Ansys Zemax license server installation and activation

This guide goes over installation of a license server and activating an Ansys license 

Authored By Don Dickinson



Ansys License Manager (Windows)
Ansys licensing portal activation guide (supplement

Important note before beginning.

This applies only to those who will use an Ansys Flexlm license. Ansys versions of Zemax Opticstudio will not work to activate or use legacy Zemax licenses. You will need to install a different license manager application on the server, and use a separate Ansys Zemax OpticStudio version.

If you have received a license number starting with L or T such as L100000, see this article for server and client setup instead. If you have a black USB network license (license numbers 22000-40999) see this article

When a license is generated an email is sent to the license administrator with instructions on creating a license file. Below is the abbreviated steps. 


Installing the Ansys License Manager

First the administrator will need to install the Ansys License Manager on the server.

These instructions are designed around a Windows server machine as that is what Zemax support is familiar with. There are Linux versions as well. If you already have the Ansys License Manager installed move to the next section.

Download the Windows version of the Ansys License Manager from the "Downloads" section at the top of this article. 

  • TIP: If you are setting up a Linux server, the Linux versions of the Ansys License Manager is also available in the in the Ansys customer portal at in in the "Tools" section. You will need to register for an account if you do not have one to access this page)

After downloading the license manager, extract the Zip file and install the ANSYS license manager from setup.exe on your license server machine. Follow the instructions on the installation wizard and complete the installation. 

Ansys has a detailed installation guide for the ANSYS License Manager on the ANSYS Help website* and how-to-videos.


Capturing the server information 

The license server Host Name and Host ID information is required to generate the license file in the Ansys licensing portal

Follow the below procedure on the system that you have designated to be a license server. 

Your license server host information can be obtained opening the Ansys License Manager. Navigate to "License File Options" -> "Get System HostID information" per the screenshot below. 

Make note of the computer name next to "HOSTNAME",

Make note of the "Host ID". We recommend using the Host ID in the "Disk Serial number" row.  


Activating the entitlement

Note that the person sent the license activation instructions is the one who has permission to login to the support portal. That person can can add additional users if they want. 

See also the Ansys Licensing: Activating Entitlements how-to video for details or the "Ansys licensing portal activation guide (supplement) in the Downloads section at the top of this article. 

1. Log into the Ansys Licensing Portal using your Ansys credentials. Again, the person sent the license activation information will be the one with permission to perform these steps. If anyone else is going to do this, that person can add them as an administrator.

2. Activate your entitlement by adding a new host (the Plus sign at the top), and typing the HostName and Host ID information you saved from the Ansys license manager on your license server from the Capturing the license server information" section above. This video also details the steps.

Advanced license activation like splitting a multiple seat license up for multiple machines in in the attached "Ansys licensing portal activation guide (supplement" PDF at the top of this article. 


3. Pick the product(s) you are activating from the "Available entitlements" section. By default, all available products are selected. You can remove any product you don't want with the X on the left.

4. Put a check in the "Borrowable" box, which enables the license to be pulled of the license server to other machines for offline use.

5. Click Save and Generate to complete this part of the activation. 


6. Download the license file using the download button next to the server name you just activated.

7. Move to the "Installing the license file section" below. 


Installing the license file

After you have received the license file, here's how to apply it. 

NOTE: Do not change any information in the license file (other than the port number) or the file may fail to apply. The license file can only be used on the machine / host name you specified when activating. 

1. Open the Ansys license management center. If you have not installed it already, there is a link at the top of this article. 


2. Navigate to "License file options" -> "Add a license file". Click Browse and go to the location of your saved license file. add the license file.


3. It should restart the license manager service automatically. Make sure the license service starts successfully.

If the license service doesn't restart, this typically means there was a mismatch in the license file contents versus the server's host information. Be sure you are activating the same Host name and Host ID as specified  in the license file. Contact support for help if the license service will not start. 

Move to the next section to configure the server and firewall. 

Configuring the license server and firewall

If you use a firewall or on a secure network, you will have to add the ports used by the Ansys license manager to your exceptions list. The process shown here is using the default TCP Ports used by the Ansys license manager. 

Note: If Ansys LM is running, "Stop" the Ansys license manager and edit the "ansyslmd.lic" license file to add a static port for the VENDOR Daemon. The license file is found in the installation folder: (default install path shown):


"C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\licensing\license_files"
  • The 'ansyslmd' vendor daemon port is 1055 static when you receive your license file.  

  • Add the TCP ports; 1055,1056, and 2325 to your firewall/exception lists to allow access to the license manager. For Windows see the next section to the steps.

  • If different ports are used for the FlexNet and VENDOR Deamon in the license file, add these ports as well.



Windows Firewall exception instructions

These steps must be performed on the computer that the License Manager is installed on to ensure client machines can access the license. This does not need to be done on client machines. There is a video walkthrough in this link as well. 

1. Open Windows start menu and type "Defender". Choose Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security.


2. On the left, select Inbound Rules. On the right under Actions, select New Rule. This brings up the New Inbound Rule wizard:


3. Select Program for Rule Type and click Next.


4. For the Program step, select "This program path" and Browse. Browse to this program: 
"C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\Licensing\winx64\ansyslmd.exe" . Click Next when done. 

5. In Action, Select Allow the connection and click Next.


6. Apply the rule to Domain and Private profiles and Optionally Public. Note that most servers do not allow public access for security reasons. If you want to allow connections outside your local network, include the Public profile.


7. Enter name and description for the rule. We suggest "Ansys license 1" for the name or Ansys license 2 if this is for a 2nd Ansys licensing application. Click "Finish".

8. Repeat 1 through 7 steps above for the the additional application:

"C:\Program Files\ANSYS Inc\Shared Files\Licensing\winx64\lmgrd.exe"





Check license server status and license usage

The Ansys license manager status and license usage can be checked from the Ansys License Manageer while logged in to the license server. In Windows the License Manager is available in the Windows Start menu. 


Navigate to "View Current License Usage" on the left column. The current license usage on this LM will be shown. Click on "Show tabular data" for a table format. There is also a View License Usage History, Peak usage, and "License Denials" to see what machines were unable to get a license seat. 

OpticsBuilder licenses are listed as ZOB_level1 and ZOB_level2 and OpticStudio licenses are listed as ZOS_level1 (Professional) ZOS_level2 (Premium) and ZOS_level3 (Enterprise). Note that Opticstudio users can pick the edition they want to start and all higher editions include the lower ones. For example, if you receive a Premium license (ZOS_level2) then your license file will also include the ZOS_level1 in the file. 

Additional walkthroughs and information on usage in the Ansys License Manager is also available in this video or this one


Alternatively, navigate to the Diagnostics section, "Display FlexNet License Status". This will show the FlexNet status and lists of license features for check out and the user information that has checked out the license (if any). 


Configuring the Zemax application to find the installed license. 

Once your license is activated and installed per the steps above, see Configuring Zemax applications to access an Ansys license. 

You will need to provide the server name and port number to them and a link to that guide to any users that need to reach the license server from their machine. 

TIP: If the license is activated on the same machine as the Zemax application will run, you can just use "localhost" as the server name. 

They will also need to install the Ansys version of the Zemax application applicable to your license (OpticsBuilder or OpticStudio) as "legacy" Zemax versions are not compatible with Ansys licenses.  



Ansys License Management Center Overview

Ansys, Inc. License Management Guide

Ansys How To Videos

Configuring Zemax applications to access an Ansys license. 



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