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Does SQL Server 2019 run on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS?

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Edit from 19 March 2020: Since the release of CU 3, SQL Server 2019 is officially supported on Ubuntu 18.04, per this blog post. Original post continues below.

Yes. Here’s the proof from an output of SELECT @@VERSION:

Microsoft SQL Server 2019 (CTP2.3) - 15.0.1300.359 (X64)
        Feb 15 2019 23:50:43
        Copyright (C) 2019 Microsoft Corporation
        Developer Edition (64-bit) on Linux (Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS) <X64>

Here’s a screenshot of me running mssql-cli on the Ubuntu Server virtual machine in question. SQL Server 2019 (CTP 2.3) is running on 18.04.2 LTS.

Is it supported by Microsoft?

Not right now. The official documentation still requires Ubuntu 16.04, and the release channel is still 16.04 in the Microsoft SQL Server Ubuntu repository for SQL Server 2019 preview.

However, it does work, and from what I can tell, it works just fine.

What about SQL Server 2017?

Although these screenshots show SQL Server 2019 preview CTP 2.3, this also applies to SQL Server 2017 on 18.04.2, because that’s what I had installed before upgrading the SQL Server version. However, as my friend Jay Falck pointed out on Twitter, Microsoft has stated publicly that it is not yet certified for production use:

Important, this does not change the support state of SQL Server 2017 on Ubuntu 18.04. Work to certify Ubuntu 18.04 with SQL Server 2017 is planned and we will announce when it will be supported for production use on this page. Until such as an announcement occurs, SQL Server 2017 on Ubuntu 18.04 should be considered experimental and for non-production use only.

What does “certified” mean? Well, it means that it should work just fine, but there may be an edge case that hasn’t been tested for, so you’re on your own if something goes wrong.

Why do this?

LTS means Long Term Support, and Ubuntu’s support policy for LTS releases is five years.

Ubuntu Release Cycle

Although Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is supported until April 2021 by Canonical (the company that owns Ubuntu), we are more than halfway into that cycle now, so it’s reassuring that as of this writing we still have an additional two years of peace of mind.

Share your Linux compatibility thoughts in the comments below.

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