[RndTbl] Windows activation on Linux VM host?

Alberto Abrao alberto at abrao.net
Thu Jan 21 08:27:59 CST 2021

If you have a hardware-based activation token (aka SLIC, which is 
embedded into the BIOS for anything new enough), there are way to pass 
that through using KVM. I assume there's something like this for 
VirtualBox as well, but I never cared to check *cough* Oracle *cough*.

If you don't, you can pass the required hardware registers and use a key 
to activate the install. Then, as long as you pass them again (or 
install on bare metal), you'll have the means to activate again.

If both machines have been activated at one point, passing SLIC through 
means they will activate, even if they recognize the hardware is not 
really the same - and they will, as although the abstracted layer can 
(and probably) will be the same, the SLIC portion will be different. If 
both have been activated and valid, that should not be an issue. It will 
just re-arm itself.

You'll need two licences - one for each machine. Still, should you ever 
decide to do something else with them, it will be there for you to use.

I am sure there are ways for you to go further ahead and pretend they 
are one and the same, but you will be right at piracy territory. That's 
NOT to say you won't be there already by doing what I just described - 
it takes a lot of research to be an expert on MS licensing, and I could 
not care less - but then you can always argue that you stretched the 
situation to give them the most money possible, and that should be 
enough, I hope.

Kind regards,
Alberto Abrao

On 2021-01-21 2:55 a.m., Trevor Cordes wrote:
> Is it possible to run a virtual Windows (10) on a Linux host running
> something like virtualbox?  It has to be normal Win 10 Home or Pro though,
> no corporate licensing.
> I ask because I'm unsure how Windows activation (cursed be!) handles that
> situation.  I'd like to be able to run the same host image on 2 different
> boxes (but not at the same time) and not have it moan about activation.
> So I guess the question is more this: does the VM hide/abstract the
> hardware enough from Windows to have it think it hasn't changed boxes?
> (The idea is a portable drive with the VM on it would travel between 2
> locations which are never used simultaneously.  Each location would have
> an identical Linux box.  Don't ask why; suffice it to say that speed is
> paramount and cloud or net access or remote access won't cut it.  Lugging
> the entire box is not an option.  Laptop is a very sub-par option.)
> Thanks!
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