Update- Beta program for SQL Server on Windows container is suspended.
Published Jul 05 2021 08:40 AM 30.5K Views

As you may be aware, the SQL Server on Windows Containers Beta program began in 2017. It has remained in Beta mode meant for only test and development environment until now. Due to the existing ecosystem challenges and usage patterns we have decided to suspend the SQL Server on Windows Containers beta program for foreseeable future. Should the circumstances change, we will revisit the decision at appropriate time and make relevant announcement.


Hence with immediate effect, the docker hub repos  "microsoft/mssql-server-windows-express" and

"microsoft/mssql-server-windows-developer" and the tags within these repos will be deleted and images from these repos will not be available for download going forward.  We look forward to your continued support and feedback to help us improve.


SQL Server on Linux containers continue to be supported for production environment. This announcement only affects SQL Server on Windows container that was in Beta mode until now. 



Amit Khandelwal 

Senior Program Manager


Could you please not delete those repos and images? That is going to break stuff. Folks have builds that depend on these images. At least give some warning rather than "immediate effect".


Yes, SQL Server on Linux is much easier to work with but for some legacy Windows apps that had to run on Server Core, having another Windows container with SQL in it is the only option (seeing as running mixed Windows and Linux containers is pretty much unsupported or very unreliable).



Copper Contributor

@David Gardiner what did you mean by mixed Windows and Linux containers. Both Windows and Linux containers running on a Windows Server or Windows containers on a Windows host and Linux on a Linux host? What kind of issues did you have on your mind? 


I currently have RabbitMQ and Postgres running on a Linux host and .Net Framework services on a Windows host. I did struggle a bit to make that work.

I was referring to running mixed Windows and Linux containers on a single Windows host. I know there was some support added for an older version of docker-compose a few years ago but last time I checked that hadn't progressed, and there also were issues building images in that scenario.


I was also hoping to be able to run images as part of an Azure Pipeline 'integration test' but again the ability to run Windows and Linux containers is missing.



Copper Contributor


I want to run and build Linux and Windows (LCOW) containers simultaneously on the journey to 100% .NET cross-platform.


The mixed-mode Windows/Linux is NOT great on docker desktop; people use Windows containers and Linux containers simultaneously.

I did open an issue a long time ago, https://github.com/docker/roadmap/issues/79 but docker has not taken action. The M1 is more important, and I still believe there is a need for Windows and Linux containers on Windows/WSL with docker-compose. 


Suspending MSSQL on windows containers is not great.

Bart Plasmeijer


I do understand the passion for SQL Server on Windows containers, but as you can see the tags and images were not updated in the last three years for various reasons. One of the reason to delete the mssql-server-windows-developer and mssql-server-windows-express repos and images in those repos is that going forward we do not want any new users and customers downloading it. But if you already have it and are using it you can continue using it and also custom build your SQL Server on Windows images but they are not going be supported as was the case with the images on mssql-server-windows-developer and mssql-server-windows-express as they were in Beta mode which was meant for development and test environment's only.

Brass Contributor

Hi - this means you've ported the SSDT tools to Linux, right?  Because if not, this change causes significant difficulty to your SSDT customers using containers to build their SQL Server databases.


Edit Whelp - it appears that DacFx and SqlPackage have been out for Mac and Linux for about 2 years now...  DacFx and SqlPackage release notes - SQL Server | Microsoft Docs

Copper Contributor

In the book "Hands-On Data Virtualization with Polybase" you learn how to install SQL Server on Windows Server Core running on Docker Windows, so you don't rely on Microsoft.

Copper Contributor

I agree with @amvin87, and thanks for the feedback, we did create our own image based on Windows Server Core.


Copper Contributor

If a tree falls in the forest...   why would anyone care which OS a container is? That defeats the entire purpose. 


Brass Contributor

@kevtothec it matters when running containers with different operating systems on the same host doesn't work well yet, and, for example, there is significant tooling for SQL Server that is still Windows only (such as building `.dacpac` files from source via SSDT rather than from a running server).


In the end, this is frustrating, but I suppose we'll just have to make our own dockerfile for this.  This just seems like a waste since this one was perfectly good for using with CI.

Copper Contributor

"I have binaries that run only on a particular vendor's operation system" = Don't use containers.  



For anyone interested, I have created SQL on Windows container images here (dev edition) and here (express edition), the sources are here, and I also blogged about it. I'd be happy to create more images for older versions if needed, but I certainly will update the repo with the latest CUs

Copper Contributor

You can create your own image based on SQL Server 2019 Developer Edition:




Note: the Windows Server Core and SQL Server images take up about 12GB.


Brass Contributor

@amvin87 I think it is very bad decision, as I say in https://github.com/microsoft/mssql-docker/issues/684#issue-873985227


I think it is very weird to Microsoft push its users and developer community to other platform (competitor platform).

I think Windows Server is live platform and Microsoft can make money from it, but why Microsoft don't care Windows Developer Community and more attention to foreign OS and platform?!!



Brass Contributor

@amvin87 How to push Microsoft to support Windows Server again?



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