How to Get Microsoft Azure SQL Server on Linux (Ubuntu) with Free License

This is a step-by-step procedure to help a Microsoft Azure user to create Azure Virtual Linux Machine with SQL Server onboard with no charge for license.

Prerequisites

  • Microsoft Azure account;
  • SSH terminal.

How to Deploy Azure Linux Virtual Machine with SQL Server

The following is a step-by-step procedure.

Step 0. Virtual Machine Selection

Get into your Microsoft Azure account.

NEW Dashboard Microsoft Azure

Click on “New” as shown above, then see a menu as shown below.

New SQL Server Linux Microsoft Azure

As shown above click on “Compute” section and look for “SQL Server Linux”.

You should see a list of available SQL servers, as shown below (it may be a long list, so be patient).

Find SQL Ubuntu Microsoft Azure

Click on “Free SQL Server License: SQL Server 2017 Developer on Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS“.

You should see something like the following:

CREATE Free SQL Server 2017 Developer on Ubuntu Server 16.04 LTS Microsoft Azure

Change “Resource Manager” to “Classic” (see the red arrow that points out to the place on the picture above), this is just to make your life a little bit easier.

To finish the preparations click on the “Create” button meaning “Create Azure SQL Server 2017 Developer on Ubuntu” and start the following procedure of creation.

Step 1. Starting the Creation Procedure with Basics

CREATE Basics SQL Ubuntu Microsoft Azure

Fill in the fields Name, User name, Password, etc.

Step 2. Choosing the Size of Your Linux Virtual Machine

SIZE SQL server Ubuntu Microsoft Azure

Choose the size of your SQL server on Ubuntu.

Pricing here is not for the case, it is for other cases.

Click on “Select” button.

Step 3. Configure Optional Features

See the parameters there and change them, if you want, then click on “OK” button.

Step 4. See the Summary and check the options, names, etc

Summary SQL server Ubuntu Microsoft Azure

Click on “OK” button.

Note: refreshing the screen sometimes helps when you wait too long for finishing the procedure

Now you should have Microsoft Azure SQL server on Ubuntu at your disposal (see the Overview of the SQL server on Ubuntu below).

OVERVIEW SQLserverUbuntu Microsoft Azure

How to Connect to Azure SQL Server on Linux (Ubuntu)

Connect SSH Terminal to Ubuntu Server (Ubuntu Virtual Machine)

Take parameters for the SSH terminal connection to Linux (Ubuntu) server from the parameters list of your Ubuntu virtual machine (Ubuntu server) created according to the creation procedure described above.

For example, take “DNS name” from your Azure “SQL Server on Ubuntu” screen shown at the very last picture of the creation procedure and copy it to the “Host” field in the Xshell New Session Properties window, if you use Xshell terminal.

 Configure SQL Server on Ubuntu using the SSH Terminal

Type the following Microsoft instructions into your SSH terminal window:

curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | sudo apt-key add -

sudo add-apt-repository "$(curl https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/16.04/mssql-server-2017.list)"

sudo apt-get update

After the last command (“update”) there should be a long list like the following:

List after update AZURE SQL on Ubuntu

Continue typing:

sudo apt-get install -y mssql-server

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

systemctl status mssql-server

curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | sudo apt-key add -

sudo add-apt-repository "$(curl https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/16.04/prod.list)"

sudo apt-get update

After entering the last command (“update”) there should be a long list similar to one from the above black-and-white output window.

Continue typing:

sudo apt-get install -y mssql-tools unixodbc-dev

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

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

source ~/.bashrc

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

After entering the last (“setup”) command from the list you will be asked for two things.

The first thing: choose an edition of SQL server.

EDITION SQL server on Ubuntu AZURE - Xshell 5

Choose your option (Developer for this case).

The second thing: enter the SQL Server system administrator password.

password sql server linux ubuntu AZURE - Xshell

Type in the password (you will use it later).

Note: although it doesn’t say it explicitly, the password here must contain both uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and other (non-alphanumeric) symbols, 8 characters is the minimal length for the password. 

Now the connection to the SQL server on Ubuntu should work.

Check its version just in case to make sure that the server is really up and running.

SELECT @@VERSION

As a result, you should see a text like this:

EDITION SHOWN SQL server Linux Ubuntu AZURE - Xshell 5

From now on the SQL server on Linux (Ubuntu) should be ready to use. 

Test the SQL Server on Linux (Ubuntu)

Use sqlcmd command-line tool to use Microsoft Azure SQL Server on Linux (Ubuntu).

Note: sqlcmd tool has been installed during configuring the SQL Server. 

sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -P '<SQL Server system administrator password>'

Note: <SQL Server system administrator password> in the line above is the same “SQL Server system administrator password” that you defined above when answering about “the second thing”. 

If successful, you should get to a sqlcmd command prompt from the Microsoft Azure SQL Server on Ubuntu:

1>

Note: the prompt changes (incrementing) each time after entering a command, and the counting (incrementing) stops after entering “GO” (after that the counting starts from “1>” again). 

Microsoft site contains a set of instructions any user can use for testing purposes, let’s use it:

CREATE DATABASE TestDB

SELECT Name from sys.Databases

GO

After this you should see a text like this:

DB list sql server ubuntu AZURE - Xshell 5

Let’s proceed further:

USE TestDB

CREATE TABLE Inventory (id INT, name NVARCHAR(50), quantity INT)

INSERT INTO Inventory VALUES (1, 'banana', 150);

INSERT INTO Inventory VALUES (2, 'orange', 154);

SELECT * FROM Inventory WHERE quantity > 152;

GO

Note: DON’T FORGET ABOUT “GO” AT THE END.

As a result, you should see a text like this:

 DB TEST sql server ubuntu AZURE - Xshell 5

That’s it

Have a good time using the Microsoft Azure SQL Server on Linux (Ubuntu) 🙂

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