AXP 1.6 User Guide
Software Activation
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Software Activation

Table Of Contents

Software Activation

Ordering Licenses

Glossary of Licensing Terms

License Management

Cisco Product Licensing Registration Portal

Software License Activation

Cisco AXP Software Activation EXEC CLI Commands

Installing and Activating Licenses

Activating an Evaluation License


Cisco License Manager

Additional References

Related Documents and Links

Technical Assistance

Software Activation

This chapter provides an overview of the Cisco Software Licensing processes.

For Cisco AXP 1.5 or higher, Cisco Software Licensing (CSL) can be used to manage feature entitlements for hardware with Services Ready Engine (SRE) enabled Platform SKUs.

Note For the (non-SRE) NME and AIM2 platforms, the evaluation license never expires.

Software activation using CSL is a collection of processes and components to activate Cisco software feature sets by obtaining and validating Cisco software licenses.

CSL supports:

custom third-party licenses using dynamic license policies

custom Cisco licenses using dynamic license policies

evaluation license activation

permanent license installation/removal

Cisco AXP 1.5 or higher software has a general purpose license, bundled with the base image, which is required for hosted applications to run on Cisco AXP.

For SRE platforms, the AXP license in the SRE image is available for 60 days. This evaluation license can be replaced by purchasing a permanent license within the 60-day trial period.

The following sections describe ordering and software activation:

Ordering Licenses

Glossary of Licensing Terms

License Management

Additional References

Ordering Licenses

A Product Activation Key (PAK) is obtained by ordering a product license. The PAK is an alphanumeric string that is sent via e-mail. A PAK can represent multiple licenses for multiple products.

To order a software product license, perform the following steps:

Step 1 Login to

Step 2 Select How to Buy.

Step 3 Select All Ordering Options.

Step 4 Select Dynamic Configuration Tool.

Step 5 Enter the product license SKU; for example, FL-AXP-SM-GP=.

For different license SKUs, refer to Table 4.

Table 4 License SKUs for Cisco AXP

License SKUs


System SKU for SM service modules. Use a system SKU when purchasing a license at the same time as a service module.


Spare SKU for SM service modules. Use a spare SKU when adding a spare license after having already purchased a service module.


System SKU for ISM service modules.


Spare SKU for ISM service modules.

Glossary of Licensing Terms

The following terms are used for software licensing.

AXP Software License Validation

Cisco Software Licensing uses a system of validation keys to provide a simple mechanism for deploying new feature sets that offers Cisco customers increased functionality for upgrading and maintaining their software.

Some feature sets on a Cisco AXP image may need a license key before they can be enabled. The customer obtains the license key using Cisco's licensing portal, or by using an EXEC command, or by using the Cisco License Manager application. A license key is issued for a specific Cisco AXP feature set and is locked to the device's UDI. (This is known as a node-locked license.)

Cisco AXP Authorization Bundle

The authorization bundle is a file provided by the Cisco Developer Network that grants permission to develop software for Cisco AXP. In addition to other packaging options and dependencies, the authorization bundle may also express dependencies on licensing entitlements.

Licensing Dependencies: Example

The following licensing dependencies can be in the authorization bundle:



LICENSE=AXP-GP-LIC | "xyz Feature"

When a Cisco AXP application is bundled with an authorization bundle that expresses licensing dependencies, Cisco AXP software inspects the licensing infrastructure at install time to look for presence of either a temporary or permanent license.

The AXP-GP-LIC feature is included in the temporary license that is bundled with the Cisco AXP host OS. Other features can be obtained in an authorization bundle from the Cisco Developer Services.

End User License Agreement

As part of the licensing process, customers must accept terms and conditions set forth in the end-user license agreement (EULA). The agreement is accepted implicitly when a customer first uses a new device, but must be explicitly accepted before a feature set can be activated for evaluation and upon applying temporary extension licenses.

License File

File generated by Cisco licensing tools, which is used to install a license on product. The license file contains of one or more license lines. A license file exists on a licensed device such as a router or a switch. This file exists in permanent storage.

License Key

A unique value that enables usage and entitlement for a set of Cisco IOS features.

