Rapid Start: Autodesk Multi-User Licensing
By Karl Hosking - Support - A2K Technologies
This guide is aimed at assisting System Administrators with either a new LMTools installation or updating an old version of LMTools to support new Autodesk releases. There are four parts to this guide;
LMTools is an application that hosts an Autodesk multi-user license file via a Windows service. As CAD workstations come online, they’ll request and acquire a license at the beginning of the CAD session, and return the license once the CAD session has ended.
- Downloading LMTools
- Installing / Updating LMTools Install
- Generating a new Autodesk Multi-User license file
- Configuring LMTools
- Configuring Windows Firewall
- Testing the CAD Workstation
- Common Errors & Solutions
- Advanced Troubleshooting
LMTools is typically installed on an office server but may also be installed on a desktop (such as the CAD workstation or receptionist computer) as an interim measure. Check that the operating system is listed as supported via the Autodesk LMtools download website below;
Latest Version of LMTools and System Requirements
Continue to follow the above link through to find and download the LMTools installation media.
Next, test that the CAD workstations can either see the nominated server via the network, or can ping the server via Windows Command Line;
If the CAD workstations are unable to communicate with the server, you’ll need to troubleshoot such an issue with either a Systems Administrator / Network Technician prior to continuing with this guide.
Installing / Updating LMTools Install
For a new installation, double click the LMTools download to begin the installation, and simply leave all install settings at default – which should result in your LMTools installation installing to;
C:\Autodesk\Network License Manager
For those who need to upgrade an existing install of LMTools, the install and setup usually takes less than 15 minutes and can be done without interrupting users (so long as the install and setup is done within 15 minutes).
Open the old version of LMTools, click on the “Start/Stop/Reread” tab, and stop the existing license service, then on the “Configure Services” tab, remove the active Autodesk license service. Close LMTools, then finally via Windows Programs & Features, uninstall LMTools.
Note: For particular installs of LMTools, it may have been installed as a portable app that’s not listed within Windows Programs & Features, and for these cases simply rename/delete the legacy LMTools root directory.
Once LMTools has been removed, install the latest LMTools by double clicking the downloaded media, again, keep to default settings.
Note: There are situations where a licensing server will have multiple versions of LMTools installed supporting multiple vendors. For such a scenario, please reach out and contact A2K Support directly to discuss further.
Generating a new Autodesk Multi-User license file
Using the Autodesk Manage Portal is by far the quickest and easiest way of generating a Multi-User license file. Within a few clicks you’ll have your license file ready in next to no time. There’re a few details needed for this stage;
- Contract Manager or Software Coordinator access to the Autodesk Manage Portal
- Server details – The Server Name & MAC Address
- Server Model (most customers I work with use the “Single Server” arrangement. But reach out to speak with support staff if you’re interested in knowing more on Distributed or Redundant Licensing models.)
- Finally, an idea of which Autodesk products (plus seat count) are required for the Autodesk network license.
One way to confirm the details of your Server Name and the servers MAC address is to open LMTools, click the “System Settings” tab, and there you’ll see the Computer Name textbox and Ethernet textbox, which will contain a list of detected MAC addresses on that server. If you see more than one, simply use the first in the list.
With the server name and MAC address in mind, next, head to the Autodesk Manage Portal;
Autodesk Manage Portal
Once you’re logged onto the portal, click on “All Products & Services” and then note the “Quick Links” on the lower left of the screen, where you’ll find the shortcut to “Generating a Network License”
Autodesk have provided a guide below that is ideal to follow for this license generation step;
Generating A Network License File
Once the license file has been generated, you can use the Autodesk License Parser website to cross check its contents;
Autodesk License Parser
The License Parser is especially useful for checking product expiry dates, and also product feature codes that are needed when crafting an Options File to help govern user access to select products and restrict licensing borrowing.
With LMTools installed and the license file downloaded and ready, the steps to configure LMTools are found within the below Autodesk KB article;
Configuring the network license manager on Windows
If you have any problems at any stage during this step, please do reach out to speak with an A2K Technologies support technician, as we can personally assist via Remote Desktop.
Configuring Windows Firewall
A common error to experience when testing a newly configured LMTools is the CAD workstation reporting error;
This is a sign that the Windows Server firewall is active and needs to either be disabled (not recommended! ) or preferably configured, with the below settings;
- TCP port 2080
- TCP ports 27000-27009
The below Autodesk KB article can be refenced if needed;
Ports used by Autodesk Network License Manager
Testing the CAD Workstation
Upon starting the CAD application for the first time, you’ll be asked options such as “Sign In”, or “Multi-User” – select Multi-user and type in the name of the license server.
On pre-existing Autodesk 2020 installs, you may need to re-configure the application using the Autodesk Licensing Installer Helper Tool to change the license setting from “User Sign In” to “Multi-user Network”, in which case have a read of the below tutorial;
Licensing Installer Helper
Do reach out to speak with A2K Technologies Support staff if further assistance is needed with configuring the CAD workstation to connect with the server.
Common Errors & Solutions
Often a quick look into the LMTools log file will identify possible issues with the current setup. It’s important to understand that the log file will flush upon restarting the license service however, so it’s worth copying and saving before commencing troubleshooting. I personally use the application NotePad++ for reviewing the log file contents.
The errors below are fairly common, but are also usually easily resolved;
This error indicates that although LMTools is online and communicating, there’s a problem with acquiring a license, such as;
Incorrect license file Server Name or MAC address, Corrupt License File, All product licenses in use, Expired License.
More recently, we are seeing this error more and more due to product licenses that have expired. Expired licenses show within the LMTools log, and you can also check expiration dates via the Autodesk License Parser website.
Further to the Server Firewall hasn’t been configured as discussed previously, this error may also flag due to network congestion or high network latency. If either can’t be address, a workaround Windows Environment Variable may be used on the CAD workstation;
Variable Name: FLEXLM_TIMEOUT
Variable Value: 250000
- “Previous version of CAD can obtain a license, however the latest version doesn’t work”
This is often due to an outdated version of LMTools being used. At time of writing, the current version is 11.16, which supports all Autodesk products including the 2020 release. Previous versions of LMTools won’t support the 2020 version.
The license file should also be checked as well, as perhaps the old license file was used instead of the new license after LMtools was installed.
Sometimes installations and configurations simply don’t go to plan. If you need a hand with further troubleshooting or configuring your Autodesk Multi-User license setup then please reach out to A2K Technologies, either the Customer Care team or the day support staff can assist, and we treat all such licensing issues as an absolute priority.
What we’ll need you to send us (if able);
- Error Codes or description of the issue
- LMTools Log File
- LMTools Status Enquiry (copy/paste the enquiry into a Notepad file)
- Current License File
Email these details straight through to support, from which you can expect an automatic ticket number to be generated and reply emailed back, followed by a phone call from a staff member.
You can also call through on the toll free phone number to either log or follow up on a ticket too;
Australia: 1800 223 562
New Zealand: 0508 232 797