Configuring FLEXlm FLEXnet Option File Using OpenLM Easy Admin


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FLEXLM ( FlexNet publisher ) option files grant license administrators close control over various operating parameters within the constraints of the license model. Licensed features can be dedicated, denied or reserved to users or groups of users, according to the option file’s setting.

Employing FlexLM option files, the license administrator can:

1. For concurrent (floating) licenses:

  • Allow the use of features

  • Deny the use of features

  • Reserve licenses

Concurrent licenses can be held either in license files or in fulfillment records within trusted storage.

2. For all license types:

  • Restrict the number of licenses available

  • Control the amount of information logged about license usage

  • Enable a report log file

  • Control the automatic rereading of licenses 

FLEXlm Option files are implemented as text files, located on the license server. Although  this method fits the licensing requirements well, the process of creating and maintaining option files is error-prone and difficult to maintain.

The OpenLM solution incorporates synchronization of License administration tools with the organization’s LDAP (Active Directory), keeping the FLEXlm option file up-to-date as users leave or join the organization, or move between groups.

Creating an Option File

1. The Option file should be placed under the same directory as the vendor daemon file, in order to enable FlexLM to read it automatically. Locating the Option file in a different folder is possible, but this requires FlexLM to be configured to search for it in that location.

2. The recommended name for the Option file is vendor.opt, where vendor is the vendor daemon name. Note that the name should not contain white spaces ( e.g.: Arcgis vendor: arcgis.opt,  Adsflex vendor: adsflex.opt ) “Vendor name.opt” is illegal.

FLEXlm option file editing

When configuring the option file using OpenLM, the configuration data is presented to the OpenLM Server, and forward by it to the OpenLM Broker, located on the license server machine. The OpenLM Broker updates the option file.


Check the “Enable OpenLM option file management” box 

It is necessary to install the OpenLM Broker on the license server machine in order to edit the option file using the OpenLM EasyAdmin web application.


  • Information about the OpenLM Broker and its installation process is available in Application Note #1004.

  • The latest OpenLM Broker version  is available for download for version 1.8. If you need a previous version please contact


The next step after creating an option file on the license server machine, is to configure the OpenLM Broker to work with it.

1. Open the “OpenLM Broker configuration tool” installed on the license server machine

(“Start” → “Programs” → “OpenLM” → “Broker” → “Broker Configuration Tool”). The Broker Configuration Tool window appears. 

2. On the Broker Configuration Tool window, Click the (+) button near the License server name in the configuration window. 

3. Click the (+) button near “Vendors” (1). 

4. Click the “Edit” button. 

5. Check the “Watch Option File” box (2) 

6. Type in the path to the Option file previously created. (3) 

7. Restart the OpenLM Broker.

Editing Option Files


Option Files apply license permission limitations to certain target categories; namely Users, User groups, Hosts, Host groups and IPs. Setting up and introducing these targets is beyond the scope of this article, but a short explanation on each of these target categories is attached at the end:

In order to edit option files, select a specific option file, and then apply changes to it.


1. Open the OpenLM EasyAdmin web application.

2. Click Start → Opt. File Admin. The “Option File” dialog window appears.

3. Select the specific Option file to be edited (e.g.: Autocad Option File) and click “Set”. 


On the EasyAdmin web application click Start →  Option Files → Policy.

The “Policy of Option File” window appears.

This window comprises of several text boxes:


ON: User names and host names specified with the Options File GROUP and HOST_GROUP keywords respectively, are treated as case insensitive.

OFF (Default): User names and host names are treated as case sensitive.


Suppresses logging of the selected type of event in the debug log file.  License administrators may use this option to reduce the size of the debug log file, however it can reduce the usefulness of the debug log when debugging license server problems.

  • IN / OUT: Turns off logging of license check-ins and check-outs respectively.

  • DENIED: Turns off logging of license check-out denials.

  • QUEUED: Turns off logging of queued license requests.


