Here I’ll show you how to get SQL Server up and running on your Mac in less than half an hour. And the best part is, you’ll have SQL Server running locally without needing any virtualization software.
Prior to SQL Server 2017, if you wanted to run SQL Server on your Mac, you first had to create a virtual machine (using VirtualBox, Parallels Desktop, VMware Fusion, or Bootcamp), then install Windows onto that VM, then finally SQL Server. This is still a valid option depending on your requirements (here’s how to install SQL Server on a Mac with VirtualBox if you’d like to try that method).
MySQL Database Server is designed for enterprise organizations delivering business critical database applications. It gives corporate developers, DBAs and ISVs an array of new enterprise features. MySQL server can be installed on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Often, as DBAs and as developers, we need to check whether MySQL server is installed and is running. Occasionally, we also need to see the server’s operational aspects like the number of client connections, connections aborted, data received and so on. MySQL for macOS is available in a number of different forms: Native Package Installer, which uses the native macOS installer (DMG) to walk you through the installation of MySQL. For more information, see Chapter 2, Installing MySQL on macOS Using Native Packages. You can use the package installer with macOS. MySQL Community Edition MySQL Community Edition is the freely downloadable version of the world's most popular open source database. It is available under the GPL license and is supported by a huge and active community of open source developers. Remove MySQL server on a Mac The other day I wanted to run some project via Docker Compose. Surprisingly, the MySQL service defined normally like this: crayon-5f7dbd4be0da/ didn’t start, because I apparently had MySQL server already running locally. Trust me, I tried everything from this StackOverflow post but any time I tried to kill the process (that I saw is running with ps.
Starting with SQL Server 2017, you can now install SQL Server directly on to a Linux machine. And because macOS is Unix based (and Linux is Unix based), you can run SQL Server for Linux on your Mac. The way to do this is to run SQL Server on Docker.
So let’s go ahead and install Docker. Then we’ll download and install SQL Server.
Download the (free) Docker Community Edition for Mac (unless you’ve already got it installed on your system). This will enable you to run SQL Server from within a Docker container.
To download, visit the Docker CE for Mac download page and click Get Docker.
To install, double-click on the .dmg file and then drag the Docker.app icon to your Application folder.
What is Docker?
Docker is a platform that enables software to run in its own isolated environment. SQL Server (from 2017) can be run on Docker in its own isolated container. Once Docker is installed, you simply download — or “pull” — the SQL Server on Linux Docker Image to your Mac, then run it as a Docker container. This container is an isolated environment that contains everything SQL Server needs to run.
Launch Docker the same way you’d launch any other application (eg, via the Applications folder, the Launchpad, etc).
When you open Docker, you might be prompted for your password so that Docker can install its networking components and links to the Docker apps. Go ahead and provide your password, as Docker needs this to run.
Increase the Memory
By default, Docker will have 2GB of memory allocated to it. SQL Server needs at least 3.25GB. To be safe, increase it to 4GB if you can.
To do this:
- Select Preferences from the little Docker icon in the top menu
- Slide the memory slider up to at least 4GB
- Click Apply & Restart
Download SQL Server
Now that Docker is installed and its memory has been increased, we can download and install SQL Server for Linux.
Open a Terminal window and run the following command.
This downloads the latest SQL Server 2019 for Linux Docker image to your computer.
You can also check for the latest container version on the Docker website if you wish.
Update: When I first wrote this article, I used the following image:
Which downloaded SQL Server 2017. Therefore, the examples below reflect that version.
Launch the Docker Image
Run the following command to launch an instance of the Docker image you just downloaded:
But of course, use your own name and password. Also, if you downloaded a different Docker image, replace
microsoft/mssql-server-linuxwith the one you downloaded.
Here’s an explanation of the parameters:
This optional parameter launches the Docker container in daemon mode. This means that it runs in the background and doesn’t need its own Terminal window open. You can omit this parameter to have the container run in its own Terminal window.
Another optional parameter. This parameter allows you to name the container. This can be handy when stopping and starting your container from the Terminal.
