The FlexNet licensing system allows a variety of licensing options. The most important license types are:

  • Demo licenses
  • Node-locked licenses
  • Floating licenses

Demo and Node-locked licenses are the easiest to install but more difficult to maintain. Demo licenses because they are valid for a limited period of time, node-locked because they will only allow usage on one or more computers explicitly named in the license file. Node-locked licenses can be recognised by lines with the 'HOSTID=' in it, like:

FEATURE dTect dgbld 7.0000 1-jan-2024 uncounted 023E2CE466C7 \
HOSTID="00146c37f273 00167600d558"

Floating licenses are managed by a license server. When the plugin needs a license, FlexNet will contact this server machine. You have a floating license if the first actual line of the license file contains 'SERVER', like:

SERVER houserv001 00146d37ec2a

For a more extensive introduction please look at the following chapters in the OpendTect Administrator's Manual or consult Flexera guides directly:

Host identification

For a licensing scheme to work, there must be a unique identifier for the server or (in case of a node-locked license) the working computer. In most cases, this identification will be tied to the address of your network card. How to obtain this 'FlexNet Host ID' is dependent on the operating system. The different ways to obtain it are described in the host ID section of the 'FlexNet licenses explained' section.

Note that the FlexNet host ID is never the IP address of the computer.


FlexNet offers a lot of mechanisms to make sure that the licenses are granted to the users that need them. In case you don't have the experience needed to handle this yourself, OpendTect plugin packages come with tools to install the license. How to go about depends largely on the Operating systems involved:

UNIX (Linux and macOS)

First of all: you have to make sure your systems comply with the system requirements.

In the following we will explain installation for people with no prior knowledge of FlexNet, or at least have no existing procedures to handle FlexNet licenses. System administrators who do will want to find what they need directly on the FlexNet Vendors Packages download page. The packages there contain the binaries you need.

Installation on UNIX variants (Linux and macOS) is done on the command line. OpendTect will generate, during installation, a couple of scripts to install the license and start the license server (if needed).

You can install the license file with a script '', where xxx would be your plugin vendor's name. For example: 'install.dgb.license'. These scripts are located in the root of your installation directory. Such a script will ask you where the license file you obtained is located. It will then install this file in your OpendTect installation.

For floating licenses (i.e. license files containing a 'SERVER' line), you will have to start the license manager daemon on the server. For this, there are the '' scripts. You can run this script after installation of the license file. All output from the license manager daemon will be sent to the log file, which is by default ''.

If for some reason the license fails to be granted, you should examine:

  • The OpendTect log file (Utilities-Show log file)
  • The '' file
  • The plugin management window (Utilities-plugins)

When you get an upgrade for one of your license files, you can again use the scripts. The '' script can be used to stop the daemon with: stop

After that, use and again as if you have obtained a new license. For the advanced users a warning: Windows clients usually have an own copy of the license file. Don't forget to replace those with the new license file too.


On Windows, installation of the license file is quite a bit more difficult than on UNIX variants. Especially if you also have to startup a license manager daemon (i.e. if you have a server-based license) as a Windows service. We therefore recommend, if you have the chance, to use a UNIX server for licensing if you have the chance.

How do you know whether you have a server-based license? Well, you need to look inside the file, with a tool like the Notepad. If you see a line like:

SERVER the_host 00828d72b0

then you know you have a floating license. Setting up the license will be harder, but you will be more flexible in the computers you use. See also the FlexNet Licenses Explained.


The installation starts by putting the license file in a good, stable, safe position on your system. This is not in the installation directory (which is typically \Program Files\OpendTect). A directory like \Licenses and a filename showing the plugin vendor name seems to be a good choice. We recommend not to use spaces or special characters in the directory or file name. Later, when you get a new license file, you simply replace the old one with the new one under the same name. If the license is floating use the 'ReRead License File' button in the 'Start/Stop/ReRead' tab of the license manager tools program.

If you are upgrading, i.e. replacing a license file with a new version, then the easiest way to do it is to replace only the contents of the old file, i.e. keeping the same name. For server-based licenses, first stop the service. In any case, don't keep old copies in existence because FlexNet may sneakily use those rather than trying the new one.

