Sample: Unattended SQL Server installation script for Ubuntu

Applies to: SQL Server - Linux

This sample bash script installs SQL Server on Ubuntu without interactive input. It provides examples of installing the Database Engine, the SQL Server command-line tools, SQL Server Agent, and performs post-install steps. You can optionally install full-text search and create an administrative user.


If you do not need an unattended installation script, the fastest way to install SQL Server is to follow the quickstart for Ubuntu. For other setup information, see Installation guidance for SQL Server on Linux.


  • You need at least 2 GB of memory to run SQL Server on Linux.
  • The file system must be XFS or EXT4. Other file systems, such as BTRFS, are unsupported.
  • For other system requirements, see System requirements for SQL Server on Linux.

Sample script

This example installs SQL Server 2019 (15.x) on Ubuntu Server 20.04. If you want to install a different version of SQL Server or Ubuntu Server, change the Microsoft repository paths accordingly.

Save the sample script to a file and then to customize it. You'll need to replace the variable values in the script. You can also set any of the scripting variables as environment variables, as long as you remove them from the script file.

The script might fail if SQL Server is slow to start. That's because the script will exit with a non-zero status. Removing the -e switch on the first line might resolve this issue.


The SA_PASSWORD environment variable is deprecated. Use MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD instead.

#!/bin/bash -e

# Use the following variables to control your install:

# Password for the SA user (required)

# Product ID of the version of SQL Server you're installing
# Must be evaluation, developer, express, web, standard, enterprise, or your 25 digit product key
# Defaults to developer

# Enable SQL Server Agent (recommended)

# Install SQL Server Full Text Search (optional)

# Create an additional user with sysadmin privileges (optional)
# SQL_INSTALL_USER='<Username>'
# SQL_INSTALL_USER_PASSWORD='<YourStrong!Passw0rd>'

  echo Environment variable MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD must be set for unattended install
  exit 1

echo Adding Microsoft repositories...
curl | sudo tee /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/microsoft.asc
sudo add-apt-repository "${repoargs}"
sudo add-apt-repository "${repoargs}"

echo Running apt-get update -y...
sudo apt-get update -y

echo Installing SQL Server...
sudo apt-get install -y mssql-server

echo Running mssql-conf setup...
     /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf -n setup accept-eula

echo Installing mssql-tools and unixODBC developer...
sudo ACCEPT_EULA=Y apt-get install -y mssql-tools unixodbc-dev

# Add SQL Server tools to the path by default:
echo Adding SQL Server tools to your path...
echo PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql-tools/bin" >> ~/.bash_profile
echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql-tools/bin"' >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

# Optional Enable SQL Server Agent:
if [ ! -z $SQL_ENABLE_AGENT ]
  echo Enabling SQL Server Agent...
  sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf set sqlagent.enabled true

# Optional SQL Server Full Text Search installation:
    echo Installing SQL Server Full-Text Search...
    sudo apt-get install -y mssql-server-fts

# Configure firewall to allow TCP port 1433:
echo Configuring UFW to allow traffic on port 1433...
sudo ufw allow 1433/tcp
sudo ufw reload

# Optional example of post-installation configuration.
# Trace flags 1204 and 1222 are for deadlock tracing.
# echo Setting trace flags...
# sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf traceflag 1204 1222 on

# Restart SQL Server after installing:
echo Restarting SQL Server...
sudo systemctl restart mssql-server

# Connect to server and get the version:
while [ $counter -le 5 ] && [ $errstatus = 1 ]
  echo Waiting for SQL Server to start...
  sleep 3s
  /opt/mssql-tools/bin/sqlcmd \
    -S localhost \
    -U SA \
    -Q "SELECT @@VERSION" 2>/dev/null

# Display error if connection failed:
if [ $errstatus = 1 ]
  echo Cannot connect to SQL Server, installation aborted
  exit $errstatus

# Optional new user creation:
  echo Creating user $SQL_INSTALL_USER
  /opt/mssql-tools/bin/sqlcmd \
    -S localhost \
    -U SA \

echo Done!

Run the script

To run the script:

  1. Paste the sample into your favorite text editor and save it with a memorable name, like

  2. Customize MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD, MSSQL_PID, and any of the other variables you'd like to change.

  3. Mark the script as executable

    chmod +x
  4. Run the script


Understand the script

The first thing the bash script does is set a few variables. These variables can be either scripting variables, like the sample, or environment variables. The variable MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD is required by SQL Server installation, the others are custom variables created for the script. The sample script performs the following steps:

  1. Import the public Microsoft GPG keys.

  2. Register the Microsoft repositories for SQL Server and the command-line tools.

  3. Update the local repositories.

  4. Install SQL Server.

  5. Configure SQL Server with the MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD and automatically accept the End-User License Agreement.

  6. Automatically accept the End-User License Agreement for the SQL Server command-line tools, install them, and install the unixodbc-dev package.

  7. Add the SQL Server command-line tools to the path for ease of use.

  8. Enable the SQL Server Agent if the scripting variable SQL_ENABLE_AGENT is set, on by default.

  9. Optionally install SQL Server Full-Text search, if the variable SQL_INSTALL_FULLTEXT is set.

  10. Unblock port 1433 for TCP on the system firewall, necessary to connect to SQL Server from another system.

  11. Optionally set trace flags for deadlock tracing (requires uncommenting the lines).

  12. SQL Server is now installed, to make it operational, restart the process.

  13. Verify that SQL Server is installed correctly, while hiding any error messages.

  14. Create a new server administrator user if SQL_INSTALL_USER and SQL_INSTALL_USER_PASSWORD are both set.

Unattended install

Simplify multiple unattended installs and create a stand-alone bash script that sets the proper environment variables. You can remove any of the variables the sample script uses and put them in their own bash script.

export MSSQL_SA_PASSWORD='<YourStrong!Passw0rd>'
export MSSQL_PID='evaluation'
export SQL_INSTALL_USER='<Username>'
export SQL_INSTALL_USER_PASSWORD='<YourStrong!Passw0rd>'

Then run the bash script as follows:

. ./