Yshows that you agree with the EULA (End User Licence Agreement). This is required in order to have SQL Server for Linux run on your Mac.
Required parameter that sets the
This maps the local port 1433 to port 1433 on the container. This is the default TCP port that SQL Server uses to listen for connections.
This tells Docker which image to use. If you downloaded a different one, use it instead.
If you get the following error at this step, try again, but with a stronger password.
I received this error when using
reallyStrongPwdas the password (but of course, it’s not a really strong password!). I was able to overcome this by adding some numbers to the end. However, if it wasn’t just a demo I’d definitely make it stronger than a few dictionary words and numbers.
Check the Docker container (optional)
You can type the following command to check that the Docker container is running.
If it’s up and running, it should return something like this:
Install sql-cli (unless already installed)
Run the following command to install the sql-cli command line tool. This tool allows you to run queries and other commands against your SQL Server instance.
This assumes you have NodeJs installed. If you don’t, download it from Nodejs.org first. Installing NodeJs will automatically install npm which is what we use in this command to install sql-cli.
If you get an error, and part of it reads something like
Please try running this command again as root/Administrator, try again, but this time prepend
sudoto your command:
Connect to SQL Server
Now that sql-cli is installed, we can start working with SQL Server via the Terminal window on our Mac.
Connect to SQL Server using the
mssqlcommand, followed by the username and password parameters.
You should see something like this:
This means you’ve successfully connected to your instance of SQL Server.
Run a Quick Test
Run a quick test to check that SQL Server is up and running and you can query it.
For example, you can run the following command to see which version of SQL Server your running:
If it’s running, you should see something like this (but of course, this will depend on which version you’re running):
If you see a message like this, congratulations — SQL Server is now up and running on your Mac!
A SQL Server GUI for your Mac – Azure Data Studio
Azure Data Studio (formerly SQL Operations Studio) is a free GUI management tool that you can use to manage SQL Server on your Mac. You can use it to create and manage databases, write queries, backup and restore databases, and more.
Azure Data Studio is available on Windows, Mac and Linux.
Here are some articles/tutorials I’ve written for Azure Data Studio:
Another Free SQL Server GUI – DBeaver
Another SQL Server GUI tool that you can use on your Mac (and Windows/Linux/Solaris) is DBeaver.
DBeaver is a free, open source database management tool that can be used on most database management systems (such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MariaDB, SQLite, Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, Sybase, Microsoft Access, Teradata, Firebird, Derby, and more).
I wrote a little introduction to DBeaver, or you can go straight to the DBeaver download page and try it out with your new SQL Server installation.
Limitations of SQL Server for Linux/Mac
Php Server For Mac
SQL Server for Linux does have some limitations when compared to the Windows editions (although this could change over time). The Linux release doesn’t include many of the extra services that are available in the Windows release, such as Analysis Services, Reporting Services, etc. Here’s a list of what’s available and what’s not on SQL Server 2017 for Linux and here’s Microsoft’s list of Editions and supported features of SQL Server 2019 on Linux.
Another limitation is that SQL Server Management Studio is not available on Mac or Linux. SSMS a full-blown GUI management for SQL Server, and it provides many more features than Azure Data Studio and DBeaver (at least at the time of writing). You can still use SSMS on a Windows machine to connect to SQL Server on a Linux or Mac machine, but you just can’t install it locally on the Linux or Mac machine.
If you need any of the features not supported in SQL Server for Linux, you’ll need SQL Server for Windows. However, you can still run SQL Server for Windows on your Mac by using virtualization software. Here’s how to install SQL Server for Windows on a Mac using VirtualBox.
Get your Local Web Development Environment Up & Running on macOS High Sierra 10.13
With Apples’ new macOS High Sierra 10.13 available for download, here is how to get the AMP stack up and running on the new macOS. This tutorialwill go through the process on getting Apache, MySQL, PHP (or otherwise known as the ‘AMP’ stack)and phpMyAdmin running on the new mac OS High Sierra.
This tutorial sets up the AMP stack in more of a traditional way using the loaded Apache and PHP and downloading MySQL and phpMyAdmin.
