How to run SQL Server on Linux


Well I have finally cracked it, after years of trying (and a little help from the R2 release) to get SQL Server to install and run happily on the Linux Platform. I could hardly believe it when it all came together, but I’m very pleased that it has. What is even more exciting is that the performance of the SQL Engine is going through the roof.

I am not entirely sure why this is, but I am assuming it is partly related to the capabilities of the EXT4 filesystem and the latest Linux Kernel improvements.

So here’s how I did it :-

  1. Install WINE
  2. Install the .NET 3.5 framework into WINE. This is very important, otherwise the SQL Server 2008R2 installer will fail.
  3. Change a couple of WINE settings to allow for 64bit M.U.G extensions.
  4. Install the Application Release 1 for Linux Free Object Orientated Libraries by sudo apt-get install aP-R1l\ f-0Ol
  5. Ensure that you run setup.exe from SQL Server R2 Enterprise Edition – please note that SQL Server 2008 Release 1.5 will not work, and I additionally had problems with the Standard Edition of R2 (but not entirely sure if there is a restriction here with SQL Standard Edition Licensing onΒ  Linux).

SQL running happily in WINE on Linux Mint 10 (x64)

I think that the EXT4 filesystem is key to the success of your installation, since when I attempted this deployment using the EXT2 and EXT3 filesystems, SQL Server appeared to have issues installing.

I hope to provide more instructions and performance feedback to you all over the coming months. Enjoy!

11 thoughts on “How to run SQL Server on Linux

  1. Ron Dameron

    I know it’s April 1st but this post is so good I’m tempted to try this on my Linux box at home. πŸ˜‰

    1. retracement Post author

      So when you are installing on a Linux platform, ensure that you avoid CentOS, Redhat or Fedora since for some reason, the SQL Installer is complaining about the RPM manager πŸ™‚

      1. Ron Dameron

        I knew this had to be a joke but it was so well written I was tempted to try it. I didn’t catch the obvious indicator in Step 4 before my first reply. To use a baseball term, it was a wicked curve ball.

      2. retracement Post author

        Hehe I like that too. The other give aways were the “64bit M.U.G extensions”. -I don’t know if that translates the same in America, but a mug in the U.K. is a fool.
        Other clues were SQL 2008 Release 1.5 and the mention of “restriction here with SQL Standard Edition Licensing on Linux” because of course Microsoft probably wouldn’t have any special licensing restriction on Linux.

  2. Scott McCormick

    I’m a little worried I’m getting caught in an April Fool’s joke here, but this does look pretty cool.

    Do you have any better documentation on how this was done?


      1. Scott McCormick

        Wow, you’d think I would know better.

        Oh well, some things are so great that I will always wish they were true, no matter what the day.

      2. retracement Post author

        Hehe. You know, this is actually my dream for SQL Server to make it OS agnostic and the actual idea for this post was born around 3 years ago when I started to try to get SQL 2005 client tools such as SSMS installed on my Linux desktop. I *have* actually got a version of the .NET framework running within WINE (1.1 I believe) after following very specific guidelines from somewhere, but I think there are probably too many hurdles to get the SQL Client and/ or SQL Engine running right now even if .NET 3.5 was possible.

        Trust me you haven’t been the only one fooled and I really appreciate you dropping by!

  3. Merrill Aldrich

    WOOOHOOO! I am happy to report that, while this original post was just an April Fools joke, I tried the instructions anyway – but on Mac OS X, not linux, and using and alpha of Mono – and it worked! I am now running SQL Server on my MacBook Pro! Well done!


    1. retracement Post author

      That is just awesome Merrill, glad you managed it. I’ve had another breakthrough with SQL Server (Compact this time) on my Blackberry. It only works on the Storm though, the Bold installation crashes for some reason.

  4. Manu

    Hey Too fool for the month and it’s ending now.

    SQL Server is a product of Microsoft and why they will allow other OS? that was my assumption. Now everyone want to run SQL on other platforms but since it’s been long time, and no one discovered that since SQL 6 version.

    Sorry but it’s too late.


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