Disclaimer : I’m not a Linux Expert, and I’m sure that doing everything as root is bad, just like doing everything as a Domain Admin account is bad.

Having seen that the CTP version of the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux has been released, I thought that it would be an interesting thing to play with. Particularly since it might be something I’ll interact with using C++.

Getting Ready

Officially, it’s supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but I’ve not got that, and you have to pay for it (not much, but still). Having downloaded Fedora 16,installed it in a VM (VMWare Workstation), and fired it up, I needed to install a number of prerequisites.

Using the Add/Remove Software option in Applications –>System Tools, I installed these Packages:

  • Development Libraries
  • Development Tools

I also needed to install wget. Type it into Filter box, tick the box against the result and click Apply.

Then download the driver from here: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=28160

Note, that you’ll also need the unixODBC Driver manager, and the current version is 2.3.1. I couldn’t get that working, but 2.3.0 does work, and is available to download here (unixODBC-2.3.0).

Installing it

To get everything to work, I downloaded the files into the Downloads directory, and follow the instructions on the MS Downloads page (copied below, and with an item (3) added by me to make life easier).

To install the driver manager:

  1. Make sure that you have root permissions.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded sqlncli-11.0.1720.0.tar.gz and extract it:
    cd ~/Downloads/
    tar xvf sqlncli-11.0.1720.0.tar.gz.
  3. (added by me) Copy the unixODBC-2.3.0.tar.gz file into the  sqlncli-11.0.1720.0 folder with
    cp unixODBC-2.3.0.tar.gz sqlncli-11.0.1720.0/
  4. Change to the sqlncli-11.0.1720.0 directory, where you can run build_dm.sh to install the unixODBC Driver Manager:
    cd ./sqlncli-11.0.1720.0
    ./build_dm.sh –help
  5. You can install the driver manager by executing the following command:
    ./build_dm.sh
    Note: you can also download the driver manager manually at http://www.unixodbc.org/ and use the downloaded archive locally:
    ./build_dm.sh –download-url=file://unixODBC-2.3.0.tar.gz
  6. Type “YES” to proceed with unpacking the files. This part of the process can take up to five minutes to complete.
  7. After the script stops running, follow the instructions on the screen to install the unixODBC Driver Manager.

Next up, we need to install the driver, again, follow the instructions from the MS Download page (copied here):

To install the driver:

  1. Make sure that you have root permissions.
  2. Navigate to the directory where you downloaded sqlncli-11.0.1720.0.tar.gz and extract it:
    cd ~/Downloads/
    tar xvf sqlncli-11.0.1720.0.tar.gz.
  3. Change to the sqlncli-11.0.1720.0 directory, where you can run install.sh to install the driver:
    cd ./sqlncli-11.0.1720.0
    ./install.sh –help
  4. (Optional) You may want to make a backup of odbcinst.ini. The driver installation will update odbcinst.ini. odbcinst.ini contains the list of drivers that are registered with the unixODBC Driver Manager. Execute the following command to discover the location of odbcinst.ini on your computer:
    odbc_config –odbcinstini.
  5. Before you install the driver, you may run a verify step to check if your computer has the required software to support the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux:
    ./install.sh verify
  6. When you are ready to install the Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux CTP, run the install script:
    ./install.sh install
  7. After reviewing the license agreement, type “YES” to continue with the installation.
  8. Verify that Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver for Linux CTP was registered successfully:
    odbcinst -q -d -n “SQL Server Native Client 11.0″

Resolving library issues

That then completed the installation. However, I did get a couple of issues when running sqlcmd. These issues were down to different versions of a couple of Linux SSL libraries being installed, rather than the expected version. Having had a root (pun not intended) around, the issues were resolved by adding a couple of symbolic links (kind of like shortcuts, kind of…), by doing this:

ln –s /lib64/libcrypto.so.1.0.0.e /lib64/libcrypto.so.6
ln –s /usr/lib64/libssl.so.10 /usr/lib64/libssl.so.6

Time to Play!

As if by magic, I can now query a SQL Server database, from Linux!

image

This was surprisingly straightforward I thought. My next thoughts will be to see if I can communicate with it from code (C++ since it’s Linux ).

Update – 26/1/2012

It’s been requested that I post the odbc.ini and odbcinst.ini files I used. These are shown below, and are unchanged by me.

ODBC.INI

<empty file>

ODBCINST.INI

[SQL Server Native Client 11.0]
Description=Microsoft SQL Server ODBC Driver V1.0 for Linux
Driver=/opt/microsoft/sqlncli/lib64/libsqlncli-11.0.so.1720.0
UsageCount=1