Backup and restore SQL Server databases on Linux

THIS TOPIC APPLIES TO: noSQL Server on WindowsyesSQL Server on LinuxnoAzure SQL DatabasenoAzure SQL Data WarehousenoParallel Data Warehouse

You can take backups of databases from SQL Server 2017 on Linux with the same tools as other platforms. On a Linux server, you can use sqlcmd to connect to the SQL Server and take backups. From Windows, you can connect to SQL Server on Linux and take backups with the user interface. The backup functionality is the same across platforms. For example, you can backup databases locally, to remote drives, or to Microsoft Azure Blob storage service.

Backup with sqlcmd

In the following example sqlcmd connects to the local SQL Server instance and takes a full backup of a user database called demodb.

sqlcmd -H localhost -U SA -Q "BACKUP DATABASE [demodb] TO DISK = N'var/opt/mssql/data/demodb.bak' WITH NOFORMAT, NOINIT, NAME = 'demodb-full', SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10"

When you run the command, SQL Server will prompt for a password. After you enter the password, the shell will return the results of the backup progress. For example:

10 percent processed.
21 percent processed.
32 percent processed.
40 percent processed.
51 percent processed.
61 percent processed.
72 percent processed.
80 percent processed.
91 percent processed.
Processed 296 pages for database 'demodb', file 'demodb' on file 1.
100 percent processed.
Processed 2 pages for database 'demodb', file 'demodb_log' on file 1.
BACKUP DATABASE successfully processed 298 pages in 0.064 seconds (36.376 MB/sec).

Backup log with sqlcmd

In the following example, sqlcmd connects to the local SQL Server instance and takes a tail-log backup. After the tail-log backup completes, the database will be in a restoring state.

sqlcmd -H localhost -U SA -Q "BACKUP LOG [demodb] TO  DISK = N'var/opt/mssql/data/demodb_LogBackup_2016-11-14_18-09-53.bak' WITH NOFORMAT, NOINIT,  NAME = N'demodb_LogBackup_2016-11-14_18-09-53', NOSKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD,  NORECOVERY ,  STATS = 5"

Restore with sqlcmd

In the following example sqlcmd connects to the local instance of SQL Server and restores a database.

sqlcmd -H localhost -U SA -Q "RESTORE DATABASE [demodb] FROM  DISK = N'var/opt/mssql/data/demodb.bak' WITH  FILE = 1,  NOUNLOAD,  REPLACE,  STATS = 5"

Backup and Restore with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

You can use SSMS from a Windows computer to connect to a Linux database and take a backup through the user-interface.


Use the latest version of SSMS to connect to SQL Server. To download and install the latest version, see Download SSMS.

The following steps walk through taking a backup with SSMS.

  1. Start SSMS and connect to your server in SQL Server 2017 on Linux.

  2. In Object Explorer, right-click on your database, Click Tasks, and then click Back Up....

  3. In the Backup Up Database dialog, verify the parameters and options, and click OK.

SQL Server completes the database backup.

For more information, see Use SSMS to Manage SQL Server on Linux.

Restore with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

The following steps walk you through restoring a database with SSMS.

  1. In SSMS right-click Databases and click Restore Databases....

  2. Under Source click Device: and then click the ellipses (...).

  3. Locate your database backup file and click OK.

  4. Under Restore plan, verify the backup file and settings. Click OK.

  5. SQL Server restores the database.

See also