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This article is about how to proceed when you get error message 'Sqlcmd: Error: Microsoft ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server: Login failed for user 'sa'.. '

Problem Definition

SA Password is entered wrong more than three times then SA account will be locked or someone wants to reset the password.


Using mssql-conf setup need following step:- (this require reboot SQL Server)

1. Conf setup

You need to stop mssql-server using this command-conf setup command

sudo systemctl stop mssql-server
sudo /opt/mssql/bin/mssql-conf setup

  • Setting up Microsoft SQL Server
  • Enter the new SQL Server system administrator password:--Enter strong password here
  • Confirm the new SQL Server system administrator password: --Enter strong password here
  • Starting Microsoft SQL Server...
  • Enabling Microsoft SQL Server to run at boot...
  • Setup completed successfully.
  • Check Mssql services status using the command:
sudo systemctl status mssql-server

2. Change password using sp_password

  • Login with User who having sysadmin access on the server.
  • syntax: sp_password NULL, ‘<insert_new_password_here>’, ’sa’
  • command :
sp_password NULL, 'Mssql@12345', 'sa'


3. Using GUI using Window server:

You can access Linux mssql server using SSMS.You can change SA password using GUI.

Install new version of SSMS -->SSMS 17.4 is the latest version of SQL Server Management Studio.

  1. Connect Linux SQL server on Windows server using SSMS.
  2. Select the Security->Logins folder on the left side of your window; Right-click “sa” and choose properties;
  3. Change password and confirm with complexity.

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This article participated in TechNet Guru Competition May 2017 Jump and won a Bronze Medal.

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