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SLES 12 SP3 – SP5, SQL Server 2019

Microsoft SQL Server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

Technical Reference Documentation
Getting Started
James Yang, (SUSE)
SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP3-SP5
Microsoft SQL Server 2019
Date: 2021-03-16
This guide helps users install and configure a basic Microsoft SQL Server deployment on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Disclaimer: Documents published as part of the SUSE Best Practices and the Technical Reference Documentation series have been contributed voluntarily by SUSE employees and third parties. They are meant to serve as examples of how particular actions can be performed. They have been compiled with utmost attention to detail. However, this does not guarantee complete accuracy. SUSE cannot verify that actions described in these documents do what is claimed or whether actions described have unintended consequences. SUSE LLC, its affiliates, the authors, and the translators may not be held liable for possible errors or the consequences thereof.

1 Motivation

1.1 Background

Since Microsoft released SQL Server for Linux in 2017 [1], the feature gap [2] for SQL Server between Windows and Linux has been closing quickly with each update. Aside from some niche features [3], it’s now extremely viable to consider running SQL Server workloads on Linux, with the 2019 release [4].

1.2 Audience

This guide is intended for SQL Server DBAs, Developers, and DevOps/SRE engineers who are familiar with SQL Server on Windows and are looking to migrate to Linux. Operators who are adding a SQL Server requirement into a primarily Linux environment may prefer tools that run only on Linux servers for consistency and simplicity. Another reason may be lower negotiated pricing for Linux subscriptions to replace existing SQL Servers on Windows machines.

1.3 Scope

The guide covers a basic installation of SQL Server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. It is meant to be agnostic of underlying infrastructure excepting the nuance of registering your server discussed in Section 2.2, “Server registration”.

2 Installation

2.1 System requirements

  • 2 GHz CPU with 2 cores

  • AMD64/Intel 64 architecture

  • XFS or Ext4 file system

  • 6 GB disk space (not including data)

2.2 Server registration

To gain access to SUSE repositories, you first need to register your server with SUSEConnect. If you are launching an On-Demand (or Pay-As-You-Go) instance and not a BYOS (Bring Your Own Subscription) instance at a public cloud provider, skip this step.

sudo SUSEConnect --regcode ${REGISTRATION_CODE} --email ${EMAIL_ADDRESS}

Alternatively, if you have a

  • SUSE SMT (Subscription Management Tool)

  • or SUSE RMT (Repository Mirroring Tool)

  • or SUSE Manager

server you want to use, use the --url option instead.


More information about registering can be found in the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP5 Deployment Guide.

2.3 Repositories

To verify packages from Microsoft’s SQL Server repositories, first add their package signing key:

sudo rpm --import https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc

Then add the repository. The refresh option enables auto refresh of the repository and the check option validates the URL:

sudo zypper addrepo --refresh --check https://packages.microsoft.com/config/sles/12/mssql-server-2019.repo

2.4 Package

To install the SQL Server package non-interactively, run the following command:

sudo zypper install --no-confirm mssql-server

3 Configuration

3.1 Initial configuration

To configure and start SQL Server, mssql-conf can be used to accept the EULA, set the SQL Server Edition, and the SA password.


For convenience, you can add the configuration to your PATH to avoid typing the full path each time:

echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql/bin"' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Then, to configure and start msql-server (mssql-conf starts the msql-server immediately after configuring), run the following command:

sudo ACCEPT_EULA='Y' MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD=Suselove12 MSSQL_PID='Developer' mssql-conf --noprompt setup
  • ACCEPT_EULA accepts the SQL Server EULA

  • MSQL_SA_PASSWORD sets the SA user password. Ensure password requirements as outlined in Section 7.1, “SQL Server password requirements” are followed.

  • MSQL_PID sets the SQL Server edition, acceptable values are:

    • Evaluation

    • Developer

    • Express

    • Web

    • Standard

    • Enterprise

    • Product key formatted as #####-#####-#####-#####-#####

  • The noprompt option configures SQL Server non-interactively


It is recommended to change the SA password later with mssql-conf set-sa-password or disable the history prior to configuring SQL Server with set +o history, and re-enabling it afterward with set -o history (Bash).

