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Last pushed: 13 days ago
Short Description
MariaDB is a community-developed fork of MySQL intended to remain free under the GNU GPL.
Full Description

Supported tags and respective Dockerfile links

Quick reference

What is MariaDB?

MariaDB is a community-developed fork of the MySQL relational database management system intended to remain free under the GNU GPL. Being a fork of a leading open source software system, it is notable for being led by the original developers of MySQL, who forked it due to concerns over its acquisition by Oracle. Contributors are required to share their copyright with the MariaDB Foundation.

The intent is also to maintain high compatibility with MySQL, ensuring a "drop-in" replacement capability with library binary equivalency and exact matching with MySQL APIs and commands. It includes the XtraDB storage engine for replacing InnoDB, as well as a new storage engine, Aria, that intends to be both a transactional and non-transactional engine perhaps even included in future versions of MySQL.

How to use this image

Start a mariadb server instance

Starting a MariaDB instance is simple:

$ docker run --name some-mariadb -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my-secret-pw -d mariadb:tag

... where some-mariadb is the name you want to assign to your container, my-secret-pw is the password to be set for the MySQL root user and tag is the tag specifying the MySQL version you want. See the list above for relevant tags.

Connect to MySQL from an application in another Docker container

Since MariaDB is intended as a drop-in replacement for MySQL, it can be used with many applications. This image exposes the standard MySQL port (3306), so container linking makes the MySQL instance available to other application containers. Start your application container like this in order to link it to the MySQL container:

$ docker run --name some-app --link some-mariadb:mysql -d application-that-uses-mysql

Connect to MariaDB from the MySQL command line client

The following command starts another mariadb container instance and runs the mysql command line client against your original mariadb container, allowing you to execute SQL statements against your database instance:

$ docker run -it --link some-mariadb:mysql --rm mariadb sh -c 'exec mysql -h"$MYSQL_PORT_3306_TCP_ADDR" -P"$MYSQL_PORT_3306_TCP_PORT" -uroot -p"$MYSQL_ENV_MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD"'

... where some-mariadb is the name of your original mariadb container.

This image can also be used as a client for non-Docker or remote MariaDB instances:

$ docker run -it --rm mariadb mysql -usome-mysql-user -p

More information about the MySQL command line client can be found in the MySQL documentation

Container shell access and viewing MySQL logs

The docker exec command allows you to run commands inside a Docker container. The following command line will give you a bash shell inside your mariadb container:

$ docker exec -it some-mariadb bash

The MariaDB Server log is available through Docker's container log:

$ docker logs some-mariadb

Using a custom MySQL configuration file

The MariaDB startup configuration is specified in the file /etc/mysql/my.cnf, and that file in turn includes any files found in the /etc/mysql/conf.d directory that end with .cnf. Settings in files in this directory will augment and/or override settings in /etc/mysql/my.cnf. If you want to use a customized MySQL configuration, you can create your alternative configuration file in a directory on the host machine and then mount that directory location as /etc/mysql/conf.d inside the mariadb container.

If /my/custom/config-file.cnf is the path and name of your custom configuration file, you can start your mariadb container like this (note that only the directory path of the custom config file is used in this command):

$ docker run --name some-mariadb -v /my/custom:/etc/mysql/conf.d -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my-secret-pw -d mariadb:tag

This will start a new container some-mariadb where the MariaDB instance uses the combined startup settings from /etc/mysql/my.cnf and /etc/mysql/conf.d/config-file.cnf, with settings from the latter taking precedence.

