What version of MySQL or MariaDB do you use?

We currently use MariaDB version 10.0.38, equivalent to MySQL version 5.6.43.

Can I change the version of MySQL my site uses?

Unfortunately, that’s not currently possible.

If you’re asking this because you want a later version for security reasons, we should mention that that’s not usually necessary: the version we use includes security patches (but not new features) from later versions.

What is MariaDB? Is it the same as MySQL?

MariaDB is the name of a particular company’s release of MySQL server software. It runs MySQL databases in exactly the same way as other company’s MySQL server releases , and you shouldn’t need to know or care about the difference. Popular software programs like WordPress recommend MariaDB.

If you want the full story: The MySQL database server code has always been “open source”, meaning that anyone can turn it into a full-featured database software program they distribute. Originally, only one company, founded by the person who first wrote MySQL, did this, and the database program was simply called “MySQL”. That person sold the company to Sun Microsystems (later acquired by Oracle software corporation) in 2008. Sun Microsystems and Oracle have continued making the same “MySQL” software since then.

However, many people became unhappy with the way Oracle is managing their “MySQL” code, particularly with regards to how bugs in it are fixed. This has prompted other companies to start releasing their own versions of it. The versions are pretty much all the same, except that the other releases are more robust and have performance improvements. The other ones use different names for trademark reasons, though; they can’t simply call their software “MySQL”, even though it’s nearly identical software that runs what everyone thinks of as “MySQL databases”.

The most popular of these alternate packagings is “MariaDB”, created and managed by the same person who first wrote MySQL more than two decades ago. In fact, the MariaDB version of MySQL is now more popular than the Oracle version. Most Linux distributions have switched to MariaDB, or plan to do so, because it’s a more reliable and faster way of running the same MySQL databases. That’s why we use it.