Category: For License Admins

This section contains discussions of how to manage your licenses with RLM and how to troubleshoot common licensing problems.

Application cannot connect to license server

What do you do when you get a message saying “application cannot connect to license server”?

Sometimes, after completing the installation of your new software, the application refuses to run, giving you a “Can’t connect to server” error.  When this happens,  the error message will look similar to the following:

Usually, this means one of the following has happened:

  • The license server is not running
  • The hostname or port # on the application’s computer doesn’t match where the license server is actually running
  • The license server (rlm) is running, but the ISV server for your application isn’t running for some reason
  • A firewall is blocking access to rlm or the ISV server
  • The license server machine is down

The first step in diagnosing this problem is to find out where the application thinks the license server should be running.  The most accurate way to do this is to use rlm diagnostics with the application.  Since RLM v8.0, every application which uses RLM has built-in diagnostics.  The procedure for running diagnostics is described in this article:

Once you know the hostname and port of the license server, you should log in to that host and verify if the license server is running.  You should see one process for the “rlm” generic server and a second one for your ISV server.  Depending on whether the ISV server is a binary or a settings file, the process listing will be a bit different.  On Unix systems, for an ISV server implemented as a settings file, the two process will look similar to the following (this is for the “reprise” ISV server):

For an ISV server binary, the output will look more like this:

In the windows task manager, you will see either 2 rlm processes or 1 named rlm and one with the name of your ISV server:

  • If you can find rlm running, but not your ISV server, you will need to look at the debug log from rlm to see why the ISV server isn’t running.   The simplest way to do this is to run rlm in a command window (on Windows) or from the shell on Unix.    Go to the directory where the license servers are installed, and run the command “rlm”.    If the problem is not apparent from the output of rlm, you should contatact the ISV who supplied your software – they should be able to help you get the servers running.
  • If both rlm and ISV servers are running on the server node, the problem could be that either you have a firewall installed on the server node which is not allowing your application to access either the rlm port, or the port of the ISV server.   If this is the case, configure your firewall to allow access to port “xxx”, and you can configure RLM to use a fixed port number for the ISV server by specifying the ISV server port, xxx,  on the ISV line as such:

ISV isvname port=xxx (if you have RLM v9.0 or later), or

ISV isvname isv-binary isv-options-file xxx (if you have pre-v9 RLM)

If  you see another cause of this problem, or have a different solution, please leave a comment.

My license server won’t start

One common problem we see at Reprise is the issue of license servers (especially the ISV server) not starting.  When this happens,  the debug log will look similar to the following:

When this happens, it is usually (99.999% of the time) the fact that another copy of the ISV server is running (in this case “isvabc”).  Use the task manager (on Windows) or “ps -ax” (on Unix) to find the other copy of the server that is running, and, if necessary, kill the old copy (don’t forget to kill the rlm server that started it, too, otherwise that copy of rlm will just re-start the ISV server and you’ll be back to where you started).

Note that a similar situation can occur for rlm itself, if you try to start a new copy of rlm on the same port as another copy.

If you need to run multiple ISV servers (and/or multiple copies of RLM) see the article “Managing Multiple-ISV Installations” here .

I can’t check out a license, but I can get to the admin interface on the server – what do I do?

I can’t check out a license, but I can get to the admin web interface!

In some cases, a floating license cannot be checked out from a particular computer, yet that same computer can view the admin web interface from the license server.

In very early versions of RLM (prior to RLM v3.0), the most common cause of this failure is that the “normal” hostname of the server node is unknown on the client machine.

So, for example, if you server node’s hostname is “server”, but it is more generally known as “”,  and on the client computer it is only known as “”, you will see this behavior.

In more recent RLM versions, the most likely cause is that the hostname in the local license file is not the same as what you typed into the browser.

OK, how do I fix it?

If your rlm software is newer than v3.0, the best way to figure out what is happening is to run rlm diagnostics (available in RLM v8.0 and later).

To run client-side diagnostics, set the environment variable RLM_DIAGNOSTICS to the name of a file, then run the application:

% setenv RLM_DIAGNOSTICS filename

% (run application)

The file “filename” will contain the diagnostic information.  It will look similar to the following:

Near the bottom, you will see the name of the license file that the application is using as well as the server’s hostname.  If this is different from the name you use in your browser, correct the license file and try the application again.

If you have a pre-v3 version of RLM, you might also want to put the server’s IP address into the license file on the server side.  So, instead of:

HOST server hostid port#

use a line like this:

HOST server_ip_address hostid port#

For example, instead of:

HOST  server  12345678  5053


HOST  12345678  5053

My License Server Reports too many licenses in use

One situation we hear about on a regular (but infrequent) basis is similar to the following:

“My license server reports multiple licenses checked out from the same person, yet I know that this person is only using one license.  Why is this?”

As a general rule, this results from users removing laptops from the corporate network, then re-attaching later.  But it could occur any time a machine is either removed from the network, or shut down improperly.

The reason this happens is that the license server machine does not detect that the client side of the connection has been terminated.  This is an unfortunate aspect of TCP/IP, and it will vary on different platforms.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution to this problem – the TIMEOUT option in the ISV options file.

If this happens only on a single product, you can add a line similar to the following:

TIMEOUT 3600 the-one-product-with-the-problem

This would cause licenses for “the-one-product-with-the-problem” to be timed out after 1 hour of inactivity.

Alternately, if this happens to many products, you could add the line:


This line would cause all products from this ISV to time out after one hour of inactivity.

Either of these lines would be added to your ISV options file – by default “isvname.opt” (where “isvname” is the ISV server name), contained in the directory with the license server binaries.  Alternately, you can specify any option filename you like on the ISV line in the license file.   Don’t forget to do a reread on the license server after you edit the options file.

One last thing – your ISV can control the minimum timeout time for any individual product.  By default, this is 1 hour in RLM (3600 seconds).  However, if the ISV specifies:


in an individual license, then that minimum time would apply even if you attempt to set a shorter timeout time.

Reprise Announces License Usage Reporting Toolset

Reprise Announces License Usage Reporting ToolsetReprise Software has expanded its product line to address license usage reporting and pay-per-use needs of current RLM and FLEXlm/FLEXnet ISVs.

Reprise Software has recently become a global reseller of LicenseTracker’s LT-Analyzer license usage analysis tool enabling your customers to understand their license usage and for you to implement usage based pricing models.

This new product supports both RLM and FLEXlm/FLEXnet. RLM’s report log format is supported as is, and FLEXlm ISVs can take advantage of this new product simply by integrating a small piece of open source enhanced reporting code into their existing FLEXlm/FLEXnet vendor daemon.

By delivering reporting tools, ISVs can let their customers produce license usage reports to support current pricing models. Reports can be used as hard evidence to support fact-based software pricing negotiations, especially at the largest customers.

Usage based pricing can complement current license models.  Time or some other metric that fits your licensing strategy can be measured to ensure that customers pay for what they use.

This tool also allows end customers to assign costs to licenses and to monitor usage versus a set budget, and to assign costs across departments or business units who share common pools of floating licenses.

For those ISVs planning to host license servers for “in-the-cloud” customers, LT-Analyzer can be used in-house to collect license data to produce billing reports based on actual cloud-based usage.

The LT-Analyzer product imports RLM report logs and/or enhanced debug log records produced by modified FLEXlm license servers. Useful reports are produced by aggregating logged usage data during the billing cycle.

Global licenses for LT-Analyzer are based on a scaled-revenue tiers, much like RLM and FLEXlm/FLEXnet.

Please contact Reprise Software for more information about functionality or pricing, or to arrange a demonstration.

RLM License Administration Bundle

RLM License AdministrationRLM License Administration Bundle for License Administrators and End Users


The RLM License Administration Bundle is designed to give license administrators everything they need to maximize their use of RLM-licensed applications, the bundle contains the most-current RLM license server, and a tool, “rlmtests,” to help with license server and network capacity planning.

The RLM License Administration Bundle includes some testing tools that let License Administrators answer questions such as:

  • How fast can my license server service license requests?
  • How many licensed users can my server handle?
  • What will my performance be if I double my current user population?
  • When should I split my license inventory into multiple independent license servers?

‘rlmtests’ is totally self-contained, creating the required test licenses and then starting a license server before it runs the tests, finally reporting the results on the screen. The rlmtests utility performs two categories of tests: checkout performance tests and server capacity tests.

With this utility, license administrators and other end users can be proactive about their hardware requirements, matching available hardware to expected needs and developing a plan for hardware acquisition to match the growth in users of RLM-licensed software.

The RLM License Administration Bundle can be downloaded from the RLM License Admin support page:

How to Produce RLM Report Logs

SUMMARY: RLM license servers can produce detailed report logs of the license activity of your products. By default, these log files are turned off. This article will explain the potential uses of these report log files, what they are and how to tell your RLM license server to start producing them.

User Benefits

Users of products that use RLM license servers for floating or concurrent licenses use report logs for:

  • Proof of internal license compliance
  • Allocating costs across departments who share licenses.
  • Asset and maintenance cost optimization and budget planning
  • Entering into and monitor usage-based software licensing agreements

ISV Benefits

Software vendors benefit from report logs too. They can be used to:

  • Reconcile over-usage
  • Build post-use billing models
  • Produce audit reports to support future product pricing negotiations

How to turn on RLM Report Logs

There is nothing that the ISV needs to do.  The user creates an “options file” for each RLM ISV for which he wants to produce a log file, and adds this line to the file: REPORTLOG +file_path

Also, on the ISV line of the license file, the options file name must be specified.

Format (pre-RLM v9.0): ISV isvname isvname.exe isvname.opt


Format (RLM v9.0+): ISV isvname options=isvname.opt


Other RLM Report Log Features

  • Plain-text format is fully documented
  • Applications can ensure that report logs are capturing usage
  • ROTATE [daily | weekly | monthly | #days ], automatic log file rotation
  • Feature names mapped to “product names”
  • Authentication to ensure report data integrity
  • Anonymized – ensures user privacy
  • ISVs can write their own report log records
  • 3rd party RLM reporting tools are available from Reprise Software partners

For more information about RLM report log and its format specification, please review the RLM End User Manual.

Format (pre-RLM v9.0):

ISV isvname [isv-binary-pathname [options-file-filename [port-number]]]

Format (RLM v9.0+):

ISV isvname [isv-binary-pathname [options-file-filename [port-number]]] [binary=isv-binary-pathname] [options=options-file-filename] [port=port-number]