Monday, November 11, 2013

How To Reset ESXi Trial License

WARNING: This is for education/informational testing/development purposes only, and should not be used on a production server.

WARNING: This trick will only work with an ESX(i) stand alone server.  It will not work if the ESX(i) server is connected to a vCenter Server, as the vCenter Server knows better than to let you do this.  (you can always remove and readd the ESX(i) server to vCenter.)

To reset your ESX 4.x, ESXi 4.x and ESXi 5.x 60 day evaluation license:
  1. Login to the TSM through SSH or Shell
  2. Remove the following two files:
    1. /etc/vmware/vmware.lic
    2. /etc/vmware/license.cfg
  3. Reboot server
If your ESX server is connected to a vCenter server, please remove the ESX server first.  Once the steps above are completed, you can add it back to the vCenter server.

Sample commands:
rm -f /etc/vmware/vmware.lic /etc/vmware/license.cfg

For ESXi 5.1 and ESXi 5.5, you may need to continually remove the license files as the server reboots for this to work.  The following should do this quite nicely:

rm -f /etc/vmware/vmware.lic /etc/vmware/license.cfg
reboot ; while true ; do
    rm -f /etc/vmware/vmware.lic /etc/vmware/license.cfg

An alternative shows that restarting the services should works just as well as rebooting the server:
# For ESXi 5.0
rm -f /etc/vmware/vmware.lic /etc/vmware/license.cfg restart
# For ESXi 5.1
rm -r /etc/vmware/license.cfg
cp /etc/vmware/.#license.cfg /etc/vmware/license.cfg
/etc/init.d/vpxa restart

The alternative also shows a method for resetting the trial license while connected to vCenter server.  I still think removing and re-adding the ESXi server is cleaner.


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