Note that users on host systems with SELinux enabled may see issues with this. The current workaround is to assign the relevant SELinux policy type to your new config file so that the container will be allowed to mount it:

$ chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /my/custom

Configuration without a cnf file

Many configuration options can be passed as flags to mysqld. This will give you the flexibility to customize the container without needing a cnf file. For example, if you want to change the default encoding and collation for all tables to use UTF-8 (utf8mb4) just run the following:

$ docker run --name some-mariadb -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my-secret-pw -d mariadb:tag --character-set-server=utf8mb4 --collation-server=utf8mb4_unicode_ci

If you would like to see a complete list of available options, just run:

$ docker run -it --rm mariadb:tag --verbose --help

Environment Variables

When you start the mariadb image, you can adjust the configuration of the MariaDB instance by passing one or more environment variables on the docker run command line. Do note that none of the variables below will have any effect if you start the container with a data directory that already contains a database: any pre-existing database will always be left untouched on container startup.


This variable is mandatory and specifies the password that will be set for the MariaDB root superuser account. In the above example, it was set to my-secret-pw.


This variable is optional and allows you to specify the name of a database to be created on image startup. If a user/password was supplied (see below) then that user will be granted superuser access (corresponding to GRANT ALL) to this database.


These variables are optional, used in conjunction to create a new user and to set that user's password. This user will be granted superuser permissions (see above) for the database specified by the MYSQL_DATABASE variable. Both variables are required for a user to be created.

Do note that there is no need to use this mechanism to create the root superuser, that user gets created by default with the password specified by the MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD variable.


This is an optional variable. Set to yes to allow the container to be started with a blank password for the root user. NOTE: Setting this variable to yes is not recommended unless you really know what you are doing, since this will leave your MariaDB instance completely unprotected, allowing anyone to gain complete superuser access.


This is an optional variable. Set to yes to generate a random initial password for the root user (using pwgen). The generated root password will be printed to stdout (GENERATED ROOT PASSWORD: .....).

Initializing a fresh instance

When a container is started for the first time, a new database with the specified name will be created and initialized with the provided configuration variables. Furthermore, it will execute files with extensions .sh, .sql and .sql.gz that are found in /docker-entrypoint-initdb.d. Files will be executed in alphabetical order. You can easily populate your mariadb services by mounting a SQL dump into that directory and provide custom images with contributed data. SQL files will be imported by default to the database specified by the MYSQL_DATABASE variable.


Where to Store Data

Important note: There are several ways to store data used by applications that run in Docker containers. We encourage users of the mariadb images to familiarize themselves with the options available, including:

  • Let Docker manage the storage of your database data by writing the database files to disk on the host system using its own internal volume management. This is the default and is easy and fairly transparent to the user. The downside is that the files may be hard to locate for tools and applications that run directly on the host system, i.e. outside containers.
  • Create a data directory on the host system (outside the container) and mount this to a directory visible from inside the container. This places the database files in a known location on the host system, and makes it easy for tools and applications on the host system to access the files. The downside is that the user needs to make sure that the directory exists, and that e.g. directory permissions and other security mechanisms on the host system are set up correctly.

The Docker documentation is a good starting point for understanding the different storage options and variations, and there are multiple blogs and forum postings that discuss and give advice in this area. We will simply show the basic procedure here for the latter option above:

  1. Create a data directory on a suitable volume on your host system, e.g. /my/own/datadir.
  2. Start your mariadb container like this:

    $ docker run --name some-mariadb -v /my/own/datadir:/var/lib/mysql -e MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my-secret-pw -d mariadb:tag

The -v /my/own/datadir:/var/lib/mysql part of the command mounts the /my/own/datadir directory from the underlying host system as /var/lib/mysql inside the container, where MySQL by default will write its data files.

Note that users on host systems with SELinux enabled may see issues with this. The current workaround is to assign the relevant SELinux policy type to the new data directory so that the container will be allowed to access it:

$ chcon -Rt svirt_sandbox_file_t /my/own/datadir

No connections until MySQL init completes

If there is no database initialized when the container starts, then a default database will be created. While this is the expected behavior, this means that it will not accept incoming connections until such initialization completes. This may cause issues when using automation tools, such as docker-compose, which start several containers simultaneously.

