Activate Tableau Server Offline

When you install Tableau Server, you have to activate at least one product key, but we recommend that you activate all Tableau Server licences found in the Tableau Customer Portal. Doing this activates the server, and specifies the number of licence levels you can assign to users. For offline activations, you should activate the product key listed in the Offline Activation ID field in the Tableau Customer Portal.

There are also times you may need to activate licences after Tableau Server is installed, for example, if you add capacity to your server, or get a new product key. If you don't have your product key, you can get it from the Tableau Customer Account Centre.

Note: Activating any product key after Tableau Server has already started will require a Tableau Server restart for the changes to take effect.

In most cases, you can activate your key directly from Tableau Server, either during installation, or later, using the Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Licences page, but there are some circumstances that don't allow you to do this. If your computer is not connected to the internet for example, or has a firewall that restricts access outside your intranet. In these cases you need to do an offline activation.

Tableau Server in a Container only supports licence activation using Server ATR. Offline activation using Server ATR is supported in 2023.1 and later. This functionality is available in Containers but requires extra steps and approval. If you need to run Tableau Server in a Container in an air-gapped or offline environment, contact your Account representative for more information.

Offline activation and login-based licence management (LBLM)

Beginning in Tableau Server version 2023.1.0, offline activation is supported for LBLM when your server is configured to use the Authorisation-to-Run (ATR) service. You can only configure Tableau Server to use the ATR service during a new installation. Upgrading customers with existing server installations need to install a new instance of Tableau Server version 2023.1.0 or later and restore a backup of their existing installation to that new instance. For information on this process, see Using a Blue/Green approach for upgrading Tableau Server. For more information about ATR service, see Activate Tableau Server Using the Authorisation-To-Run (ATR) Service.

There are two scenarios in which you may need to do an offline activation:

  • Offline activation during installation – To complete an offline activation when you are installing Tableau Server.

  • Offline activation of licences after install – To complete an offline activation after your server is installed and running.

Offline activation overview

Offline activation of Tableau Server involves the following steps:

  1. Generate an offline activation request file.

  2. Copy the offline activation request file to a computer with internet access.

  3. Upload the offline activation request file to the Tableau activation website(Link opens in a new window).

  4. Download the resulting offline activation response file from the website. You'll use this file to activate Tableau Server

Offline activation file name changes

Beginning in Tableau Server version 2023.1, the Tableau licensing system supports two underlying licensing technologies. From an administrative perspective, the only configuration difference between the two systems is the file types that are generated and consumed for offline activation. The licensing technology is determined during the initial installation of Tableau Server and cannot be changed after installation.

We refer to the legacy (and still supported) version of licensing technology as FlexNet. The latest version of the technology is referred to as Server ATR. For more information, see Activate Tableau Server Using the Authorisation-To-Run (ATR) Service. The following table describes the file naming nomenclature for each technology. The table also includes the generic reference.

Generic file nameServer ATR file namesFlexNet file names
OfflineActivationRequestOfflineActivationRequestFile_yyyyMMdd.hhmmss.jsonTableauOfflineActivationRequest.tlq
OfflineActivationResponseOfflineActivationLicensingAtrs.zipactivation.tlf

Note: Since this documentation supports multiple versions of Tableau Server, we will use the generic file name references (OfflineActivationRequest and OfflineActivationResponse) for the rest of this topic. You can identify the licensing technology your Tableau Server installation uses according to the file type generated in the steps that follow.

If you attempt to activate your product key from the TSM licences page and see a dialog that says online activation is unavailable, you can activate the key offline. The offline activation process must be completed once for each product key.

  1. Click Activate Licence Offline.

  2. Create an offline activation request file (OfflineActivationRequest) for the product key.

    Create an OfflineActivationRequest file you will upload to the Tableau activation website. If your product key is not pre-filled in the form, enter your key and click Create Offline File to generate an OfflineActivationRequest file on the local computer.

    Copy the OfflineActivationRequest file to a computer with internet access. You need to upload this file to the Tableau activation website to generate an activation response file.

  3. Upload and submit the OfflineActivationRequest file.

    You will upload and submit the OfflineActivationRequest file to the Tableau activation website. This automatically generates an activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse) that you can download and copy back to the Tableau Server computer.

    1. On the computer where you copied the OfflineActivationRequest file, open a browser and go to http://www.tableau.com/en-gb/support/activation(Link opens in a new window) to open the Tableau Support Activation page.

    2. On the Offline Activation page, click Choose File to select the OfflineActivationRequest file.

    3. Click Upload Activation File to submit the file to the Tableau activation website.

    4. Click the here link to download the OfflineActivationResponse file to your computer.

    5. Copy the OfflineActivationResponse file to the computer where Tableau Server is installed.
  4. Upload the OfflineActivationResponse file.

    On the Tableau Server computer, click Upload Activation File to upload the OfflineActivationResponse file to Tableau Server. When you do this successfully, the Activate Product Key button is enabled.

  5. Click Activate Product Key to complete the offline activation.

  6. (Skip this step if you are installing Tableau Server for the first time.) 

    Restart Tableau Server for licensing changes to take effect.

Step 1. Log in to Tableau Services Manager

Before you can proceed you must log in to Tableau Services Manager (TSM). To log in to TSM, run the following command:

tsm login -u <username>

What if I can't log in?

The account that you use to configure the rest of the installation must be a member of the tsmadmin group that was created during initialisation. To view the user accounts in the tsmadmin group, run the following command:

grep tsmadmin /etc/group

If the user account is not in the group, run the following command to add the user to the tsmadmin group:

sudo usermod -G tsmadmin -a <username>

After you have added the user to the tsmadmin group, run the tsm login command.

Step 2. Generate an offline activation request file

  1. On the initial node, open a terminal session.

  2. Type this command to get your offline activation file: 

    tsm licenses get-offline-activation-file -k <product-key> -o <target-directory>

    You can get your product key from the Tableau Customer Portal(Link opens in a new window). The target directory must already exist.

  3. Copy the offline activation file (OfflineActivationRequest) from the target directory to a computer that has internet access.

Step 3. Upload the offline activation request to the Tableau activation website

  1. On the computer that has internet access, go to the Tableau Product Activations(Link opens in a new window) page.

  2. Complete the instructions to upload your OfflineActivationRequest file.

    This creates an activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse).

  3. Download the OfflineActivationResponse file from the Tableau activation website.

Step 4. Initialise or activate your licence

  1. Copy the OfflineActivationResponse file to a location accessible from the Tableau Server computer.

  2. Run the following command: 

    tsm licenses activate -f <path-and-activation-file> 
  3. (Skip this step if you are installing Tableau Server for the first time.) 

    Restart Tableau Server for licensing changes to take effect: 

    tsm restart 
  4. (Optional) To verify that all licences are activated, you can run this command:

    tsm licenses list

    If you have completed the steps above, you should see a success message:

    Activation successful.

    Tableau Server is activated. If you need additional assistance, contact Tableau Technical Support(Link opens in a new window).

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