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Licensing ESX 3.x in a centralized environment (1009166)


This article provides steps to upload a license in a centralized environment.


To upload the centralized license on to the license server:

  1. Download the license file. For more information on creating and downloading the license file, see Creating a Single Host and Centralized License file in the VI3 License Portal (1005132).

    Note: If there is already a license file uploaded on to the license server and the new license file needs to be added to the existing one, proceed to step 2. Otherwise, proceed to step 3.

  2. Download the new license file that needs to be added to the already uploaded license file.

    Also download the old license file that is already uploaded on to the license server and manually combine both the old and new license files.

  3. Upload the license file on to the license server.
    1. Click Start > Programs > VMware > License Server Tools.
    2. On the License Server Tools (LM Tools), click the Config Services tab and browse to the location of the license file/directory set up.
    3. When the license file is uploaded, click the Start/Stop/Reread tab.
    4. Click Stop. This stops the License server service. Wait for 15 seconds.
    5. Click Start.
    6. Click Reread License file.
    7. Ensure that the uploaded license file is updated on to the license server.

      1. Click Control Panel > Administrative tools and double-click Services.
      2. Restart the services for VMware License Server.
      3. Restart the services for VMware VirtualCenter Server.

  4. Log in to the VirtualCenter Server to check the upload license quantity. Click the Admins tab > Licenses.
  5. In VMware Infrastructure (VI) Client, select the ESX host you are licensing.
  6. Click the Configuration tab > License features Edit.
  7. Click Server License type. A small pop-up window appears showing three different options:
    • Unlicensed. To release all licenses from the server, set the license type to Unlicensed.
    • ESX Server Starter. If you have a Starter license, set the license type to ESX Server Starter.
    • ESX Server Standard. If you have a Standard license, set the license type to ESX Server Standard.

If this procedure does not resolve your issue, remove the existing ESX host and relicense the VMware VirtualCenter Server.

Warning: Do not remove the ESX host if you have created a Resource Pool or enabled DRS.

See Also

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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