Specifies the report log file for this vendor daemon. It is recommended to precede the report_log_path with a ‘+’ character to append logging entries; otherwise the file is overwritten each time the daemon is started.


Specify the idle timeout for all features, after which an inactive license is reclaimed. The software publisher sets a minimum value. If a smaller value is set – it is ignored, and the publisher’s minimum value is used.


Writes debug log information for this vendor daemon to the specified file.

Note that this affects output from only the vendor daemon associated with this options file. The debug log output of lmadmin or lmgrd and any other vendor daemons in the same license file is not captured in this file.

Click the ‘Save’ button in order to save the edited configuration.


On the EasyAdmin web application window click ‘Start’ →  ‘Option Files’ → ‘Features’.

The “Features of Option File” window opens, according to the option file selected before. This window enables the configuration of each feature separately, applying changes either globally or to specific Users, User groups, Hosts, Host groups and IPs.

1. Select a feature. The ‘Permission’ column is filled

2. Select a user (shown in the screenshot below):

2a. Select the Users tab

2b. Click the ‘Add’ icon. The “Users search” window appears.

2c. Mark users from the “Users search” window, and click the ‘Select’ icon. The selected users are added

3. Select a specific permission, and set its value as explained here:


Sets the minimal number of BORROW licenses that cannot be borrowed, i.e: the minimal number of licenses that need to remain as Network licenses. For example, if FEATURE has a count of 10, borrowing is enabled in the application, and BORROW_LOWWATER = 7 then only 3 licenses may be borrowed. This option is used for licenses held in license files.


A lingering license stays checked out for a specified period of time beyond its checkin or FlexEnabled application exit, whichever comes first. This configuration enables users to extend the linger time for a feature beyond its check in.


  • The software publisher sets a minimum linger value. If a value smaller than the minimum is configured, the minimum value is used.

  • The linger time may be configured by the software publisher in the FlexEnabled application. When this is the case, the longer linger time is applied.


Change the maximum borrow period for a specific feature. The new configured period value must be less than that in the license file. This option is used for licenses held in license files.


The overdraft policy allows a software publisher to specify a number of additional licenses which users are allowed to use, in addition to the licenses they have purchased. This allows your users to not be denied service when in a “temporary overdraft” state. The MAX_OVERDRAFT parameter Limits the overdraft usage to less than the amount specified in the license file.


Specify the idle timeout for a feature, after which an inactive license is reclaimed. The software publisher sets a minimum value. If a smaller value is set – it is ignored, and the publisher’s minimum value is used.


Some Option permissions may be applied according to the following categories: Users, Groups, Hosts, Host Groups and IPs as shown below.

These configurations include

  • Reserved: Reserve licenses for a User / User group / Host / Host group of users/hosts.

  • Included: Allow a user to use a feature.

  • Excluded: Deny a user access to a feature.

  • Borrow Included: Allow a user to borrow licenses.

  • Borrow Excluded: Deny a user the ability to borrow licenses.

  • Max: Limit usage for a particular feature/group—prioritizes usage among users.


It is possible to Allow or Deny a category of users (usergrouphosthost groupIP) the entire set of features that a specific vendor daemon serves. In order to do that:

  1. On the EasyAdmin web application window click ‘Start’ →  ‘Option Files’ → “All Features”.  The “All Features …” window appears.

1. Add a Category of users (User Group Host Host Groups IP)

2. Check the “Include All” or “Exclude All” radio button;

  • Include All: Allow a user to use all features served by this vendor daemon.

  • Exclude All: Deny a user access to all features served by this vendor daemon.

3.Click ‘Save’.


Saving the changes made to the Option file back to the License Server is done as follows:

1. On the EasyAdmin web application window click “Start” → “Opt. File Admin.”

2. Select the specific Option File, and click “Set”.

3. Select “Save back to server”.

The Option file update mechanism

  • The OpenLM Server writes this request to a table on OpenLM db and waits.

