Slackware Linux switches to MariaDB
The next version of Slackware Linux will drop MySQL in favour of MariaDB. The change was announced on the front page of the site and in the project's change log by Patrick Volkerding. Slackware is following a trend within Linux distributions of switching away from Oracle's MySQL to the MariaDB Foundation's MariaDB, a fork of MySQL created when Oracle acquired Sun and, with it, MySQL. Community fears of Oracle closing MySQL or charging licence fees for the community edition have prompted distributions such as Fedora and also openSUSE to switch to MariaDB as their default database. Slackware appears, though, to be going further – it is completely replacing MySQL with MariaDB rather than just selecting it as a default.
The Slackware change log notes that Volkerding does not think "there is currently any issue with MySQL's licensing of the community edition for commercial use", even though there was some confusion over the issue. A poll on LinuxQuestions.org showed a preference for MariaDB. Added to that was the Slackware developer's belief that the MariaDB Foundation will "do a better job with the code", be more responsive to security concerns, and be more willing to work with the open source community. Volkerding says he is still considering what is to be done with older Slackware versions and MySQL, but is "leaning towards just continuing to update with MySQL".
No date has been set for the release of the next Slackware. The most recent release, which still includes MySQL, is Slackware 14; it was released at the end of September 2012 and can be downloaded from the project's site.