Early Introduction to our new Key-Based licensing [NEW INSTALL METHOD]

DirectAdmin Sales

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
538
This post is intended to help our datacenter partners adjust to our new, more powerful, key-based licensing system.

This new licensing system will offer more flexible options for datacenters, and less confusion for their end-users. No longer will there be reliance on the old method of Client ID / User ID / License IP / License OS. Intelligent keys have finally arrived.

Datacenters will save time through effortless license provisioning. No information about the server is required to generate a key. In fact, datacenters can offer keys as a standalone product! Your customer can then float the key between any servers they rent from you, and it will "just work."

Current Status

Our new key-based system is already functioning under the hood as our primary licensing engine. Once we complete further optimizations and GUI (client account) features, we will officially announce the switch to key-based licensing. There will be plenty of notice given, including notifications in the client account, when this system is ready. Then, plenty of time will be given for datacenters to make adjustments (update their scripting/automation, if needed).

IMPORTANT: Our licensing system is now operating in a hybrid mode (new & old licensing methods) to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. This becomes impossible if your customers are running outdated DirectAdmin versions. Please see this thread.

Where to Find the Key Hash

Login to your account and click on a license to view it. You will see a "License Key" row, with the key next to it. If the license has been long idle, or running an older DA version, it is possible no key exists yet. Click on the (+) symbol and look for the reset key link.

Getting the key and resetting the key can also be done through our licensing API (see below).

Creating Keys That Require No Customer or Server information (STANDALONE KEYS)

If you are ordering keys (licenses) through our web portal, you will see some changes on the order form. Now, the IP address and Operating System fields default to "Auto-detect" -- and the key will work for your customer, anywhere in your IP space. You can restrict this usage further, if required (see next section).

Please note: If you use this method, you must provide your customer the license key hash, as the installer will prompt for it.

Standalone keys can also be created through our licensing API (see below).

Key Security

A license key is secure, unless it is leaked or stolen. The license key hash should be provided to your customer and treated as private information, similar to your customer's server login information.

A retail license key may be used anywhere, but datacenter keys should never be used outside of the datacenter's authorized IP space. To prevent customer misuse, we have two IP-limiting mechanisms in place. The most important is Client IP Restrictions, an area of your account where you can register the IPv4/IPv6 ranges you operate under. This is a global (account-wide) restriction that has authority over all other restrictions. Therefore, when a key is used outside of these ranges, it automatically fails.


Important: Any IP ranges you enter may be subject to verification -- this will help us prevent abuse, unauthorized resale of licenses, or encroaching on the IP space of others.

Secondly, you may further restrict key usage at the license level. When viewing a license in your account, below the license key row you will see an IP Restriction link. You can use this feature to make the license function as a legacy license (usable only on one IP). Please note,
the traditional license IP (seen at the top of the screen) is ignored by keys. You must use this IP Restriction link to further limit the key.

You will also see a new option called IP Auto Lock. This will simply automate per-license IP Restrictions for you. The first detected IPv4 and/or IPv6 will be locked to the key, preventing it from being used on any other IP address(es). Certain accounts may have IP Auto Lock applied automatically, but active datacenter accounts can freely enable/disable this feature at any time.

We do not anticipate datacenters needing these secondary (per-license) measures, as it is a time-saver for you and your customers to have free-floating keys that do not require constant adjustment. Typically, just Client IP Restrictions (global settings) should be enough.

You may also set per-license IP restrictions, and enable/disable IP Auto Lock, using our licensing API (see below).


Install Methods

Always point your customers to our official install guide, as it provides the most accurate and updated information. No matter how you provision licenses (legacy system, or key-based system), this guide will work for your customer.

Legacy install methods that remain acceptable are:

Code:
./setup.sh auto
or
Code:
./setup.sh UID LID

Both these methods will allow installation without knowing the license key hash.

Please note: If you are using legacy methods, your customer's server IPv4 must be defined in the IP address field of the license, as traditionally done in the past. This is what our legacy licensing system uses to match an IP with a license.

For additional info on installer features and options, run:

Code:
./setup.sh --help

License Update Methods

There is no longer a need for a customer to refresh their key. A key file does not need to be updated or refreshed on a regular basis.

For information purposes, the key file is located at:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/conf/license.key

Our traditional getLicense.sh script is now only used for the case of a key update (forcing a different key onto the server). Usage:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/scripts/getLicense.sh NewLicenseKey

This will download the new key, and restart DirectAdmin.

Licensing API

If you are using our licensing API, you will notice some new entries:
  • Under List Licenses, the ability to return the license key.
  • Under Reset License Key Hash, the ability to reset the license key.
  • Under License IP Restrictions, the ability to lock a license to a specific IP or range, to prevent its usability over your entire IP space.
  • Under Create a License, the ability to set NULL for license IP and license OS, to create a standalone key that works over your entire IP space
  • Under Change OS and Change IP, the ability to set NULL values
Next Steps

Be sure to watch your account for official announcements, and this thread for interim updates.
 
