[CLM] Setting up Autodesk licensing

For Arnold 5.0.1 and later, annual subscriptions, permanent licenses, and EDU licenses all use Autodesk licensing.

Only monthly subscription licenses still use RLM.

To use an Autodesk license with an Arnold plug-in, you need:

  • MtoA 2.0.1 or later
  • C4DtoA 2.0.3 or later
  • HtoA 2.1.0 or later
  • MAXtoA 1.0.832 or later
  • KtoA 2.0.2 or later

Getting technical support for licensing

Log on to your Autodesk account, and go to https://knowledge.autodesk.com/contact-support

Setting up a license server

Install and Configure the Network License Manager on 

See Also:


Adding Arnold licenses to an existing license server

If you already have the Autodesk Network License Manager (NLM) set up for your Maya or 3ds Max licenses, you can use that license server for Arnold too.


Save your Arnold license file in the folder where you installed NLM.

  • For example, on Windows: C:\Autodesk\Network License Manager

In the NLM, go to the Start / Stop / Reread tab, and click ReRead License File.

On the Server Status tab, click Perform Status Enquiry to check that the Arnold license is available.


Save your Arnold license file in the folder where you installed NLM.

  • For example, on OSX: /usr/local/flexnetserver

In a terminal, run ./lmutil lmreread -c @MY-LICSERVER-01, and replace "MY-LICSERVER-01" with the real name of your license server computer.

Setting up a client machine

If you are already using Maya or 3ds Max with a network license, then you don't need to do anything. If Maya or 3ds Max have already checked out a license, then Arnold will be able to get a license from the same license server.


Set the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable. For example, if your license server name is MY-LICSERVER-01, then set ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE to @MY-LICSERVER-01

Setting ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE on the command line


Setting ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE as a System Environment Variable



See Also

OSX and Linux

You can use the ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable, but on OSX in particular, it's better to use a ~/.flexlmrc file.

Use a text editor to create a ~/.flexlmrc file. It should look something like this, except with the name or IP address of your license server:



For example, if the license server is on the same machine as Arnold, you could have this  ~/.flexlmrc file:


For more information:

Borrowing a license

You can borrow an Arnold license from the license server. For example, you could borrow a license on your laptop, and then use that license while you're away from the office and your license server.


  1. Start Maya or 3ds Max, so that they are already running (you don't want to borrow those licenses, just an Arnold license).
  2. Download and install the Autodesk Network License Manager.
  3. Start LMTOOLS.
  4. Go to the Borrowing tab.
  5. In the Vendor Name box, enter adskflex
  6. Enter a Return Date and a Return Time. This is when the borrowed license  will expire, and be returned to the license server.
  7. Click Set Borrow Expiration
  8. Render something with Arnold and check out a license (for example, do a batch render of a single frame; or use kick to render an ASS file).
  9. The license is borrowed when it is checked out.
  10. Click Don't Borrow Anymore Today
  11. Click List Currently Borrowed Features. You should see something like this:

OSX and Linux

To borrow a license (Mac OS X or Linux)

  1. Open a shell (Linux) or Terminal (Mac OS X) window and go to the directory where lmutil is installed.
  2. Execute the following command: lmutil lmborrow adskflex enddate[time]

    where enddateis the date you will return the license, formatted as follows: dd-mmm-yyyy. The timeargument is optional, but is specified in 24-hour format (hh:mm).

    For example: lmutil lmborrow adskflex 14-oct-2016 [14:00] borrows a license until October 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm.

  3. Render with Arnold and check out an Arnold license.

    This borrows an Arnold license from the server.

  4. To stop borrowing (so that you don't borrow more licenses), run lmutil lmborrow -clear

See Also


On the client machine (the machine where you render with Arnold), get an Arnold log.

If the license environment is not set up (no ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE environment variable or registry key, no ~/.flexlmrc file) then you'll see license server was not set (51)


For any other problem (license server not running, ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE set incorrectly) you'll see generic license checkout error (22)



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