I've been using Altium quite a lot in the past few months. The company where I'm currenty working has a couple of shared Altium licence that we use at the office. However, when I go home and I want to practice my Altium skills I can't access those shared licences. After playing around a bit I found a way to legally run Altium without limitations.
NOTE: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR WHAT YOU DO WITH THIS TECHNIQUE. I AM SHARING MY KNOWLEDGE FOR YOU TO INSTALL AND LEARN HOW TO USE ALTIUM. IF YOU WANT TO USE ALTIUM FOR ANYTHING THAT IS NOT LEARNING PURPOSES PLEASE BUY A LICENCE.
There are 2 stages for this process. First you need to install a Windows virtual machine (VM). Second, you need to get Altium, install it and configure it.
VMware Player is a free program used to create and run virtual machines. You can download it from here. Please note that VMware Player 12 is the latest version at this time. For installation just follow the instructions.
Because I use Linux I have the Windows licence that came with my laptop (W8). I used that licence to install Windows on my VM. The installation process is very similar of the one for installing Windows on a real machine. However if you have problems, you can find more information here.
I've been tweaking the VM considering my laptop's limitations. I have an I7 2.1GHz processor (quad core, multi threading), 8GB RAM, integrated HD4000 + nVidia G650M (2GB memory I think), 2*128 GB SSD disks. The VM has: 3GB of RAM, 1 CPU core, 1GB of video memory, 3D acceleration enabled and 25GB of virtual hard drive. Please note that some video cards may cause problems. If I use the HD-4000, Windows doesn't run correctly. Therefore I use the nVidia GPU.
Run your VM. From the top left area select "Virtual Machine -> Install VMware Tools". A virtual DVD will be mounted on your VM. Open it and install the program. Then reboot the VM.
Now it's time to get and install Altium.
Click here to get access to an Altium Designer evaluation licence ad software. Fill all the fields and make sure that your email address is correct as they will send you links for the licence and software.
Open the email sent by Altium. They will include a user name, password, a link for the licence and another link for downloading Altium installer (10 MB).
Copy the installer to the VM and make sure that the VM has Internet access. Execute Altium installer and follow the instructions. Use the user name and password that you received on the email. It will take around 10 minutes for Altium installer to download and install Altium Designer. Once the installation is finished run Altium.
In Altium go to "DXP -> My Account -> Add standalone licence file". Choose the LIC licence file that you previously downloaded. That licence will give you 15 days of full Altium software.
If you want to keep using Altium after the trial period expires, just change Windows date BEFORE running Altium. Use any date before the expiration date. I normally use a date 1 week before expiration. Make sure that your VM DOES NOT HAVE INTERNET CONNECTION when Altium is running with a modified date. I'm not sure what would happens if Altium reaches Internet and finds out that the system date is wrong. Make sure that time sync between guest and host is disabled (Edit VM settings -> Options -> VMware Tools).