Manage SQL Server on Linux with PowerShell Core

This article introduces SQL Server PowerShell and walks you through a couple of examples on how to use it with PowerShell Core (PS Core) on macOS & Linux. PowerShell Core is now an Open Source project on GitHub.

Cross-platform editor options

All of the steps PowerShell Core below will work in a regular terminal, or you can run them from a terminal within VS Code or Azure Data Studio. Both VS Code and Azure Data Studio are available on macOS and Linux. For more information on Azure Data Studio, see this quickstart. You may also want to consider using the PowerShell extension for it.

Installing PowerShell Core

For more information on installing PowerShell Core on various supported and experimental platforms, see the following articles:

Install the SqlServer module

The SqlServer module is maintained in the PowerShell Gallery. When working with SQL Server, you should always use the most recent version of the SqlServer PowerShell module.

To install the SqlServer module, open a PowerShell Core session and run the following code:

Install-Module -Name SqlServer

For more information on how to install the SqlServer module from the PowerShell Gallery, see this page.

Using the SqlServer module

Let's start by launching PowerShell Core. If you are on macOS or Linux, Open a terminal session on your computer, and type pwsh to launch a new PowerShell Core session. On Windows, use Win+R, and type pwsh to launch a new PowerShell Core session.

pwsh

SQL Server provides a PowerShell module named SqlServer. You can use the SqlServer module to import the SQL Server components (SQL Server provider and cmdlets) into a PowerShell environment or script.

Copy and paste the following command at the PowerShell prompt to import the SqlServer module into your current PowerShell session:

Import-Module SqlServer

Type the following command at the PowerShell prompt to verify that the SqlServer module was imported correctly:

Get-Module -Name SqlServer

PowerShell should display information similar to the following output:

ModuleType Version    Name          ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----          ----------------
Script     21.1.18102 SqlServer     {Add-SqlAvailabilityDatabase, Add-SqlAvailabilityGroupList...

Connect to SQL Server and get server information

The following steps use PowerShell Core to connect to your SQL Server instance on Linux and display a couple of server properties.

Copy and paste the following commands at the PowerShell prompt. When you run these commands, PowerShell will:

  • Display a dialog that prompts you for the hostname or IP address of your instance
  • Display the PowerShell credential request dialog, which prompts you for the credentials. You can use your SQL username and SQL password to connect to your SQL Server instance on Linux
  • Use the Get-SqlInstance cmdlet to connect to the Server and display a few properties

Optionally, you can just replace the $serverInstance variable with the IP address or the hostname of your SQL Server instance.

# Prompt for instance & credentials to login into SQL Server
$serverInstance = Read-Host "Enter the name of your instance"
$credential = Get-Credential

# Connect to the Server and return a few properties
Get-SqlInstance -ServerInstance $serverInstance -Credential $credential
# done

PowerShell should display information similar to the following output:

Instance Name                   Version    ProductLevel UpdateLevel  HostPlatform HostDistribution
-------------                   -------    ------------ -----------  ------------ ----------------
your_server_instance            14.0.3048  RTM          CU13         Linux        Ubuntu

Note

If nothing is displayed for these values, the connection to the target SQL Server instance most likely failed. Make sure that you can use the same connection information to connect from SQL Server Management Studio. Then review the connection troubleshooting recommendations.

Using the SQL Server PowerShell Provider

Another option for connecting to your SQL Server instance is to use the SQL Server PowerShell Provider. Using the provider allows you to navigate SQL Server instance similar to as if you were navigating the tree structure in Object Explorer, but at the cmdline. By default this provider is presented as a PSDrive named SQLSERVER:\ which you can use to connect & navigate SQL Server instances that your domain account has access to. See Configuration steps for information on how to setup Active Directory authentication for SQL Server on Linux.

You can also use SQL authentication with the SQL Server PowerShell Provider. To do this, use the New-PSDrive cmdlet to create a new PSDrive and supply the proper credentials to connect.

In this example below, you will see an example of how to create a new PSDrive using SQL authentication.

# NOTE: We are reusing the values saved in the $credential variable from the above example.

New-PSDrive -Name SQLonDocker -PSProvider SqlServer -Root 'SQLSERVER:\SQL\localhost,10002\Default\' -Credential $credential

You can confirm that the drive was created by running the Get-PSDrive cmdlet.

Get-PSDrive

Once you have created your new PSDrive, you can start navigating it.

dir SQLonDocker:\Databases

Here is what the output might look like. You might notice this output is similar to what SSMS will display at the Databases node. It displays the user databases, but not the system databases.

Name                 Status           Size     Space  Recovery Compat. Owner
                                            Available  Model     Level
----                 ------           ---- ---------- -------- ------- -----
AdventureWorks2016   Normal      209.63 MB    1.31 MB Simple       130 sa
AdventureWorksDW2012 Normal      167.00 MB   32.47 MB Simple       110 sa
AdventureWorksDW2014 Normal      188.00 MB   78.10 MB Simple       120 sa
AdventureWorksDW2016 Normal      172.00 MB   74.76 MB Simple       130 sa
AdventureWorksDW2017 Normal      208.00 MB   40.57 MB Simple       140 sa

If you need to see all databases on your instance, one option is to use the Get-SqlDatabase cmdlet.

Get Databases

An important cmdlet to know is the Get-SqlDatabase. For many operations that involve a database, or objects within a database, the Get-SqlDatabase cmdlet can be used. If you supply values for both the -ServerInstance and -Database parameters, only that one database object will be retrieved. However, if you specify only the -ServerInstance parameter, a full list of all databases on that instance will be returned.

