Install SQL Server machine learning R and Python on computers with no internet access

APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (Windows only) noAzure SQL Database noAzure SQL Data Warehouse noParallel Data Warehouse

By default, installers connect to Microsoft download sites to get required and updated components for machine learning on SQL Server. If firewall constraints prevent the installer from reaching these sites, you can use an internet-connected device to download files, transfer files to an offline server, and then run setup.

In-database analytics consist of database engine instance, plus additional components for R and Python integration, depending on the version of SQL Server.

  • SQL Server 2017 includes R and Python.
  • SQL Server 2016 is R-only.

On an isolated server, machine learning and R/Python language-specific features are added through CAB files.

SQL Server 2017 offline install

To install SQL Server 2017 Machine Learning Services (R and Python) on an isolated server, start by downloading the initial release of SQL Server and the corresponding CAB files for R and Python support. Even if you plan to immediately update your server to use the latest cumulative update, an initial release must be installed first.


SQL Server 2017 does not have service packs. It's the first release of SQL Server to use the initial release as the only base line, with servicing through cumulative updates only.

1 - Download 2017 CABs

On a computer having an internet connection, download the CAB files providing R and Python features for the initial release and the installation media for SQL Server 2017.

Release Download link
Microsoft R Open
Microsoft R Server
Microsoft Python Open
Microsoft Python Server

2 - Get SQL Server 2017 installation media

  1. On a computer having an internet connection, download the SQL Server 2017 setup program.

  2. Double-click setup and choose the Download Media installation type. With this option, setup creates a local .iso (or .cab) file containing the installation media.

    Choose the download media installation type

SQL Server 2016 offline install

SQL Server 2016 in-database analytics is R-only, with just two CAB files for product packages and Microsoft's distribution of open-source R, respectively. Start by installing any one of these releases: RTM, SP 1, SP 2. Once a base installation is in place, cumulative updates can be applied as a next step.

On a computer having an internet connection, download the CAB files used by setup to install in-database analytics on SQL Server 2016.

1 - Download 2016 CABs

Release Microsoft R Open Microsoft R Server
SQL Server 2016 RTM
SQL Server 2016 SP 1
SQL Server 2016 SP 2

2 - Get SQL Server 2016 installation media

You can install SQL Server 2016 RTM, SP 1, or SP 2 as your first installation on the target computer. Any of these versions can accept a cumulative update.

One way to get an .iso file containing the installation media is through Visual Studio Dev Essentials. Sign in, and then use the Downloads link to find the SQL Server 2016 release you want to install. The download is in the form of an .iso file, which you can copy to the target computer for an offline installation.

Transfer files

Copy the SQL Server installation media (.iso or .cab) and in-database analytics CAB files to the target computer. Place the CAB files and installation media file in the same folder on the target machine, such as Downloads or the setup user's %temp* folder.

The following screenshot shows SQL Server 2017 CAB and ISO files. SQL Server 2016 downloads look different: fewer files (no Python), and the installation media file name is for 2016.

List of files to be transferred

Run Setup

When you run SQL Server Setup on a computer disconnected from the internet, Setup adds an Offline installation page to the wizard so that you can specify the location of the CAB files you copied in the previous step.

  1. To begin installation, double-click the .iso or .cab file to access the installation media. You should see the setup.exe file.

  2. Right-click setup.exe and run as administrator.

  3. When the setup wizard displays the licensing page for open-source R or Python components, click Accept. Acceptance of licensing terms allows you to proceed to the next step.

  4. When you get to the Offline installation page, in Install Path, specify the folder containing the CAB files you copied earlier.

    Wizard page for cab folder selection

  5. Continue following the on-screen prompts to complete the installation.

Post-install configuration

After installation is finished, restart the service and then configure the server to enable script execution:

An initial offline installation of either SQL Server 2017 Machine Learning Services or SQL Server 2016 R Services requires the same configuration as an online installation:

Slipstream upgrades

Slipstream setup refers to the ability to apply a patch or update to a failed instance installation, to repair existing problems. The advantage of this method is that the SQL Server is updated at the same time that you perform setup, avoiding a separate restart later.

When a server does not have Internet access, service updates are applied by downloading an updated SQL Server installer and corresponding versions of language-specific CAB files.

  1. Start with a baseline instance. Slipstream upgrades are supported on these releases of SQL Server:

    • SQL Server 2017 initial release
    • SQL Server 2016 initial release
    • SQL Server 2016 SP 1
    • SQL Server 2016 SP 2
  2. Get an updated version of the SQL Server installer for a given cumulative update. Any update to the machine learning (R and Python) features is in tandem with a cumulative update of the underlying database engine instance.

  3. Get corresponding CAB files for R and Python. For download links, see CAB downloads for cumulative updates on SQL Server in-database analytics instances.

  4. Place all files in the same folder, run Setup. During installation, you are prompted to choose the folder location for the updated CAB files.

Next steps

To check the installation status of the instance and fix common issues, see Custom reports for SQL Server R Services.

For help with any unfamiliar messages or log entries, see Upgrade and installation FAQ - Machine Learning Services.