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Knowledge Base


The following section describes the standard installation process for FDTD Solutions. In order to use the software, you will need at least two install packages: The Lumerical FlexNet License Manager and FDTD Solutions.


Lumerical provides a floating license; which means that the license can be shared between multiple machines in the same broadcast domain or subnet.


Please ensure that you have an root privilege before proceeding.

Check your computer specifications, if it is a supported system from our systems requirements page.

The activation process shown here is for the Floating trusted storage license model. See our license models page for details on activating a different license model.

Installation Procedure

Steps 1-2 outline the installation of the FlexNet License Manager (FlexLM) and activation of the Floating license using FlexLM on 1 of the computer in your network.

Steps 3-6 outline the installation procedure for FDTD Solutions. This can be done on multiple computers.

FlexNet license manager installation

This is done on 1 of the computer to host the licenses for other computers on your network.
If you are not activating the license on this machine, skip this step.

Proceed to the product installation section, below if you are installing on a client machine that is not hosting the license manager.

To download and install the FlexNet license manager on your machine, see: FlexNet license manager installation guide.

Activate your floating license

Upon successful installation, you would need to launch the Lumerical Activation Utility to activate your license.

sudo /opt/lumerical/lumerical-flexlm/lumerical-activation-utility


Enter your eight-character activation code, including the hyphen, and click the Activate button. It may take a few minutes before the license activation completes.


For non-graphical Linux, please see Command line activation, to activate your license using the Terminal.

Online vs Offline activation

Two license activation modes are available: Online Mode and Offline Mode.

Online activation is generally faster and easier, so this is the recommended method for all users.

Offline activation is a backup solution for customers who are unable to activate license through the internet. License activation will be done by sending a "requestXML file" to Lumerical Support, and a "responseXML file" will be provided. For more information, see the Offline Activation page.


Offline activation is only available for paid licenses. Trial or CUE program licenses must be activated using the online method.

Save your activation code

Please keep your Activation Code for your records. If you need to change your license server, you can "de-activate" the license and re-use the Activation Code on the new server.

See also

Protecting your license

Download FDTD Solutions installation package

Download the installation package from the Download Center (registration required).


Unpack the installation package

Upon successful download, unpack both installation packages with the following command:

tar -zxf FDTD-<version>.tar.gz

Run the installer

Go to the FDTD Solutions directory that you have extracted from Step 2, and then run the install utility script with the command

sudo sh ./


Follow the steps and instructions on the script to complete the installation.


Tip: installing with RPM

If you wish to have more control over the installation process, you can still use the 'rpm' command to install the software. This will allow you to do things like change the default installation directory (using the --prefix option) or prevent the automatic uninstall of old versions.

sudo rpm -ivh FDTD-<version>.rpm


Note: The script will remove any old versions.  If you want to install multiple versions, you should not use the install script. Instead, manually install the RPM.

Launch FDTD Solutions

This can be done from your terminal by using the following command



Adding FDTD Solutions to the system path

Adding FDTD to the system path allows you to start FDTD Solutions simply by typing fdtd-solutions at the prompt, without having to specify the full path.

sh /opt/lumerical/fdtd/bin/

This script will add the install directory of FDTD Solutions to your system path and add an icon on your desktop. After running the script, you can start FDTD Solutions by typing fdtd-solutions on the command line.


Note: If you have installed the Lumerical FlexNet License Manager on a different machine, you would be required to configure your FDTD Solutions License.


1.Open your FDTD Solutions license configuration utility


License Configuration

2.On the "Server" box, enter the Host Name or the IP address of your license server.

3.Click OK to save your changes

4.Re-launch FDTD Solutions

Next steps

Getting started examples

Work through one of the introductory Getting Started examples.

More product licensing information

See the Product Licensing chapter.

Advanced setup and configuration

See the Setup and Configuration section for information on advanced configuration of Lumerical's software.

Running simulations

See the Advanced Configuration section for information on running simulations, including from the command line.

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