MySQL's future in Debian and Ubuntu

Pandu Poluan pandu at
Mon Feb 13 16:27:52 UTC 2012

On Feb 13, 2012 2:21 PM, "Eddie Bachle" <enb10 at> wrote:
> In general, I am generally an simply an observer on most of these mailing
lists, however my concerns with a switch are far less technical and far
more practical.  I work currently for a college in Michigan which utilizes
almost solely Windows servers simply because it is what the IT staff here
knows.  As a student here, I was brought in to assist with the web server
administration, and as time went by because I have a degree
of Linux knowledge, I was given permission to put together a Ubuntu LAMP
server to serve a couple of interested parties on campus who wanted simply
to demo several small scale web apps that were Linux exclusive.  This
server would serve as an exception to the general rule of our server
architecture.  However as time has went by and my knowledge looks more like
it will be a fixture here after graduation, along with the simple
instability of PHP and Apache on the Windows platform, my boss is giving
far more consideration to moving to Linux.
> As Linux gains more public recognition, more and more Windows-only
organizations will consider using it as an alternative, especially for
their web servers.   This is especially true because of the fact that each
of the necessarily main components of a web server exist in Linux in the
same form as the do on Windows and often run much better.  Then, the only
piece one would need to learn would be the new operating system, not the
database, HTTP server, or PHP scripting language software.   However, this
is going to be a more difficult proposition if the aforementioned advantage
is somewhat eliminated.  Were I to have to tell my boss that we could
switch to Ubuntu but it would mean that would need to use a "MySQL
compatible" database if we want to use the native database (which we likely
would because it's tested to be stable and it is supported by the
developers), then she would be much more hesitant.
> There simply is a much greater sense of trepidation for those who are not
significantly Linux savvy if there exists a possibility that they would
have to make something work in an unfamiliar environment, especially if it
were to happen unexpectedly.  If we ported our www website server over to
Ubuntu and then 6 months down the road we were to upgrade our Joomla
version and there became an issue with MariaDB because it lacks some MySQL
feature that it needs, or even that Joomla would fail to recognize Maria as
being equivalent to MySQL at some point, then that would be a huge
detraction against switching.
> Unless assurances that any software that asks for MySQL will recognize
and accept MariaDB equivalents, and that this should always be the case,
and that it will retain the stability and recognized benefits of MySQL, I
would encourage extreme caution in encouraging a switch.  Linux is
beginning to grow into areas it previously didn't reach and bringing a far
superior web server experience as well as simply a better operating system
experience for many and I would not like to see that growth compromised.  I
would like to say we would still switch, or still heavily consider it for
the grains that could be made by using Ubuntu, however realistically, the
lack of native MySQL in any OS would be a huge mark against it.  Also that
being said, if the technical concerns are answered adequately for a vast
majority of applications and hardware/OS setups, then I would be totally
behind switching to a more open source friendly and compatible database
software as there would be little love lost between me and MySQL.
> I hope this perspective helps a bit in considering this decision,

Do remember that there's an alternative to MySQL/MariaDB: PostgreSQL.

I'm actually busy migrating the Windows infrastructure, and my target
database is PostgreSQL.

Note: I am *not* recommending that Ubuntu replaced its default database
from MySQL to PostgreSQL; If a company already deployed a MySQL-based app,
then it should migrate to MariaDB, if only to prevent being trapped by
Oracle into migrating into Oracle. But for those still exploring a
migration to Linux, I won't hesitate to push them toward PostgreSQL
instead. There are clear benefits of PostgreSQL over MySQL for the
enterprise, and vv.

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