When the license expires, does the product stop working? Or, does it continue to work but upgrades are no longer available?
You're correct, it won't stop working, but it will prevent you from being able to do any future upgrades.
If you're not looking to renew, but you're interested in the latest features and updates and such, you can always downgrade it to the GPL version.
Have a good one!
I am not interested in downgrading to GPL version. I do not mind using an outdated pro version until I want new features.
So, I can purchase an anual license and continue to use the product indefinitely? But when I want to upgrade I must renew my license?
Can I renew my license if it has already expired? ...or must I then purchase a new license?
Same for Cloudmin?
Well, it's generally assumed that if you're using Virtualmin Pro, that you'd have a valid and up to date license for that.
Joe and Jamie are pretty flexible with how licensing works, and don't stop features from working when the license expires.
However, once you do go and renew your license, if it detects that your license has been in use the entire time, the renewal will continue from where the previous one left off.
To put that another way -- if you're actively using Virtualmin Pro, the idea is that you'd have an up to date license to go with it :-)
Of course I don't want to violate the terms of the license. Some software (like Red Hat), is good forever but you don't receive updates or support after your license expires. I was just wondering if that was the case with Virtualmin, or if it were more like a subscription that MUST be paid every year.
I just wanted to clarify so I don't recommend to someone that they pay for a product and they think they have "purchased" it. If I'm not available, I would hate for a client to finally update their server after 5-10 years (it happens!), and them to owe license back-fees of several times the amount they originally paid!
If they choose to try it, I'll be sure to explain.
Thanks Eric for taking the time to answer all my questions!
So, here's the skinny on licensing and renewals and such:
Yes, the software keeps working, whether the license is valid or not (there will be a warning box on the System Information page so you don't miss it).
However, it is dangerous to run networked software without regular updates. If you expect your license to be allowed to lapse after the first year, I would strongly suggest you just use Virtualmin GPL. It never expires and updates will always work (for supported operating systems; but if you're really dealing with systems that go untouched for 5+ years, you're going to have serious security issues with the OS itself in that time span, and Linux distros top out at 5-7 year life cycle, so if you start with CentOS 5 or RHEL 5 today, you'll have an unsupported OS in maybe three years since it's been around for a few years already).
Renewals are cheaper than the initial purchase price (about 1/3 the price). You aren't "buying" the software every year...you're just rewarding us for keeping the company going, supporting you, providing software updates, keeping the Script Installers working and up to date (another security issue), and adding new features and fixing bugs.
Renewals do not extend the license one year from date of renewal purchase...they extend the expiration date from the original expiration date (so, you don't get "bonus" time by waiting six months after expiration until there is a major update and then you renew to get access to new versions). We don't have code in place to prevent renewals after some set period of time (though if we did, I'd probably set the expiration to maybe 90 days, after sending out three warnings about the expiration)...but if you wait five years, you'll need to buy four renewals to get caught up. At which point, a new license would be slightly cheaper. Obviously, I'm not terribly inclined to make it possible to get bonuses like this, since we prefer to have a somewhat steady revenue stream so we know how much money we can spend on developing the product, going to events like OSCON and SCALE and YAPC, etc. ;-)
Another option, if you do need Virtualmin Professional features, is the lifetime license, which never expires. It costs the same as about five years, renewing each year, but does not expire at the end of those five years. We only currently have an Unlimited version of this license. I haven't yet figured out whether we like offering this kind of license or not, so I haven't added more to the shop. But, I do pay attention to the wishes of users.
Hey, can you maybe make the expiration notice link to your Shop? That would be convenient, and probably better for everyone ;)