PostgreSQL vs MySQL?

John Griffiths john at
Thu Apr 4 12:34:45 EST 2002

Just to chuck in a 2c,

MySQL is very good at doing a limited number of things, if you have avery
clear aims for what you want it to acheive, and it can meet them, then it's
a fine and reliable choice.

PostgreSQL on the other is a bigger beast, pretty good at what it does, and
does a lot more.

if you want to crack walnuts you use a nutcracker, MySQL is a good nutcracker

if you want to break rocks you use a jackhammer, or maybe dynamite.

Postgres is a jackhammer...

Oracle is, in some peoples view, dynamite


At 12:15 PM 4/4/02 +1000, Antti.Roppola at wrote:
>It depends on what you want to do.
>MySQL is convenient (and usually available) for tasks that
>are unlikely to generate much load. It's probably more
>widely deployed than Postgres.
>I notice O'Reilly now have a Postgres book, the quality of
>doco is a big reason why I get people to use MySQL for
>quickies, I can give them a book and tell them to go away.
>Chances are they can grep Google for example code.
>Postgres is a bit more opaque (at least to start with).
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Paul Alexander Warren [mailto:u3292467 at]
>Sent: Thursday, 4 April 2002 9:44 AM
>Subject: Re: PostgreSQL vs MySQL?
>I tried using MYSQL for my UNI database course last year, and found that
>it was totally inadequate, so I used PostgresQL instead, and found that
>it had equivilant functionality to Oracle which we use at UNI. 
>Performance speed wasn't a problem, but then i only had one user for it
>on a Pentium 166 MMX with 64M RAM.
>My dad also said that PostgresQL was about equivilant to DB2 as well,
>just as scalable and reliable. ( that means nothing to me, i've never
>used DB2)
>Paul Warren.
>Rasjid Wilcox wrote:
>> Quick views on PostgreSQL vs MySQL (or even InterBase?)
>> I looking at teaching myself Java with the aim of building some cross
>> platform database products.  My prefered platform is Linux, but I'd like to
>> make things that work okay in the Windows world too (for strategic reasons
>> only ;-).
>> MySQL has a reputation for being fast, but somewhat feature limited.  I
>> that its foreign key support is fairly recent and is still missing some
>> features as far as I can tell.
>> PostgreSQL has a reputation for being slower (probably not a big issue for
>> the type of apps I'm thinging of) but has a better feature set.
>> I didn't even know that there was an open source version of InterBase
until I
>> today.  It looks like a 'Mozilla' type of open source licence.
>> Anyone got views on just how committed Borland is to open source?  (They
>> done Kylix as well...)
>> I guess my main issues are features (foreign key support would be good, and
>> replication might be useful too) and portability.  In particular I was
>> for Windows 98 support (although I guess this will get less important over
>> time as more people move to Linux - oh, and Windows XP etc rather than
>> I guess, but why anyone would do that is beyond me ;-).
>> I initially thought it was more portable than PostgreSQL, as I know it is
>> Cygwin based and only claims to support NT etc.  However, I now notice that
>> MySQL on Windows is also Cygwin based.  Anyone with any experience in how
>> they compare running on Windows 98?  (Does PostgreSQL actually run on
>> 98?)
>> Based on my reading of the various websites, InterBase is looking like the
>> best option, with PostgreSQL second and MySQL third.  But I'd like to hear
>> from people that have actually used them (on any platform).
>> Cheers,
>> Rasjid.

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