Getting Started with FlexNet Publisher Configuration

Publish Date: Sep 08, 2020 | 6 Ratings | 3.00 out of 5 | Print | Submit your review

Overview

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. NI 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 always access the license server. 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Get Your License File 
  2. Configure FLEXnet Publisher
  3. Create an Options File
  4. Start the Server
  5. Configure Client Computers
  6. Related Links

1. Get Your License File 

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

 

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2. Configure FLEXnet Publisher

  1. Create a folder on your computer that will contain all the required files for licensing.
  2. Download the following files located on the right navigation pane of this document based on your operating system:

Windows OS

    • lmtools.exe
    • windows_flexlm.zip - contains lmgrd.exe (the license manager daemon) and nilm.exe (the NI License Manager vendor daemon)

Linux OS

    • linux_flexlm.zip - contains lmgrd.exe (the license manager daemon) and nilm.exe (the NI License Manager vendor daemon)
  1. Copy the .exe files into the licensing folder created in step 1.
  2.  After receiving your license file, copy the license file into the licensing folder.
  3.  Create a new text file in the licensing folder for the debug log file. Rename the file "debug log.log".
  4.  Make sure the licensing folder contents is similar to the image below. For more information about nilm.opt, read the Create an Options File section.

  1. Launch the LMTOOLS utility (lmtools.exe).
  2. Navigate to the Config Services tab. Input the following information:
    • Type in a new Service Name such as NI FLEX License Manager
    • Input the paths to the lmgrd.exe, license, and debug log files.

  1. Click Save Service.

 

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3. Create 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. For more information on the options file, see Constructing Options File for FLEXnet Publisher.

  1. Create a new text file in the licensing folder. Rename the file "nilm.opt".
  2. Add the following text to the file using standard FlexNet Publisher formatting:

    INCLUDE <product name> HOST <host name>


    where
    • <product name> is the NI product you are specifying permissions for. Product names can be found in the NI license file.
    • <host name> is the computer name. Note that computer names are case-sensitive.

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.

  1. Create a new text file in the licensing folder. Rename the file "nilm.opt".
  2. Add the following text to the file using standard FlexNet Publisher formatting:

    INCLUDE <product name> USER  <user name>

    where
    • <product name> is the NI product you are specifying permissions for. Product names can be found in the NI license file.
    • <user name> is based off the Windows login name. Note that user names are case-sensitive.

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.

 

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4. Start the Server

  1. Launch the LMTOOLS utility (lmtools.exe).
  2. Navigate to the Service/License File tab.
  3. Under Server List, select Configuration using Services. Select the NI FLEX License Manager created in the previous steps.

  1. Navigate to the Start/Stop/Reread tab. Make sure the desired service is selected and click Start Server.

 

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5. Configure Client Computers

Client software is not configured to look to the FlexNet Publisher server by default. 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

Set Environment Variables or Specify Server in NI License Manager

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

  1. Windows environment variable NILM_LICENSE_FILE
  2. Windows environment variable LM_LICENSE_FILE
  3. 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:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\FLEXlm License Manager\NILM_LICENSE_FILE

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.


Create 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 benefit is that end users do not 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.

  1. Create a Volume License Installer.
  2. Have your end users install the software from the Volume License Installer.

Note: 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 do not have to keep track of how many people have installed the software since the licenses are managed by FlexNet Publisher.

 

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6. Related Links

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