Reset ESXi 6 Evaluation License (cron script included)

• How-To   • Virtualisation

For testing and educational purposes only

The ESXi 6 evaluation license is valid for 60 days and a free one can be obtained from VMware at anytime. Resetting the evaluation license provides continual access to all the features available, and most importantly for me, full compatibility with the ESXi Embedded Host Client.

Commands

Note: Running these commands will cause ESXi to appear offline/down. For example, my UPS virtual machine connected to my actual UPS began shutting down VMs because it believed ESXi ran into a problem. Shut down those VMs firstly before running this command then bring them back up later.

Turn on SSH and log in to the host.

Remove the current license

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$ rm -r /etc/vmware/license.cfg

Copy over the new evaluation license, which is already on the host

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$ cp /etc/vmware/.#license.cfg /etc/vmware/license.cfg

Restart ESXi services

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$ /etc/init.d/vpxa restart

Confirm the new license

Automatic Script

The commands above can be run automatic to keep your ESXi license reset on a set schedule using cron.

I have also created a script which powers off and on a VM of your choice (such as a UPS agent) in case it shuts down the host.

First create the script (reset-eval.sh) somewhere accessible to ESXi. I chose to put in my ZFS0 datastore (/vmfs/volumes/ZFS0/reset.eval)

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#!/bin/sh
## remove license
echo 'Removing License'
rm -r /etc/vmware/license.cfg
## get a new trial license
echo 'Copying new license'
cp /etc/vmware/.#license.cfg /etc/vmware/license.cfg
## restart services
echo 'Restarting VPXA'
/etc/init.d/vpxa restart

This alternative script shuts down any VM called ‘ups-agent’. You may edit that line to your VM’s name

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#!/bin/sh

# This script shuts down the UPS-Agent and resets the license
echo 'Getting VMID of UPS-Agent'
vmid=$(vim-cmd vmsvc/getallvms | grep ups-agent | awk '{print $1}')
echo 'VMID is' $vmid

echo 'Getting UPS-Agent Power state'
state=$(vim-cmd vmsvc/power.getstate $vmid | grep Powered)
echo 'VM is currently' $state
x=1

while [[ "$state" == "Powered on" && $x -lt 3 ]]
do
        echo 'Powering off...'
        vim-cmd vmsvc/power.shutdown "$vmid"
        echo 'Waiting for VM to power off...'
        i=30;while [ $i -gt 0 ];do if [ $i -gt 9 ];then printf "bb$i";else  printf "bb $i";fi;sleep 1;i=`expr $i - 1`;done
        state=$(vim-cmd vmsvc/power.getstate $vmid | grep Powered)
        x=`expr $x + 1`
done

if [ "$state" == "Powered off" ]
        then
        ## remove license
        echo 'Removing License'
        rm -r /etc/vmware/license.cfg
        ## get a new trial license
        echo 'Copying new license'
        cp /etc/vmware/.#license.cfg /etc/vmware/license.cfg
        ## restart services
        echo 'Restarting VPXA'
        /etc/init.d/vpxa restart
        #echo 'Restarting Services'
        #services.sh restart
        ## power on
        echo 'Powering on USP-Agent'
        vim-cmd vmsvc/power.on "$vmid"
else
        echo 'Could not turn off UPS-Agent'
fi

echo 'Finished'

Test the script and make sure it works (remember to chmod +x)

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$ chmod +x reset-eval.sh
./reset-eval.sh

Add the script to the crontab to make it run on a set schedule (mine is set at 6:05am each day). For each 59 days do ‘* * 59 * *’

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/bin/echo "5 6 * * * /vmfs/volumes/ZFS0/reset-eval.sh" >> /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root
kill $(cat /var/run/crond.pid)
crond

Finally add the following to the end of ‘/etc/rc.local.d/local.sh’ to regenerate the job as ESXi clears the crontab on reboot

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$ /bin/kill $(cat /var/run/crond.pid)
$ /bin/echo "5 6 * * * /vmfs/volumes/ZFS0/reset-eval.sh" >> /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root
$ crond