How to replace MySQL with MariaDB on CentOS 6

Mariadb-seal-shaded-browntext-plainsvg.svgIn this article we will explain how to replace your MySQL server with MariaDB 5.5 database on your CentOS 6 server which is very simple. MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL source code. It is free and open source, drop-in replacement for MySQL led by the original developers of MySQL. MariaDB is widely used and several Linux distributions and large companies have already switched from MySQL to MariaDB.

First of all, you should always have a backup of all existing MySQL databases:

# mysqldump --all-databases --user=root --password --master-data > /root/backup.sql
Enter password:

Stop your MySQL service by executing the following command:

# service mysqld stop
Stopping mysqld:             [  OK  ]

Remove all installed MySQL packages:

# yum -y remove mysql*

Even if we removed MySQL, your current MySQL configuration file (my.cnf) is saved as /etc/my.cnf.rpmsave and it can be used later.

Using your favorite text editor create a repository file /etc/yum.repos.d/mariadb.repo containing the following lines:

32bit systems:

name = MariaDB
baseurl =

64bit systems:

name = MariaDB 
baseurl =

Now you can install MariaDB using YUM. Ecexute the following commands:

# yum update
# yum install -y MariaDB-server MariaDB-client MariaDB-devel

After the installation is completed, start MariaDB:

# service mysql start
Starting MySQL.. SUCCESS!

Restore your old my.cnf file:

cp /etc/my.cnf.rpmsave /etc/my.cnf

That’s all. At this point you have successfully replaced MySQL with MariaDB.

# mysql -V
mysql  Ver 15.1 Distrib 5.5.33a-MariaDB, for Linux (i686) using readline 5.1

By default, MariaDB is not hardened. You can secure MariaDB using the mysql_secure_installation script.
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  • ron


    Author Reply

    One thing that I ran across that might be worth mentioning here. If you have packages that you want to keep such as mysql-workbench-community, mysql-connector-python, that work fine with mariadb by the way, then instead of:
    yum -y remove mysql*
    you can remove just the main packages:
    rpm --nodeps -e mysql-utilities mysql-devel mysql-libs mysql-server
    Install the mariadb as described here. Then, I checked workbench to see if it was ok and it couldn’t fetch the tables, views, procedures, etc. I had to run this command to fix things:
    mysql_upgrade -uroot -p -h
    After that everything worked fine. Good post though!

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