Cisco “Smart” License

Problem: after upgrading Cisco ISO XE from 15 to 16 on an ASR-1001-X router, the permanent license of this router changes to “evaluation license” and Cisco forces you to use the call-home “feature”. You will find log entries like these:

*Jan 23 21:53:13.922: %SMART_LIC-6-AGENT_ENABLED: Smart Agent for Licensing is enabled
*Jan 23 21:53:13.922: %SMART_LIC-6-EXPORT_CONTROLLED: Usage of export controlled features is not allowed
*Jan 23 21:53:15.318: %SMART_LIC-5-EVAL_START: Entering evaluation period
*Jan 23 21:53:36: %SMART_LIC-5-EVAL_START: Entering evaluation period

Discussion: Cisco enforces this call-home feature for newer software releases. There is not much you can do against, except not using Cisco products anymore.

Solution: If you accept to use this “smart” call-home feature, you must activate smart licensing.
First you must let the router connect to Cisco, for this you need a “Cisco Smart Center” ( account, and you have to add the email of this account to the router:

  profile "CiscoTAC-1"
    destination transport-method http
    no destination transport-method email

ip name-server
ip domain

Second you have to register the router in the Cisco portal: Go to
and create a token with “Inventory” “Generale” Button “New Token” (you can give this token any name). Then enter this token on the router: “license smart register idtoken TOKEN”

After step two “Licences” will propably tell you that you have “insufficient licenses”. This is because old permanent licenses are not automatically converted.

To convert the license you have to do the third step: Enter “license smart conversion start” on the router, and after waiting for some time both the portal and the router should be registered and licensed. You can rerun the router check with “license smart renew auth”

You can check the licensing status on and on the router with the command “show license all”. If all worked well you should see:

Router#show license all

Smart Licensing Status

Smart Licensing is ENABLED

  Smart Account:

License Authorization: 
  Status: AUTHORIZED on Jan 24 11:35:14 2024 UTC
  Last Communication Attempt: SUCCEEDED on Jan 24 11:35:14 2024 UTC
License Usage

ASR_1000_Ipbase (ASR_1000_Ipbase):
  Description: Cisco ASR 1000 Series IP BASE
  Count: 1
  Version: 1.0
  Export status: NOT RESTRICTED

ASR_1001X_10GE (ASR_1001X_10GE):
  Description: ASR1001-X Built-In 10GE 1-port  License
  Count: 2
  Version: 1.0
  Export status: NOT RESTRICTED

Version: tested with version 16.12.8 on Cisco ASR-1001-X