I'm using ubuntu 18.04.2 on my desktop and running sql server 2017 from docker.

I want to use sql server management studio to manage the server.

SO far now, I have a windows 7 enterprise with with ssms 17.9.1 and it works ok

It's really annoying having to boot a whole windows enterprise just for a single app, so I wanted to know if there's some better way to run it. A lighter or better integrated alternative.

that version of ssms doesn't seem to work with wine.

1 Answer 1


You can't run Sql Server Management Studio on Linux. But there is an alternative that is provided by Microsoft called Azure Data Studio. Not all features are available in Azure Data Studio that are available in Sql Server Management Studio - the main difference is that Azure Data Studio is missing a lot of the wizards that are available in SSMS.

Use Azure Data Studio if you:

  • Need to run on macOS or Linux
  • Are connecting to a SQL Server 2019 big data cluster
  • Spend most of your time editing or executing queries
  • Need the ability to quickly chart and visualize result sets
  • Can execute most administrative tasks via the integrated terminal using sqlcmd or Powershell
  • Have minimal need for wizard experiences
  • Do not need to do deep administrative configuration

Use SQL Server Management Studio if you:

  • Spend most of your time on database administration tasks
  • Are doing deep administrative configuration
  • Are doing security management, including user management, vulnerability assessment, and configuration of security features
  • Make use of the Reports for SQL Server Query Store
  • Need to make use of performance tuning advisors and dashboards
  • Are doing import/export of DACPACs
  • Need access to Registered Servers and want to control SQL Server services on Windows

The snippet above is taken from Sql Server Blog and provides a comparison of features.

If you are happy to pay for a tool, then take a look at Aqua Data Studio and SQL Maestro which have quite a lot of features and a wide range of support for other database platforms.

  • 2
    Adding that ADS also includes many features not available in SSMS as called out in the referenced blog link.
    – Dan Guzman
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 9:17
  • Azure Studio is usable in Linux, but it is still too buggy. Commented Jul 6, 2022 at 8:39
  • Use Virtual Box and install it on there, set virtual box to bridged connection and you can do a large proportion of stuff there.
    – PeterS
    Commented Nov 15, 2022 at 16:21
  • Azure Studio on linux can read .bak backup files and use them to restore a database from linux.
    – txyoji
    Commented Feb 3 at 11:59
  • 2
    ADS doesnt read those files, @txyoji , the database engine does. Any application that can run T-SQL can RESTORE a backup.
    – Thom A
    Commented Feb 25 at 11:41

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