Friday, February 1, 2013

How to add AP licenses to a Cisco 5508 WLAN controller

How to add AP licenses to a Cisco WLAN controller.

I recently had to do this and I must say if I had the link (below) when I first started out, life would have been much easier.

You should have a PAK from Cisco when you purchased your adder license.


Go to and register it with the controller.





In this case, the PAK is 3681J1B047A.


You are going to need the serial number of your controller in order to generate the license for it.  I SSH into the controller and issue either "show udi" or "show license udi".  Just make sure you are communicating with the controller you intend to upgrade licenses on!  I am sure there are other ways to get this information, but this is how I do it.



After you enter in the information, you can view and download your licenses, or wait for them to arrive via email.  I downloaded the two license files in this example since I am adding licenses to two controllers.



After downloading the file to your computer, extract the file into a directory and place the files into your tftp folder for uploading into the controller.




You'll notice the file is named with the serial number of the controller and the date.  This should give you a hint to which file should be uploaded to your controller.


Browse to your controller to view the current licenses:




I'm a believer in backing up your controller before doing any upgrades to it.  I am going to backup the license files, save the current configuration (you will have to reboot the controller and you don't want to lose any changes) and also backup the configuration.


I use the 3CDaemon tftp server since it is freeware and handles larger files:



Use a logical name for the backup of your current licenses. 



You'll know the controller licenses have been backed up by looking at both the tftp server and the GUI of the controller.  Remember to name the backup to something you can decipher 5 months from now.



Now install the new license.  The syntax is tftp://<tftp server IP address>/<filenameYouDownloaded.lic>


Don't forget to add the ".lic" to the filename!





Verify at your TFTP server:



After the license is installed, you are informed you will need to reboot the controller.  Note that pressing OK does NOT reboot your controller.



You might want to verify that your controller has the new licenses on the Licenses page:  I did, and it is there.  Notice how the new 150 AP license now shows that it is in use.




Now save the configuration before you reboot the controller:




Press OK to save the configuration.  Now save the config to your tftp server before you reboot.  The default name of the file is good enough for me, since it is the IP address of the controller



Verify at your TFTP server:



Now you can reboot the controller.  I am going to schedule a reboot for a weekend.  Enter in the date, time and leave the image set to normal and then click reboot.  You will be informed via the gui the controller will reboot at the time/date you entered.



You are now done adding licenses to your controller.



























  1. Every so often you find articles that are EXACTLY what you needed at the time (and didn't have time to research a bunch and get that information yourself).

    Thanks m8!