For new installations: on first usage of a plugin, you will see a popup of a window asking for the license file. If this method succeeds, everything should be OK. You can stop reading now.

Unfortunately, in many cases you have to set up the license in a different way. For this, you need to use the 'License Manager Tools' program, which can be started from the Windows start menu for OpendTect.

OpendTect License Manager Tools

The first thing you need to be sure of, is that FlexNet is looking at the right file for the right license feature. For this, go to the Utilities tab and check by using the 'List all vendor paths' button whether there is a path to your license file - for the vendor in question. For example, for dGB, the vendor name is 'dgbld', for ArkCls, it's 'arkclsld'. You can find your vendor's name in the license file.

In case you see a wrong path displayed, you can overrule it using the overrule button. Below an example for the dGB daemon ('dgbld'), for other vendors you need to use other names (e.g. 'arkclsld'):

Please note the vendor names for license files: dGB = dgbld; ArkCLS = arkclsld; Sitfal = geoinfo

OpendTect License Manager Tools: Utilities -> Override Path

If you have a node-locked or demo license, you should now be able to use the plugins.

For licenses requiring a server, you must also make sure the FlexNet vendor service is running on the server machine. On the server machine, start the License Manager Tools program. In the top tab select 'Configuration using services'. Go to the 'Config services' tab. Now enter a name for the service, for example 'opendtect_lic' in the 'Service name' field. The location of the lmgrd.exe file may differ per vendor. They are in the installation, under Program Files\OpendTect\7.0.0. Then find the necessary lmgrd.exe in:

  • dGB: bin\win64\lm.dgb
  • ARK CLS: arkcls\bin\Windows\5.1\i686
  • SITFAL: SITFAL\bin\win64\lm.sitfal

The debug log file is traditionally given the license file's name with extension '.log'. Below example is for dGB (for ARK CLS you'd need to use something like arkcls\bin\Windows\5.1\i686\lmgrd.exe):

OpendTect License Manager Tools: Config Services

Press 'Save service' and go to the Start/Stop/Reread tab. After starting the server, the licenses are ready to use.

If for some reason the license fails to be granted, you should examine:

  • The OpendTect console messages
  • The debug log file (when you started a service)
  • The plugin management window (Utilities-plugins)

The license files

It is possible to use, for example, a Linux server to give out licenses on Windows systems. In general, it doesn't matter what Operating system you have on your license server. The OpendTect program will take a look at the local license file and try to contact the host denoted in the 'SERVER' line. For this to work, the computer running OpendTect must be able to 'see' the license file. This can be done by putting the license file on a shared network disk, or putting a copy of the file on each computer.

Sometimes the server host name, as found in the SERVER line is unknown to the client computer (the computer running OpendTect). In that case you can simply edit the copy of the license file to match something that the client computer does understand. For example:

SERVER houserv001 00146d37ec2a

Note that you cannot change the host ID; that will invalidate the licenses.

Upgrading to a new license file

When you obtain an upgrade for your current license file, then you have to make sure that:

  1. All license files are replaced with the new version. So, the server's license file needs to be replaced, but also all copies that you may have made - local copies.
  2. The server(s) is/are re-started (if you have floating licenses). This can be done by using a 'reread' or just by stopping and starting. On Linux and Mac, the script that starts the daemon also stops it if you add 'stop' to the command line.

Quite annoying is the problem of FlexNet 'helping' you by remebering the location of old license files and using those rather than new ones that you have specified. Therefore, it is usually a good idea to remove all old license files that you can find, or at least renaming them just so FlexNet cannot find them.

Firewall issues

You can, at some point in time, be confronted with a firewall blocking communication between a client and the server computer. Before starting to change firewall settings, it may be interesting to know that you can specify the port that FlexNet uses to communicate through. This is done on the SERVER line, as follows:

SERVER houserv001 00146d37ec2a 54321

In the above case you specify that FlexNet needs to use port 54321, rather than the default 27000 (and up). Note that this needs to be done for both the server's and the client(s) license file(s).