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Activating Tableau Desktop in a Disconnected Airgap Environment


Published: 17 Jul 2013
Last Modified Date: 15 Jun 2017

Question

How to activate Tableau Desktop in a disconnected (air gap) environment.

Environment

  • Tableau Desktop
  • Computer disconnected from the Internet (i.e., an air gap environment) 

Answer

  1. On the computer that is disconnected from the Internet, follow steps 1-4 described in the Activating Tableau Offline article in order to save the offline.tlq file.  
  2. On a separate computer that is connected to the Internet and is capable of sending email, download the attached offline.tlq template file for completing an offline activation of Tableau Desktop. 
    Note: This template is a simple XML text file. 
  3. Open this template file using a simple text editor like Notepad, UltraEdit, Sublime, or Notepad++. Do not use Word as this can cause character encoding issues.
  4. Replace the values in the template file on the computer that is connected to the Internet with the same values from offline.tlq file on the computer that is disconnected from the Internet.
    Note: XML elements and values are case sensitive.
  5. Upload the completed template to Activating Tableau Offline. This will create the activation.tlf file which will fulfill the activation.
  6. Transfer this activation.tlf file back onto the computer to be activated, and double click the file which will complete the fulfilled activation. 
 Values to copy from offline.tlq on airgap machine to the template file on the machine with internet:
If you are using a text editor that displays line numbers, the template file should have the values on lines listed as below:
  •   Line 2  - <EntitlementId>XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX</EntitlementId>
  •   Line 5  - <ClientVersion>XX.X.X</ClientVersion>
  •   Line 5  - <RevisionType>XXX</RevisionType>
  •   Line 5  - <MachineIdentifier>XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</MachineIdentifier>
  •   Line 7  - <PlatformTypeName>XXXXXX</PlatformTypeName>
  •   Line 11 - <UniqueMachineNumber><Type>1</Type><Value>XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</Value></UniqueMachineNumber>
  •   Line 12 - <UniqueMachineNumber><Type>2</Type><Value>XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</Value></UniqueMachineNumber>
  •   Line 14 - <SequenceNumber>X</SequenceNumber>
  •   Line 36 - <Hash>XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX</Hash>  ​

Additional Information

Please note, in an Air Gap environment, it is usually much easier to transfer files onto the machines on the air gap network than it is to get files off these machines.
In the past, a method that has worked and satisfied the security process is to create the TLQ file on the machine in question, and then open it in Notepad or a simple text editor, and then print this page. If opening the file in Notepad causes the text to spill out of view, turn on Word Wrap from the Format menu of Notepad. Then, this printed page of the offline.tlq file can be scanned into a machine with internet access to either create the TLQ file there to then upload to the Activation tool, or the scanned image can be sent to Tableau Technical Support for assistance. 

Please note: When scanning the printed page into the 2nd computer, scanning as a PDF has caused issues with the character encoding, so scanning the page as an image is required to avoid this.

Explanation of values:

  •   EntitlementId: The value that represents the license key. This license key must be associated with the current maintenance date.  
  •   ClientVersion: The value that represents the FlexNet from Flexera Software version implemented with Tableau. Note this is not the version number of Tableau Desktop.
  •   RevisionType: A 3 letter value that is used by the FlexNet licensing server to know the type of license system in use. Normally this will be **ASR**, but could also be **SRV**.
  •   MachineIdentifier: A generated value that uses attributes of your system. This value is then used to bind trusted storage to the system. Also known as a "binding hash," these bound items take the individual characteristics of the machine and are used in combination to create a signature of the system hardware. 
  •   PlatformTypeName: The value that indicates the bitness of the machine: 32-bit machines normally have a value of **i86_n3** while 64-bit machines will normally have a value of **x64_n6**.
  •   UniqueMachineNumbers: The unique machine numbers (UMN) is a generated value designed to be unique and constant. The UMN is used by the Tableau activation server to identify the machine that is requesting the transaction. For a Windows computer, the UMN can include the boot disk serial number.
  •   SequenceNumber: A randomly generated value that is stored in a trusted storage file when initially created. However, this is not linked to any physical attribute of your system’s hardware. This can be either a single or double integer such as 2 or 11.
  •   Hash: A hash value (i.e., a string of numbers and letters) that is comprised of the contents of the offline.tlq file and used to validate the file integrity. This value ensures that the information in the file has not been modified.
Note: The MachineIdentifier, UniqueMachineNumbers, and the Hash values will all be Hexadecimal values which means the only valid characters will be 0-9 and A-F which should help to avoid any confusion like lower case L vs the number one or upper case O vs the number zero.
  
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