VMware ESXi – Resetting the Trial License (V2V Scenario)

When I had to move a bunch of ESXi hosts to Hyper-V I ran into limitations of the free version of ESXi being unable to attach to MVMC 3.0 and erroring out.

The solution was to reset the ESXi license key files and then re-run the V2V operation which successfully completed. This is how to do the steps for ESXi 4.1. This can be done without restarting the host or any VMs.

  1. Enable the VMware SSH Shell if it isnt already
    1. Under configuration\security, enable the SSH service
  2. Use Putty to SSH into the VSphere host.
  3. login as root
  4. Remove the license file and restart VMware services:
    1. rm -f /etc/vmware/vmware.lic /etc/vmware/license.cfg
    2. services.sh restart
  5. Connect and verify that it pops up with a License Expiration in 60 days warning.
  6. You can now use VMware fully

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