SOPHOS UTM: Use hardware appliances with home / software license

This is not a supported configuration by Sophos πŸ˜‰

Normally when you get an old hardware Appliance, ex. UTM 220, 320 etc, you cannot use this in your home environment (With your free home license), without paying for a hardware license.

This can be “solved”, by making the hardware installation think, it’s going software πŸ™‚

The steps are listed here:

  1. Take a backup of your running UTM configuration in WebAdmin, if you have such running at the moment.
  2. Download the hardware image for appliances, theese starts with “SSI” in the file name. (Google “Download Sophos UTM”)
  3. Burn this to a CD-rom or to USB followingΒ this link.Β (This will format the harddrive of the appliance, so logs and stats are lost!)
  4. Install the hardware appliance as you would do normally.
  5. After installation, you now have a complete clean Sophos UTM 9 installation.
  6. Connect a VGA screen and a USB keyboard to the appliance.
  7. At the login prompt: login as root – it will tell you to change password, just do that (Old password is <blank>).
  8. When you’re logged in, do this:
    “viΒ /etc/asg”
    deleteΒ theΒ “ASG_ID….”-entry in the file and save and close
  9. Reboot

Now the UTM will boot running software license, and you can use your home license with it πŸ™‚

This workaround will not swap interface names, and if you have one of the bigger models, 220 and beyond, with LCD, then will this just work as it did with hardware config – software installations do not have support for the LCD driver – but this way it works.

Happy UTM’ing πŸ˜‰

Update: 15/11-2016

When replacing a harddrive with ex. a SSD or other drive, the hardware installer will not install, due to hardware replacement (It looks for specific harddrives with special firmware!), then you cannot use the installer above, you will then have to go with the SOFTWARE ISO instead of the HARDWARE ISO. Install will proceed as normal, but after install, the LCD display will no longer work, cause it’s now a “software” install and not hardware appliance install.

There have been written a lot here about a fix:

But the link above does only make the display work with one view “Sophos UTM %version% and uptime”, this is due to the missing /etc/ file, because this file is only generated on appliances (hardware install).

The main reason it does not work, is that the /etc/asg file is now missing, because this file tells the installer that it is running on an appliance, you cannot copy this from another appliance solely, because you need to modify it (Ex. remove ASG_id and ASG_Serial lines):

Do a “vi /etc/asg”

It creates a new file and then insert:

Ex. for SGΒ 210


Ex. for UTM 220


As you see UTM and SG’s have different LCD controller.

Now reboot and watch the display cycle through the widgets, you can also see if /etc/ is being populated πŸ™‚


  1. user

    Great stuff!
    Appreciate that you shared it with us.
    Works well on Smoothwall S4 appliance when you set asg file to version 210

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Thanks and thanks a lot for the Smoothwall appliance hint πŸ™‚

  2. Andreas Neubauer

    Excellent Skills. I followed that way and it worked fine for me. Display is even working fine. Perfect!!

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Thanks a lot! πŸ˜‰

  3. Rob G

    Above you show
    – – –
    Ex. for UTM 320

    – – –

    I have a UTM 220 (don’t wince but I’m running version 7).
    I’m mainly asking about the SUBTYPE line.
    My original UTM 220 /etc/asg file shows ASG_SUBTYPE=”none”
    Should I change it to r5? Or leave it as “none”?

    I want to make sure I have this right to give every chance that the LCD
    works correctly the FIRST TIME when I reboot it after saving my changes.

    Second, for the benefit of others who see this thread, is there a typo (320 vs. 220) that needs to be corrected? Do you need to deal with the fact that you’re listing

    “Ex for UTM 320”,

    but your

    ASG_VERSION shows “220” ?

  4. Martin (Post author)

    Hi Rob, thanks for your reply πŸ˜‰ – Nice catch, there was a typo, you are correct, corrected πŸ˜‰
    read here about the ASG_SUBTYPE og how to find, in this case r5 is correct.

  5. Andres

    Any idea if it is possible to do a similar trick on an XG in order to use the XG hardware install (upgrading my SG device) on my appliance and use a home license?

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Yes, just download ISO and follow my article with USB install on UTM appliance πŸ™‚

  6. Jan

    Thanks for that nice & easy howto.
    Worked well on a UTM110/120.

    1. Martin (Post author)

      thanks – glad to hear that πŸ™‚

  7. Matze

    Hi, does not work for me with UTM320. While /etc/asg exist the webinterface does not start. After deleting it works (as before). Display does not work in either situation.
    Ok I put similar to the 220 in my asg:


    So perhaps that was wrong?

    1. Martin (Post author)


      Have you followed my guide completely point to point?
      ASG version, have you changed for 22o and not 320 when you used your 220?

      Regards Martin πŸ™‚

  8. Stuart


    Anyone found a way to do this on the SG230 with XG software installed.

    Using XG Home v18 but just shows Sophos Protection.

    Don’t know if this trick is only for the UTM Software

    1. Martin (Post author)

      XG cannot do this at the moment, it can just be rebooted and factory reset and so on. It’s the same on XG appliances, as the hw is the same πŸ™‚

      1. nd

        Hello, but where is the display configured on XG Appliances?
        There must be any file to configure that – right? :/


        1. Martin (Post author)

          Hi Andy,

          The XG cannot be modified in such ways, you need to do otherwise with XG:

          Just install the home license ISO on the hw device, that works πŸ™‚

          1. Oliver

            I am using a SG230 with XG home v18.x but the display only shows Sophos Protection. You wrote, by using the home ISO file it will work. I habe installed XG via USB-Stick, configured with Rufus. Isn’t it the same?

          2. Martin (Post author)

            Hi, no the guide for the LCD is just for UTM, you cannot tamper with XG like the UTM, as it uses a lockdown Linux πŸ™‚

  9. Lou DeMartino

    How do you revert if you did not back up the ASG file

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Hi, you need to reimage the appliance and it will be generated again πŸ™‚

  10. Thomas

    Martin, I’ll be acquiring an SG 230 r1 with UTM 9.x. Will this be similar/same as may old ASG 220 UTM or will I need to use the home ISO?

    1. Martin (Post author)

      Glad to hear about the HW upgrade πŸ˜‰

      The procedure is exactly the same πŸ˜‰


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