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Installing licenses for ESX Server 3.x (1001383)

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This articles provides steps for installing VMware licenses for ESX 3.x.


Software licenses are required for most operations in VirtualCenter and ESX 3.x, such as adding hosts to your VirtualCenter inventory. You can use the evaluation mode for initial configuration of ESX hosts and VirtualCenter.

Two modes of licensing are available: C entralized and Single-host. Centralized licenses are stored on a license server, which makes these licenses available to one or more hosts. For single host licenses, the license files are stored on individual ESX hosts.

To upload a server-based (centralized) license file:
  1. Go to VMware License Server Tools.
  2. On the Service/License File, ensure you are using Configuration using services.
  3. Click the Config Services tab and choose the from path to the license file option.
  4. Browse and point to the newly created file.
  5. Click Save Services and click Yes.
  6. Click the Start/Stop/Re-Read tab.
  7. Click Stop Server. (You do not need to wait for it to stop.)
  8. Click Start Server. (Wait for Server Start Successful to appear at the bottom, left corner.)
  9. Click Re-Read License File. After the file has been read, close License Manager.
  10. Click Control Panel > Administrative Tools and double click Services.
  11. Restart the services for VMware License Server.
  12. Restart the services for VMware VirtualCenter Server.
  13. Log in to your VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client 2.0, click Admin.
  14. Click the Licenses tab to confirm your licenses.
  15. Select your host in the inventory and click the Configuration tab.
    • Under Software, select Licensed Features.
    • Ensure you have selected Use License Server and your fully qualified domain name or IP address is listed under License Sources.
    • Under ESX Server License Type, select ESX Server Standard.
Note: To install the standalone version of the license server, go to VMware Server for ESX 3.5.

For more information on installing the VMware License Server, see the VMware Infrastructure 3 Install and Upgrade Guide.
For host-based (single-host) licensing:
  1. Log in to the server using VMware Infrastructure Client.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. Click Licensed Features.
  4. Click Edit for License Sources.
  5. Select Use Host License File.
  6. Click Browse and browse to the .lic file.
  7. Click Open.
  8. Click OK.
  9. Click the Edit link for the ESX Server license type.
  10. Select ESX Standard.
  11. Click OK.
For additional information, see:

Additional Information

For translated versions of this article, see:

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