License Line

Characters arranged in a particular format that hold the license for a single feature. A line has all the necessary fields and attributes that make the license valid, tamper-proof, and complete. A license file may contain a single license line.

Permanent License

Permanent licenses are perpetual—they do not have any usage period associated with them. Once permanent licenses are installed, they provide all the permissions needed to access features in the software image. All permanent licenses are node locked and validated by the licensing infrastructure during software installation and once a permanent license is installed, it is not necessary to upgrade for subsequent releases.

Product Activation Key

Interaction with the Cisco licensing portals may require a Product Activation Key (PAK), which is provided to customers when they order and purchase the right to use a feature set for a particular platform. The PAK serves as a receipt and is an important component in the process to obtain and upgrade a license.

Customers may also purchase a bulk PAK to fulfill multiple licenses on a device.


Process where a valid license is transferred from one platform to another. This implies the license is no longer valid on the original platform.


Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA)—process used by a customer when returning a defective product.


Stock Keeping Unit, a unique, individual part number used to track and monitor inventory. A Cisco software licensing SKU maps to one or more software features.


Software Infrastructure and Fulfilment Technology, the Cisco licensing infrastructure that is accessed via HTTPS over the Internet. The Cisco License Manager application interacts with the Cisco licensing infrastructure on behalf of many devices. Customers can interact directly with the Cisco licensing infrastructure service using Cisco IOS software commands.

Temporary License

Temporary licenses are limited to a specific usage period (for example, 60 days) and a EULA must be accepted before they can be activated. The bundled temporary license for AXP-GP-LIC in Cisco AXP SRE images is an example of a temporary license. Temporary licenses may or may not be node-locked, depending on their type. For instance, evaluation licenses bundled with the software are not, while an extension license issued by TAC under certain circumstances would be.

Universal Device Identifier

Cisco software performs license verification checks by comparing a stored Universal Device Identifier (UDI)—a unique and unchangeable identifier assigned to all Cisco hardware devices—with that of the device. The UDI has two main components: the product ID (PID) and the serial number (SN). The UDI is printed on a label located on back of most Cisco hardware devices, and can be viewed via software.

License Management

The management of software licenses for Cisco AXP is described in the following sections:

Cisco Product Licensing Registration Portal

Software License Activation—installing and managing licenses using CLI commands in Cisco AXP EXEC mode directly on the device.

Cisco License Manager—software application for obtaining, registering, installing, and managing licenses on multiple devices.

Cisco Product Licensing Registration Portal

Register software licenses by entering the PAK at

The name of the PAK is based on the hardware platform.

To use this portal, you need a account. If you do not have a account, contact your Cisco AXP marketing representative.

To obtain an RMA replacement license, from the license portal at under "Migration License", click "Register for Upgrade/Migrate License", which leads to the following page:

When you are ready to deploy you application, you can acquire a permanent license if your service module does not already have one.

To determine if the current license is an evaluation or permanent license, refer to the
show license permanent command in the "Installing and Activating Licenses" section.

Note You must have a user name and password for a Cisco account to access some of the URLs in the following procedure.


Order a license product (refer to the "Ordering Licenses" section) and obtain the PAK.

To obtain and install licenses for Cisco AXP, perform the following steps:

Step 1

a. Obtain the PAK after purchasing a product. Refer to the "Ordering Licenses" section.


b. If you are using Cisco License Manager tool, enter the PAK into the Cisco License Manager and obtain a license file. When you have downloaded the license file, go to Step 7.

Step 2 Obtain the unique device identifier (UDI) of the device. The UDI consists of the PID and the SN.

The UDI is printed on a label located on the back of most Cisco hardware devices or on a label tray visible on the front panel of field-replaceable motherboards. The UDI can also be viewed via software using the show license udi command in privileged EXEC mode.

Step 3 Go to the licensing portal at

Enter the PAK (see Step 1) and UDI (see Step 2).

A list of licenses associated with the PAK appears.

Step 4 Select a license for the device.

Step 5 Download the license file or receive the license file by e-mail.

Step 6 For each device that you need a license for, repeat steps 1 to 5 above.

