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A fully completed first version of MySQL fork MariaDB has come a step closer, with a release candidate delivered by Monty Widenius on Monday.

MariaDB 5.1.41 RC is based on the MySQL 5.1 code base, available since November 2008. MySQL-co-founder Widenius called the database RC a "drop-in replacement for any recent MySQL 5.1 release."

The RC comes almost a year after Widenius announced the planned fork on the back of leaving MySQL's new owner, Sun Microsystems.

The release for the latest code to MariaDB includes updates to the basic MySQL 5.1 code plus changes that have been separately available in the community.

The features include the swapping out of the InnoDB transactional storage engine used by MySQL - already acquired to some consternation a few years back by Oracle - for XtraDB. Widenius said XtraDB featured enhancements from Google and Percona, while its inclusion would mean you don't need to load the storage engine as a plug in. XtraDB will deliver "most" of the performance of the up-coming release of MySQL 5.4, he said.

Also included is the PBXT transactional storage engine and the FederateX pluggable storage engine as a replacement for Sun's Federate project. You can see more features here.

With so much of the code already available, Widnus said he was quite confident that the release candidate is "very stable," but he added that "being conservative we have had a four month beta cycle before now going to RC."

Separately, All Things D reported that the European Union (EU) is close to agreeing Oracle's delayed purchase of Sun. It reports a possible deal as early as Wednesday or Thursday. Certainly, something appears to be up as Widenius, who has actively supported the EU investigation, has now called on regulators from political heavyweights Russia and China to stop Oracle's purchase. ®

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