Citrix NetScaler ‘Failed to upload file’

Citrix NetScalerAt one of my projects I was assigned to configure two NetScalers in HA pair. Because of a delay in procurement the licenses were delivered later than expected. It gave me some time to work on a backup script for the NetScalers but more of that in another blogpost.

Today I received a My Citrix login to allocate my NetScaler licenses, all licenses where available, the Citrix NetScaler VPX license, the Access Gateway base license and all Universal Access licenses. So I allocated the Citrix NetScaler VPX license based on ID number and the Access Gateway and universal access licenses based on hostname and fired up the web-based console of my primary NetScaler. I got the Quick Setup wizard (although I already configured a NSIP, SNIP, Hostname, changed the nsroot password etc etc) because of.. the missing license file so I walked trough the wizard without changing the values and uploaded the .lic file I allocated from the MyCitrix page and got the following error ‘Failed to upload file’.

WT… Google to the rescue! But this time Google didn’t came to the rescue, apparently I was the first one to hit this problem. After some serious mind pounding I figured it out, while I was writing the backup script I got the wrong command line switch and removed some directories #facepalm. One of those directories was the ‘license’. After logging in with WinSCP I could recreate the ‘license’ folder and I copied the permissions from one of the other NetScalers I was running. After creating that new license folder I was able to upload the allocated license file to the NetScaler.


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Kees Baggerman

Kees Baggerman is a Staff Solutions Architect for End User Computing at Nutanix. Kees has driven numerous Microsoft and Citrix, and RES infrastructures functional/technical designs, migrations, implementations engagements over the years.


  1. I had a similar issue when I updating the NetScaler firmware, in my case I was uploading the bin file form my laptop which was outside of the customer domain. I tried from an internal machine and it took just a few seconds and worked like a charm.

  2. Chris Martyn says:

    this was exactly happens with me,. this is really helping stuff, thanks

  3. Hi, where should the license folder be located? I downloaded the netscaler vpx for testing purposes and I am not able to upload the license file. It just says failed to upload file Reason: Not authorized to execute this command. Any idea?

  4. Mat says:

    Hi, I also had this issue and found the following:

    This led me to the solution listed at the bottom:

    Error: Network Communication error uploading the license file. During troubleshooting I noticed the NetScaler wasn’t listening on port 22/SSH. When trying to start the SSH Daemon with the /usr/sbin/sshd -f /etc/sshd_config command I got strange errors saying: Could not load host key: /nsconfig/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key | Could not load host key: /nsconfig/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key. I tried re-generating the files with ssh-keygen. Checked permissions. In the end I just emptied the /nsconfig/ssh directory and rebooted my VPX. Then the problem was solved and I could upload my license too.

    • Dani Sarfati says:

      Brillliant, this was exactly the issue I had. For people who aren’t too familiar with FreeBSD, here are the instructions I followed.

      I as well was using Hyper-V, so this may be an issue with the hyper-V builds (in my case I was trying to deploy 10.5 VPX express)

      On the Netscaler console, there were messages constantly saying sshd was not running.

      Here is how I resolved it:

      1) Launch the netscaler console using the Hyper-V console
      2) login using nsroot username
      3) type in ‘shell’ and hit enter
      4) type in the following commands:
      cd /nsroot/ssh
      rm *
      5) reboot the netscaler using the web console

  5. Adrian Billingsley says:

    Perfect that worked for me too – empty /nsconfig/ssh and reboot. now I can upload the license file 🙂
    I was receiving similar error with the 11.0 vpx on windows 10 HyperV.


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