SQL Server on Linux – It’s Really Happening!

When I first began my career, I became a Linux junkie. Slackware was my distro of choice. As the years went on, I shifted my career into SQL Server, leaving my needs for Linux behind.

Last night, I installed Ubuntu on a VMWare VM, followed by SQL Server vNext.

Microsoft’s Steve Balmer infamously labelled Linux a cancer. Today’s Microsoft embraces it. As a technologist, I am thrilled to pieces.

Fanboy gushing aside, I spent more time with things today and thought I’d just write a quick blog about things I learned/gotchas.  What follows is some randomness that I encountered today.

My VM lab on my laptop is setup with static IP addresses.  This meant I had to teach myself how to make network changes in Ubuntu, vs what I remembered from Slackware.  Just amounted to making appropriate changes in /etc/network/interfaces, /etc/hosts, and /etc/hostname.  Once that was squared away, I was able to stop using the direct interface and fire up PuTTY.

Oh yeah, I had to install sshd too.  Man, Ubuntu makes this stuff easy compared to what I remember!  ‘sudo apt get sshd’ and I was done!  Man you kids have it easy these days! 😉

Silly me struggled with getting SSMS 2016 to connect happily to vNext CTP1… until I discovered that I needed to grab a different SSMS RC1 release! Doh! Installed that side-by-side without issue and boom, I was in!

Next interesting challenge was enabling VMWare Workstation shared folders, so I could easily pull over my demo database backup files.  To accomplish this, I had to mount /dev/cdrom, copy over the VMware Tools GZ file, extract it, then I could install everything.  Once that was done, /mnt/hgfs/ had my VM shared folder, so I was able to easily pull over and restore my EveryByteCounts & AutoDealershipDemo databases!

I cracked open the solution files from my three presentations and ran through all of my demo scripts.  All worked as expected, even the DBCC PAGE & other internals related scripts (as they should).  I may do my next SQL Server presentation using my Linux VM, just because I can… and not tell my audience until the end, and see if that blows their minds!  🙂

At some point, I am going to throw all of this out & create a fresh Ubuntu VM without SQL Server installed, so I can use that as a linked clone.  Hopefully that’ll make spinning up and installing new CTPs easier to manage.  I am also curious to experiment with SQL Server installation options and explore the configuration files.  I only followed the basic instructions which installed everything.

I’m pleasantly surprised how fun I am having, tinkering with SQL Server on Linux.  This is genuinely exciting to me, since it takes me back to my Linux roots.  Look forward to what comes next!