Why is MySQL more popular than PostgreSQL? The fact that it is more popular is indisputable — take a look at MySQL’s market share page. My experience with PostgreSQL is very limited and my strongest impression was that the command line client has a weird interface, beyond that, I know little. PostgreSQL advocates are pretty convinced of its superiority over MySQL on every level.

PostgreSQL was released in its current form in January 1997. MySQL was initially released in May 1995, but the first version that saw really wide adoption — version 3.23 — came out in January 2001. I’ve always used MySQL but I never made an affirmative decision to choose it over PostgreSQL. Is there a reason why MySQL is more popular other than the power law reasons? What gave it the initial edge in adoption?

Update (5/21): This post is also being discussed at Hacker News. Check out the discussion there as well.