SQL Server should be started at this point. You can verify this with netcat. SQL Server listens for connections on port 1433 by default:

sudo zypper install --no-confirm netcat
nc -vz localhost 1433

For further configuration, use mssql-conf to set additional parameters. Changes will take effect after a restart:

sudo mssql-conf set ${parameter}
sudo systemctl restart mssql-server

Available mssql-conf options are described in Configure SQL Server on Linux with the mssql-conf tool.

An alternative way to configure SQL Server is using the /var/opt/mssql/mssql.conf file. Settings are stored in the INI format.

A sample mssql.conf file is shown below. Edit the mssql.conf file and restart mssql-server to apply changes.

accepteula = Y

defaultdatadir = /var/opt/mssql/data/
defaultdumpdir = /var/opt/mssql/data/
defaultlogdir = /var/opt/mssql/data/

tcpport = 1433

enabled = true

4 Tools

Now that SQL Server is running, you can query it. The mssql-tools package includes sqlcmd, which is a shell to query SQL Server. Install it similarly to the mssql-server package.

Add the repository:

sudo zypper addrepo --refresh --check https://packages.microsoft.com/config/sles/12/prod.repo

Install the mssql-tools package:

sudo ACCEPT_EULA=Y zypper install --no-confirm mssql-tools

You can add the tools to your PATH like you did for mssql-conf:

echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql-tools/bin"' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Alternatively, you can symlink sqlcmd to /usr/local/bin/ since it is a binary:

sudo ln --symbolic /opt/mssql-tools/bin/sqlcmd /usr/local/bin/sqlcmd

Then start sqlcmd and input a query. The -S option designates the server. The -U option specifies the user. Available options can be found at sqlcmd Utility Syntax.

sudo sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA
SELECT name from sys.databases


GO is required here to execute the previous statements.

To exit sqlcmd, input quit:


The full sqlcmd documentation can be found at sqlcmd Utility.

5 Administration

5.1 systemd

The mssql-server package installs and configures SQL Server as a systemd service. systemd provides a framework for managing services, mounts, and system states. You can find more details about systemd unit files at systemd.unit — Unit configuration. To control the mssql-server service, use systemctl to retrieve the status, start, stop, restart, enable, and disable the service.

  • Display mssql-server status:

    sudo systemctl status mssql-server
    ● mssql-server.service - Microsoft SQL Server Database Engine
       Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/system/mssql-server.service; enabled; vendor preset: disabled)
       Active: active (running) since Thu 2021-02-25 01:54:18 UTC; 16h ago
         Docs: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/linux
     Main PID: 1341 (sqlservr)
        Tasks: 166
       CGroup: /system.slice/mssql-server.service
               ├─1341 /opt/mssql/bin/sqlservr
               └─1596 /opt/mssql/bin/sqlservr
  • Start mssql-server:

    sudo systemctl start mssql-server
  • Stop mssql-server:

    sudo systemctl stop mssql-server
  • Restart mssql-server:

    sudo systemctl restart mssql-server
  • Enable mssql-server to start on boot (mssql-server is enabled by default on installation):

    sudo systemctl enable mssql-server
    Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mssql-server.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/mssql-server.service.
  • Disable mssql-server to present starting on boot:

    sudo systemctl disable mssql-server
    Removed symlink /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/mssql-server.service.

