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.

In most cases, you can activate your key directly from Tableau, 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.

  • Offline activation when adding a licence – To complete an offline activation when you are adding a licence to Tableau Server, see Activate Tableau Server Offline - Adding a Licence.
  • Offline activation of licences during install – To complete an offline activation when you are installing Tableau Server, follow the steps below.

Offline activation overview

Offline activation of Tableau Server involves the following steps:

  1. Generate an offline activation request file.
  2. Upload the offline activation response file to Tableau and download the resulting activation 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. Activation response file names have changed. The following table describes the file naming nomenclature for each technology. The table also includes the generic reference.

FlexNet file namesServerATR file namesGeneric file name reference

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

If you are unable to do an activation of your product key from within the TSM Setup UI, you can do an offline activation. This might be necessary if you are installing on a computer that is isolated without internet access. If you attempt to activate your product key and see a dialog that says online activation is unavailable, you can activate the key offline. Click Activate Licence Offline.

Tableau displays instructions for the activation process.

  1. Create an offline file for each product key you want to activate.

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

    Leave the Tableau Server install program open and copy the OfflineActivationRequest file to a computer with internet access. You need to upload this file to Tableau to generate an activation file.

  2. Upload and submit the offline file.

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

    1. On the Offline Activation page, click Choose File to select the OfflineActivationRequest file.
    2. Click Upload Activation File to submit the file to Tableau.
    3. Click the here link to download the OfflineActivationResponse file to your computer.

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

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

  4. Click Activate Product Key to complete the offline activation and continue with the installation process.

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?

Verify that the account you are using is a member of the Local Administrators group on the Windows computer where you are installing Tableau Server.

Step 2. Generate an offline activation request file

  1. On the initial node, open a command prompt as administrator.

  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 Tableau

  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 resulting activation response file from Tableau.

Step 4. Initialise or activate your licence

  1. Copy the activation response file (OfflineActivationResponse) to a location accessible from your 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 the 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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