Usage against an existing database

If you start your mariadb container instance with a data directory that already contains a database (specifically, a mysql subdirectory), the $MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD variable should be omitted from the run command line; it will in any case be ignored, and the pre-existing database will not be changed in any way.

Creating database dumps

Most of the normal tools will work, although their usage might be a little convoluted in some cases to ensure they have access to the mysqld server. A simple way to ensure this is to use docker exec and run the tool from the same container, similar to the following:

$ docker exec some-mariadb sh -c 'exec mysqldump --all-databases -uroot -p"$MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD"' > /some/path/on/your/host/all-databases.sql
Docker Pull Command

Comments (24)
2 months ago

If someone needs a video on how to setup this Official Mariadb with Wordpress docker's container using kitematic (alpha) in linux with data persistence and container linking, check this one:

2 months ago

This image supports new environment variables so you can use docker secrets instead of putting passwords directly in environment variables, but it's not documented here.


4 months ago

When there will be tags for 10.2? I saw that the PR for 10.2 and 10.3 is already merged on main. Is there a reason why the dockerhub repo is not updated to support the 10.2 tag?

4 months ago

@stampycode I just tried your docker-compose.yml on a more recent version of Docker (also set the version to "3") but I am unable to get it working I posted what I saw on

6 months ago

Hi, is it possible to use systemctl reload mariadb after changing wsrep_cluster_address, there's a must for systemctl restarst mariadb?

8 months ago

I'm trying to script some mysql client CLI commands to load the MariaDB container I've started. I run:

blah@blah:~$ MARIADB_IP_ADDRESS=$(sudo docker inspect mariadb_container --format="{{ .NetworkSettings.IPAddress }}")
blah@blah:~$ echo "$MARIADB_IP_ADDRESS"

I can then address the container from the command line using the -h parameter:

mysql -h $MARIADB_IP_ADDRESS -u root -p

So far, so good.

But, when I run the same commands from a Bash script (trying to automate this process), I get:

ERROR 2003 (HY000): Can't connect to MySQL server on (111)

Any ideas why this command wouldn't work in a Bash script but does work on the command line?

9 months ago

I have made some changes in my.cnf file after that the container is not starting anyway. i wanted to revert back the changes and start the container where it was left.
[root@linuxgeeks f62ead4e2f40570cc7ef4a356c4f7268e8c9f19e68b5e7172f8f4b474e02aa26]# docker start -ia mariadbtest

ERROR: mysqld failed while attempting to check config
command was: "mysqld --verbose --help --log-bin-index=/tmp/tmp.NOjdLGiwVV"
2017-01-02 10:06:42 140529797584832 [ERROR] mysqld: ambiguous option '--log=/var/log/mariadb/mariadb.log' (log-basename, log_tc_size)
2017-01-02 10:06:42 140529797584832 [ERROR] Aborting

9 months ago

Thanks @grahamwalters for the docker-compose.yml example, here is a more complete one:

version: '2'
    image: mariadb
    command: mysqld --innodb-buffer-pool-size=20M
      - "./mariadb:/var/lib/mysql:rw"
      - "MYSQL_DATABASE=my_db_name"
      - "MYSQL_USER=my_db_user"
      - "MYSQL_PASSWORD=my_db_user_passwd"
      - "MYSQL_ROOT_PASSWORD=my_db_root_passwd"
      - "3306:3306"
10 months ago

"Many configuration options can be passed as flags to mysqld." In case anyone else gets stuck trying to get that to work with docker-compose.yml

version: '2'

    image: mariadb
    command: mysqld --innodb-buffer-pool-size=20M
      - mariadb:/var/lib/mysql
a year ago

Are you starting the bootstrap node with '--wsrep-new-cluster'? If not, the bootstrap node is starting without galera replication enabled which would cause additional nodes to not connect. Additionally make sure your 'wsrep_cluster_address' contains the reachable addresses for all of your nodes in case of failure on one node.