MySQL is an Open Source RDMBS (Relational Database Management System). It runs as a daemon, listening for queries on a network socket (typically a TCP socket). It is supplied with a command-line client (the mysql command). Client libraries are available for most major programming languags.

Early versions of MySQL used the MyISAM storage engine, which is notable for favouring performance at the expense of features such as transactions or referential integrity. Other storage engines are now available, including InnoDB which provides behaviour more akin to a conventional RDBMS.

MySQL was forked to create MariaDB in January 2009 in response to concerns about the stewardship of MySQL by Oracle. For most purposes MariaDB is a drop-in replacement for MySQL.


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Further reading