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Licensing on 4506E


I am trying to add two of these switches to my home lab to get some hands on with VSS and get familiar with a modular switch

so as I found

before IOS XE 3.4.xSG there was a PAK activation method that seemingly it links with chassis serial, so It seems it's not just up to the supervisor key

and after IOS XE 3.4.xSG which is handier we have PTRU (Perm.. Right to Use),

in older way, it seems we have to be connected to the Cisco website to go through activation process in the newer way we just need a key and chassis serial is not involved.


Now here is my case, I just wanna purchase this for my home lab, and I already purchased two 4506e racks seperately and I am about to purchase two WS-X45-Sup7-E, which no one on ebay puts any licensing information about their supervisors and when you ask thm, they don't know.

and I wanna buy the right equipment, do you think I can activate them?

Will the license be there on flash? and even if that license was on flash, it is not the PAK file, do you think that license generated file on flash is reusable after upgrade to IOS XE 3.4.xSG

cause I probably have to upgrade the IOS to IOS XE 3.4.xSG or after, because my chassis is different from what is being already generated in the license.


Do you think I have anything such as serial number hard coded on the SuperVisor, somewhere that I can give to the cisco for getting that PAK file back?


and ofc purchasing the license should be so expensive?!


I found this on Cisco website

The Permanent Right-to-use (PRTU) license is not installable and it cannot be cleared; it is available by default.

Prior to IOS Release XE 3.4.2SG, when you upgraded from one license level to another (e.g., IP Base to Entservices), you visited, obtained the desired license using your device’s PAK, and then applied the license on your device.


With IOS Release XE 3.4.2SG, the PRTU license feature simplifies the process by enabling you to do the following:

  • Upgrade from a lower license to a higher license using the license right-to-use activate feature name command.
  • Downgrade from a higher license to a lower license using the license right-to-use deactivate feature name command.
  • You cannot relocate a PRTU license to another device because the license is bundled with the image. So, by upgrading the IOS image, you obtain the PRTU license.

the thing is I have this image(cat4500e-universalk9.SPA.03.04.04.SG.151-2.SG4.bin) for educational purposes only,

should I just buy those two S-X45-SUP7-E and upload this image to them? is this the right image?


Noteblank.gif Prior to IOS Release XE 3.4.2SG, you provided the license file to a Cisco server, then obtained the new license file. With IOS Release XE 3.4.2SG, you do not require those operations. Once the IOS image is upgraded, you receive the license on the switch and activate it with the license right-to-use activate feature name command.

so I think the switch will look at your previews license during the upgrade? I am not 100% sure if they based this on just mutual trust or the switch still look for the serial number?!


Thanks a lot

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Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend
Can't answer that. I've never encountered something like this before.

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6 Replies 6

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

@George-Sl wrote:

do you think I can activate them?

You might be able to activate the Evaluation license but after the grace period ends it will virtually impossible to activate the permanent license because Cisco doesn't recognize serial numbers that are sold/purchased in the gray market.  

If you want to buy them, make sure the vendor is able to provide the complete output to the commands "sh license feature" and "sh license detail".  Make sure the output matches the serial number of the supervisor card.  

I don't want Evaluation. I want PRTU

and I have a WS-X45-Sup7-E who was IP Base active on another chassis, I want to mount it in to my chassis, and upgrade it to XE 3.4.4SG, will it be remained active after the upgrade?

actually I asked them for sh license but no one has access to tht info, and the thing is, it doesn't even matter, 'cause most of 'em had been pulled frm production envir.., for sure it comes with license, my question is my chassis is not the same as the chassis that they are pulled from.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend

@George-Sl wrote:

my question is my chassis is not the same as the chassis that they are pulled from.

In relations to the license of the supervisor, there is no relationship between the chassis model and the license that can/can't be used.  

Make sure that you clear out the VLAN database.  For a 4500 supervisor card (across the board), the command to delete the VLAN database is different.

Not the chassis model but the chassis Serial Number, I haven't bought the supervisor yet, I just have the chassis, and it seems(I am not sure) I am referencing this based on this link(the post by Kyle), that he is claiming the license generated file on the flash, is generated with a combination of PAK file and chassis Serial number.(and ofc I don't have access to the PAK file either, if I had I wouldn't put this issue over here, I will only have access to the license that is already there on the supervisor of another chassis of a same model 6504-e).


so you mean if I pull a WS-X45-Sup7-E with Active Enterprise license from any 4506-e chassis and mount it to any other 4506-e chassis that has no other supervisor on it, it will activate and start working?basically its license is chassis independent?


this is from Cisco

With the node-locked license model, in a release prior to IOS Cisco XE 3.4.2SG, a license was applicable to a specific switch UID. Therefore, to activate a license on a new switch, you had to obtain a new license for the new UID. With PRTU licenses, logging on the Cisco server is un necessary to download and install the license. The license is available with the image.

  • They can be instantly activated on any supported switch.

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend VIP Community Legend
VIP Community Legend
Can't answer that. I've never encountered something like this before.




Please help me with this issue folks

If anyone here has experience with this product line, I need to order the right equipment, I don't want to spend twice

I have this 4506e chasis(Like New) I bought it separately, if I recieve a WS-X45-Sup7-E from a different chassis but with an active IP Base license, can I still have it active(PRTU) after installing a new IOS(XE 3.4.4SG) and after being mounted on my chassis?


Does IOS after XE 3.4.2SG, check for chassis serial to be matched with the license on supervisor or not?

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