How to Install MariaDB on XAMPP

If you are hosting WP locally using XAMPP for Windows (I am running Win 8.1 64-bit version on an HP dev desktop machine that I refurbished), you will note that it comes with MySQL — despite the 32-bit PHP 7.2 package claiming to be a MariaD install..  

To change to MariaDB, do not use use Maria’s MSI install package. This will not work.

Instead, you must use this tricky sequence of steps, almost exactly as outlined on Stackoverflow (+ my handwritten notes from for additions or clarifications that I made when I did it).

The reason I am so interested in MariaDB is to test out its built-in System-versioned tables, a new feature I intend to use in the experimental Woo plug that I am currently designing to support native temporal pricing analytics.

Lack of 64-bit version sucks, but if this is just a sandbox dev env, and I like this setup better than MAMP’s — which I found impossible to quickly customize with respect to the underlying DB.