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What are the differences between the license.lic, license.dat, network.lic, and license_info.xml license files?

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I have encountered several different kinds of license file when working with MATLAB & Simulink licensing. What are the differences between these license files?

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 22 Sep 2022
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 22 Sep 2022
There are four different types of license file:
  • For Individual or Designated Computer licenses, this is a standard license file generated from the MathWorks License Center. If this license is automatically generated during installation, it will also contain the hostname, license number and release in the filename.
  • For Concurrent or Network Named User licenses, this is an unprocessed license file used to install the network license manager. It is also generated on the MathWorks License Center. On network licenses, the license.lic file is only used for the installation of the network license manager.
  • The license_info.xml file is used for Individual licenses with Login Named User enabled.
  • This type of license file is common for trial licenses and licenses being used on cloud compute services.
  • The license_info.xml file contains no license data; rather it instructs MATLAB to connect to MathWorks on launch to authenticate the license.
  • If a license_info.xml file is in place, you will be prompted to enter your MathWorks Account credentials upon launching MATLAB.
  • The license.dat is a processed license file that is created during the installation of the network license manager on the license server. When the network license manager is installed using the MATLAB installer, the license.dat is placed in the $MATLAB/etc folder (where $MATLAB is the installation directory).
  • The license.dat contains two additional lines at the top of the file, the SERVER line and the DAEMON line. These lines are generated by the installer and contain information specific to the machine the installer was run on.
  • The license.dat is used during the installation of MATLAB on network clients.
  • You can manually convert a license.lic to a license.dat by adding the SERVER and DAEMON lines and changing the file extension from .lic to .dat.
  • The syntax for the SERVER and DAEMON lines is as follows:
SERVER {hostname} {HostID} {port}
  • The network.lic is created when a license.dat is provided during installation of a network client installation. Similarly, when a network client installation is activated using the MATLAB activation client, the network.lic is placed in the $MATLAB/licenses folder (where $MATLAB is the installation directory).
  • The network.lic contains two lines, a SERVER line and the USE_SERVER directive.
  • You can manually convert a license.dat to a network.lic by deleting everything but the first line and replacing it with the USE_SERVER directive.
  • The network.lic can be used instead of the license.dat for activation of a network client installation.
  • The network.lic is only used on network client computers.
  • The syntax for the file is as follows:
SERVER {hostname} {HostID} {port}
Please note that with the exception of the license_info.xml license file, these names are conventions, not rules. The exact names and functions of these files may vary depending on your local MATLAB configuration. Any questions related to your specific usage should be directed to your license administrator.
  1 Comment
Walter Roberson
Walter Roberson on 11 Apr 2020
Replace {hostname} with the actual hostname of the server (including removing the {} characters.) Replace {hostid} with the MAC address of the first Ethernet interface. Replace {$MATLAB} with the name of the directory that matlab was installed into.

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More Answers (1)

Jonas Doerr
Jonas Doerr on 24 Apr 2018
This seems to be a not-so straight forward process to install the (network.lic) license to this application. How about an option in the settings that allows you to enter your license server at a place that makes sense? Furthermore it would make a lot of sense to not having to register to download the basic installer (after all at this point one could enter the network license server data and the installer could check if installation would be legit). Just some suggestions...

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