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How to Install MariaDB on Debian 9

MariaDB is an open source, multi-threaded relational database management system, backward compatible replacement for MySQL. It is maintained and developed by the MariaDB Foundation including some of the original developers of the MySQL.

With the release of Debian 9, MySQL was replaced with MariaDB as the default database system.

In this tutorial we will show you two different methods on how to install MariaDB on your Debian 9 machine. The first method will walk you through the steps necessary to install MariaDB from the Debian repositories while the second one will teach you how to install the latest version of MariaDB from the official MariaDB repositories.

Generally, it is recommended to install MariaDB from the Debian repositories.

If you prefer MySQL over MariaDB, check the How to Install MySQL on Debian 9 tutorial. If your application does not have any the specific requirements, you should stick with MariaDB, the default database system in Debian 9.


Before continuing with this tutorial, make sure you are logged in as a user with sudo privileges.

Installing MariaDB on Debian 9

At the time of writing this article, the latest MariaDB version available in the Debian main is version 10.1.

To install MariaDB on Debian 9, follow these steps:

  1. First update the apt packages index by typing:

    sudo apt update
  2. Once the packages list is updated, install MariaDB by running the following command:

    sudo apt install mariadb-server
  3. The MariaDB service will start automatically. You can verify it by typing:

    sudo systemctl status mariadb

    The output should look something like this:

    ● mariadb.service - MariaDB database server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; enabled; vendor preset
    Active: active (running) since Wed 2018-09-12 15:10:40 UTC; 1min 48s ago
    Main PID: 11356 (mysqld)
    Status: "Taking your SQL requests now..."
    CGroup: /system.slice/mariadb.service
            └─11356 /usr/sbin/mysqld

Installing MariaDB on Debian 9 from MariaDB Repositories

At the time of this writing the latest version of MariaDB is version 10.3 which can be installed from the official MariaDB repositories. Before continuing with the next step visit the MariaDB Repository page and check if there is a new version available.

To install the MariaDB 10.3 on your Debian 9 system, follow these steps:

  1. The first step is to enable the MariaDB repository and import the repository GPG key to your system to do so run the following commands:

    sudo apt install software-properties-common dirmngr
    sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver hkp:// 0xF1656F24C74CD1D8
    sudo add-apt-repository 'deb [arch=amd64,i386,ppc64el] stretch main'
  2. Once the repository is enabled, update the packages list and install MariaDB with:

    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install mariadb-server
  3. The MariaDB service will start automatically, to verify it run the following command:

    sudo systemctl status mariadb
    ● mariadb.service - MariaDB 10.3.8 database server
    Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/mariadb.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
    Drop-In: /etc/systemd/system/mariadb.service.d
    Active: active (running) since Sun 2018-07-29 19:36:30 UTC; 56s ago
        Docs: man:mysqld(8)
    Main PID: 16417 (mysqld)
    Status: "Taking your SQL requests now..."
        Tasks: 31 (limit: 507)
    CGroup: /system.slice/mariadb.service
            └─16417 /usr/sbin/mysqld

Securing MariaDB

To improve the security of the MariaDB installation run the mysql_secure_installation script:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

The script will prompt you to set a password for the root account , remove the anonymous user, restrict root user access to the local machine and remove the test database.

At the end the script will reload the privilege tables ensuring that all changes take effect immediately.

All steps are explained in detail and it is recommended to answer “Y” (yes) to all questions.

Connect to MariaDB from the command line

To connect to the MariaDB server through the terminal as the root account type:

mysql -u root -p

You will be prompted to enter the root password you have previously set up using the mysql_secure_installation script.

Once you enter the password you will be presented with the MariaDB shell as shown below:

Welcome to the MariaDB monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MariaDB connection id is 2
Server version: 10.1.26-MariaDB-0+deb9u1 Debian 9.1

Copyright (c) 2000, 2017, Oracle, MariaDB Corporation Ab and others.

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.

MariaDB [(none)]>


In this tutorial, we’ve shown you how to install and secure MariaDB on a Debian 9 server.

Now that your MariaDB server is up and running and you know how to connect to the MariaDB server from the command line, you might want to check the following guides: