Floating license installation guide

This guide provides:

  • The procedure for setting up the license server from which users check out floating seats
  • Instructions for installing the GWB on the client computers on which end users will run the software

Following those sections, please find ancillary topics of potential interest:

In case of difficulty, please visit our Floating license troubleshooting guide, available on a separate page.

1. Setting up a license server

Begin by locating the following:

  1. The installer executable, for example “SVR1700_setup.exe”, for GWB Server
  2. Your server activation code, which looks like “GXXXXXX-XXXXXXXX”
  3. The license server directory containing GWB licensing files, such as “C:\Program Files\GwbLicenseServer”, if the software has been already installed

Follow these steps to set up the license server:

  1. Run the installer executable, following the prompts and taking note of the location of the GwbLicenseServer folder where the GWB Server software was installed.
       Note that if the “lmgrd.exe“ and “hydrokey.exe” files are at any point moved from their initial location, the remaining files in the GwbLicenseServer folder must be moved along with them.
  2. Launch the activation utility from the GwbLicenseServer folder or the Windows start menu
  3. Select New... in the activation utility
  4. When the Activate GWB dialog opens, enter your activation code and press Activate
  5. Close the activation utility
  6. If you are setting up a server on cloud services, go to Cloud server setup
  7. Launch LMTOOLS, the FLEXlm tools program, from the GwbLicenseServer folder or the Windows start menu
  8. If the GWB license service has already been set up and you are simply updating the activation code, go to Step 9
  9. On the Server/License File pane in LMTOOLS, make sure ”Configuration using Services” is selected
  10. Complete the Config Services pane as follows
    • Specify a Service Name
    • Enter the Path to lmgrd.exe file, which is located in the GwbLicenseServer installation folder
    • Set as well the Path to the license file, found in the same folder. Note that this file is a generic stub license that causes the vendor daemon to look in trusted storage for licenses that have been activated with the activation utility.
    • A Path to the debug log file is optional, but useful when issues arise. Locate the file in a folder where the Windows Local Service user has full control. Setting “C:\ProgramData\gwb_license_server.log” should work well.
    • Select the Start Server at Power Up and Use Services options
    • Save the service
  11. Move to the Start/Stop/Reread pane and start the service
  12. Check the log file to make sure LMGRD was able to start the vendor daemon and locate the activation
  13. Assuming the server started correctly, you can proceed to set up client computers so end users may run the GWB applications

2. Setting up client computers

Once you have configured the license server, you can set up the GWB to run on end user computers. Begin by locating the following:

  1. The GWB installer executable, for example “gwb1700_setup.exe”
  2. The URL of the license server, and, if a custom port has been set, the corresponding port number

   Since the server is already activated, you do not need an activation code for this step.

You may install the GWB on a client computer by either of the following methods:

  1. Running the GWB installer individually on each client computer
  2. Rolling out a silent installation on user computers from a central location

Once installed, you can activate the software in two ways:

  1. You can point an environmental variable on each client to the license server; this option works well when installing from a central location, and is required on clients shared by several users
  2. To set up an individual client with a single user, you can use the activation utility to get the software running

2.1 Silent installation

To perform a silent installation, run the GWB installer with the “/S” flag set on the command line.


gwb1500_setup.exe /S <64, 32> [/D=install_folder]


  • Install GWB 64-bit to the default location, the most common option:
    gwb1500_setup.exe /S 64
  • Install GWB 32-bit to the default location:
    gwb1500_setup.exe /S 32
  • Install GWB 64-bit to a non-default location:
    gwb1500_setup.exe /S 64 /D=C:\myfolder\GWB

2.2 Environmental variable

To activate the GWB on a client computer using an environmental variable, follow these steps:

  1. Define environmental variable HYDROKEY_LICENSE_FILE that points to the license server. The variable setting is the server's URL, preceded by a port number in some cases. You need to specify the latter only if LMGRD is using a custom port (see Server ports). Syntax:
    [optional port number]@server_host_name
    If you are using a cloud service such as AWS, set up your client to point to the public IPv4 DNS address instead (see Cloud server setup). Examples:
    • @lic.example.com
    • @
    • 27000@
    • 27201@lic.example.com
    • @ec2-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX.compute-1.amazonaws.com
  2. Open the GWB Activation Utility from the GWB dashboard. If the GWB package is found, you should see Otherwise, you will see an error message
  3. Launch the GWB dashboard and verify that the client can check out a license from the server.

2.3 Activation utility

The GWB can be activated using the GWB Activation Utility for the current user only. The procedure is as follows:

  1. Open the GWB Activation Utility from the GWB dashboard.
  2. If the Activate GWB dialog does not open on its own, click New....
  3. Where you would normally paste an activation code, specify the license server in the format [port]@host_name, just as you would for an environmental variable
  4. Click Activate.
  5. Open the GWB Activation Utility from the GWB dashboard. If the GWB package is found, you should see Otherwise, you will see an error message
  6. Launch the GWB dashboard and verify that the client can check out a license from the server.

3. Borrowing a seat

Users can run the GWB applications offline by borrowing a seat from the server.

To borrow a seat from the server:

  1. On the server, an administrator may wish verify the license supports borrowing. Assuming it does, a “Borrowable count” will be listed in the GWB Activation Utility
  2. On the client, open the GWB Activation Utility.
  3. Close all GWB apps, including the GWB dashboard, that may be open on the client computer, to ensure a seat is available to borrow.
  4. In the GWB Activation Utility, select the license server and click Borrow...
  5. When the Borrow License dialog opens, select the product to be borrowed and choose an automatic return date. Click OK
  6. Client and server should now see a borrowed license in their respective GWB Activation Utility dialogs.
  7. The user can return the license before the automatic return date. He or she should select the borrowed license in the GWB Activation Utility on the client and click Return

4. Advanced server setup

To set custom ports or specify a hostname for the server, you need to edit license file “gwb.lic” in the installation directory on the server. As noted earlier, this file is a stub license that sets a few options for the server.

   You may need to run a text editor as administrator to modify the file. When done, you need to stop and restart the license service in LMTOOLS.

4.1 Server ports

The default ports are:

  • LMGRD – First available port between 27000-27010
  • HYDROKEY – Chosen randomly

You can set the ports explicitly on the first two lines of the license file, which initially look like:

SERVER this_host ANY
VENDOR hydrokey

To run LMGRD on port 27200, for example, and HYDROKEY on port 27201, edit the two lines to read:

SERVER this_host ANY 27200
VENDOR hydrokey port=27201

4.2 Server hostname

When LMGRD tells a client how to connect to HYDROKEY, it by default transmits the server's hostname. To check the string sent to the client, open a command line on the server and enter the command “hostname”. In most cases, this is the Windows computer name, without the domain name.

Clients can commonly reach the server using the computer name alone. If a client is set to use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to contact the server, it may not be able to connect in this way. The result of such a configuration is an excessively slow or entirely failed license checkout.

Resolve such issues by making sure LMGRD reports HYDROKEY's hostname in the same form clients will use to contact LMGRD. To specify the FQDN of the server, edit the server's license file and change the SERVER line from

SERVER this_host ANY



For example, if the server's Windows name is lic with domain set to example.com, the clients would need to connect to it at lic.example.com. In this case, you would change the SERVER line to:

SERVER lic.example.com ANY

As well, you can set the IP address assigned to the server as its hostname


As a final note, the hostname on the SERVER line must match the actual windows settings for computer and domain name, or the IP address assigned to the machine. If this restriction becomes an issue, please see instructions for Connecting to HYDROKEY directly.

5. Cloud server setup

After completing steps 1-5 in Setting up a license server, follow the instructions below to complete cloud server setup.

5.1 Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  1. Modify the gwb.lic file on the server at "C:\Program Files\GwbLicenseServer\gwb.lic".
    • Set a hostname on the SERVER line by replacing "this_host" with the public DNS for the Elastic IP address associated with the AWS instance (or the public IPv4 DNS for the AWS instance itself).
    • Set a fixed port for hydrokey (the vendor daemon) by adding a port=[port num] to the VENDOR line.
    For example, if your AWS public DNS is ec2-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX.compute-1.amazonaws.com and you are using port 27100 for hydrokey, you would change the gwb.lic file to:
    SERVER ec2-XXX-XXX-XXX-XXX.compute-1.amazonaws.com ANY
    VENDOR hydrokey port=27100
  2. If using Windows Firewall add incoming allow rules for both lmgrd.exe and hydrokey.exe.
  3. If using AWS security groups add inbound rules to allow TCP ports 27000-27010 (or the lmgrd custom port) and the TCP port chosen for hydrokey.
  4. Follow steps 6-11 in Setting up a license server to start server.

   It is highly recommended you use an Elastic IP address so that the server does not need to be reconfigured after an update or reboot.

If you have expertise in setting up on other cloud services, please contact support@gwb.com.

6. Communication details

Please find below in quick reference format details of client-server communication for GWB floating licenses.

6.1 Server components

The components making up the server, and their functions are:

  • lmgrd.exe – The license manager daemon, which is responsible for connecting clients to the correct vendor daemon.
  • hydrokey.exe – GWB's vendor daemon, responsible for providing licensed features to clients and tracking how many licenses are in use.

6.2 Communication sequence

The communication between a client asking to check out a seat and the server responding to the request can be summarized:

  • client → LMGRD — Contact LMGRD at specified port, or at 27000-27010
  • client → LMGRD — Where is the vendor daemon for HYDROKEY?
  • LMGRD → client — HYDROKEY is at port@hostname
  • client → HYDROKEY — Request to check out a feature
  • HYDROKEY → client — Accept or decline request

6.3 Firewalls

Any firewall positioned between the clients and the server needs to allow lmgrd.exe and hydrokey.exe to communicate over TCP. Depending on the type of firewall, you need to allow either both applications or the ports assigned to them to traverse the firewall. If you allow by port, you should explicitly assign a port to each application (see Server ports).

7. Migrating or advancing server

To migrate a GWB license server to a new machine or to advance to the latest version on your current machine, first stop GWB Licensing Service.

To stop a GWB Licensing Service that is already running,

  • launch “lmtools.exe” from the licensing directory,
  • move to the Start/Stop/Reread pane, and
  • click on "Stop Service" .

If you were unable to stop service from LMTOOLS, you will need to go to Windows Task Manager to end the application. Hit the Windows key, search and launch Task Manager. Click on “More details” if the default view is in the “Fewer details” mode. Locate lmgrd.exe on the Details pane, right-click, and select End Task.

   Once you have successfully stopped GWB Licensing Service, follow the instructions below for migrating or advancing your GWB License server

7.1 Migrating GWB server to a new machine

  1. Deactivate your GWB activation code using the GWB Activation Utility.
  2. Follow the steps in Setting up a license server to activate and configure the GWB License Server on your new machine.

7.2 Advancing from GWB 12.0.6 or later

  1. Get the latest version of the GWB License Server software with the update utility or with original download link.
    • Using the update utility:
      1. Browse to the installation folder for the GWB License Server, such as "C:\Program Files\GwbLicenseServer".
      2. Run SVRUpdateUtility.exe.
      3. Follow the prompts to install the latest version.
    • Download with original download link if update utility does not work or if server is not connected to the internet:
      1. Use the Server Download link provided when the license was purchased which will always download the latest version.
      2. Run the new GWB License Server installer executable, for example “SVR1700_setup.exe”. The installation should overwrite the existing version.
  2. Follow steps #6-11 in Setting up a license server to configure the license server

7.3 Advancing from GWB 12.0.4 or earlier

GWB releases 12.0.4 and earlier did not have a separate installer for GWB Server. In the unlikely event you encounter GWB 12.0.4 or earlier installed on the license server, follow these steps before installing the GWB server software after stopping GWB Licensing service:

  1. Uninstall the GWB by running the uninstallGWB.exe file in original GWB installation folder.
  2. Run the new GWB License Server installer.
  3. Change the paths for the GWB License Service on the Config Services pane of LMTOOLS from
    \Program Files\Gwb\License\<file>
    \Program Files\GwbLicenseServer\<file>
  4. Start the GWB license service from the Start/Stop/Reread pane of LMTOOLS.

8. Further support

If you follow the instructions on this page and encounter issues setting up a floating license, please consult our troubleshooting guide. If you still cannot resolve your issue, you may send email to support@gwb.com. Be sure to include a copy of the LMGRD debug log (see Step 9 of Setting up a license server), as well as any error messages shown in the client's activation utility.