1. Edit file /etc/my.cnf.d/mariadb-server.cnf and add these 3 lines to the [mysqld] section:

innodb_large_prefix=true
innodb_file_format=barracuda
innodb_file_per_table=true

This will enable usage of Multi-byte (in particular – 4-byte) UTF-8 support in Drupal 7.

2. If you have problems with mysqli/mysql change the mysqli to mysql (or vice versa – whhatever works for you) in /sites/default/settings.php.

3. If you are getting errors when importing a MySQL DB export (done via phpMyAdmin) into MariaDB, redo the export and select “Quick – display only the minimal options”. This may produce a large file, so you may either gzip it manually; or – when doing the import to MariaDB – save the exported file to the server upload directory which is by default /var/lib/phpMyAdmin/upload/ and have phpMyAdmin get it from there when importing.
Or export the DB using mysqldump:

mysqldump -u [username] -p [database name] > [database name].sql

Then restore it with

mysql db_name < backup-file.sql

Again - you might want to gzip the .sql file...

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