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HEY TeamViewer clarify if running PLEX, a server, or Linux on your slave machine a violation of free

Three yes or no questions for all the HTPC users out there.


Your sales people are telling us that running any sort of server, running PLEX, or running Linux are what is getting our accounts flagged as commercial use. Since none of these things are mentioned on the knowledge base pages as being violations of your free use policy, I would just like a straight answer, because this has gone beyond stupid.


1. Is running an HTPC/PLEX a violation of your free use policy?


2. Is running a server in your own house on your personal, NOT COMMERCIAL, network a violation of your free use policy?


3. Is running Linux on your slave machine a violation of your free use policy?




  • Julia
    Julia Posts: 290 Staff member 🤠

    Hi @jornin

    Thank you for your questions.

    1. No - If you are running your HTPC/PLEX on a regular/non-server OS (like Windows 10) and if you are not using it for commercial purposes, the usage does not violate your free use policy. 

    2. Yes - any usage of a server OS (e.g. Win 2008, Win 2012...) is classified as commercial usage (see also:

    3. No - like everybody else we love Linux :smileyhappy: Of course, if you are connecting to or from a Linux device for commercial usage, you need a license. However - the general usage of Linux is equal to the usage of Windows or Mac.



    Senior Support Engineer - 2nd level Support
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  • jornin
    jornin Posts: 10 ✭✭

    So you should be aware that your sales department is telling people that running PLEX qulifies as a server even if you are not running it on a server OS.


    Your sales department is also saying that running Linux qualifies as a server, personally I'm running a basic Ubuntu intstall.  Sales department told me that was server software.


    I am not the only person to hear this, I have talked to a number of other people here and on reddit in similar situtions who have been told the same thing about HTPC and Linux.


    Someone finally answering some policy questions is MAYBE making me feel better about filling out your "Declaration of personal use" form, but I'm still not very comfortable about giving you my home address.


    Speaking of the "Declaration of personal use" form. The link I have for it has dissapeared. Could I please get a new link?


    I was just told 2 days ago from support that yes, running Plex is the reason why my account keeps getting flagged as commercial use.  ANY servers that you run will flag as commercial use.   Below is the email I was sent.

    Hello User, 

    Thank you for your message. 

    That is the issue- the media server. 

    The personal version of TeamViewer is only to be used from a home network to another home network having nothing to do with servers. 

    When the software is used on a server, it automatically assumes that it is being used for commercial purposes. 

    The only way around this is to purchase a license. 

    We have several licensing options available to meet your needs. If you would like a personalized quote, please provide the following information.

    Address (number,street,city,zip):
    Contact Phone Number:
    Contact Email:

    If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us back.

    Best Regards, 

    Support Engineer

  • Julia
    Julia Posts: 290 Staff member 🤠


    Thank you both for your feedback.

    Just to clarify - running Plex does not automatically classify you as a commercial user, only if you run it on a server OS (e.g. Win 2008, Win 2012...) or with commercial purposes.

    You can use your Plex without a TeamViewer license as long as it's installed on a normal OS (e.g. Win 8, Win 10...) and without commercial purposes.

    My colleague is right, when she says that you can use the personal version of TeamViewer only on your home network if it's not running on a server OS.

    For me it looks like there was a misunderstanding in the definition of servers as the definition of 'server' can be very broad:

    A system acting like a server (say using software like Plex) is fine, as long as it is running on a normal OS (e.g. Mac OS, Windows 8/10..) and not on a server OS (e.g. Win 2008, Win 2012, etc.).
    We only classify 'server usage = commercial' based on the operating system.

    I hope this helps.


    Senior Support Engineer - 2nd level Support
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  • jornin
    jornin Posts: 10 ✭✭

    I suggest you call your company and pretend like you are in my scenario. Because they are flat out saying that running PLEX is a violation. They are also flat out sating that linux is a violation.


    And since you didn't answer my last question


    Speaking of the "Declaration of personal use" form. The link I have for it has dissapeared. Could I please get a new link?


    [edited by moderator]

  • Krisavi
    Krisavi Posts: 4 ✭✭

    @Julia @Esther 

    Can you please give a list of OSes you consider Server OS? 
    During my school time I was running Windows Server 2008 as desktop OS just for fun. That didn't make my laptop a server. 

    Years back I had the commercial usage suspected because I accessed home "server" that is built on Debian. That specific machine was given as a reason. I removed it from my machines list and uninstalled as the Teamviewer was not even running that ok on headless machine. 

    I am using "server" in quotes, because it is more like acting advanced router. It gets connection in, does firewall, network monitoring, proxy, cache, etc. It had web service, VPN service running, so I considered it as running a server. 

    Initially when I started using teamviewer, I did not see anything regarding using it in home server. Maybe it was added in meanwhile and missed it. I was complying with your request, because in my usage it was probably acting in a server role, but now it seems that you are actually not sure what you consider as server. 

    Regular Windows 10 can host a web server and DHCP server, does it make it into a server? In some meaning the moment you start to serve any service to the network, machine becomes a server, may it be DNS, VPN, Media service (like PLEX), File sharing (Every windows machine has it), web service, etc. That looks like it is impossible for user to know what you consider as server and if it is purely OS based, then the list of OS should be published to know. Just based on purely OS, then there was no need for me to even remove my home server from the list. Debian can be desktop and server both. There are few of the linux distributions that do advertise separate version for server and desktop, but a lot of distributions where it depends on the installed software. 

    I do not see actual answer given to the question here. Most of the currently listed "Server OS" are Windows Servers, no sane person would put PLEX media server to run on it as the license cost for HTPC just for OS is pointless. As much as I have seen, then most of the PLEX Media servers are based on some linux distribution. At least it seems system seems to keep flagging it, but on community side you say it should be ok to use it because only the OS choice is the factor here.
    Please get the correct information so people would know what they are actually doing wrong. The generic answer of "if using server OS (listing windows servers)" and still people getting issues on linux based systems is not giving any answers here. Mixed messages from community managers vs the flagging system do not help, rather makes it look like the commnity managers do not know how things are in reality.