KMS - Microsoft Key Management Server

A Microsoft Key Management Server (KMS) is a part of the Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 solution and is used to activate volume-licensed Microsoft products like Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. Service is determined only for OS acquired by way of Select agreement on MU

How it works

The KMS activates a client for a period of 180 days. Once a machine is activated, it will attempt to communicate with the same KMS every seven days to renew its activation and reset its license counter back to 180 days. If the machine is unable to connect to the KMS, it will keep trying to do so silently every two hours until it is successful.

If the machine has not been able to reestablish communication to the KMS after 180 days, the machine will become unlicensed. It starts a 30-day grace period and notifies the user of this change. If the machine is not activated against the KMS after the 30-day grace period expires, it will enter a reduced functionality mode until it is able to connect to its KMS, or is changed to a Multiple Activation Key (MAK) license and activated.

Configuring Windows Server 2008 to Microsoft Key Management Server (KMS) operated on UVT MU

Windows Vista can either have its KMS server set manually or set to look in the primary DNS suffix zone for the KMS Service Record. DNS must contain thisDNS record: _vlmcs._tcp IN SRV 0 0 1688 kms.ics.muni.cz.

Creating a SRV record in an Active Directory DNS zone

  1. Open the DNS MMC.
  2. Expand the DNS Zone.
  3. Right click on the _tcp folder and select Other New Records…
  4. Select Service Location (SRV) as the new record type.
  5. Fill in the following information for the new records:
    • Service: _VLMCS (This is not in the drop-down list and must be typed.)
    • Protocol: _tcp
    • Port: 1688
    • Host offering the service: kms.ics.muni.cz

Creating a SRV record in a BIND 9.x Compliant DNS Server

When you create record, include the followinf information:

  • Name=_vlmcs._TCP
  • Type=SRV
  • Priority=0
  • Veight=0
  • Port=1688
  • Hostname=kms.ics.muni.cz

The Priority and Weight fields are not used bz KMS server and are ignored by the KMS client. However, they nee to be included in the zone file.

Manually setting the KMS

To activate Windows OS:

  1. Open a command prompt with Administrative Privileges. (From the Start menu, choose All Programs and select Accessories. From there right click on Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".)
  2. Change to the “c:\windows\system32” directory.
  3. Run the following command to set the KMS Server:
    “cscript slmgr.vbs -skms kms.ics.muni.cz”
  4. Run the following command to activate against the newly set KMS:
    “cscript slmgr.vbs -ato”

To activate MS Office:

  1. Open a command prompt with Administrative Privileges. (From the Start menu, choose All Programs and select Accessories. From there right click on Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".)
  2. For a 64-bit operating system:
    Change to the “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15” directory.
    For a 32-bit operating system:
    Change to the “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15” directory.
  3. Run the following command to set the KMS Server:
    “cscript ospp.vbs /sethst:kms.ics.muni.cz”
  4. Run the following command to activate against the newly set KMS:
    “cscript ospp.vbs /act”

Convert a MAK Activation Client to a KMS Client

By default, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 operating systems use KMS for activation. You can change the activation method of a KMS client to MAK and then change it back by installing the corresponding product key. Table 2 lists the KMS client setup keys for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 volume editions.

Table 2: KMS Client Setup Keys

Operating System Edition Product Key
Windows Vista Business YFKBB-PQJJV-G996G-VWGXY-2V3X8
Windows Vista Business N HMBQG-8H2RH-C77VX-27R82-VMQBT
Windows Vista Enterprise VKK3X-68KWM-X2YGT-QR4M6-4BWMV
Windows Vista Enterprise N VTC42-BM838-43QHV-84HX6-XJXKV
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter 7M67G-PC374-GR742-YH8V4-TCBY3
Windows Server 2008 Datacenter without Hyper-V 22XQ2-VRXRG-P8D42-K34TD-G3QQC
Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems 4DWFP-JF3DJ-B7DTH-78FJB-PDRHK
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise YQGMW-MPWTJ-34KDK-48M3W-X4Q6V
Windows Server 2008 Enterprise without Hyper-V 39BXF-X8Q23-P2WWT-38T2F-G3FPG
Windows Server 2008 Standard TM24T-X9RMF-VWXK6-X8JC9-BFGM2
Windows Server 2008 Standard without Hyper-V W7VD6-7JFBR-RX26B-YKQ3Y-6FFFJ
Windows Web Server 2008 WYR28-R7TFJ-3X2YQ-YCY4H-M249D

Procedure of convertion to KMS client

You can convert a KMS client to a MAK client and back again to a KMS client at anytime. Your computer must have access to a KMS host on your organization's network to complete this procedure.

 

  1. Log on to the MAK client.
  2. Open a command prompt with Administrative Privileges. (From the Start menu, choose All Programs and select Accessories. From there right click on Command Prompt and select "Run as Administrator".)
  3. To install the KMS key, at the command prompt type the following, and then press Enter
    “cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ipk <KmsSetupKey>”
    Be sure to include the dash between each set of five characters.
  4. To activate the computer as a KMS client, type the following at the command prompt, and then press Enter:
    “cscript \windows\system32\slmgr.vbs /ato”

KMS FAQs

Q: How often does my machine need to contact the KMS?
A: The product will attempt to contact the KMS to renew its activation period every seven days. If unable to connect after seven days, the machine will attempt to contact its KMS every two hours until it is successful. The product needs to communicate with the KMS every 180 days.

Q: What happens on the day 181?
A: Microsoft Vista will change its status from being licensed to starting a 30-day grace period. After the 30-day period expires, the product will shift to reduced functionality mode.

Q: Can I use a KMS from behind a firewall that uses NAT?
A: Yes. Communication with the KMS is originated from the client machine.

Q: I run my department's firewall and need to know what port to allow.
A: KMS communication occurs on port 1688 using a TCP connection to kms.ics.muni.cz.
Every effort will be made to not change the IP address of the KMS.

Kontakt:oss-win@icsdotmunidotcz