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Install Tableau Server in a Disconnected (Air-Gapped) Environment

Tableau Server on Windows now includes Tableau Services Manager (TSM), which replaces the Configuration Utility and the tabadmin command line tool. If you need help for an earlier version of Tableau Server, see the Tableau Help page.

You can install Tableau Server in a disconnected environment that has no outside network access of any kind. Such disconnected environments, commonly referred to as air-gapped, are used when high security is needed to prevent data breaches or to guard against hacking. Air-gapped environments have no internet access, no outside network access, no outside wireless access, etc. The only means of getting software and data into or out of an air-gapped environment is by using removable media such as USB sticks or writeable optical CDs or DVDs.

Installing Tableau Server in an air-gapped environment is an advanced task for IT administrators who are familiar with the security considerations, best practices, and pitfalls of installing software in air-gapped environments.

The following Tableau Server features will be unavailable or will have reduced functionality in an air-gapped environment:

  • MapsTableau Server uses externally hosted map data. Maps are unavailable in an air-gapped environment unless you also install a map server in your air-gapped environment. You can use the following workarounds.

  • LicensingTableau Server needs to connect to the internet in order to activate product keys. However, you can manually activate the product keys.

  • External data – Any data located outside your air-gapped environment is unavailable.

Prerequisites

In order to install Tableau Server in an air-gapped environment, you’ll need the following:

  • Trusted computer with limited access to the internet that you can use to download the installation packages and resources required by Tableau Server. A trusted computer has been scanned and cleared of any viruses and malware.

  • Trusted removable media that you can use to transfer the downloaded software to your air-gapped environment. Trusted removable media is removable media that is new and previously unused and comes from a reputable or known source. Trusted removable media has been scanned and verified that it does not contain any viruses or malware.

  • Air-gapped environment with computers and storage that meet the requirements for installing Tableau Server.

Installing Tableau Server on an Air-Gapped Computer Running Windows

The easiest way to install Tableau Server on a computer in an air-gapped environment is to do so before the computer is placed into the air-gapped environment. If that is not possible you’ll need to download the required packages to a trusted computer outside the air gap and transfer them to the air-gapped computer:

  1. On a trusted computer outside the air gap with internet access, download the Tableau Server installation package.

  2. Transfer the package to your removable media.

  3. On your air-gapped computer, insert the removable media containing the Tableau Server installation package, and then run the installer.

  4. After installation is complete, you can activate the Tableau Server product keys. For more information, see Activating Tableau Server in an Air-Gapped Environment.

Activating Tableau Server in an Air-Gapped Environment

Because an air-gapped computer is not connected to the internet, you’ll need to perform the Tableau Server activation process manually.

  1. On your Tableau Server in the air-gapped environment, use TSM to obtain the offline activation file. At a command prompt:

    tsm licenses get-offline-activation-file -k <product-key> -o <target-directory>

    The <target-directory> must exist. You can obtain your product key in the Tableau Customer Portal.

  2. On a trusted computer that is connected to the internet and is capable of sending files via email, right-click and choose Save link as to download either the server_firstpass_windows.tlq or the server_secondpass_windows.tlq file. The firstpass template is used when the computer has never had Tableau Server installed on it before.

  3. Open both the offline.tlq file from the disconnected computer, and the appropriate server_firstpass_windows.tlq or server_secondpass_windows.tlq file in an XML text editor such as Notepad++ on the trusted computer that has Internet access. You'll need to write down the values from the disconnected computer in order to copy them to the trusted computer that has Internet access.

  4. Update the following XML elements in the appropriate server_firstpass_windows.tlq or server_secondpass_windows.tlq file with the values for the same elements listed below in offline.tlq on the disconnected computer. All the Machine / Hash values in the .tlq files are Hex values. The only valid characters are 0 - 9 and A - F. Use all caps for any letters.

    Line 2 - <EntitlementId>

    Line 5 - <ClientVersion>

    Line 5 - <RevisionType> (This value is present in the server_secondpass_windows.tlq file.)

    Line 5 - <MachineIdentifier> (This value is present in the server_secondpass_windows.tlq file.)

    Line 11 - <Value> (If the value is not present, remove the "X" place holder, leaving <Value></Value>.)

    Line 12 - <Value> (If the value is not present, remove the "X" place holder, leaving <Value></Value>.)

    Line 14 - <SequenceNumber>

    Line 60 - <Hash>

  5. Upload the edited template (offline.tlq) to the Tableau Offline Activation website.

    Note: You may have to perform offline activation twice to completely activate your air-gapped Tableau Server. The first offline activation sets up Trusted Storage on the computer if Tableau has never been licensed on it before. The second offline activation propagates the licensing information into Trusted Storage. If you’re upgrading an existing install of Tableau Server, right-click and choose Save link as to download the server_secondpass_windows.tlq file. It will match all the places to put the values from the generated .tlq file.

  6. If an error occurs on the Tableau website processing the updated template, take a screenshot of the error and reach out to Tableau Technical Support for assistance.

  7. Move the activation file (activation.tlf) to your disconnected computer using trusted removable media, and then run the following command:

    tsm licenses activate -f <path-and-activation-file>

  8. If this is the first Tableau license activated on the computer, you will see this message:

    Your license has been initialized. To complete the activation, we need one more exchange. Generate and send to Tableau a second activation request file.

    You need to follow the steps below to activate your license. If you are not sure whether you need to repeat the steps, you can run this command:

    tsm licenses list

    If you see a message like this one you need to repeat the steps above:

    No licenses are currently activated.

    If this is not the first Tableau license activated on the computer, or if you have completed the steps above two times, you should see the message "Activation successful.," which indicates that Tableau Server is activated.

Displaying Maps in an Air-Gapped Environment

In an air-gapped environment, maps in Tableau Server will be unavailable due to the lack of internet access in the air-gapped environment. You can use the following workarounds to display maps in an offline environment:

  • Option 1 – Use the offline background maps

    To use the offline background map select Map > Background maps > Offline. For more information, see Select Background Maps.

    Note: Due to size limitations with the offline map, zooming in too deep may result in errors as the images for the more close-up maps are not stored offline.

  • Option 2 – Use a map as a background image

    Locate the desired map online and save it as an image file, or copy a map from another location. Set this map image as a static background image in Tableau Desktop. For more information, see Use Background Images in Your Views.

    Note: Zooming in and out will not work with background images.

  • Option 3 – Use a local GeoServer

    For more information, see Use Web Map Service (WMS) Servers.