There's no way around it: Akonadi needs MySQLd.

The goal is to somehow allow Akonadi to do what it needs to do without 
requiring the user to mess around with MySQL configuration.  The Akonadi 
service can either start & manage its own mysqld (one instance per user), or 
it can share one mysqld (one instance per system).

Currently mysqld is part of the mysql-server-* packages, which always installs 
init scripts for mysql, requires the user to set a root password, etc.

So the options would seem to be:
        1. Split out mysqld and minimal support files (without init scripts and 
                and let Akonadi start it.
        2. Perhaps use dbconfig-common to handle database instances, somehow do 
                initial setup (root password and such), and make Akonadi use 
that instance
                instead of starting its own.
        3. Something else?

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