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Workflow: Planning, Installing, and Configuring Network Licenses

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This workflow leads you through the steps for planning, installing, and configuring network licenses for Autodesk products. You can combine licenses of all types in one file that contains the pool of all available licenses. You run network license management software to distribute licenses from that pool when users start products and release licenses back to the pool when users stop using products.

  1. To Plan Your Multi-User License
    Choose a license server model, select network servers, and check the system requirements for Autodesk Network License Manager (NLM).
  2. To Install Network License Manager
    Install NLM on Windows, macOS, or Linux.
  3. To Obtain and Install a Network License File
    Collect information about your network license server, generate a license file, and save it on your server.
  4. To Configure Your Network License Server
    Create a debug log file, configure your network license server, start it, and confirm that it’s running.
  5. About License Management Options and Tools
    To maximize the number of available licenses, learn which options are available and what they do.

To Plan Your Multi-User License

Choose a license server model, select network servers, and check the system requirements for Autodesk Network License Manager (NLM).

Choose a License Server Model

Choose one of these license server models:

  • Single server. All network licenses are installed on one server.
  • Distributed server. Network licenses are split up and installed across as many servers as you choose.
  • Redundant server. All network licenses are installed on three different servers, with one as active and the others as backup.

Select Network Servers

After you choose a license server model, select one or more network servers from which to manage your licenses.

  • Servers must be accessible to all client machines and available whenever licenses are requested.
  • They must run on a supported operating system in a stable network that is not frequently restarted or shut down. Frequent restarts can interfere with license management.
  • Servers should communicate with ports 2080 and 27000-27009, the ports NLM uses. Although these ports are configurable, changing them may cause conflicts with other applications. Do not change the ports unless necessary.

NOTE Your network can include Windows, macOS, and Linux servers in any combination.

Check System Requirements

Check the system requirements for NLM and make sure that your hardware and operating system are compatible with NLM.

To Install Network License Manager

Install NLM on Windows, macOS, or Linux.

Install the most recent version of NLM on each server that you plan to use for managing your product licenses.

Install NLM on a Windows Server

  1. Start the installer for your Autodesk product.
  2. Click Install Tools & Utilities.
  3. Select Network License Manager and click Install.
  4. Choose a path to a local drive using the drive letter.

Install NLM on a macOS Server

  1. Navigate to the NetworkLicenseManager folder on the installer you downloaded or your product installation media.
  2. If you downloaded an installer, double-click the NLM .dmg file in your Downloads folder to expand it.
  3. Double-click the NLM package icon.
  4. Click Continue to begin the installation and follow instructions to install the NLM tools. Be sure to install in a folder on a local device.
  5. Click Close when you see the “Install Succeeded” message.

NOTE By default, NLM tools are installed in the following directory: /usr/local/flexnetserver.
In addition, scripts to help set up your license server are installed in the following directory: /Library/StartUpItems/adsknlm.

Install NLM on a Linux Server

  1. Open a shell as a superuser (using su).
  2. Extract the NLM package from the compressed file that you downloaded or navigate to the NetworkLicenseManager directory on your product installation media.
  3. Enter the following command, where # is the package number:
    rpm -ivh adlmflexnetserver-#.rpm

To Obtain and Install a Network License File

Collect information about your network license server, generate a license file, and save it on your server.

Decide if You Need a New License File

Generate a new license file for your network server in these situations:

  • Purchasing or renewing a multi-user network license subscription.
  • Adding seats for a network license product.
  • Adding new products to your network license server.
  • Adding licenses to a new version of a network license product.
  • Changing your network license server.
  • Changing details of your network license server configuration.

Collect License Server Information

To generate a license file, you need the following information:

  • For a single server model, the server host name and physical address
  • For a redundant server model, the server host names and physical addresses of the master server and the two backup servers
  • For a distributed server model:
    • The number of servers
    • The host name and physical address of all servers
    • The number of seats on each server

For Windows servers, you can run the LMTOOLS utility that comes with NLM to find the host name. For macOS or Linux servers, use Terminal commands to find the host name.

Generate a License File

When you purchase new seats of Autodesk software using a multi-user subscription, Autodesk sends you a serial number and product key, which you use to generate a license file. If you need a consolidated license file that incorporates licenses for different products, Autodesk Account allows you to generate a combined license file for each server. The resulting license file contains seats for every network licensed product, regardless of its associated subscription plan. Go to Generate Network License File on Autodesk Account.

Alternatively, you can use the legacy process for consolidating a license file. This process involves downloading individual product license files from the Autodesk register once website and manually combining them into a single license file. To use this method, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to https://registeronce.autodesk.com.
  2. Sign in with your account username and password. (Register to create an Autodesk Account if needed.)
  3. Select the account where your product is registered.
  4. Select the operating system and enter your product serial number.
  5. Select your network server type and provide the server information you have collected.

Autodesk emails your license file to the address associated with your Autodesk Account.

Save the License File

When you have your license file, save it in a subfolder under the folder where you installed NLM. You can choose any license filename, but use the extension .lic. Here are examples of license file locations for different operating systems:

Windows: C:\Autodesk\Network License Manager\Licenses

macOS: /Users/<user>/adsknlm/Licenses

Linux: /home/<user>/adsknlm/Licenses

Confirm License File Accuracy

After saving your license file, confirm that it contains the correct information. Your license file works only on a computer that has the physical address you provided when you obtained the license.

