MariaDB and MySQL compatibility


As soon as you start working with MariaDB you’ll notice its compatibility with MySQL, in fact every time you log into the MariaDB console using the “mysql” CLI command you must realize that you are using exactly the same CLI command that would be used on MySQL.

mysql -u root -p

In case you are wondering, the “-u” option is used to tell the system which user is going to log into MySQL and the “-p” option tell the system to ask for the “password” for that particular user.


Another CLI command that clearly shows the compatibility between MariaDB and MySQL is the “mysqladmin” CLI command, that can be used to manage tables and databases, and the server itself, things like checking server’s status and usage, Start and Stop the server, and also manage users.

mysqladmin -p version status

This tool has the advantage that can be used without having to log into the console, that makes of “mysqladmin” the perfect tool to be used on non-interactive scripts, utilities like this one are usually called “external tools”.

mysql utilities list

You can run the following CLI command to see the list of mysql utilities available inside the folder /usr/sbin/

ls -la /usr/bin | grep "mysql"

You can tell these all are executable files by looking at the permissions, the “x” for the Owner, Group and Other, another important thing to notice is the location /usr/bin is included in the environmental variable $PATH.

Environmental Variable $PATH

$PATH is an environment variable used to specify a set of directories where executable programs are located.

Commonly used mysql utilities

Here you are a list of the most commonly used mysql utilities

  • mysql
  • mysqladmin
  • mysql_secure_installation
  • mysqldump
  • mysqlimport
  • mysqlbinlog