Getting Started with FlexNet Publisher Configuration

Publish Date: Jun 29, 2018 | 6 Ratings | 3.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review


Flexera Software's FlexNet Publisher, formerly known as FLEXlm, is a software license management system that enables organizations to centrally track and manage their licenses within departments and across the organization. National Instruments supports FlexNet Publisher implementations with FlexNet Publisher compliant license files, but NI does not design or sell FlexNet Publisher. This short document will guide you step-by-step through the setup and configuration of FlexNet Publisher.

If you use FlexNet Publisher instead of using NI Volume License Manager (VLM), there are certain features of NI VLM that will not be available to you, including overdraft, disconnected and home licenses. Overdraft licenses enable you to use more named-user or computer-based licenses than your agreement allows. Disconnected licenses allow you to use NI software with computers that cannot access the license server at all times. Home license files allow you to use your software on one computer at home without using a license. If these features are important to you, consider using NI VLM to manage your licenses. NI VLM is free of charge for volume customers to best utilize their NI software.

1. Steps to Setup and Configure FlexNet Publisher

Getting Your License File 

  • Send your FlexNet Publisher server name, server operating system (either Windows or Solaris), and host ID (MAC address for Windows and host ID for Solaris) to State that you prefer to use FlexNet Publisher to manage your licenses.

Configuring FLEXnet Publisher

  • NI recommends creating one folder on your computer that will contain all the required files for licensing.
  • Download the most recent FLEXnet Publisher LMTOOLS, the license manager deamon (lmgrd.exe) and the NI License Manager vendor deamon (nilm.exe) for your operating system from the corresponding zip file in the attachments found on the right navigation pane of this document and copy the files into the licensing folder.
  • After receiving your license file, copy the license file into the licensing folder.
  • Create a new text document in the licensing folder for the debug log file and rename the file "debug log.log"
  • Make sure the licensing folder is similar to the following folder (for more information about nilm.opt, read the Creating an Options File section):

  • In the Config Services tab in LMTOOLS, type in a new Service Name such as "NILM License Manager" and point LMTOOLS to the lmgrd.exe, license file, and debug log.

LMTOOLs by Flexera Config Services, Name, Path, Debug Dialog

Creating an Options File

If your license file requires computer-based permissions for the software to be used, you will have to create an options file denoting which computers have permission to use each product. Create your options file, which is a text file named nilm.opt, using the following standard FlexNet Publisher formatting:


Note that computer names are case-sensitive and are based off of the Windows computer name.

If your license file requires named-user permissions for the software to be used, you will have to create an options file denoting which users have permission to use each product. Create your options file, which is a text file named nilm.opt, using the following standard FlexNet Publisher formatting:


Note: The user names are case-sensitive and based off of the Windows login name.

The options file should be saved in the same directory as the vendor daemon nilm.exe. If you have both named-user and computer-based licenses, you can put both types of "INCLUDE" lines in the same options file.

Starting the Server

  • On the Service/License File tab in LMTOOLS, select to use the NILM License Manager Service that we created in the configuration tab.

LMTOOLS by Flexera Service/License File Configuration

  • On the Start/Stop/Reread tab in LMTOOLS start the server.

LMTOOLS by Flexera Start Stop Reread License Services Installed on this Computer

Configuring Client Computers

Client software is not configured to look to the FlexNet Publisher server by default.  In order for client machines to look for the license server, you can set environment variables, specify the server in NI License Manager, or create a Volume License Installer to automatically point the machine upon installation of the client software.  To find more information on how to create a Volume License Installer, please see KnowledgeBase 47IAHTQA: Creating a Volume License Installer for NI VLM.  

Environment Variables or NI License Manager

There are three locations where NI software looks for a server name and port:

  • Windows environment variable NILM_LICENSE_FILE
  • Windows environment variable LM_LICENSE_FILE
  • NI License Manager in the Options»Preferences»Use Volume License Servers field.  

You can set this value directly at one of the following locations, based on your operating system:

Windows Vista/7 and Later:
<ProgramData>\National Instruments\License Manager\Data\servers.ini 

Windows XP:

Updates to the server name and port within the servers.ini file or in this registry key will be reflected in the NI License Manager location shown above.

NI VLM Volume License Installers (VLI)

Using NI VLM Volume License Installers adds installer steps to automatically point client computers to the FlexNet Publisher server. One of huge benefits is that end users don't have any additional steps after installing the software. To prepare your software for Volume License installation, complete the following steps:

  • NOTE: NI VLM can be installed on a machine that is NOT the server machine.
  • Create a Volume License Installer for your licensed software by going to Options » Create Volume License Installer... within NI VLM. Enter the server name of the FlexNet Publisher server. Be sure to enter the administrator information. This information is displayed to the end user when they need a license or if the license server is inaccessible. You can configure a client computer to get a license from the server as part of the software installation process or after the software is installed.
  • Have your end users install the software from the Volume License Installer.
  • If the software is already installed on the end user's machine, users can leave the software installed and simply run the program vlmclient.exe found in the same location as the Volume License Installer. In the created Volume License Installer folder, copy the Client folder onto the client machine, and run the vlmclient.exe in that folder.

You don't have to keep track of how many people have installed the software since the licenses are managed by FlexNet Publisher.

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2. Additional Resources


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