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What is a Host ID or Machine ID? How do I find my Host ID (Machine ID) in order to activate or get passcodes for my license?

Asked by MathWorks Support Team on 17 Jul 2013
Latest activity Edited by MathWorks Support Team on 6 Feb 2014

In order to activate or get passcodes for my license, I must provide a Host ID or Machine ID. What is this ID and how do I find this on my machine?


MathWorks Support Team


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1 Answer

Answer by MathWorks Support Team on 18 Oct 2013
Accepted answer

When a license file is generated for a specific computer, it is locked to a number that is unique to that machine. For some UNIX machines, the 32-bit hostid is used. For Linux, Mac, and Windows machines, the ethernet (MAC) address is used. Optionally, for network based licenses, the IP Address can also be used.

Instructions for finding your Host ID or Machine ID:


Windows® (all)


For standalone licenses (including the Student version), the Host ID can be either the volume serial number of the C:\ drive (Option 1), or the MAC Address (Physical Address) of the first Ethernet adapter (Option 2).

NOTE 1: For Concurrent or Network Named User licenses, the volume serial number cannot be used as the Host ID.

NOTE 2: If your computer has a B drive, proceed directly to option 2

Option 1: Volume Serial Number (Standalone licenses & Student Version only)

To obtain the Volume Serial Number, open a Command Prompt window (click the Start Menu, go to All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt) and run the command:

vol c:

The Host ID will be "DISK_SERIAL_NUM=" and the volume serial number listed without the dashes (ex. DISK_SERIAL_NUM=1234abcd).

Option 2: MAC Address (Physical Address, All licenses)

To obtain the MAC Address, open a Command Prompt window, and run the command:


Use the first Physical Address listed without the dashes (ex. 001122aabbcc).




CPU hostid:

To get this value, run the following command in a Terminal Window:





For a Linux machine, the Host ID is the MAC Address of the eth0 device (first Ethernet device). To obtain this value, run the following command in a Terminal window:

/sbin/ifconfig eth0

The Host ID will be the value listed next to the tag "HWaddr" without the colons.


Mac OS® X


For Macintosh:

1) Open the ‘Applications’ folder

2) Open the ‘Utilities’ folder

3) Launch the ‘Terminal’ application

4) Enter the following command in the command window:

ifconfig en0 | grep ether

Your Host ID is the "ether" value and should be entered as your Host ID without the colons.

**NOTE - For most Macs running OS 10.8.1 and above, you will need to use the ether value for en1 as your Host ID. Run the following command instead:

ifconfig en1 | grep ether

For information on how to change a Host ID or transfer your license from one computer to another, see the related solution: "How do I transfer a license to a new server machine or host?"

For MATLAB & Simulink Student version users, instructions for transferring MATLAB to a new computer can be found in the related solution: "Can I transfer my MATLAB & Simulink Student Version to a new machine?"

1 Comment

Kevin on 28 Nov 2013

Thanks a lot for this solution. I have been using Matlab on my desktop, but want it on my laptop. I have it activated on another laptop(since last year), which is unusable since the screen turns off when I open it. But that's another story.

I noticed that the student version can be activated on 2 machines, so I needed to deactivate the broken laptop. All I saw was two computer names but I didn't know which was which. The command prompt 'vol c:' worked, and I now have Matlab on this working laptop (and my desktop). :)

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