2019 EDIT: Tableau have made this much simpler, providing the tabcmd installation file on their website

You can install tabcmd without involving the Tableau server administrator.Provided you have admin rights on your machine, there’s a simple way to do this.

To begin install the trial version of Tableau Sever to your machine. It’s very simple, the same as installing any bit of software. A basic knowledge of IT is all that’s required.

Assuming you use Tableau’s default options during the install, during installation watch the Tableau Server directory. Watch for the tabcmd installer file (TabcmdInstaller-x64 for 64 bit install) to appear.

According to Tableau help by default the tabcmd install file, TabcmdInstaller.exe, will appear in the “C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\9.2\extras\” directory. Therefore this is where you should be awaiting the appearance of the tabcmd installation file. The guidance from Tableau is as follows:

1. Navigate to the extras folder on Tableau Server:
2. C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\9.2\extras\TabcmdInstaller.exe
3. Copy TabcmdInstaller.exe to the computer where you want to install it.
4. Double-click TabcmdInstaller.exe to run it.

Follow the prompts to install tabcmd.

Because tabcmd is a command line tool, and due to some limitations with the Windows operating system, Tableau recommends that you install tabcmd in a folder named “tabcmd” at the root of the C:\ drive (C:\tabcmd).

Once the file appears stop server the installation – although don’t exit setup at this point – and copy the TabcmdInstaller file. Paste it in the recommended C:\tabcmd folder. Create the folder if necessary.

Tabcmd installed with defaults options using the copied installer

Tabcmd installed with defaults options using the copied installer

Once the tabcmd installation file is copied into the new location, exit setup, which will rollback the server installation.

TableauServerInstallExit

You can then open the installer and save tabcmd wherever you want. Tableau recommends to keep in C:\Tabcmd.

You can also just ask your Tableau adminstrator to give you the intallation file, depending on your working environment it could be easier, although the partial server install solution is a 5 minute job.