Getting error code(1) in installing MSSQL Server in ubuntu 16.04

ERROR: This machine must have at least 3.25 gigabytes of memory to install Microsoft(R) SQL Server(R).

But I have 283.4 gigabytes free.

5 Answers 5


When Microsoft Structured Query Language (SQL) says it needs 3.25 GB of free memory it is talking about RAM (Random Access Memory) or volatile memory.

When you say you have 283.4 GB of memory free you are talking about non-volatile memory aka Hard Disk storage or Solid State Disk (SSD) storage.

Although they are both "memory" you are comparing apples to oranges which are both "fruit".

To see how much RAM you have available use the command free from the Terminal. ie:

$ free
              total        used        free      shared  buff/cache   available
Mem:        8031732     1614708     4377704      750208     2039320     5357500
Swap:       8191996           0     8191996

The first row "Mem:" refers to RAM. The second row "Swap" refers to hard disk swap space which we'll call "backup RAM" for lack of a better term.

The first column is your total installed RAM / Swap (in this case 8 GB each), the second how much is used and the third how much is "free". In this case 4 GB of RAM is free and 8 GB of Swap is free.

To increase your free RAM you can close your web browser, music players, videos, etc.

  • I just noticed in the error Harish posted "3.25 gigabytes of memory installed", not "free". Nov 18, 2016 at 3:50
  • 1
    @ThatGuy Hopefully he updates his question with his own free command output. Using 32-bit kernel some systems with 4 GB report only 3 GB and change available. It is also unclear if the install program needs 3.25 GB, or it is checking how much is needed after installation to use the app. Nov 18, 2016 at 11:37
  • Too true. We'll have to wait for now. :) Nov 18, 2016 at 11:40

283.4GB is the amount of Hard Drive space you have.

The error 3.25 gigabytes of memory refers to your available RAM (Random Access Memory) capacity.

To find out how much RAM you have available, type this in your terminal:

$ free -m

This will give you a readout in Megabytes(MB), as to how much RAM you have.


This issue can also occur on Mac OSx if you don't update Docker available RAM. Usually Docker defaults to 2GB of RAM being allocated while this image requires at least 3.25 GB of RAM. Below you can find the corresponding menu in docker for updating RAM allocation:

enter image description here


If your are running the "microsoft/mssql-server-linux" Docker container, then the problem here may not be the memory that your computer has available, but the amount of memory that Docker reserves for the container. Default is 2GB. See Run the SQL Server Docker image on Linux, Mac, or Windows.

  • Usually one would ask via comment if they are using "Docker container" first and if so then post the answer. Good answer nonetheless. Dec 1, 2016 at 11:15
  • I am not running "microsoft/mssql-server-linux" Docker. Dec 13, 2016 at 18:46

Try this:

sudo docker run --memory 4096m -e 'ACCEPT_EULA=Y' -e 'SA_PASSWORD=password' -v 'host-directory:/var/opt/mssql' -p 1433:1433 -d microsoft/mssql-server-linux

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