Last edited:

quags

Verified User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
20
Location
Secaucus, NJ
Love it. This is great news. The client id / license id method has made automation more difficult and the new license system addresses all that.
 

mrviets

New member
Joined
Jan 5, 2022
Messages
1
What about the internal key when buying with the vps provider, i can't find the key hash?
This post is intended to help our datacenter partners adjust to our new, more powerful, key-based licensing system.

This new licensing system will offer more flexible options for datacenters, and less confusion for their end-users. No longer will there be reliance on the old method of Client ID / User ID / License IP / License OS. Intelligent keys have finally arrived.

Datacenters will save time through effortless license provisioning. No information about the server is required to generate a key. In fact, datacenters can offer keys as a standalone product! Your customer can then float the key between any servers they rent from you, and it will "just work."

Current Status

Our new key-based system is already functioning under the hood as our primary licensing engine. Once we complete further optimizations and GUI (client account) features, we will officially announce the switch to key-based licensing. There will be plenty of notice given, including notifications in the client account, when this system is ready. Then, plenty of time will be given for datacenters to make adjustments (update their scripting/automation, if needed).

IMPORTANT: Our licensing system is now operating in a hybrid mode (new & old licensing methods) to make the transition as easy and seamless as possible. This becomes impossible if your customers are running outdated DirectAdmin versions. Please see this thread.

Where to Find the Key Hash

Login to your account and click on a license to view it. You will see a "License Key" row, with the key next to it. If the license has been long idle, or running an older DA version, it is possible no key exists yet. Click on the (+) symbol and look for the reset key link.

Getting the key and resetting the key can also be done through our licensing API (see below).

Creating Keys That Require No Customer or Server information (STANDALONE KEYS)

If you are ordering keys (licenses) through our web portal, you will see some changes on the order form. Now, the IP address and Operating System fields default to "Auto-detect" -- and the key will work for your customer, anywhere in your IP space. You can restrict this usage further, if required (see next section).

Please note: If you use this method, you must provide your customer the license key hash, as the installer will prompt for it.

Standalone keys can also be created through our licensing API (see below).

Key Security

A license key is secure, unless it is leaked or stolen. The license key hash should be provided to your customer and treated as private information, similar to your customer's server login information.

A retail license key may be used anywhere, but datacenter keys should never be used outside of the datacenter's authorized IP space. To prevent customer misuse, we have two IP-limiting mechanisms in place. The most important is Client IP Restrictions, an area of your account where you can register the IPv4/IPv6 ranges you operate under. This is a global (account-wide) restriction that has authority over all other restrictions. Therefore, when a key is used outside of these ranges, it automatically fails.


Important: Any IP ranges you enter may be subject to verification -- this will help us prevent abuse, unauthorized resale of licenses, or encroaching on the IP space of others.

Secondly, you may further restrict key usage at the license level. When viewing a license in your account, below the license key row you will see an IP Restriction link. You can use this feature to make the license function as a legacy license (usable only on one IP). Please note,
the traditional license IP (seen at the top of the screen) is ignored by keys. You must use this IP Restriction link to further limit the key.

You will also see a new option called IP Auto Lock. This will simply automate per-license IP Restrictions for you. The first detected IPv4 and/or IPv6 will be locked to the key, preventing it from being used on any other IP address(es). This can be freely enabled/disabled.

We do not anticipate datacenters needing these secondary (per-license) measures, as it is a time-saver for you and your customers to have free-floating keys that do not require constant adjustment. Typically, just Client IP Restrictions (global settings) should be enough.

You may also set per-license IP restrictions, and enable/disable IP Auto Lock, using our licensing API (see below).


Install Methods

Always point your customers to our official install guide, as it provides the most accurate and updated information. No matter how you provision licenses (legacy system, or key-based system), this guide will work for your customer.

Legacy install methods that remain acceptable are:

Code:
./setup.sh auto
or
Code:
./setup.sh UID LID

Both these methods will allow installation without knowing the license key hash.

Please note: If you are using legacy methods, your customer's server IPv4 must be defined in the IP address field of the license, as traditionally done in the past. This is what our legacy licensing system uses to match an IP with a license.

For additional info on installer features and options, run:

Code:
./setup.sh --help

License Update Methods

There is no longer a need for a customer to refresh their key. A key file does not need to be updated or refreshed on a regular basis.

For information purposes, the key file is located at:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/conf/license.key

Our traditional getLicense.sh script is now only used for the case of a key update (forcing a different key onto the server). Usage:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/scripts/getLicense.sh NewLicenseKey

This will download the new key, and restart DirectAdmin.

Licensing API

If you are using our licensing API, you will notice some new entries:
  • Under List Licenses, the ability to return the license key.
  • Under Reset License Key Hash, the ability to reset the license key.
  • Under License IP Restrictions, the ability to lock a license to a specific IP or range, to prevent its usability over your entire IP space.
  • Under Create a License, the ability to set NULL for license IP and license OS, to create a standalone key that works over your entire IP space
  • Under Change OS and Change IP, the ability to set NULL values
Next Steps

Be sure to watch your account for official announcements, and this thread for interim updates.
 

