"When Oracle purchased Sun, many in the open source community were bleak about the future of MySQL. According to MySQL co-creator Michael "Monty" Widenius, these fears have been proven by Oracle's attitude to MySQL and its community. In the wake of the Sun takeover, Monty forked MySQL to create MariaDB, which has picked up momentum (being included by default in Fedora, Open SUSE and, most recently, Slackware).
It's fair to say that MySQL creator Michael "Monty" Widenius is not a fan of Oracle. When the company announced in April 2009 that it was purchasing Sun, Widenius saw a bleak future ahead for the (still) wildly popular open source database, which Sun had snapped up in 2008.
The day the Sun purchase was announced, Widenius responded in the tried and true open source fashion — he forked MySQL, launching MariaDB, and took a swathe of MySQL developers with him.
By Widenius' estimates there are now 1 million MariaDB installations, and the decision by RedHat's Fedora and SUSE's Open SUSE Linux distributions to include the newer database by default will bring this install base close to 10 million by the end of the year. Slackware announced on 23 March that it was ditching MySQL in favour of MariaDB.
|Many of the original MySQL core developers, including me, didn't believe that Oracle would be a good owner of MySQL and we wanted to ensure that the MySQL code base would be free forever|
|— Michael "Monty" Widenius|
Organic Design move to MariaDB
We moved to MariaDB on 4 April 2013 when we upgraded to the new German server. Our 2GB of MySQL 5.1 database export imported into Maria without a hitch and has been running smoothly for a couple of weeks at the time of writing this.
Note: you should now you php5-mysqlnd instead of the usual php5-mysql package since the latter uses the old Oracle license and is hard-coded for older MySQL headers which can produce warning messages in some cases.