Activate Tableau Server Offline - Adding a License

When you install Tableau Server, you have to activate at least one product key. Doing this activates the server, and specifies the number of license levels you can assign to users. There are also times you may need to activate licenses 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 Center.

In most cases, you can activate your key directly from Tableau, either during installation, or later, using the Tableau Services Manager (TSM) Licenses 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 during install—To complete an offline activation when you are installing Tableau Server, see Offline Activation When Installing Tableau Server .
  • Offline activation of licenses after install—To complete an offline activation after your server is installed and running, follow the steps below.

Offline activation overview and prerequisites

Offline activation of Tableau Server involves several steps. If you have never activated a product key before on your computer, you need to run through the steps twice, once to initialize licensing on the computer, and a second time to activate the key. If you have had a license on the computer in the past, you run through the steps only once.

Offline activation steps:

  1. Generate an offline activation request file (offline.tlq).
  2. Upload the offline activation request to Tableau and download the resulting activation file (activation.tlf).
  3. Upload the activation file to Tableau Server.

If this is the first time a Tableau product key has been activated on the computer, you repeat these three steps a second time.

Use the TSM web interface

If you attempt to activate your product key from the TSM licenses page and see a dialog that says online activation is unavailable, you can activate the key offline. Click Activate License Offline.

  1. Create Offline File

    Your first step is to create an offline file (offline.tlq).

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

    Copy the offline.tlq file to a computer with internet access. You need to upload this file to Tableau to generate an activation file.

  2. Upload and Submit Offline File

    Next, on the computer where you copied the offline.tlq file, go to http://www.tableau.com/support/activation(Link opens in a new window) to upload your file and submit it. Doing this automatically generates an activation file (activation.tlf) that you can download and copy back to the Tableau Server computer.

    1. On the Offline Activation page, click Choose File to select the offline.tlq file.
    2. Click Upload Activation File to submit the file to Tableau.
    3. Click the here link to download the resulting activation.tlf file to your computer.

    4. Copy the downloaded activation.tlf file to the computer where Tableau Server is installed.
  3. Click Next Step to move to the next dialog.

  4. Upload Activation File

    On the Tableau Server computer, click Upload Activation File to upload the activation.tlf file to Tableau Server.

  5. Create, Upload, and Submit a Second Offline File

    Important: This step is only necessary if you are prompted to activate Tableau Server a second time. A second prompt only occurs if you are activating a computer that has never had an activated Tableau license on it.

    1. Click Create Offline File to generate a second offline.tlq file.
    2. Copy that file to the computer that has internet access.
    3. Open a browser session to http://www.tableau.com/support/activation(Link opens in a new window) and upload your new offline file.
    4. Download the resulting activation.tlf file.
    5. Copy the file to the Tableau Server computer.
    6. Click Next Step and then click Upload Activation File to upload the second activation.tlf file to Tableau Server.

  6. Click Activate License to complete the offline activation. You will need to restart Tableau Server for the changes to take effect.

Use the TSM CLI

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 1 - 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 (offline.tlq) from the target directory to a computer that has internet access.

Step 2 - 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 offline.tlq file.

    This creates an activation file, activation.tlf.

  3. Download the resulting activation file from Tableau.

Step 3 - Initialize or activate your license

  1. Copy the activation file (activation.tlf) 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 

First time license activation

If this is the first Tableau license activated on the computer, you will see this message:

Your license has been initialized. To complete the activation, we need one more exchange. Generate and send to Tableau a second activation request file.

Repeat steps 1 through 3 above to activate your license. You need to generate a second offline.tlq file, upload it to Tableau, and download the resulting activation.tlf file, then use that file to activate your license.

If you are not sure whether you need to repeat the steps, you can run this command:

tsm licenses list

If you see a message like this one you need to repeat the steps above:

No licenses are currently activated.

Subsequent license activation

If this is not the first Tableau license activated on the computer, or if you have completed the steps above two times, 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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