SkySQL has a MariaDB vs MySQL whitepaper available for download.
See also MariaDB vs MySQL - Compatibility
More Storage Engines
- XtraDB (drop-in replacement for InnoDB)
- PBXT (In MariaDB 5.1, MariaDB 5.2, and MariaDB 5.3. Disabled in MariaDB 5.5.)
- FederatedX (drop-in replacement for Federated)
- OQGRAPH (In MariaDB 5.1, MariaDB 5.2, and MariaDB 5.3. Disabled in MariaDB 5.5.) — new in 5.2
- SphinxSE — new in 5.2
- IBMDB2I. Oracle removed this in MySQL 5.1.55 but we have kept the code in MariaDB until the version 5.5.
- TokuDB in MariaDB 5.5 and MariaDB 10.0
- Cassandra in MariaDB 10.0
- We are working on adding other NoSQL storage engines into MariaDB.
- CONNECT in MariaDB 10.0
- SEQUENCE in MariaDB 10.0
- Spider in MariaDB 10.0
- A lot of optimizer enhancements in MariaDB 5.3. Subqueries are now finally usable! The complete list and a comparison with MySQL is here. A benchmark can be found here.
- Faster and safer replication: Group commit for the binary log. This makes many setups that uses replication and lot's of updates more than 2x times faster.
- Improvements for Innodb asynchronous IO subsystem on Windows.
- Indexes for the MEMORY(HEAP) engine are faster. According to a simple test, 24% faster on INSERT for integer index and 60% faster for index on a CHAR(20) column.
- CHECKSUM TABLE is faster.
- We improved the performance of character set conversions (and removed conversions when they were not really needed). Overall speed improvement is 1-5 % (according to sql-bench) but can be higher for big results sets with all characters between 0x00-0x7f.
- Pool of Threads in MariaDB 5.1 and even better in MariaDB 5.5. This allows MariaDB to run with 200,000+ connections and with a notable speed improvement when using many connections.
- There are some improvements to the DBUG code to make its execution faster when debug is compiled in but not used.
- Our use of the Aria storage engine enables faster complex queries (queries which normally use disk-based temporary tables). The Aria storage engine is used for internal temporary tables, which should give a speedup when doing complex selects. Aria is usually faster for temporary tables when compared to MyISAM because Aria caches row data in memory and normally doesn't have to write the temporary rows to disk.
- The test suite has been extended and now runs much faster than before, even though it tests more things.
Extensions & new features
We've added a lot of new features to MariaDB. If a patch or feature is useful, safe, and stable — we make every effort to include it in MariaDB. The most notable features are:
- Microseconds in MariaDB — new in 5.3
- Microsecond Precision in Processlist
- Table Elimination
- Virtual Columns — new in 5.2
- Extended User Statistics — new in 5.2
- Segmented Key Cache for MyISAM — new in 5.2
- KILL all queries for a user — new in 5.3
- Pluggable Authentication — new in 5.2
- Storage-engine-specific CREATE TABLE — new in 5.2
- Enhancements to INFORMATION SCHEMA.PLUGINS table — new in 5.2
- Group commit for the binary log. This makes replication notably faster! — new in 5.3
mysqlbinlog option to change the used database — new in 5.2
- Progress reporting for
LOAD DATA INFILE. — new in 5.3
- Faster joins and subqueries. — new in 5.3
- HandlerSocket and faster HANDLER calls. — new in 5.3
- Dynamic Columns support. — new in 5.3
- GIS Functionality — new in 5.3
- Multi-source replication. — new in 10.0
- SHOW EXPLAIN gives the EXPLAIN plan for a query running in another thread. — new in 10.0
For a full list, please see features for each release
- More tests in the test suite.
- Bugs in tests fixed.
- Test builds with different configure options to get better feature testing.
- Remove invalid tests. (e.g. don't test feature ''X'' if that feature is not in the tested build)
Fewer warnings and bugs
- Bugs are bad. Fix as many bugs as possible and try to not introduce new ones.
- Compiler warnings are also bad. Eliminate as many compiler warnings as possible.
Truly Open Source
- All code in MariaDB is released under GPL, LPGL or BSD. MariaDB does not have closed source modules like the ones that can be found in MySQL Enterprise Edition. In fact, all the closed source features in MySQL 5.5 Enterprise Edition are found in the MariaDB open source version.
- MariaDB includes test cases for all fixed bugs. Oracle doesn't provide test cases for new bugs fixed in MySQL 5.5.
- All bugs and development plans are public.
- MariaDB is developed by the community in true open source spirit.