Linux Administrative Basics For The SQL Server DBA

David Klee continues his SQL Server on Linux series with a discussion of basic Linux installation and usage:

You’ll want to learn the syntax for one of the console-based text editors. My personal favorite is ‘vi‘. It’s quick, streamlined, but does have a significant learning curve. Emacs is another editor that works great. Many others are out there, and your options open even more if you’re using a GUI. You’ll need an editor to edit configuration files.

The folder structure of Linux is one of the biggest changes. Whereas Windows is based off of an arbitrary drive-letter assignment system that dates back to the DOS era, Linux is is based off of a tree structure. All folders and files are based on a single point, ‘/’ or the root folder, and everything is based off of folders from this point. Certain folders from Windows, such as C:\Windows, C:\Users\username, or %WINDOWSTEMP%, are mapped to certain folders within the Linux operating system.

This is really high-level stuff; if you’re looking at administering a Linux box in a production environment, I’d highly recommend taking the time to learn Linux in detail.

SQL On Docker Environment Variables

James Anderson lists the current environment variables that you can set for a SQL Server on Linux Docker container:

As of CTP 2.1 for SQL Server 2017 a set of new environment variables are available. These variables allow us to configure each SQL Server container as we spin them up. The first version of SQL Server on Linux came with:

ACCEPT_EULA
SA_PASSWORD

These had to be set for the container to start. The SA_PASSWORD has be a complex password or the container will not start. CTP 2.1 introduced:

Read on for the new variables and an example on how to use them.

Why SQL On Linux

Kevin Feasel

2017-05-16

Linux

David Klee explains the benefits of SQL Server on Linux:

First and foremost (IMHO), Microsoft wants to appeal to developers. They want their development stack to run anywhere there are developers. Notably, Microsoft just released Visual Studio 2017 for Mac on May 10th! Many developers out there run on non-Microsoft workstations, notably Apple computers. Apple’s OSX operating system is originally derived from the FreeBSD operating system. FreeBSD and other *BSD operating systems share much in common with Linux. So, if you can make SQL Server work on the Apple, you’ve probably made it work on Linux. Arguably, covering these two platforms nails just about every widely adopted development platform out there.

Microsoft also wants to appeal to a broader customer base, which means exploring the other environments that software runs on. An exceptionally high number of the world’s servers are powered by Linux. It’s lean, mean, stable, and powerful. Lots of shops refuse to run a Windows-based server because of a number of reasons, including that their in-house IT staff only have Linux knowledge. These same shops are most likely pressured to run a SQL Server for various applications. I know a number of third-party vended application that require a SQL Server, and previously if an organization dictated no Windows-based servers, that meant that this application would never be adopted in the organization, no matter how well it would function.

David provides a good explanation and sets up the context behind his upcoming SQL Server on Linux series.

Powershell Gallery And The Linux Model

Chrissy LeMaire explains the Linux packaging model and the long-term vision for Powershell:

So Joey comes up and says “Chrissy, Aaron Nelson has pretty much required me to talk to you. The SQL Community has the #1 PowerShell UserVoice request. We see that – we’ve heard you, The People want Out-DataTable and we agree. Would you be happy if we added it to the PowerShell Gallery first?”

“Uh, no! I want Out-DataTable to be a first class citizen like Out-GridView.”

“But where we’re going with PowerShell — we’re going smaller – to just core files, then you add on from the Gallery as desired.”

“Oh dang, like Linux! I’m liking it, keep talking.”

“To be clear, this is post 6.0. In the 6.0 timeframe, but we want to decouple as many release trains as possible, like PowerShellGet and PSReadline. But we’ll still very well package the ‘uber-complete, awesome devops tool edition’ of PowerShell. In the meantime, you could setup a metapackage for just your database stuff.”

“So it is like Linux patterns! PowerShell Gallery does that? I’m sold.”

Chrissy goes on to explain what a Powershell Gallery metapackage module is, how to create one, and even how to publish one yourself.

Attaching A SQL Server Database To A Docker Container

Mat Hayward-Hill shows how to attach an existing MDF file to a SQL Server on Linux instance in Docker:

Now we are ready to attach the database using the TSQL below. For this demo, I used Management Studio from my Laptop, to connect to SQL Server.

In the TSQL we need to use the FOR ATTACH_REBUILD_LOG argument as we have no log file to attach. It will create a 1MB log file in the default log file directory.

It’s better to restore a full backup, but there’s more than one way to connect a database.

Upgrading SQL On Linux

Steve Jones has a post on upgrading SQL Server on Linux:

I’m cutting off part of the path, since I think it’s probably NDA. No worries, apparently the old location for me hasn’t been updated with new packages, which makes sense.

I decided to check the MS docs and see how a new user would get SSoL running? At the new docs.microsoft site, I found the Install SQL Server on Ubuntu doc.

Following the instructions, I updated the GPG keys and registered the repository with curl:

curl https://packages.microsoft.com/keys/microsoft.asc | sudo apt-key add -
curl https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/16.04/mssql-server.list | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mssql-server.list

My expectation is that upgrading SQL Server on Linux is going to be a lot less painful than upgrading on Windows.

Samba On Linux Mint

Kevin Feasel

2017-04-19

Linux

Mark Broadbent shows how to set up SMB shares in Linux:

This quick guide is specifically targetted to the Linux Mint distribution (although will be applicable to many others) and only describes how to share your Linux filesystem folders and does not go into any detail regarding the advanced Samba functionality.

Even though Linux Mint attempts to make folder sharing more user-friendly, I have never had any success using the GUI based procedure, and have even struggled with the following method described in this article. Furthermore, I prefer to understand what is being configured behind the scenes, so I shall keep to the point and keep it simple.

Very useful post, given the cross-platform move Microsoft is making.

Community Localization For Crossplatform Tools

Mona Nasr and Andy Gonzalez are looking for tool translation support:

Community has completed the translations for VScode SQL Server extension for six languages: Brazilian, French, Japanese, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

We still need help with other languages. If you know anyone with language expertise, refer them to the Team Page.

Your contributions are valuable and will help us improve the product in your languages. We hope to continue working with the community in future projects.

Hit up the Team Page link to learn more about how to contribute.

Be Wary Of Case Sensitivity

Slava Murygin points out that for SQL Server on Linux, case sensitivity matters a lot:

So, in that manner, SQL Server files will be located in “c:\var\opt\mssql\” directory!
Isn’t it simple?!!!
There will be no effort at all to refurbish old SQL SQL Server code for new Linux platforms!

Here I’ll give you an example of Database creation using different addressing methods:
1. I use Windows notation for data file and Linux notation for log file.
2. Because Linux systems are case sensitive it is very important to know it when you work with Linux. However, Microsoft allows you to be reluctant. You can use upper or lower case in the order you want.

Click through for an example.

Changing SQL On Linux Port

Kevin Feasel

2017-03-29

Linux

Slava Murygin shows how to change the port on which a SQL on Linux instance listens, but notes that it introduces an issue:

All these problems are expected. Prior experience shows that changing SQL Server port makes reading Error Log file impossible.

Besides of inability to read error log all other functions work fine.

I’m thinking this bug will get fixed pretty soon.  Read the whole thing.

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