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Understanding License Files

License File Description

A License File is a specially formatted ASCII text file that contains encrypted product passcodes for each product you are licensed to run. Each product passcode identifies the number of keys available for that product. The license manager grants or denies access to a product depending on the availability of the license keys associated with each product.

The following figure presents a sample License File. Each INCREMENT line identifies a product, the number of keys available for the product, and other information. (The INCREMENT lines in your License File might not include every element shown in the example.) The backslash (\) character indicates that the line continues onto the next line.

The lines that begin with a pound sign (#) are comments. The MathWorks Installer uses the information in these comment lines (license server host ID or Internet address) when it processes the License File during installation.

# BEGIN-------cut here-------CUT HERE-------BEGIN
# MATLAB license passcode file.
# LicenseNo: 12345           HostID: INTERNET=
INCREMENT TMW_Archive MLM 18 01-sep-2015 0  \
INCREMENT MATLAB MLM 18 01-sep-2015 1  \
INCREMENT SIMULINK MLM 18 01-sep-2015 1  \
INCREMENT Signal_Toolbox MLM 18 01-sep-2015 1  \
# END---------cut here-------CUT HERE-------END

License File Search Path

When you start MATLAB®, it reads the License File to check for product licensing. MATLAB searches for the License file in the following locations, in the specified order. After it finds a License File, MATLAB stops searching.

  1. License File specified on MATLAB startup command line using the -c option. You can specify a list of paths to search. When you use the -c option, you explicitly prohibit the searching of the environment variables. When using the -c option, keep in mind the following:

    • If the path to your License File contains a space, enclose the path name in quotation marks.

    • If you are specifying more than one License File, make sure to enclose the entire list of License Files in quotation marks.

  2. If no License File is specified at the MATLAB command line, MATLAB searches two environment variables, described in the following table. MATLAB searches the vendor-specific environment variable, MLM_LICENSE_FILE first.

    Environment VariablePurpose
    MLM_LICENSE_FILESpecifies the location of the License File, but only for MathWorks® products. (Recommended, because it affects only MathWorks products.)
    LM_LICENSE_FILESpecifies the location of the License File for all applications using FlexNet® licensing on this server.

  3. If it does not find any License File specified using environment variables, MATLAB searches the profile folder of the person starting the program. For licenses that are locked to individual users, the activation application puts the License File in a folder in your user profile.

  4. If it does not find any License File specified in environment variables or in your user profile, MATLAB checks the \licenses folder in your MATLAB installation for files named license.dat or any file with the extension .lic.

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