Setting Stuff Up
Web serving is built into High Sierra with Apache app, it is installed ready to be fired up.
This needs to be done in the Terminal which is found in the OS filing system at /Applications/Utilities/Terminal
For those not familiar with the Terminal, it really isn’t as intimidating as you may think, once launched you are faced with a command prompt waiting for your commands – just type/paste in a command and hit enter, some commands give you no response – it just means the command is done, other commands give you feedback.
Using the prefix of sudo is required for commands that have their applications protected in certain folders – when using sudo you will need to confirm with your admin password or iCloud password if set up that way…. lets get to it….
to start Apache web sharing
to stop it
to restart it
To find the Apache version
The Apache version that comes in macOS High Sierra is Apache/2.4.27
After starting Apache – test to see if the webserver is working in the browser – http://localhost – you should see the “It Works!” text.
If you don’t get the localhost test, you can try troubleshooting Apache to see if there is anything wrong in its config file by running
This will give you an indication of what might be wrong.
Document root is the location where the files are shared from the file system and is similar to the traditional names of ‘public_html‘ and ‘htdocs‘, macOS has historically had 2 web roots one at a system level and one at a user level – you can set both up or just run with one, the user level one allows multiple accounts to have their own web root whilst the system one is global for all users. It seems there is less effort from Apple in continuing with the user level one but it still can be set up with a couple of extra tweaks in configuration files. It is easier to use the user level one as you don’t have to keep on authenticating as an admin user.
System Level Web Root
– the default system document root is still found at –
The files are shared in the filing system at –
User Level Root
The other web root directory which is missing by default is the ‘~/Sites’ folder in the User account. This takes a bit longer to set up but some users are very accustomed to using it.
You need to make a “Sites” folder at the root level of your account and then it will work. Once you make the Sites folder you will notice that it has a unique icon which is a throwback from a few versions older. Make that folder before you set up the user configuration file described next.
You have to make a few additional tweaks to get the ~/Sites folder back up and running.
Add a “username.conf” filed under:
If you don’t already have one (very likely), then create one named by the short username of the account with the suffix .conf, its location and permissions/ownership is best tackled by using the Terminal, the text editor ‘nano‘ would be the best tool to deal with this.
If you would rather edit config files in a text editor as an app I would suggest the free BBEdit which allows you to open hidden system files.
Launch Terminal, (Applications/Utilities), and follow the commands below, first one gets you to the right spot, 2nd one opens the text editor on the command line (swap ‘username‘ with your account’s shortname, if you don’t know your account shortname type ‘whoami‘ the Terminal prompt):
Then add the content below swapping in your ‘username’ in the code below:
Permissions on the file should be:
If not you need to change…
Open the main httpd.conf and allow some modules:
And make sure these modules are uncommented (the first 2 should already be on a clean install):
Whilst you have this file open also to get php running uncomment. (Mentioned also in the PHP part of the article).
And also uncomment this configuration file also in httpd.conf – which allows user home directories.
Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)
Then open another Apache config file and uncomment another file:
And uncomment: Security program for mac.
Save all your changes (Control + O in nano)
Restart Apache for the new file to be read:
Then this user level document root will be viewable at:
You should only see a directory tree like structure if the folder is empty.
Override .htaccess and allow URL Rewrites
If you are going to use the web serving document root at /Library/WebServer/Documents it is a good idea to allow any .htaccess files used to override the default settings – this can be accomplished by editing the httpd.conf file at line 217 and setting the AllowOverride to All and then restart Apache. This is already taken care of at the Sites level webroot by following the previous step.
Also whilst here allow URL rewrites so your permalinks look clean not ugly.
Uncomment in httpd.conf – should be uncommented on a clean install.
PHP 7.1.7 is a first for macOS and is loaded in this version of macOS High Sierra and needs to be turned on by uncommenting a line in the httpd.conf file.
Use “control” + “w” to search within nano and search for ‘php’ this will land you on the right line then uncomment the line (remove the #):
Write out and Save using the nano short cut keys at the bottom ‘control o’ and ‘control x’
Reload apache to kick in
To see and test PHP, create a file name it “phpinfo.php” and file it in your document root with the contents below, then view it in a browser.
