Backup and restore SQL Server databases on Linux

Applies to: SQL Server - Linux

You can take backups of databases from SQL Server on Linux with many different options. On a Linux server, you can use sqlcmd to connect to the SQL Server and take backups. From Windows, you can connect to SQL Server on Linux and take backups with the user interface. The backup functionality is the same across platforms. For example, you can backup databases locally, to remote drives, or to Microsoft Azure Blob Storage.


SQL Server on Linux only supports backing up to Azure Blob storage using block blobs. Using a storage key for backup and restore will result in a page blog being used, which isn't supported. Use a Shared Access Signature instead. For information on block blogs versus page blogs, see Backup to block blob vs. page blob.

Backup a database

In the following example sqlcmd connects to the local SQL Server instance and takes a full backup of a user database called demodb.

sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -Q "BACKUP DATABASE [demodb] TO DISK = N'/var/opt/mssql/data/demodb.bak' WITH NOFORMAT, NOINIT, NAME = 'demodb-full', SKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 10"

When you run the command, SQL Server will prompt for a password. After you enter the password, the shell will return the results of the backup progress. For example:

10 percent processed.
21 percent processed.
32 percent processed.
40 percent processed.
51 percent processed.
61 percent processed.
72 percent processed.
80 percent processed.
91 percent processed.
Processed 296 pages for database 'demodb', file 'demodb' on file 1.
100 percent processed.
Processed 2 pages for database 'demodb', file 'demodb_log' on file 1.
BACKUP DATABASE successfully processed 298 pages in 0.064 seconds (36.376 MB/sec).

Backup the transaction log

If your database is in the full recovery model, you can also make transaction log backups for more granular restore options. In the following example, sqlcmd connects to the local SQL Server instance and takes a transaction log backup.

sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -Q "BACKUP LOG [demodb] TO DISK = N'/var/opt/mssql/data/demodb_LogBackup.bak' WITH NOFORMAT, NOINIT, NAME = N'demodb_LogBackup', NOSKIP, NOREWIND, NOUNLOAD, STATS = 5"

Restore a database

In the following example sqlcmd connects to the local instance of SQL Server and restores the demodb database. The NORECOVERY option is used to allow for additional restores of log file backups. If you don't plan to restore additional log files, remove the NORECOVERY option.

sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -Q "RESTORE DATABASE [demodb] FROM DISK = N'/var/opt/mssql/data/demodb.bak' WITH FILE = 1, NOUNLOAD, REPLACE, NORECOVERY, STATS = 5"


If you accidentally use NORECOVERY but do not have additional log file backups, run the command RESTORE DATABASE demodb with no additional parameters. This finishes the restore and leaves your database operational.

Restore the transaction log

The following command restores the previous transaction log backup.

sqlcmd -S localhost -U SA -Q "RESTORE LOG demodb FROM DISK = N'/var/opt/mssql/data/demodb_LogBackup.bak'"

Backup and restore with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

You can use SSMS from a Windows computer to connect to a Linux database and take a backup through the user-interface.


Use the latest version of SSMS to connect to SQL Server. To download and install the latest version, see Download SSMS. For more information on how to use SSMS, see Use SSMS to Manage SQL Server on Linux.

The following steps walk through taking a backup with SSMS.

  1. Start SSMS and connect to your SQL Server on Linux instance.

  2. In Object Explorer, right-click on your database, select Tasks, and then select Back Up....

  3. In the Backup Up Database dialog, verify the parameters and options, and select OK.

SQL Server completes the database backup.

Restore with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS)

The following steps walk you through restoring a database with SSMS.

  1. In SSMS right-click Databases and select Restore Databases....

  2. Under Source, select Device: and then select the ellipses (...).

  3. Locate your database backup file and select OK.

  4. Under Restore plan, verify the backup file and settings. Select OK.

  5. SQL Server restores the database.

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For more information, see How to contribute to SQL Server documentation