Press "Enter" to skip to content

Attaching Databases To Docker

Andrew Pruski shows one scenario where Docker on Windows is better than Docker on Linux:

One of the (if not the) main benefits of working with SQL in a container is that you can create a custom image to build container from that has all of your development databases available as soon as the container comes online.

This is really simple to do with Windows containers. Say I want to attach DatabaseA that has one data file (DatabaseA.mdf) and a log file (DatabaseA_log.ldf): –

ENV attach_dbs="[{'dbName':'DatabaseA','dbFiles':['C:\\SQLServer\\DatabaseA.mdf','C:\\SQLServer\\DatabaseA_log.ldf']}]"

Nice and simple! One line of code and any containers spun up from the image this dockerfile creates will have DatabaseA ready to go.

However this functionality is not available when working with Linux containers. Currently you cannot use an environment variable to attach a database to a SQL instance running in a Linux container.

Read on to see what you can do if you’re using a Linux container.