# NOTE: We are reusing the values saved in the $credential variable from the above example.

# Connect to the Instance and retrieve all databases
Get-SqlDatabase -ServerInstance ServerB -Credential $credential

Here is a sample of what might be returned by the Get-SqlDatabase command above:

Name                 Status           Size     Space  Recovery Compat. Owner
                                            Available  Model     Level
----                 ------           ---- ---------- -------- ------- -----
AdventureWorks2016   Normal      209.63 MB    1.31 MB Simple       130 sa
AdventureWorksDW2012 Normal      167.00 MB   32.47 MB Simple       110 sa
AdventureWorksDW2014 Normal      188.00 MB   78.10 MB Simple       120 sa
AdventureWorksDW2016 Normal      172.00 MB   74.88 MB Simple       130 sa
AdventureWorksDW2017 Normal      208.00 MB   40.63 MB Simple       140 sa
master               Normal        6.00 MB  600.00 KB Simple       140 sa
model                Normal       16.00 MB    5.70 MB Full         140 sa
msdb                 Normal       15.50 MB    1.14 MB Simple       140 sa
tempdb               Normal       16.00 MB    5.49 MB Simple       140 sa

Examine SQL Server error logs

The following steps use PowerShell Core to examine error logs connect on your SQL Server instance on Linux.

Copy and paste the following commands at the PowerShell prompt. They might take a few minutes to run. These commands do the following steps:

  • Display a dialog that prompts you for the hostname or IP address of your instance
  • Display the PowerShell credential request dialog that prompts you for the credentials. You can use your SQL username and SQL password to connect to your SQL Server instance on Linux
  • Use the Get-SqlErrorLog cmdlet to connect to the SQL Server instance on Linux and retrieve error logs since Yesterday

Optionally, you can replace the $serverInstance variable with the IP address or the hostname of your SQL Server instance.

# Prompt for instance & credentials to login into SQL Server
$serverInstance = Read-Host "Enter the name of your instance"
$credential = Get-Credential

# Retrieve error logs since yesterday
Get-SqlErrorLog -ServerInstance $serverInstance -Credential $credential -Since Yesterday
# done

Explore cmdlets currently available in PS Core

While the SqlServer module currently has 109 cmdlets available in Windows PowerShell, only 62 of the 109 are available in PSCore. A full list of 59 cmdlets currently available is included below. For in-depth documentation of all cmdlets in the SqlServer module, see the SqlServer cmdlet reference.

The following command will show you all of the cmdlets available on the version of PowerShell you are using.

Get-Command -Module SqlServer -CommandType Cmdlet |
SORT -Property Noun |
SELECT Name
  • ConvertFrom-EncodedSqlName
  • ConvertTo-EncodedSqlName
  • Get-SqlAgent
  • Get-SqlAgentJob
  • Get-SqlAgentJobHistory
  • Get-SqlAgentJobSchedule
  • Get-SqlAgentJobStep
  • Get-SqlAgentSchedule
  • Invoke-SqlAssessment
  • Get-SqlAssessmentItem
  • Remove-SqlAvailabilityDatabase
  • Resume-SqlAvailabilityDatabase
  • Add-SqlAvailabilityDatabase
  • Suspend-SqlAvailabilityDatabase
  • New-SqlAvailabilityGroup
  • Set-SqlAvailabilityGroup
  • Remove-SqlAvailabilityGroup
  • Switch-SqlAvailabilityGroup
  • Join-SqlAvailabilityGroup
  • Revoke-SqlAvailabilityGroupCreateAnyDatabase
  • Grant-SqlAvailabilityGroupCreateAnyDatabase
  • New-SqlAvailabilityGroupListener
  • Set-SqlAvailabilityGroupListener
  • Add-SqlAvailabilityGroupListenerStaticIp
  • Set-SqlAvailabilityReplica
  • Remove-SqlAvailabilityReplica
  • New-SqlAvailabilityReplica
  • Set-SqlAvailabilityReplicaRoleToSecondary
  • New-SqlBackupEncryptionOption
  • Get-SqlBackupHistory
  • Invoke-Sqlcmd
  • New-SqlCngColumnMasterKeySettings
  • Remove-SqlColumnEncryptionKey
  • Get-SqlColumnEncryptionKey
  • Remove-SqlColumnEncryptionKeyValue
  • Add-SqlColumnEncryptionKeyValue
  • Get-SqlColumnMasterKey
  • Remove-SqlColumnMasterKey
  • New-SqlColumnMasterKey
  • Get-SqlCredential
  • Set-SqlCredential
  • New-SqlCredential
  • Remove-SqlCredential
  • New-SqlCspColumnMasterKeySettings
  • Get-SqlDatabase
  • Restore-SqlDatabase
  • Backup-SqlDatabase
  • Set-SqlErrorLog
  • Get-SqlErrorLog
  • New-SqlHADREndpoint
  • Set-SqlHADREndpoint
  • Get-SqlInstance
  • Add-SqlLogin
  • Remove-SqlLogin
  • Get-SqlLogin
  • Set-SqlSmartAdmin
  • Get-SqlSmartAdmin
  • Read-SqlTableData
  • Write-SqlTableData
  • Read-SqlViewData
  • Read-SqlXEvent
  • Convert-UrnToPath

See also