run unmodified on the MariaDB server. MariaDB does have one important characteristic that MySQL doesn't share, however: MariaDB isn't owned by Oracle.

Oracle acquired MySQL as part of its 2009 purchase of Sun Microsystems and almost immediately began tightening the reins, much to the consternation of MySQL's fans. Support options were cut, and Oracle shifted to an "open core" development model in which the open source database server is sold alongside expensive, proprietary add-ons.

Widenius founded MariaDB largely as a reaction against these unwanted changes, and the project has steadily been gaining converts among the MySQL user community.