KMS Emulator in C (currently runs on Linux including Android, FreeBSD, Solaris, Minix, Mac OS, iOS, Windows with or without Cygwin)
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.TH VLMCSD 7 "March 2016" "Hotbird64" "KMS Activation Manual"
.SH NAME
vlmcsd\ \-\ a guide to KMS activation using vlmcsd
.SH SYNOPSIS
.B vlmcsd
[
.IR "options" " ]
.SH DESCRIPTION
This manual describes the concepts of Microsoft KMS activation using \fBvlmcsd\fR. For detailed usage of \fBvlmcsd\fR see \fBvlmcsd\fR(8).
.SS What is KMS?
KMS is a way to activate Microsoft products that was designed for medium and large businesses. In a standard SOHO environment you enter a product key during installation and then activate your product over the Internet. This is done by sending a request to a server at microsoft.com which then either grants or refuses activation.
.PP
By entering a special key called General Volume License Key (\fBGVLK\fR), a.k.a "KMS client key", the product no longer asks the Microsoft server for activation but a user-defined server (called the KMS server) which usually resides in a company's intranet. \fBvlmcsd\fR is an independent open source implementation of a KMS server that is available for everyone while Microsoft gives their KMS server only to corporations that signed a so called "Select contract". In addition \fBvlmcsd\fR never refuses activation while the Microsoft KMS server only activates the products the customer has paid for.
.PP
Product activation using \fBvlmcsd\fR is performed in three easy steps:
.IP 1) 3
Run \fBvlmcsd\fR (or any other KMS emulator) on a computer in your network. This will be your KMS server. New users should simply run the program without any parameters. The defaults should fit the needs of most users.
.IP 2) 3
Install your product and enter the GVLK when you are asked for a key
.IP 3) 3
Configure your client (the machine where you installed your product) to use your KMS server.
.PP
However, when it comes to the details, some things turn out to be more difficult than you might think.
.PP
The most important thing to know is that KMS activation is not permanent. The computer remains activated for 180 days (30 or 45 days with consumer-only products). KMS activation however is not an evaluation license. You can repeat the activation anytime and as often as you like to extend activation to another 180 days. This normally happens automatically. For this to work, you have to ensure that a KMS server is always reachable for the clients on your network.
.PP
Beginning with Windows 8.1 the KMS server must be a different computer than the client. You cannot use \fBvlmcsd\fR on the same computer where you want to activate a product. If you have only one computer, you can run \fBvlmcsd\fR in a virtual machine. \fBvlmcsd\fR is also designed to run on "always-on devices", for example a router. The router becomes your KMS server then.
.SS How to get a GVLK?
That is relatively simple. The GVLKs are published on Microsoft's Technet web site.
.PP
Windows: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj612867.aspx
.br
Office 2010: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624355(v=office.14).aspx#section2_3
.br
Office 2013: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn385360.aspx
.PP
These lists only include products that Microsoft sells to corporations via volume license contracts. For Windows there are inofficial GVLKs that work with consumer-only versions of Windows. Here is a list:
.PP
TX9XD\-98N7V\-6WMQ6\-BX7FG\-H8Q99 - Windows 10 Home
.br
3KHY7\-WNT83\-DGQKR\-F7HPR\-844BM - Windows 10 Home N
.br
7HNRX\-D7KGG\-3K4RQ\-4WPJ4\-YTDFH - Windows 10 Home Single Language
.br
PVMJN\-6DFY6\-9CCP6\-7BKTT\-D3WVR - Windows 10 Home Country Specific
.br
789NJ\-TQK6T\-6XTH8\-J39CJ\-J8D3P - Windows 8.1 Professional with Media Center
.br
M9Q9P\-WNJJT\-6PXPY\-DWX8H\-6XWKK - Windows 8.1 Core
.br
7B9N3\-D94CG\-YTVHR\-QBPX3\-RJP64 - Windows 8.1 Core N
.br
BB6NG\-PQ82V\-VRDPW\-8XVD2\-V8P66 - Windows 8.1 Core Single Language
.br
NCTT7\-2RGK8\-WMHRF\-RY7YQ\-JTXG3 - Windows 8.1 Core Country Specific
.br
GNBB8\-YVD74\-QJHX6\-27H4K\-8QHDG - Windows 8 Professional with Media Center
.br
BN3D2\-R7TKB\-3YPBD\-8DRP2\-27GG4 - Windows 8 Core
.br
8N2M2\-HWPGY\-7PGT9\-HGDD8\-GVGGY - Windows 8 Core N
.br
2WN2H\-YGCQR\-KFX6K\-CD6TF\-84YXQ - Windows 8 Core Single Language
.br
4K36P\-JN4VD\-GDC6V\-KDT89\-DYFKP - Windows 8 Core Country Specific
.PP
The above keys require activation renewal every 45 days (Win 8.1) or 30 days (Win 8). All GVLKs from the Microsoft Technet web site require renewal every 180 days.
