Installing an RLM-licensed Product

When you receive a product licensed with RLM, your Software Provider (or Independent Software Vendor, referred to in this manual as your “ISV”) will provide an installation procedure that installs the license management components (in the case of floating licenses, this is typically separate from the installation procedure for the application, since the license server processes usually run on a different machine from the application). Your ISV will generally make the licensing installation as transparent as possible.

In some cases, your ISV will not provide you with an installation procedure for the license server (the license server is required for floating licenses only – it is not required for nodelocked licenses). This might happen, for example, if you want to run the server on a platform which your ISV does not support. The remainder of this section describes a manual RLM server installation, in the event you need to install it yourself or troubleshoot your installation.

First, you need the three required licensing components for the license server:

  • The generic license server, rlm on Unix, rlm.exe on Windows.

  • The ISV’s license server, either a settings file named isv.set, or a binary named isv on Unix, isv.exe on Windows.

  • The license file which describes your rights to the product.

Optionally, you might want the RLM utilities - rlmutil on Unix, rlmutil.exe on Windows. These utilities are often installed as their separate command names, see License Administration Tools.

For the easiest installation, place all three components in the same directory (put the utilities, if you want to install them, in that directory as well.) In this way, license servers, utilities, and application programs will all be able to locate the license without any additional environment settings for users. All that remains to get floating licensing working is to start the license servers.


If you did not locate the license file (or a link to it) in the binary directory, you need to provide a pointer to the license file (or license server) to the application, using the RLM_LICENSE environment variable.

To start the license server (again, only required for floating, or counted licenses):

  1. Place the license file into the binary directory (or startup directory) and name it something.lic If you do not do this, then set the RLM_LICENSE environment variable to the path of the license file.

  2. Execute the rlm command:

% rlm > output_file

To enable your users to find the license file or license server, either:

  1. Put the license file (named something.lic) in the binary directory with the application program (RECOMMENDED), OR

  2. setenv RLM_LICENSE license_file_path, OR

  3. setenv RLM_LICENSE port@host, where port is the port # in the license file, and host is the hostname in the license file.


If you are using RLM v10.0 or later (both clients and servers), and you are running on a local-area network, the client will broadcast to locate the license server, and no other configuration is required beyond setting up the license server.

How a floating licensing works

To use floating licenses, an RLM client connects to an RLM server to check out a floating license. (The RLM client is usually part of the licensed application.)

RLM Server

  • The RLM server is started by a start script on the server machine, or started manually.

  • The RLM server scans for valid license files, for one or more ISVs. For each ISV, rlm will start the ISV server – either an ISV server binary, or another copy of rlm that takes on the personality of the ISV server via the ISV server settings file.

  • The RLM server opens and listens on one or more ports to receive license requests from the RLM clients.

  • The RLM server port numbers are specified on the HOST line of the license files. The default (if none is given) is 5053.

  • The ISV server’s port number is specified on the ISV line of the license file. If there is more than one license file, there can be more than one port defined for the ISV server. If no port number is set, a random free port number is used.

  • Once a day - at midnight local time - the RLM server will trigger a re-read of all ISV license files. All ISV servers will then reread the license file and continue processing requests.


In RLM v14.2—15.2, if the default admin password is not changed, or no password is set, the RLM web server will automatically shutdown after 10 minutes. For information on access control, see Access Control to the RLM Web Interface.

RLM Client

  • The application contains an embedded “RLM client”. Eventually some part of the application will request a license “check out”. To process this request, the RLM client connects to the RLM server.

  • The RLM server gets the requests from the RLM client, looks up the ISV (in its internal list of ISV servers), and forwards the RLM client to the correct ISV server port number.

  • The RLM client then connects to the ISV server and sends a “check out” request for the requested license.


The RLM client needs to ‘know’ only the RLM server host name and port number. The application’s installation procedure must document how to set these values.

Troubleshooting in large networks

In order to check out a license, the RLM client (embedded in the application) needs to be able to connect to the RLM server and to the ISV server. Large companies with internal firewalls must make sure both ports are accessible for the RLM client to successfully check out a license.