Step 7 Install the license by copying the license file(s) to an FTP or TFTP server accessible by the service module. Use the license install command to install the license. Depending on the type of license, various actions occur: the end user license agreement is printed, or in the case of an extension license, you are prompted to accept the agreement, and messages appear showing that the license is installed.

Installing a License: Example

In this example, some of the text are truncated to be easier to read.

SE-Module# license install tftp://ip-address/FOC1117579C_AXP-GP-LIC.lic 

Installing...Feature:AXP-GP-LIC...OK:No Error

1/1 licenses were successfully installed

0/1 licenses were existing licenses

0/1 licenses were failed to install 

The show license all command displays a summary of all licenses installed on the application service module.

SE-Module# show license all 
License Store: Primary License Storage
StoreIndex:  0  Feature: AXP-GP-LIC   Version: 1.0
        License Type: Permanent
        License State: Active, Not in Use
        License Count: Non-Counted
        License Priority: Medium
License Store: Evaluation License Storage
StoreIndex:  0  Feature: AXP-GP-LIC   Version: 1.0   License Type: Evaluation
        License State: Inactive
            Evaluation total period:  8 weeks  4 days 
            Evaluation period left:  8 weeks  4 days 
        License Count: Non-Counted
        License Priority: Low 

The configuration of the application can continue.

SE-Module# configure terminal
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
SE-Module(config)# app-service SomeApp 
SE-Module(config-SomeApp)# no shutdown

Software License Activation

Use Cisco AXP CLI commands to install and manage the software licenses on the service module. This section includes the following topics:

Cisco AXP Software Activation EXEC CLI Commands

Installing and Activating Licenses

Activating an Evaluation License


Cisco AXP Software Activation EXEC CLI Commands

The following EXEC commands perform basic licensing tasks:

Install a license.

SE-Module# license install filename

where filename is the URL of filename.lic in the format ftp://path/filename.lic

Add a comment to a license.

SE-Module# license comment {add | delete} feature-name comment string

Save license credentials. Use this command if you need to resend your device's licenses.

SE-Module# license save credentials filename

where filename is the URL of filename.cred in the format ftp://path/filename.cred

Back up a license.

SE-Module# license save filename

where filename has the format ftp://path/filename.lic

Remove or clear unused licenses.

To see which feature licenses an application is using, perform the following command:

SE-Module#show app-service licenses

Shutdown each application that uses a feature license that you want to clear.

Clear the license using the following command:

SE-Module# license clear feature-name

Note A license cannot be cleared if the license is currently in use.

Rehost (revoke and transfer) a license so that the license can be used for another device.

Obtain a permission ticket from the licensing portal.

The following command uploads the permission ticket and verifies if it is applicable to the service module. If it is applicable, the command writes the rehost ticket to the specified ftp location. where the first file refers to the permission ticket from the licensing portal.

SE-Module# license revoke permissionticket rehostticket

permissionticket is the URL of file permticket in the format ftp://path/permticket. The permission ticket must exist on the ftp server—it is placed there by the licensing portal in the previous step.
rehostticket is the URL of rehostticket in the format ftp://path/rehostticket.

Verify license enabled features in the Cisco AXP image.

SE-Module# show license feature

Figure 2 shows the work flow for the license upgrade process for manual license fulfillment.

Figure 2 Manual License Upgrade Work Flow

The work flow for manufacturing-installed licensing involves the following:

1. Customer purchases required PAKs

2. UDI is obtained from the device

3. UDI and PAK are entered into to Cisco's licensing portal

4. License file is sent to customer via e-mail

5. Customer installs licenses on the devices

Installing and Activating Licenses

Evaluation licenses only require activation. They do not need to be installed as they are included with the Cisco AXP software on the service module.

Permanent licenses must be installed but do not require any activation.

Use show license commands to determine if you need to install a permanent license or activate an evaluation license.

show license: Example

This example shows an evaluation license.

