Technology – Can SQL Server Run On Linux?

Microsoft SQL Server provides organizations with industry-leading data capabilities, enhanced security, performance, and total cost of ownership. Unfortunately, up until 2017, SQL Server could only run on a windows ecosystem.

This was a huge pain point for many SQL server customers who preferred the Linux system over Windows for performance, security, and manageability. They had to run a separate MS Windows system just to support the SQL server! Not running MSQL Server on a Linux ecosystem became a friction point for many of these businesses.

Looking forward, can SQL server run on Linux? Yes. It’s now possible to run MSSQL Server on a Linux system. In 2017, Microsoft released SQL Server 2017, which could now run on Windows, Linux, and Docker containers. This was an exciting move by Microsoft, which seemed more focused on bringing its tools to wherever its users were.

Running SQL Server On Your Favorite Platform

MSSQL Server users can now install the relational database engine on an enterprise Linux ecosystem. Some of the Linux distributions which support SQL Server include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise 7.3+,
  • SUSE Enterprise V12 SP2+,
  • Ubuntu 16.04+
  • Docker (1.8+)

This cross-platform integration was made possible by a cool technology known as the SQL Platform Abstraction Layer (SQLPAL). Ideally, the Platform Abstraction Layer (PAL) created a more secure virtual OS layer that allowed the SQL Server to run efficiently on a Linux system without compromising its functionality.

This seamless cross-platform integration meant that Microsoft developers could maintain all vital SQL Server functions without the need to port the tens of millions of lines of MSSQL Server’s code to Linux.

Why Should I Run SQL Server on Linux?

Wondering if you should run SQL Server on Linux? Here are a few benefits:

  • Reduced Operating Cost due to a seamless cross-platform licensing model
  • Enterprise-ready features
  • Enhanced SQL server performance on Linux
  • Faster installation and maintenance


It’s now possible and super-easy to run Microsoft SQL Server on a Linux system. Today, millions of organizations run SQL Server on Linux OS, which has cut the cost and time to run and maintain their relational database engine. In the end, the cross-platform MSSQL Server integration on a Linux ecosystem removes the barrier to entry for organizations that prefer Linux to Windows.