I'm trying to find out when a SQL server installation grants permissions on the OS.

I know that the following permissions are giving during setup msdn article about permissions.

However what I don't know is how SQL server will react if the permissions are there, but granted through a group. My problem is that the OS group policies do not allow for several of the required permissions to be granted. And we are going to add the users to a group, that is then included in the group policy.

Will SQL server correctly detect that the required permissions are present, and skip adding the users individually? Or will the installation end on error because it can not grant the required privileges?

We're planning to test this soon, however due to time constraints I was hoping some-one here has experience with this issue, and can give me an answer.

Update: I'm quickly adding some information in the hopes that someone can explain the observed behavior to me...

We are able to install SQL server, despite group policies preventing nearly all the permissions mentioned in the before linked MSDN article. However if we then try and run an SSIS package, or certain server wide jobs, we receive the error that SQL Server lacks the required privileges.

Why was SQL Server able to install, without error even, despite not being able to add the sql server agent and service users to the User Right policies it needs according to the MSDN documentation?

Currently SQL Server is running, despite the user not having local permissions, and not having the Log on as a service permissions... Am I wrong in my understanding of why these permissions are required?

  • To your update: What type of service account are you using? – user507 Dec 9 '14 at 13:41
  • @ShawnMelton A domain user, if that's what you ment? – Reaces Dec 9 '14 at 13:45

I will say up front that I do not know why your company would have policies that lock down the OS so much that a Microsoft product cannot be installed and provided the appropriate permissions during an installation. I would think they might be doing that backwards. I supported the military as a contractor for many years and that included secured networks, we did not lock down the OS until after all software was installed on the server. We at most wanted to ensure the software installed itself appropriately without any issue.

Outside of that, it is going to depend on what permissions you are not allowing to be set. If it is being restricted on what OS level permissions are set within the local group policy that are going to prevent the services from starting the installation will likely fail.

Shorting SQL Server services the documented permissions required to operate might affect your supportability with Microsoft. Just something to keep in mind.


There is no in-depth doc that is going to go through what all the installation process does on a server. You can weed through the installation log under the default directory here: C:\program files\Microsoft SQL Server\110\Setup Bootstrap\Log. The 110 would be based on which version of SQL Server you are working with: 100 = SQL Server 2008/R2; 110 = SQL Server 2012; 120 = SQL Serve 2014.

I don't know anyone has gone through and determined the outcome of each little affect of an OS level permission not existing. All that is needed to understand is that permissions assigned according to documentation show what is required for a supported installation of SQL Server. You are basically going to experience sporadic issues based on what you need to do. Every permissions has a purpose, you just may not have reached or hit that purpose as of yet.

  • Currently the installation is being done by our OS team, then the security is set up. Then it's handed over to an off-shore team who do the SQL server setup. Then we're supposed to handle the rest. However as it stands the installation seems to have several problems. Probably related to security settings. EDIT: None of this is how I'd handle it... But it's a management decision far beyond my paygrade. – Reaces Dec 5 '14 at 18:20
  • Yeah that is bass akwards. I don't know of any public security standards that require security to be applied before any app is installed, as long as it is before going to production. DoD does not even work that way, even in the geometric shaped building in Washington, D.C.. – user507 Dec 5 '14 at 18:44
  • Unfortunately the bank and insurance world apparently (atleast this part of it) does work that way. – Reaces Dec 5 '14 at 18:51
  • I know folks in the banking industry but never discussed specifics on how they handle installations. – user507 Dec 5 '14 at 19:00

I'm trying to find out when a SQL server installation grants permissions on the OS.

During installation during Database Engine Configuration please make sure to add yourself as Administrator for SQL Server Administrator so that you have an access to Specific instance after installation.

Installation Screen During this step you can include user groups to access SQL Server Instance.

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You can always add windows groups to SQL Server and allow access depending on their privileges.

As long as you have user added to SQL Server you will not get any error during installation.

Hope this helps you.

  • 1
    What you are referring to is user related, the OP is referring to service related permissions per the link provided in the question. – user507 Dec 5 '14 at 15:44

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