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We have a Windows machine with MS SQL Server running on it and we want to connect to the database from a script running on a Linux machine. Can we just configure Sql Server to listen to a certain port and connect to it by specifying IP, port, database name, user and password, like we would with MySql? Or do we need to run SQL Server Browser Service to achieve that? Description of what this service actually does is vague, I don't get it. We have no reason to do things like listing databases or doing any anything extra. Just connect and select.

TCP/IP connection is already enabled in the SQL Server, there is no firewall installed, ping is successful, yet the port doesn't seem to be listened to. So I was wondering if that service is what is missing.

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    The browser service is only for instance name to port lookup. If you know the port number, you don't need this service to be running at all. – Sean Gallardy Sep 5 '17 at 19:03
  • Post as answer and I will accept it. – Gherman Sep 5 '17 at 19:30
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The SQL Server Browser Service does many different things... However the main purpose of it is to look up the port number associated with a given instance of SQL Server and giving that information back to the client.

Any instance of SQL Server (assuming tcp/ip) can be identified by using the computer name or ip address and the port number. If you know both of these things (or SQL Server is listening on the default port of 1433) then you'll be able to connect without using the browser service as an intermediary.

To do so, you can connect using the name or IP and the port:

  • MyComputer,1500
  • 10.1.150.8,1600 (generic randomly picked ip for display purposes only)
  • MyComputer (this will assume default port of 1433)

If you are not using browser, I would advise you to disable it.

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