FREE license for vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 6.x & 7.x) – UPDATED!


Archived! Please read the update above!

VMware is providing a free license for their Hypervisor product and you can get one also. All you need to do is create a free account in the Customer Connect portal. The license you will receive is 100% identical to the paid version but with some software limitations. If you already have a free license key for an older version, you can generate a new key for ESXi 7.0.

To create an account:

  • Enter the mandatory fields (email address, password, first name, last name, etc.).
  • Complete the registration form.
  • Enter the Captcha code provided.
  • Agree to the terms and conditions.
  • Click Register.

IMPORTANT: The Next Step: Check Your Email page displays information about activating your profile. Do not close this page.

  • An “Activate your account” email will be sent to you by The VMware Team <>, where you will be provided with a 6 Digit Authentication Code.
    • Please note each code you request will be valid for 20 minutes.
    • The Authentication Code re-send option allows for 3 total attempts, before a security soft-lock*** to your profile.
  • Once the Authentication Code is received, you must go back to your web browser, onto the Customer Connect Portal, and enter the 6 digit code received.
    • Check your junk or spam folder. Add to your email contacts list or allowlist or ask your IT department to add to their email allowlist.
    • Click Resend Email to have the activation email resent.

To download and license ESXi:

Viewing the License for free Hypervisor (ESXi 6.x & 7.x):

  • Log in to Customer Connect.
  • Click Products and select My Download History.
  • Click under VMware vSphere Hypervisor to open the details of the product.
  • Click View downloads and licenses. Alternatively, you can access your license key by following this link .

Licensing a vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 6.0) host:

  • Log in to the ESX/ESXi host using VMware vSphere Client.
  • Click the Configuration tab.
  • Click Licensed Features under Software.
  • Click Edit under Licensed Features.
  • Select Assign a new license key to this host.
  • Press Enter and enter the License Key.
  • Click OK.

Licensing a vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi 6.5 or later) host:

  • Enter the host’s IP address (https://<ip-of-your-host>/) into a supported browser and click Search.
  • Log in to the ESX/ESXi host using your credentials.
  • Click Manage > Licensing.
  • Click Assign License.
  • Enter the license key in the text box.
  • Click Check license.
  • Review the license keys and click Finish.

Some Limitations:

  • No commercial support.
  • No vCenter management, hosts cannot be added to vCenter.
  • Some API functionality is missing (API is read-only).
  • No physical CPU limitation.
  • The number of logical CPUs per host: 480.
  • Maximum vCPUs per virtual machine: 8.
  • The license is restricted to 100 Physical Servers deployments.

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