5.2 Logs

For troubleshooting, the logs and crash dumps are written to /var/opt/mssql/log by default. Notable logs are the errorlogs (errorlog*), trace logs (*.trc), sqlagent logs (sqlagent*), and the extended events logs (*.xel). Core dumps are written with the .tar.gz2 extension and SQL dumps with the .mdmp extension. To view these resources, you need root or the mssql user access.

ls /var/opt/mssql/log
HkEngineEventFile_0_132574672188100000.xel	errorlog	errorlog.4	log_20.trc	sqlagent.2  		system_health_0_132574672201000000.xel
HkEngineEventFile_0_132574672310500000.xel	errorlog.1	health.log	log_21.trc	sqlagent.3		system_health_0_132574672319150000.xel
HkEngineEventFile_0_132575629019340000.xel	errorlog.2	log_18.trc	log_22.trc	sqlagent.out		system_health_0_132575629028000000.xel
HkEngineEventFile_0_132575645400520000.xel	errorlog.3	log_19.trc	sqlagent.1	sqlagentstartup.log	system_health_0_132575645408320000.xel

5.3 Loading sample data

Microsoft has provided some sample databases you can use to seed your mssql-server instance with some data.

Here is an example of loading our SQL server instance with the sample database WideWorldImporters.

Download the WideWorldImporters database:

curl --location https://github.com/Microsoft/sql-server-samples/releases/download/wide-world-importers-v1.0/WideWorldImporters-Full.bak \
    --output /tmp/WideWorldImporters-Full.bak

Restore full backup into mssql-server with sqlcmd while updating paths for the data, userdata, transaction log, and in-memory data:

sqlcmd -S localhost \
    -U sa \
    -P Suselove12 \
    -Q "RESTORE DATABASE WideWorldImporters \
        FROM DISK ='/tmp/WideWorldImporters-Full.bak' WITH \
        MOVE 'WWI_Primary' TO '/var/opt/mssql/data/WideWorldImporters.mdf', \
        MOVE 'WWI_UserData' TO '/var/opt/mssql/data/WideWorldImporters_UserData.ndf', \
        MOVE 'WWI_Log' TO '/var/opt/mssql/data/WideWorldImporters.ldf', \
        MOVE 'WWI_InMemory_Data_1' TO '/var/opt/mssql/data/WideWorldImporters_InMemory_Data_1'"

Processed 1464 pages for database 'WideWorldImporters', file 'WWI_Primary' on file 1.
Processed 53096 pages for database 'WideWorldImporters', file 'WWI_UserData' on file 1.
Processed 33 pages for database 'WideWorldImporters', file 'WWI_Log' on file 1.
Processed 3862 pages for database 'WideWorldImporters', file 'WWI_InMemory_Data_1' on file 1.
Converting database 'WideWorldImporters' from version 852 to the current version 904.
Database 'WideWorldImporters' running the upgrade step from version 852 to version 853.
Database 'WideWorldImporters' running the upgrade step from version 853 to version 854.
Database 'WideWorldImporters' running the upgrade step from version 902 to version 903.
Database 'WideWorldImporters' running the upgrade step from version 903 to version 904.
RESTORE DATABASE successfully processed 58455 pages in 37.388 seconds (12.214 MB/sec).

When loaded, project ten table names from the WideWorldImporters database to test it out:

sqlcmd -S localhost \
    -U sa \
    -P Suselove12 \
    -Q "SELECT TOP(10) table_name FROM \
        WideWorldImporters.information_schema.tables \
        WHERE table_type = 'BASE TABLE'"



(10 rows affected)

6 Summary

Businesses around the world look to SUSE to help them simplify and optimize their IT environments, modernize their applications and infrastructure, and accelerate innovation on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server support for Microsoft SQL Server, businesses can streamline their IT landscape and operations without changing their preferred enterprise database management system.

At this point, you should have a rudimentary understanding of how to install SQL Server on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, install SQL Server tools, query SQL Server and perform basic administration. To stay up to date on the latest SQL Server on Linux features bookmark Release notes for SQL Server 2019 on Linux.

7 Appendix

7.1 SQL Server password requirements

SQL Server passwords must be between 8 and 128 (inclusive), cannot contain Unicode control characters [Ll, Lu, Nd, Cc] and must contain at least three of the following:

  • Uppercase letters

  • Lowercase letters

  • Numbers

  • Symbols from the set (`~!@#$%^&*_-+=|\\{}[]:;\"'<>,.?)/

7.2 References

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