My VMware's "You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product." error, and what to do about it.

Posted by Paul Braren on Mar 13 2014 in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • VMware's guidance for getting started with 5.5 Update 1 is a bit complex, and prevents some people from even giving the install a try. I ran into this myself yesterday, when I was cooking up instructions for downloading the 3 large files. Seems like it'd be simple, right? Well, I went ahead and opened up a VMware Service Request on this matter, which turned out to be somewhat complext, in a genuine effort to make things smoother for everybody. This whole topic came up when I was researching the various ESXi 5.5 Update 1 ISO files and their availability, as I prepared my response to a very helpful TinkerTry site commenter. Here's my SR# comments, with only the email addresses and names and SR# were removed, not my typos:

    When I log in to this account, even though I did not turn on the "Are you a partner" checkbox in my profile, I'm able to download


    When I log in to a new account I created today, that account gets an error:
    "You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product."

    and am only able to do an eval instead:
    where I can grab the free ESXi 5.5 Update 1 hypervisor, but that's without the latest drivers:

    Why is this? Is there a way for anybody to be able to download the preferred VMware-ESXi-5.5U1-RollupISO.iso version?

    Any and all help appreciated. Thank you!

    And here's VMware's response, within the promised 12 hours

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for contacting VMware Support.

    My name is REMOVED and I am from My VMware Portals Team; I will work with you to resolve this issue through the support request REMOVED.

    I understand that vSphere binaries are still available for you to download despite the expiration of evaluation period. Rollup file is only available for download with a valid license key. This is a portal defect and we will have to enable the download restriction.

    You can download ESXi Hypervisor 5.5 at:

    Please find the attached screenshot for more clarity.

    While I will be the primary owner of this support request, this issue needs involvement from some of the other internal groups within VMware. I will work with the groups internally and provide you status updates periodically till we resolve the issue.

    I will provide you with an approximate time frame to resolve this issue within the next 24 business hours.

    I look forward to working with you and thank you for your patience.

    VMware Global Support Service

    And the relevant excerpt from my response back:

    I do appreciate your quick answer to this question, and I'd be interested in helping any way I can, in case you have further questions.

    This is interesting, because quite clearly, I was able to get to VMware-ESXi-5.5U1-RollupISO.iso when logging into
    an account that has no VMware vSphere or Hypervisor license registered to it. I click on the "Download Manager" link, demonstrated in this private, unlisted video:

    Even more interesting to notice that I can simply copy the URL of the Download Manager link, and pasting that long URL into any browser, even on another machine, can allow the browser session to download the ISO, without any password credential challenge:<REMOVED>

    Stop back again later, I'll update this article as the saga unfolds. But yes, there does seem to be some security and download issues here. Not a big deal, since it's the licensing keys that matter. This isn't some big security exposure or anything. Also note that VMware can likely "see" from the HashKey in the long URL exactly which authenticated user is sharing their URL inappropriately. Finally, I'm not naive enough to think that one support person speaks on behalf of VMware, which is why I've removed his name. This is a longstanding issue. Which is another reason why I'm being open about reporting this, publicly, to avoid duplication of effort. It'll likely take some time for these issues to be resolved, I suspect.

    If you're curious how the download of  VMware-ESXi-5.5U1-RollupISO.iso  is supposed to look, without the entitlement error, view the original video here, which I've replaced with the simpler, applicable-to-everybody video here.

    Still, I do wish for something a bit more like the behavior that Virtual Geek Chad Sakac encourages here:

    I think all our software/virtual appliances should be available for simple download.  For everyone.  With no “speed bumps” or “secret handshakes”.   With no timebomb.  With no limits.   I’ve argued passionately on this topic with everyone I could find.  I’ve beat my head against many walls – but I have a hard noggin :-)


    In my experience, customers are smart.  They know what software for “not for production use” means. They know that if they dig something – and need it supported (i.e. are using it in production), they will pay for it – and do so happily.   Furthermore, as we become more and more of a “software company” every day – we have to nail this – not just in VMware...

    So instead of "access for all" to the admittedly only slightly improved ISO that already has some newer drivers injected, I'm rewarded for reporting this barrier to entry for newbies by getting my own personal account more locked down. Hmm. Remember, newer drivers could help newbies avoid workarounds to get past a shrinking list of hardware supported in the base ISO. Does it make sense to scare more folks away? While much of TinkerTry has been about smoothing over those potholes, helping hundreds of thousands of site visitors read about building a lab in about an hour, I'd still rather it be plain easier for everybody to get started.

    Driver support, coupled with licensing confusion, have frankly been my least favorite topics to try to explain to my wonderfully polite TinkerTry commenters. Why? Because at heart, I'd rather be "playing" with the code in my home lab, the way I learn fastest, and most effectively. I suspect some of you feel the same way about your home labs.

    Perhaps VMware really is headed back toward something like VMware Go, as VIRTXPERT Jonathan Frappier theorized back in January 2014 here.

    Yes, my thoughts here all all just conjecture and opinion, but I suspect others share some of the same thoughts and feelings.

    Meanwhile, back to answering the question about dealing with the commonly encountered error:

    You either are not entitled or do not have permissions to download this product.
    Check with your My VMware Super User, Procurement Contact or Administrator.
    If you recently purchased this product through VMware Store or through a third-party, try downloading later.
    Download Trial


    Not a showstopper at all. Just follow along with this revised guide that ANYBODY can follow to get access to the 3 files you need,

    Download ESXi 5.5 Update 1 and the other vSphere pieces to get your home lab started by Paul Braren at TinkerTry on Mar 12 2014.