DirectAdmin Sales

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
538
What about the internal key when buying with the vps provider, i can't find the key hash?

If your provider has deployed the license the old-fashioned way, our modern install guide still works for you:


In this case, you would just use auto instead of the key.

In the future, they will be forced to provide keys. This announcement is just early notice for this.
 

DirectAdmin Sales

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
538
how about os_override option ?


Eg. if both field Change OS and Change IP not be NULL
So this options still work fine, or not?
Any affect with this options ?

The truth is, everything is done on the server side now. On the licensing side, it doesn't matter if the license is set to "1.2.3.4 / CentOS8" or "NULL / NULL" -- our modern installer ignores these settings.

Because everything is done on the server side, things like os_override continue to function as normal, because that is a server side setting. :)
 

lowhigh

Verified User
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
23
If your provider has deployed the license the old-fashioned way, our modern install guide still works for you:


In this case, you would just use auto instead of the key.

In the future, they will be forced to provide keys. This announcement is just early notice for this.
Hi team!

I'm using DA with License key "auto" like this pic. In the past, this is a Portioned License.
1642604117816.png
After update to 1.6.34, DA run nomarlly but only a half of day, the system show "License Expired", i have to run this command

/usr/local/directadmin/scripts/getLicense.sh auto
systemctl restart directadmin

How do i fix this issue?
 

DirectAdmin Sales

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
538
"getLicense.sh auto" just reloads your key. You should never need to do this more than once, since your key is a permanent thing (unless you reset it).

So I would suggest opening a ticket if you need to keep restarting DA (or running getLicense.sh) to keep it running. This is unusual activity.
 

lowhigh

Verified User
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
23
"getLicense.sh auto" just reloads your key. You should never need to do this more than once, since your key is a permanent thing (unless you reset it).

So I would suggest opening a ticket if you need to keep restarting DA (or running getLicense.sh) to keep it running. This is unusual activity.
Thanks team. And i have 2 questions:

1. How do i get a newLicensekey, i have only ClientID and LicenseID that used for many years?
I cannot contact to my provider to get this newLicensekey as you guide above

2. Is there any way to extract this licenkey file when i newly setup a DA system with this IP server
Once upon a time, i build a standart system with DA on VMware and Clone it using ClientID and LicenseID. And now, with this new licensing system, i don't know how to active the Cloned DA system. Please help me, I have check that my IP was verified by DA checked system.
 

DirectAdmin Sales

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Feb 27, 2003
Messages
538
You can still install DA without knowing the key. We haven't forced everyone onto the new system yet. This thread is more of a pre-notice.

If you look at our install guide, it says you can enter auto if you don't know the key. If DA is already installed, you could try running:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/directadmin l

And this should output the key.
 

lowhigh

Verified User
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
23
You can still install DA without knowing the key. We haven't forced everyone onto the new system yet. This thread is more of a pre-notice.

If you look at our install guide, it says you can enter auto if you don't know the key. If DA is already installed, you could try running:

Code:
/usr/local/directadmin/directadmin l

And this should output the key.
Thanks, i see that.

But the 2nd question, when i clone a DA system, it seem that use 1 License key.
With old fashion licensing system, i simply using getLicense.sh and change License key. With new key based licensing, how do i active DA for cloned system?

Thanks team.
 

quags

Verified User
Joined
Jul 13, 2003
Messages
20
Location
Secaucus, NJ
Hi team!

I'm using DA with License key "auto" like this pic. In the past, this is a Portioned License.
View attachment 5125
After update to 1.6.34, DA run nomarlly but only a half of day, the system show "License Expired", i have to run this command

/usr/local/directadmin/scripts/getLicense.sh auto
systemctl restart directadmin

How do i fix this issue?

I have seen a similar issue on centos8/alma8 in the past. Syncing the date resolved it. I had done

Code:
chronyc -a 'burst 4/4'
/usr/local/directadmin/scripts/getLicense.sh auto && systemctl restart directadmin
 

sasir

New member
Joined
Apr 22, 2022
Messages
1
How can i request to add a new IPv4 range to my data center licenses?

I got this "Auto-lock would be enabled to prevent customers from stealing/sharing your license keys. As long as the account is active, you can modify this all you wish. This account looks inactive (no modern products). In this case we charge a fee for the ability to modify IP ranges freely, but it starts at $1000/month, so it might not be a good deal for only 20 licenses The free option is just to use the same Ip for your new customers, as a datacenter just make a list of DA ip addresses and those will be your licensing IPs. "

We are auditing all accounts, and asking them to fill out this form to define their datacenter activity and provide us their IP ranges, so the license keys will only work in the proper IP space: https://form.jotform.com/22057524******* For most accounts this is completely free, but in a strange situation where a datacenter account is inactive (old products, hasn't' placed any order in many years) then we start asking a fee.
 
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