We are pleased to announce the immediate availability of MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha. MariaDB 5.5.20 is the first Alpha release in the 5.5 series. We hope to follow it up soon with a beta 5.5 release.
MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha is a merge of MariaDB 5.3 and MySQL 5.5 with some limited additional bug fixes. This is the first 5.5-based release, and we are releasing it now, intentionally without any extra features (and with it missing some planned features) to get it into the hands of any who might want to test it. Extra features planned for MariaDB 5.5 will be pushed into future releases.
As with any alpha release, MariaDB 5.5.20-alpha should not be used on production systems.
The Release Notes page has some notes on the release. There is also a Changelog available for those who are interested.
The laptop I’m using had MySQL 5.1.55 installed with one database (apart from the system database). Installing MariaDB does not impact existing data in any way and once the install completed I had instant access to my data.
As part of the install you are given the option to set a new password for the root user. I choose to do it in the video, but you don’t need to. If you leave the password field blank the root password will not be changed. Other database users are preserved, of course.
As with any database upgrade, before doing this to a production system you should have backups and test.