Question about Virtualmin licensing for local development

OS type and version: Ubuntu 20.04 LTS virtualized via MultiPass 1.8.0 on macOS 12.1 Beta (21C0531d)
Webmin version: 1.981
Virtualmin version: 6.17 Pro
Related products version: N/A

I have a question about Virtualmin’s licensing policies. I want to replicate our production Virtualmin environment onto my local macOS computer using MultiPass, a program that basically allows me to spin up Ubuntu virtual machines within seconds, directly on my Mac. In this way, I can stage changes made to Virtualmin and related system components locally before making those changes on our production server.

We currently use Virtualmin Pro but I know licenses are limited to installation on only one machine at a time. But does this cover local environments as well? This Virtualmin virtual machine would be running on my local computer and would not be serving Websites accessible to the Internet; everything would only be accessible on my local network. What are Virtualmin’s policies regarding using a Pro license key (to replicate an environment as thoroughly as possible) on a local machine?


No, each installation regardless of it’s purpose is considered another installation. Depending on what you are actually testing, you could use GPL for your staging environment and Pro for your production environment as GPL does have most of the core features whereas Pro adds a lot of value-added features.

Historically, we were pretty lax about this, allowing a local dev machine or a backup machine (i.e. not serving any public sites), or a new system that is being migrated to from an old Virtualmin Pro system, to exist on the same license as a production machine. Enforcing that is pretty tricky though, and it is ripe for abuse.

I think the license manager still allow two systems to exist without warning about it, but that may have changed. It definitely will not prevent installation on two systems, but you might get a warning about it being used on two, especially if the system ID of one of the systems changes often (i.e. if you’re bringing up a new VM dev environment regularly, and it looks like a third, fourth, fifth, etc. system to our license system).

We’re not going to get ornery about a local dev system, so go ahead and use the same license on your dev instance, and see if the warning goes away on its own. We try to stay out of your way as long as you’re using Virtualmin licenses in good faith. You may get a warning; again, that’s especially likely if you’re installing the license many times, even if each time you’re deleting the old dev VM before. It takes a few days for our license server to notice a system is gone. Those warnings will clear on their own, as long as the old system(s) go away. We don’t flag them as abuse for quite a long time, so as long as you aren’t seeing the warnings for 30+ days, your license won’t get on our radar as being a problem.

Edit: I should probably look into the current state of when/how we warn about multiple installations…if Ilia or Jamie has changed it to always warning on more than one, that might prevent this use case (and I’ll talk it over with them, as I think a dev instance probably should be fine).

Thank you for the clarification on this, Joe. You are correct in that I only plan to use this system for local testing of Ubuntu or Virtualmin changes before I make them on production. We already have a “staging” environment that runs a Virtualmin Pro license we purchased separately for that purpose, and does serve staging versions of production Websites publicly on the Internet. So this local instance is just going to be to stage system configuration changes rather than Website changes, and this instance will not be accessible to the Internet at all outside my local network. Of course I would never want to use a Virtualmin license for anything other than its intended purpose, or misuse the number of machines a license can be installed on, etc., and unless something happens to my Mac I don’t see a need to destroy and then re-create the VM instance in the future.

I’ll go ahead and install Virtualmin Pro on the local VM and see if the warnings pop up.

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