  • Every 10-15 seconds the OpenLM Server checks that table for any new messages for sending to the OpenLM Broker.

  • If such messages are available, the OpenLM Server sends the option file back to the broker.

  • The OpenLM Broker receives the new option file. It creates a copy of the old option file and replaces it with the new one.

  • After that, the broker issues a re-read command to the license manager. If the re-read was successful, the process is complete.

This procedure refers to user permissions. The same permissions are applicable to Groups( a groups of users ), Hosts, Host Groups (defines a group of hosts) and IPs.

Appendix A: Users and Groups

There are two methods of introducing new users and user groups to the OpenLM system. One is through the EasyAdmin web application, and the other is by synchronizing with a company’s Active directory. Both these methods are elaborated below.


The best way to add users and groups is to synchronize them with the AD. OpenLM supports such synchronization:

1. Open “OpenLM Server Configuration” (Start →  Programs → OpenLM →  OpenLM server configuration )

2. Select the “Active Directory” tab.

3. Enter The following information in order to connect to the AD and synchronize users:

3a. Domain name: The Active Directory domain name is the full Domain Name System (DNS) name of the domain.

3b. Active directory user name and password, in the respective fields.

4. From the LDAP Server drop-down menu select “ActiveDirectory”.

5. Check the “Synchronize users” checkbox.

Another method for adding users and groups makes use of the EasyAdmin “Users & Permissions” menu:


On The EasyAdmin window, Click Start → Users&permissions → Users. The User details window appears.

Insert the required data, Check the ‘Enabled’ box,  and click the ‘Save’ button.


  • In The EasyAdmin web application, Click “Start” → “Users & Permissions” → “Groups”. The Groups window appears.

  • Click the green “Add Group” icon in order to create a new group. Enter the new group name (e.g.: my_new_group), and click “OK”. 

  • On the “Groups” window, select the newly created group (e.g.: my_new_group), and click the “Members” icon to add new members to the group. The “Users in my_new_group” window appears.

  • Click the green ‘Add’ button. The “Users search” window appears. Mark and select users from the “Users search” window to add to my_new_group.

Appendix B: Adding an IP

What is an IP?

An Internet Protocol (IP) address is a numerical label assigned to each device (e.g., computer, printer) participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: Host or Network interface identification and location addressing.

Controlling the license usage of a specific computer is made possible by the “IPs” tab on the “Features of Option File” window. It is also possible to control the license usage of an IP range of computers. For example, typing in the IP:  123.123.123.* causes the feature configurations done in the “Features of Option File” window to be implemented on all user IPs in the range of through

Adding a specific IP:

1. On the EasyAdmin web application window click ‘Start’ →  ‘Option Files’ → ‘IPs’

2. Click The green “Add” button. “Add Ip” window will pop.

3. In the text box enter the Ip address you want to add.

Add a range of IPs

1. On the EasyAdmin web application window click ‘Start’ →  ‘Option Files’ → ‘IPs’

2. Click The green “Add” button. “Add Ip” window will pop.

3. In the text box enter the Ip range you want to add (as explained above). 

Appendix C: Adding a Host Group

About Host Groups

Custom groups of virtual machine hosts may also be created, for grouping of hosts and their virtual machines in meaningful ways. For example, you may create a host group for every branch office in your organization. You can also use host groups to set aside resources on hosts in the host group for the use of the host operating system.

1. On the EasyAdmin web application window click “Start” →  “Option Files” → “Host Groups”. The “Host Groups” window appears.

2. Click the green ‘+’ sign, and add a group (e.g.: my_host_group1).

3. Select the newly added group, and click the “Members” icon. The “Memebers of my_host_group1” window opens (see image).

4. Select the computers that are required for grouping, and click the green “Select” button. The new Host group is ready for use.


Revision 1.3 (Revised)

Authors: Mira, Orik, Chen

May 20, 2013.

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