Understanding the License for Cumulus Linux 2.5.3 and Later


Starting with version 2.5.3, your Cumulus Linux license has a much more simplified format. Managing your license keys should now be much easier for you, as you can use the same license file for all your licensed Cumulus Linux switches.

In addition, with the new license format, you no longer need to replace the license file when you renew or purchase additional licenses. 

From a technical standpoint, the license has changed as follows:

  • Increased messaging volume, which is displayed on screen when you log into the switch, and is written to syslog. 
  • New messaging when switchd detects a missing or invalid license.  

The new license format looks like this:


You still manage your licenses in the Cumulus Networks customer portal. Both the old and new format licenses will continue to appear in the customer portal, in the event you are running newer and older versions of Cumulus Linux. 

Note: Existing license keys will continue to work when you upgrade to 2.5.3. While upgrading to the new license is completely optional at this time, if you want to upgrade, go to the Inventory tab in your account settings. In the Active list, click Key to see both license formats. Copy the license key under For Cumulus Linux 2.5.3 or later versions and paste it into a text file, then install the license with:

cumulus@switch:~$ sudo cl-license -i <new_license_file>

Verify that your license is installed with the cl-license command.

cumulus@switch:~$ cl-license

For more information on the use of cl-license, please refer to the Quick Start Guide.

When you upgrade to Cumulus Linux 2.5.3, you can upgrade your license, but you are not required to do so.  

If you downgrade Cumulus Linux to a version earlier than 2.5.3, you can use the old style license, which will still appear in the customer portal, as mentioned above. The new license format is compatible only with Cumulus Linux 2.5.3 or later. 

To check the version of Cumulus Linux you are running, read this article.

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    Trap Marshall
    Thanks to Joshua Bowers for helping improve the content of this article.
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