Quickstart: Install SQL Server and create a database on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO: yesSQL Server (Linux only)noAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data WarehousenoParallel Data Warehouse

In this quickstart, you first install SQL Server 2017 on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) v12 SP2. Then connect with sqlcmd to create your first database and run queries.


This tutorial requires user input and an internet connection. If you are interested in the unattended or offline installation procedures, see Installation guidance for SQL Server on Linux.


You must have a SLES v12 SP2 machine with at least 2 GB of memory. The file system must be XFS or EXT4. Other file systems, such as BTRFS, are unsupported.

To install SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on your own machine, go to https://www.suse.com/products/server. You can also create SLES virtual machines in Azure. See Create and Manage Linux VMs with the Azure CLI, and use --image SLES in the call to az vm create.


At this time, the Windows Subsystem for Linux for Windows 10 is not supported as an installation target.

For other system requirements, see System requirements for SQL Server on Linux.

Install SQL Server

To configure SQL Server on SLES, run the following commands in a terminal to install the mssql-server package:


If you have previously installed a CTP or RC release of SQL Server 2017, you must first remove the old repository before registering one of the GA repositories. For more information, see Change repositories from the preview repository to the GA repository.

  1. Download the Microsoft SQL Server SLES repository configuration file:

    sudo zypper addrepo -fc https://packages.microsoft.com/config/sles/12/mssql-server-2017.repo


    This is the Cumulative Update (CU) repository. For more information about your repository options and their differences, see Configure repositories for SQL Server on Linux.

  2. Refresh your repositories.

    sudo zypper --gpg-auto-import-keys refresh 
  3. Run the following commands to install SQL Server:

    sudo zypper install -y mssql-server
  4. After the package installation finishes, run mssql-conf setup and follow the prompts to set the SA password and choose your edition.

    sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf setup


    If you are trying SQL Server 2017 in this tutorial, the following editions are freely licensed: Evaluation, Developer, and Express.


    Make sure to specify a strong password for the SA account (Minimum length 8 characters, including uppercase and lowercase letters, base 10 digits and/or non-alphanumeric symbols).

  5. Once the configuration is done, verify that the service is running:

    systemctl status mssql-server
  6. If you plan to connect remotely, you might also need to open the SQL Server TCP port (default 1433) on your firewall. If you are using the SuSE firewall, you need to edit the /etc/sysconfig/SuSEfirewall2 configuration file. Modify the FW_SERVICES_EXT_TCP entry to include the SQL Server port number.


At this point, SQL Server is running on your SLES machine and is ready to use!

Install the SQL Server command-line tools

To create a database, you need to connect with a tool that can run Transact-SQL statements on the SQL Server. The following steps install the SQL Server command-line tools: sqlcmd and bcp.

  1. Add the Microsoft SQL Server repository to Zypper.

    sudo zypper addrepo -fc https://packages.microsoft.com/config/sles/12/prod.repo 
    sudo zypper --gpg-auto-import-keys refresh
  2. Install mssql-tools with the unixODBC developer package.

    sudo zypper install -y mssql-tools unixODBC-devel
  3. For convenience, add /opt/mssql-tools/bin/ to your PATH environment variable. This enables you to run the tools without specifying the full path. Run the following commands to modify the PATH for both login sessions and interactive/non-login sessions:

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

Connect locally

The following steps use sqlcmd to locally connect to your new SQL Server instance.

  1. Run sqlcmd with parameters for your SQL Server name (-S), the user name (-U), and the password (-P). In this tutorial, you are connecting locally, so the server name is localhost. The user name is SA and the password is the one you provided for the SA account during setup.

    sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -P '<YourPassword>'


    You can omit the password on the command line to be prompted to enter it.


    If you later decide to connect remotely, specify the machine name or IP address for the -S parameter, and make sure port 1433 is open on your firewall.

  2. If successful, you should get to a sqlcmd command prompt: 1>.

  3. If you get a connection failure, first attempt to diagnose the problem from the error message. Then review the connection troubleshooting recommendations.

Create and query data

The following sections walk you through using sqlcmd to create a new database, add data, and run a simple query.

Create a new database

The following steps create a new database named TestDB.

  1. From the sqlcmd command prompt, paste the following Transact-SQL command to create a test database:

  2. On the next line, write a query to return the name of all of the databases on your server:

    SELECT Name from sys.Databases
  3. The previous two commands were not executed immediately. You must type GO on a new line to execute the previous commands:



To learn more about writing Transact-SQL statements and queries, see Tutorial: Writing Transact-SQL Statements.

Insert data

Next create a new table, Inventory, and insert two new rows.

  1. From the sqlcmd command prompt, switch context to the new TestDB database:

    USE TestDB
  2. Create new table named Inventory:

    CREATE TABLE Inventory (id INT, name NVARCHAR(50), quantity INT)
  3. Insert data into the new table:

    INSERT INTO Inventory VALUES (1, 'banana', 150); INSERT INTO Inventory VALUES (2, 'orange', 154);
  4. Type GO to execute the previous commands:


Select data

Now, run a query to return data from the Inventory table.

  1. From the sqlcmd command prompt, enter a query that returns rows from the Inventory table where the quantity is greater than 152:

    SELECT * FROM Inventory WHERE quantity > 152;
  2. Execute the command:


Exit the sqlcmd command prompt

To end your sqlcmd session, type QUIT:


Performance best practices

After installing SQL Server on Linux, review the best practices for configuring Linux and SQL Server to improve performance for production scenarios. For more information, see Performance best practices and configuration guidelines for SQL Server on Linux.

Cross-platform data tools

In addition to sqlcmd, you can use the following cross-platform tools to manage SQL Server:

SQL Server Operations Studio A cross-platform GUI database management utility.
mssql-cli A cross-platform command-line interface for running Transact-SQL commands.
Visual Studio Code A cross-platform GUI code editor that run Transact-SQL statements with the mssql extension.

Connecting from Windows

SQL Server tools on Windows connect to SQL Server instances on Linux in the same way they would connect to any remote SQL Server instance.

If you have a Windows machine that can connect to your Linux machine, try the same steps in this topic from a Windows command-prompt running sqlcmd. Just verify that you use the target Linux machine name or IP address rather than localhost, and make sure that TCP port 1433 is open. If you have any problems connecting from Windows, see connection troubleshooting recommendations.

For other tools that run on Windows but connect to SQL Server on Linux, see:

Other deployment scenarios

For other installation scenarios, see the following resources:

Upgrade Learn how to upgrade an existing installation of SQL Server on Linux
Uninstall Uninstall SQL Server on Linux
Unattended install Learn how to script the installation without prompts
Offline install Learn how to manually download the packages for offline installation


For answers to frequently asked questions, see the SQL Server on Linux FAQ.

Next steps