Install the SQL Server command-line tools sqlcmd and bcp on Linux

Applies to: SQL Server - Linux

The following steps install the command-line tools, Microsoft ODBC drivers, and their dependencies. The mssql-tools package contains:

  • sqlcmd: Command-line query utility.
  • bcp: Bulk import-export utility.

Install the tools for your platform:

This article describes how to install the command-line tools. If you are looking for examples of how to use sqlcmd or bcp, see the Related content at the end of this article.


sqlcmd and bcp are available in mssql-tools18 for x64 and arm64 architectures. For a modern alternative across Linux, macOS, and Windows, see go-sqlcmd utility.

Install tools on Linux

These instructions are for installing the Microsoft ODBC 18 packages. For previous versions, see Install the Microsoft ODBC driver for SQL Server (Linux).

Use the following steps to install the mssql-tools18 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

  1. Download the Microsoft Red Hat repository configuration file.

    • For Red Hat 9, use the following command:

      curl | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/mssql-release.repo
    • For Red Hat 8, use the following command:

      curl | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/mssql-release.repo
    • For Red Hat 7, use the following command:

      curl | sudo tee /etc/yum.repos.d/mssql-release.repo
  2. If you had a previous version of mssql-tools installed, remove any older unixODBC packages.

    sudo yum remove mssql-tools unixODBC-utf16 unixODBC-utf16-devel
  3. Run the following commands to install mssql-tools18 with the unixODBC developer package.

    sudo yum install -y mssql-tools18 unixODBC-devel


    To update to the latest version of mssql-tools, run the following commands:

    sudo yum check-update
    sudo yum update mssql-tools18
  4. Optional: Add /opt/mssql-tools18/bin/ to your PATH environment variable in a bash shell.

    To make sqlcmd and bcp accessible from the bash shell for login sessions, modify your PATH in the ~/.bash_profile file with the following command:

    echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql-tools18/bin"' >> ~/.bash_profile

    To make sqlcmd and bcp accessible from the bash shell for interactive/non-login sessions, modify the PATH in the ~/.bashrc file with the following command:

    echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/mssql-tools18/bin"' >> ~/.bashrc
    source ~/.bashrc

Install tools on macOS

Install Homebrew if you don't have it already:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

To install the tools for macOS El Capitan and later versions, use the following commands:

# brew untap microsoft/mssql-preview if you installed the preview version
brew tap microsoft/mssql-release
brew update
brew install mssql-tools18

Install tools on Docker

If you run SQL Server in a Docker container, the SQL Server command-line tools are already included in the SQL Server Linux container image. If you attach to a running container with an interactive bash shell, you can run the tools locally.

If you are creating a container with the SQL Server command-line tools, you should add ACCEPT_EULA=Y to the installation command to silently accept the EULA, and not interrupt image creation. An example final command as part of installation on an Ubuntu-based image is:

sudo ACCEPT_EULA=Y apt-get install mssql-tools18 unixodbc-dev

Offline installation

If your Linux machine doesn't have access to the online repositories used in the previous sections, you can download the package files directly. These packages are located in the Microsoft repository,


If you successfully installed with the steps in the previous sections, you do not need to download or manually install the following package(s). This is only for the offline scenario.

  1. First, locate and copy the mssql-tools18 package for your Linux distribution. For Red Hat 8.0, this is located at

  2. Also locate and copy the msodbcsql18 package, which is a dependency. The msodbcsql18 package also has a dependency on unixODBC-devel. For Red Hat, the msodbcsql18 package is located at

  3. Move the downloaded packages to your Linux machine. If you used a different machine to download the packages, one way to move the packages to your Linux machine is with the scp command.

  4. Install the and packages: Install the mssql-tools18 and msodbc18 packages. If you get any dependency errors, ignore them until the next step. Replace <version> with the correct version:

    sudo yum localinstall msodbcsql18-<version>.rpm
    sudo yum localinstall mssql-tools18-<version>.rpm
  5. Resolve missing dependencies: You might have missing dependencies at this point. If not, you can skip this step. In some cases, you must manually locate and install these dependencies.

    You can inspect the required dependencies with the following commands. Replace <version> with the correct version:

    rpm -qpR msodbcsql18-<version>.rpm
    rpm -qpR mssql-tools18-<version>.rpm

For an example of how to use sqlcmd to connect to SQL Server and create a database, see one of the following quickstarts:

For an example of how to use bcp to bulk import and export data, see Bulk copy data to SQL Server on Linux.

Contribute to SQL documentation

Did you know that you can edit SQL content yourself? If you do so, not only do you help improve our documentation, but you also get credited as a contributor to the page.

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