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How do I install or update the Network License Manager?

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I have a network license and I would like to know how to install or update the license manager software and the MATLAB license file on my license server.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 15 Nov 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 15 Nov 2019
Installing the network license manager requires that the license server already be activated on the MathWorks website, and that you already have the license.lic file and file installation key for this license and server. To generate a license file and file installation key:
  1. Open the license in the License Center
  2. Click the "Install and Activate" tab
  3. Click "Activate to Retrieve License File" (If you see "Activated Servers" instead, skip ahead.)
  4. Enter the release, operating system, host ID and activation label (What is my host ID?)
  5. Click "Download license file" or "Email license file"
If you see a screen called "Activated Servers" when you click the "Install and Activate" tab then your server is already active. On this screen, click the blue arrow to download the license file, or the blue mail icon to receive the license via email.
Most concurrent licenses can only be active on a single machine at a time, so if the machine that is currently active is not the desired machine, the license must be transferred:
Once you have the updated license file and file installation key, you can run the MATLAB installer to install the updated license manager binaries and process the license file for server usage. Alternatively, experienced license administrators may wish to update the license manager binaries manually.
Use the MATLAB installer to install or update the license manager
Using the installer to update the license manager is recommended for new license administrators. Compared to updating the license manager manually, it takes longer but is less error-prone.
On Windows, the existing license manager service must be removed before the installer can be used to create a new one. To remove the existing service:
  1. Open the MATLAB installation folder.
  2. Open the folder "etc\win32" or "etc\win64" depending on which version of Windows you are using.
  3. Start "lmtools.exe".
  4. Go to the "Config Services" tab.
  5. Click on the "Service Name" drop down menu, and select the service you would like to remove.
  6. Click "Remove Service".
  7. Reboot the server to save the changes to your registry.
Linux and MacOS do not share Windows' concept of services. Instead, use the lmdown script to stop the license manager before proceeding.
The license manager installer is part of the MATLAB installer. The MATLAB installer can be downloaded here. Once you have the installer:
  1. Start the MATLAB installer.
  2. Select "Use a File Installation Key"
  3. Accept the terms of the MATLAB Software License Agreement.
  4. Enter your File Installation Key.
  5. Confirm the installation path
  6. Select the "License Manager" from the list of products to install.
  7. Uncheck other products unless you also want to install the MATLAB client software on this machine. Use the checkbox at the top of the list to select or deselect all products.
  8. When prompted for a license file, browse to the "license.lic" file that you downloaded from the MathWorks License Center.
  9. To start the license manager to start at boot time, select "Configure the license manager as a service" (Windows only.)
  10. Click "Install."
You will need a copy of the license.dat file that the installer created to install MATLAB on client machines. This file is inside the license manager installation folder:
  1. Open the folder where the license manager is installed.
  2. Open the folder "etc."
  3. Create a copy of the file "license.dat." Do not remove the file from this directory.
This is only required for new installations of MATLAB. Existing MATLAB clients to not need to be updated with this new license file.
If you are updating the license manager, the old license manager will still be in the folder it was originally installed in. Now that the updated license manager has been installed, you can delete this folder.
Manually update the license manager
If you are serving multiple vendors from your FlexLM server, or you simply prefer to do things manually, the license manager can be updated without using the MATLAB installer. Compared to updating the license manager using the installer, it is faster but more error prone, and thus is only recommended for experienced license administrators.
The license manager binaries can be downloaded here:
The license manager consists of four binaries:
  • lmgrd, the core license manager binary
  • mlm, the MATLAB vendor daemon
  • lmutil, a suite of tools for administering the license manager
  • lmtools.exe, a graphical frontend for the license manager. (Windows only.)
For MacOS and Linux, the download will also contain a number of scripts for managing the license server.
To update the license manager, stop the license manager and replace the binaries on the server with the ones you downloaded above. Once the binaries are updated, the license file must also be updated.
Update the license file
Open the license file on the server and the updated license file you downloaded side-by-side. The old license file will contain SERVER and DAEMON lines at the top, but the new one will not. These lines are specific to your server and cannot be downloaded from the MathWorks website. Rather, they are added to the license file by the MATLAB installer, so they must be preserved. Copy the contents of the new license file into the old one beneath the DAEMON line, thereby preserving the SERVER and DAEMON lines but replacing the old INCREMENT lines. Save the updated license file.
Once the license file is saved, you can start the license manager again. It will now be serving the updated license file.
Install MATLAB on client machines
If you are updating the license server, no update to the MATLAB clients is required. However if you would like to install new MATLAB clients or would like to update existing clients to the newest release, please see the following article:
Controlling access to your MATLAB license
If you have a Network Named User license, or you would like to restrict access to products on your license, you will need to use an options file.
To create an options file, please see the instructions in the following article:


Show 8 older comments
Justin Ghetti
Justin Ghetti on 27 Aug 2018
If you are still experiencing an issue, please contact MathWorks support:
Kasjan Nowacki
Kasjan Nowacki on 9 May 2019
  1. Open the license in the License Center
  2. Click the "Install and Activate" tab
This tab no longer exists... I would like to setup a Network Based License with the LMTools provided with the Matlab Installation, but I don't know how to download the Concurrent License or how to link inside this tool...
Colin Fraser
Colin Fraser on 22 May 2019
Hi Kasjan,
This tab will only appear if you are a license administrator of the license in question. If you need assistance in setting up a concurrent license, please create a servive request here.

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More Answers (3)

Alex Schetinin
Alex Schetinin on 12 Apr 2019
I completely agree with Sridhar Mahadevan .
The procedure is a painful shame.


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Brenda Nevitt
Brenda Nevitt on 16 Aug 2018
When I download the license.lic file it doesn't have a SERVER or DAEMON string. It has "LicenseNO: and HostID:" but no SERVER or DAEMON. Manually editing the lines into the file didn't work. I need to it to run on a port different than the standar 27000 port. For other flexlm licenses this was easy enough by edited the file.


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eSolutions Desktop Unit
eSolutions Desktop Unit on 18 Sep 2018
What would you need to do in order to manually update a new license file for a new server I assume all is needed is to add lines in the new license file downloaded to have the new server host ID and name with port

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Justin Ghetti
Justin Ghetti on 3 Oct 2018
If you are still experiencing this issue, please contact MathWorks support:

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