SE-Module# show license feature

Feature name        Enforcement   Evaluation  Clear Allowed  Enabled
AXP-GP-LIC          yes           yes         yes            no     

SE-Module# show license evaluation

StoreIndex:  0  Feature: AXP-GP-LIC    Version: 1.0
        License Type: Evaluation
        License State: Active, Not in Use, EULA not accepted
            Evaluation total period:  8 weeks  4 days 
            Evaluation period left:  8 weeks  4 days 
        License Count: Non-Counted
        License Priority: None 

To accept the EULA for this evaluation license, see the "Activating an Evaluation License" section.

A blank line is displayed by the following command which shows that the license is an evaluation license.

SE-Module# show license permanent

[[A blank line indicates that no permanent license is installed]] 

Activating an Evaluation License

For more information on these commands, see the "Cisco AXP Software Activation EXEC CLI Commands" section.

To activate the EULA, use the license evaluation enable command in application service mode. For example,

SE-Module(exec-app1)# license evaluation enable AXP-GP-LIC

Evaluation licenses are being activated in the device for the following feature(s):??  
hereby  acknowledge  and  agree that  the  product feature  license?is terminable and that 
the product  feature  enabled  by  such  license may  be  shut  down or  terminated by  
Cisco  after  expiration of  the?applicable  term  of  the license  (e.g., 30-day  trial  
period). Cisco?reserves the  right to terminate or shut down  any such product feature 
electronically  or by  any other  means available. While alerts or such messages  may  be 
provided, it is  your sole  responsibility to monitor your terminable  usage of any  
product  feature enabled by  the license?and to ensure that your systems and  networks are 
prepared for the shut?down of the product feature. You acknowledge  and agree that Cisco 
will?not have any liability  whatsoever for  any damages, including, but not?limited to, 
direct, indirect, special, or consequential damages related?to any product  feature  being 
shutdown or terminated. By clicking  the?"accept" button  or typing "yes" you are  
indicating  you have read and?agree to be bound by all the terms provided herein.?Do you 
accept the EULA [y/n]? : y 
Feature Activated 

The show license evaluation command displays that the EULA has been accepted:

SE-Module# show license evaluation

StoreIndex:  0  Feature: AXP-GP-LIC    Version: 1.0
        License Type: Evaluation
        License State: Active, Not in Use, EULA accepted
            Evaluation total period:  8 weeks  4 days 
            Evaluation period left:  8 weeks  4 days 
        License Count: Non-Counted
        License Priority: Low 

Now you can continue with the configuration of the application.

SE-Module# configure terminal 
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
SE-Module(config)# app-service application-name 
SE-Module(config-application-name)# no shutdown 


Runtime errors and warnings are logged in messages.log, which can be accessed using CLI commands on the service module.

When searching for errors, use the following key phrases:




A typical CSL-related log message looks like this:

Jun 29 17:59:44 localhost err_handler: 2009 Jun 29 17:59:44 GMT +0000: err_handler: INFO 
AXP_csl  startapp Request AXP-GP-LIC(1.0} for baselic_app: Unable to request License 
AXP-GP-LIC (1.0) for baselic_app: User failed to accept EULA (1) 

In this error message, you can find the exact operation that has been performed and its result. In this case, license (AXP-GP-LIC) version (1.0) has been requested for use by (baselic_app). The request failed because the EULA has not been accepted.

In the case of a successful request, CSL log would look like:

Jun 29 18:07:17 localhost err_handler: 2009 Jun 29 18:07:17 GMT +0000: err_handler:    
INFO AXP_csl  startapp Request AXP-GP-LIC(1.0} for baselic_app: License AXP-GP-LIC (1.0) 
has been successfully requested for baselic_app (0)

Cisco License Manager

For a network-wide deployment, the Cisco License Manager can automate all license-related work flows by securely communicating with the licensing back-end fulfillment systems at and deploying the obtained licenses to managed devices on a network-wide basis. The application also keeps an inventory of deployed licenses and generates license reports.

Cisco License Manager is available at no cost and can be downloaded by registered users from

For additional information on Cisco License Manager, see the Cisco Software Activation Conceptual Overview chapter in Cisco IOS Software Activation Configuration Guide and the documents at

Additional References

The following sections provide references related to the software activation feature:

Related Documents and Links

Technical Assistance

Related Documents and Links

Technical Assistance


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