Welcome to our Docker blog

This is the newest technology to be incorporated into the SQL Server world and therefore worthy of a blog.

From what I've seen of it so far I've been impressed with the versatility and capability, but it's hard to pick up and therefore I wanted to document as I went along...

Stop, Start, and Remove Containers
I’ve covered a lot of the creation and usage of a Container, but it’s very unusual that you’d want to create one, get it running, and then leave it that way.

Generally you want to stop and start the Container on demand, and eventually you’ll want to remove it entirely.

Therefore let’s have a look at that.

This is actually nice and easy (most things in Docker are once you’re used to the syntax and the nuances).

Importing Data into a Linux Container
I’ve specified Linux Container here although if you follow this then it’s also pretty easy to do the equivalent in a Windows Container. But I’m currently working through my Linux Container posts and therefore that’s what we’re sticking with.

So, the main point of this post is that we now have a Linux SQL Server up and running on our Windows Desktop but it’s of little to no use if it has no data for us to play with.

First things first, we need a bak file. Either make your own or go and download the AdventureWorks one from Microsoft (which is the one I’ll be using, albeit an older one). A quick Google will soon find that for you.

Connecting a GUI to our SQL Server
In the previous blog post we walked through getting our SQL Server 2019 Docker Image and booting up our Container.

This gave us the Linux version of SQL Server 2019 on our Windows Desktop.

However, no-one likes using SQLCMD for everything, so we’ll want to connect a GUI.

I’m currently using Azure Data Studio for a lot of my work (mostly because of the Jupyter Notebooks – I’ll write something about those on my SQL Server blog) and as that’s designed as a platform independent SQL Server studio I’ll be using that with my Container.

Linux SQL Server on Windows with Docker
First things first, we need to get started. This means downloading and installing Docker. Only then can we start to get to work with SQL Server on Docker.

Luckily there are guides for this from the Docker website itself and therefore I’ll leave that detail up to them.

Once you’ve installed it on your desktop then come back and I’ll get you started with a basic SQL Server setup.

Change Image and Container Location for Windows
By default Docker will download and store your Container images on your C drive. This is less than helpful on most Windows machines (even desktops).

Therefore, we want to avoid this if possible, placing them on a drive and location of our choice.

There seems to be scant information about this on the internet and so I thought I’d make special mention here.

NOTE – This ONLY works if you are using Windows Containers in a Windows environment. If you are using Linux Containers on a Windows machine, do NOT do this as it will crash

What Is Docker?
Before we start using Docker we should really know what it is and why we might like it.

Now I’m no Docker expert and I don’t like any of the explanations I’ve seen around the internet, therefore I’ll just give my own version as to what I think it is and why it’s useful. Mostly focusing on the latter.

So, what is Docker? What are Containers? What does it all mean?

New Blog - Docker
This is a technology I'm in the process of learning and therefore, whilst it's fresh in my mind, I wanted to start a blog in order to document my findings and create a kind of walk through.

Docker is the newest technology in which SQL Server has adopted and I wanted to get in somewhere near the ground floor (not on the ground floor by any stretch, but as long as I'm vaguely near then I'll be happy).

Everything I've read and seen in the Docker world has been impressive to say the least. It gives virtual machines a severe run for their money when it comes to demo instances that you can simply spin up and use, and with the volume of literature around on Docker as a whole, and specifically SQL Server on Docker, it's definitely something I want to get my teeth into.

This blog is therefore my guide as to what I'm doing with Docker and anything I find out as I go... basics, issues, downsides etc.

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Kutech  CEO
Kevin  Urquhart


I am a SQL Server DBA, Architect, Developer, Trainer, and the owner and CEO of Kutech. This blog has been going for nearly 10 years now over several guises and this is its new home. I hope you find it useful whatever your endeavour.


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