.SS What are SLMGR and OSPP and how to use them?
You will need these utilities later. So please continue reading this section.
.PP
These are two Visual Basic script utilities that are used to control Microsoft's Software Protection system. To use them open a Windows Command Prompt. slmgr.vbs is for Windows. ospp.vbs is for Office 2010 and 2013. These utilities are installed with Windows and Office and you don't need to download them.
.PP
slmgr.vbs resides in the system32 directory. So you just have to type "slmgr" in the Windows Command prompt to use it. To use ospp.vbs you'll have to change the current directory to your Office installation. This is usually something like "C:\eProgram\ Files\eMicrosoft\ Office\eOffice14". You may type "slmgr" or "cscript ospp.vbs" without parameters to see help for these commands but this produces some rather confusing output for newbies.
.SS How to get the GVLK into the product?
Normally every product asks you to enter a key during installation. At this time simply enter the GVLK. If you skipped this step or entered some other key which later turned out to be non-working, you can use "slmgr\ /ipk\ \fIGVLK\fR" (Windows) or "cscript ospp.vbs\ /inpkey:\fIGVLK\fR" (Office) at any time.
.IP \fBExamples\fR
slmgr\ /ipk GCRJD\-8NW9H\-F2CDX\-CCM8D\-9D6T9
.br
cscript ospp.vbs\ /inpkey:YC7DK\-G2NP3\-2QQC3\-J6H88\-GVGXT
.SS Why doesn't Office accpet a GVLK?
You'll have to install a volume license (VL) version of Office. Office versions downloaded from MSDN and/or Technet are non-VL.
.SS How to configure a client to use a KMS server?
After you have installed a GVLK you can set your product to use your KMS server. \fBvlmcsd\fR or another KMS server must already be running on your server machine.
.IP "\fBWindows\fR" 5
.PP
Type "slmgr\ /skms\ \fIkms-server\fR[:\fItcp-port\fR]". Example: "slmgr\ /skms\ 192.168.1.17:1688"
.IP "\fBOffice\fR" 5
.IP 1) 3
Type "cscript ospp.vbs\ /sethst:\fIkms-server\fR". Example "cscript ospp.vbs\ /sethst:192.168.1.17"
.IP 2) 3
Type "cscript ospp.vbs\ /setprt:\fItcp-port\fR". Example: cscript ospp.vbs\ /setprt:1688
.PP
\fItcp-port\fR is usually 1688 unless you instructed \fBvlmcsd\fR to use a different port which is rarely necessary.
.SS How to activate my product?
If you have installed a product with GVLK and pointed it to working KMS server like \fBvlmcsd\fR, activation occurs automatically. This may take a while.
.IP "You may type"
slmgr\ /ato
.br
\-or\-
.br
cscript ospp.vbs\ /act
.PP
at any time to speed up that process. You may repeat these commands later to extend your activation for another 180 (45) days.
.SS Does vlmcsd work correctly?
If something does not work, it may have the cause that \fRvlmcsd\fR does not work correctly although this is unlikely. You can test this with the KMS client \fBvlmcs\fR(1). First type "vlmcs" on the same machine where you started \fBvlmcsd\fR. If things are ok, you should see something like this:
.IP
Connecting to 127.0.0.1:1688 ... successful
.br
Sending\ activation\ request\ (KMS\ V4)\ 1\ of\ 1\ \-> 06401\-00206\-296\-206344\-03\-5179\-9600.0000\-3432013
.PP
If anything goes wrong, you'll see an error message. Next try "vlmcs \fIkms-server\fR" from another machine where \fIkms-server\fR is the hostname or IP address of your KMS server. If that fails while it works locally, you'll most likely have to configure your firewall that it accepts incoming connections on TCP port 1688.
.SS Is there an easier way than using OSPP and SLMGR?
Yes and no. KMS activation was designed for large corporations. Thus Microsoft designed KMS in a way that corporations can configure their network infrastructure to fully automate KMS activation. Since this involves DHCP and DNS, it is not that easy to accomplish that for home users. However, if you are using an open source router firmware like OpenWRT or DD-WRT, it is easy to customize DHCP and DNS.
.IP 1) 3
Configure DHCP that it assigns a DNS domain name to your clients (if it doesn't already), e.g. my-home-net.local
.IP 2) 3
Create zone my-home-net.local in your DNS server (if it doesn't exist already).
.IP 3) 3
Add the following records to your DNS
_vlmcs._tcp.my-home-net.local. 10800 IN SRV 100 100 kms1.my-home-net.local.
.br
kms1.my-home-net.local. 10800 IN A 192.168.1.17
Replace 192.168.1.17 with the IP address of your KMS server. If you don't like a cache time of 10800 seconds (3 hours), replace it with another number.
.PP
This causes that clients will find the KMS server automatically.
.SH AUTHOR
This manual page was written by Hotbird64.
.SH SEE ALSO
\fBvlmcsd\fR(8), \fBvlmcs\fR(1)