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If you've installed your own developer edition of an ABAP stack in the last few months, it may happen that your licenses will expire and the instance will no longer start. This happened to me. If you're having the same problem, read on 🙂


startsap hanging problem

When you call startsap it usually takes a few seconds to start all the necessary services. If the database license expired however, startsap will instead enter what looks like an infinite loop and hang there. (It could maybe say "license expired" but I won't digress...)

The fix for this is simple, we need to get a new file and replace the one on the server. The file to be replaced is /sybase/NPL/SYSAM-2_0/licenses/SYBASE_ASE_TestDrive.lic

You can download a new license file from This one is available until March 2018. If you're reading this after March 2018, try and find a new link on this thread here: (in the comments).

So after downloading the file above, scp it to the machine, put it on the same location, replacing the old one and set the permissions as before.

This means the following commands:
chmod 750 <file>
chown sybnpl <file>
chgrp sapsys <file>

After doing this, startsap should no longer hang.


SAP Gui License error on login problem

A second problem you may experience when trying to login to SAP is an error message saying the license expired and logon is no longer possible.

To fix this, login with user SAP* and go to transaction slicense.It will look similar to this:

Select the red line, go to Edit > Delete License.


Go to , Select the right system:


Fill in the details that will be requested and download a new license file. Back in slicense you can now do Edit > Install License. The license should now be ok.

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