MySQL doesn’t come pre-loaded with macOS High Sierra and needs to be dowloaded from the MySQL site.
The latest version of MySQL 5.7.19 does work with the public release of macOS.
If you already have MySQL 5.7 and you have upgraded OS from El Capitan to Sierra I expect that to be ok, but will be interested if anyone comments on that.
Use the Mac OS X 10.12 (x86, 64-bit), DMG Archive version (works on macOS High Sierra).
If you are upgrading from a previous macOS and have an older MySQL version you do not have to update it. One thing with MySQL upgrades always take a data dump of your database in case things go south and before you upgrade to macOS High Sierra make sure your MySQL Server is not running.
When downloading you don’t have to sign up, look for » No thanks, just take me to the downloads! – go straight to the download mirrors and download the software from a mirror which is closest to you.
Once downloaded open the .dmg and run the installer.
When it is finished installing you get a dialog box with a temporary mysql root password – that is a MySQL root password not a macOS admin password. But I have found that the temporary password is pretty much useless so we’ll need to change it straight away, but first it is better to add mysql commands to your shell path.
You are told:
If you lose this password, please consult the section How to Reset the Root Password in the MySQL reference manual.
Add Mysql to your path
After installation, in order to use mysql commands without typing the full path to the commands you need to add the mysql directory to your shell path, (optional step) this is done in your “.bash_profile” file in your home directory, if you don’t have that file just create it using vi or nano:
The first command brings you to your home directory and opens the .bash_profile file or creates a new one if it doesn’t exist, then add in the line above which adds the mysql binary path to commands that you can run. Exit the file with type “control + x” and when prompted save the change by typing “y”. Last thing to do here is to reload the shell for the above to work straight away.
Change the MySQL root password
Note that this is not the same as the root or admin password of macOS – this is a unique password for the mysql root user.
Start it in safe mode:
This will be an ongoing command until the process is finished so open another shell/terminal window, and log in without a password as root:
Mysql Server For Mac
Change the lowercase ‘MyNewPass’ to what you want – and keep the single quotes.
You can then start the MySQL server from the System Preferences or via the command line.
Or to Command line start MySQL.
To find the MySQL version from the terminal, type at the prompt:
This also puts you in to a shell interactive dialogue with mySQL, type q to exit.
Fix the 2002 MySQL Socket error
Fix the looming 2002 socket error – which is linking where MySQL places the socket and where macOS thinks it should be, MySQL puts it in /tmp and macOS looks for it in /var/mysql the socket is a type of file that allows mysql client/server communication.
First fix the 2002 socket error if you haven’t done so from the MySQL section-
Download phpMyAdmin, the zip English package will suit a lot of users, then unzip it and move the folder with its contents into the document root level renaming folder to ‘phpmyadmin’.
Make the config folder
Change the permissions
Run the set up in the browser
You need to create a new localhost mysql server connection, click new server.
Switch to the Authentication tab and set the local mysql root user and the password.
Add in the username “root” (maybe already populated, add in the password that you set up earlier for the MySQL root user set up, click on save and you are returned to the previous screen.
(This is not the macOS Admin or root password – it is the MySQL root user)
Now going to http://localhost/~username/phpmyadmin/ will now allow you to interact with your MySQL databases.
To run a website with no permission issues it is best to set the web root and its contents to be writeable by all, since it’s a local development it shouldn’t be a security issue.
Lets say that you have a site in the User Sites folder at the following location ~/Sites/testsite you would set it to be writeable like so:
If you are concerned about security then instead of making it world writeable you can set the owner to be Apache _www but when working on files you would have to authenticate more as admin you are “not” the owner, you would do this like so:
This will set the contents recursively to be owned by the Apache user.
If you had the website stored at the System level Document root at say /Library/WebServer/Documents/testsite then it would have to be the latter:
Another easier way to do this if you have a one user workstation is to change the Apache web user from _www to your account.
That’s it! You now have the native AMP stack running on top of macOS High Sierra.