  1. Open the license file.
    For Windows, use Notepad.
    For macOS, use TextEdit.
    For Linux, use a comparable text editor.
    Do not use Microsoft Word or another word-processing program. These programs can introduce formatting errors or modify the file.
  2. Verify that the physical address matches the address of your server. The first line of the license file, beginning with SERVER, shows your host name and physical address. If they do not match, request a new license file with the correct information.

 To Configure Your Network License Server

Create a debug log file, configure your network license server, start it, and confirm that it’s running.

Create a Debug Log File

Debug log files contain Network License Manager (NLM) history information you can review to troubleshoot problems with your license servers.

  1. Create a subfolder named Logs under the folder in which you installed NLM.
  2. Use a text editor to create a text file within the Logs subfolder.
  3. Give the text file any name you like, but be sure to change the extension from .txt to.log.

Configure the License Server

To configure a Windows server, you can use the LMTOOLS utility provided with NLM.

  1. Open the LMTOOLS utility by clicking Start ➤ All Programs ➤ Autodesk ➤ Network License Manager ➤ LMTOOLS Utility.
  2. From the Service/License File tab, verify that the Configuration Using Services option is selected.
  3. Select the checkbox LMTOOLS Ignores License File Path Environment Variables.
  4. From the Config Services tab, use the Service Name drop-down menu to specify a name.
  5. Specify paths for the following three files:
    • Path to the lmgrd.exe file: Browse to select the file in your NLM folder.
    • Path to the license file: Browse to select the license file you obtained from Autodesk.
    • Path to the debug log file: Browse to select the debug log file you created earlier.
  6. Select Use Services. Then select Start Server At Power Up. This setting ensures that the license server starts automatically if the server rebooted after maintenance or a power outage.
  7. Click Save Service and confirm.

To configure a macOS or Linux server, proceed as follows:

  1. Rename your license file to adsk_server.lic and save it on the desktop.
  2. Move the adsk_server.lic file from the desktop into this hidden folder: /var/flexlm.

Start the License Server

To start your Windows license server with the LMTOOLS utility:

  1. From the Start/Stop/Reread tab, verify that the correct server name is highlighted and click Start Server.
  2. Verify that the license server has started (within 30 seconds). You should see the message, “Server Start Successful” at the bottom of the dialog.

<strong”>To start your macOS or Linux license server, use Terminal.

  1. To get to the directory, enter the following commands:
    sudo chmod -R 777 /var/flexlm
    sudo chmod -R 777 cd /usr/local/flexnetserver
    cd /usr/local/flexnetserver
  2. To list the directory contents, enter this command:
    ls
  3. To start the license server, enter this command:
    sudo ./lmgrd  -c /var/flexlm/adsk_server.lic

Confirm That the License Server Is Running

To confirm in Windows:

  1. From the Server Status tab of the LMTOOLS utility, click Perform Status Enquiry.
  2. When information is displayed in the status window, scroll down and verify the following:
    • Verify that the license server is running the latest version. Check the line that reads something like YourServerName : license server UP (MASTER) v11.12.0.
    • Verify that the license server has successfully read the license file and found no errors. You should see a line that reads something like Adskflex: UP v11.12.0.

    If you do not see these two lines, the license server did not start correctly. Recheck your work to obtain and configure the license file.

To confirm in macOS or Linux:

  • Use Terminal to enter the following command:
    sudo ./lmutil lmstat -a -c /var/flexlm/adsk_server.lic

NOTE If you receive an error message that the server has not started, use the Activity Monitor to find and quit the lmgrd process. Only then can you restart the license server.

About License Management Options and Tools

To maximize the number of available licenses, learn which options are available and what they do.

Options include combining licenses for multiple products, borrowing licenses, using package license files, modifying license assignments, and creating option files. There are also tools, such as LMTOOLS and the License File Parser, that help you perform these tasks.

Borrowing Licenses

Although Autodesk Account allows you to generate a license file that consolidates network licenses for all your products, you can also manually combine network licenses. Be sure to follow the instructions for combining license files.

Borrowing Licenses

You can borrow network licenses for some Autodesk products. Borrowing means temporarily removing a license from the network to use it on an offline computer. You can specify when the borrowing period begins and ends, but it is limited to six months or the term of your subscription, whichever is shorter. Although an options file is not required, you can gain more control over borrowing through options file entries.

Package License Files

If you have multiple versions of an Autodesk product and have purchased a multi-user subscription or maintenance plan, you can obtain a package file. Package files contain a set of licenses for four versions of the same product, such as AutoCAD 2014-2017. Running an instance of any one of the releases uses one license in the package.

Modifying License Assignments

To change a network license assignment, update the administrative image on the server used for your deployment.

Options File

Although an options file is not required for basic network license management, it can be useful for the following:

  • Controlling license timeouts and license borrowing.
  • Assigning different license-management rules for each server on a network (each server has its own options file).
  • Defining user groups, reserving licenses, and restricting license usage.

LMTOOLS

NLM includes the LMTOOLS utility to monitor license status, reset licenses lost during a system failure, troubleshoot license servers, and update existing license files. Full information about these tools is included in a License Administration Guide installed with NLM.

License File Parser

The Autodesk License File Parser is an online tool that reads the contents of your product license and displays details in a table. This tool is helpful when you create an options file, because you can quickly identify the parameter values required in the options file. See the instructions for accessing and using the License File Parser.

Updated on October 20, 2017

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