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Knowledge Base


The following section describes the standard installation process for FDTD Solutions.


Please ensure that you have an Administrator or root privilege before proceeding.

Check your computer specifications, if it is a supported system from our Systems Requirements page.

If you have a Floating license, the Lumerical FlexNet License Manager is required. See the FlexNet license manager installation guide for installation instructions.

Installation Procedure

1.Download the FDTD Solutions installation package

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


2.Run the installer

1.Locate the dmg file of FDTD Solutions that you have downloaded from Step 1.

2.Double click the disk image (FDTD Solutions-<version>.dmg) to mount the installer.

3.Double click the installer package FDTD Solutions.pkg and follow the instructions on the installation wizard. This should complete the installation of FDTD Solutions.

FDTD Installation

3.Launch FDTD Solutions and configure the license

Launching FDTD Solutions for the first time, or if the license has not been configured yet, you may see the following error screen. This is a prompt to configure your license information, or activate the license code received. To configure your license, click Yes.

Product license configuration

Product license configuration


The Configure license utility can also be launched by going to:

Applications -> Lumerical -> FDTD Solutions -> Configure FDTD license


Select your license model

Node trusted storage license

If you have a Node locked license, ensure the Node Locked tab is selected, Enter your case-sensitive eight-character activation code, including the hyphen, and click the Activate button. It may take a few minutes before the license activation completes.

Windows Node tab

MacOS Node tab

Floating license

For Floating licenses, select the Floating tab, then enter in the server name or IP address of the computer running Lumerical FlexNet License Manager. If the license manager is on the same machine, use localhost.

Windows Floating tab

MacOS Floating tab


Floating license models require the Lumerical FlexNet License Manager to be installed on 1 computer in your network.

Please see the FlexNet license manager installation guide for installation instructions.

Floating license model

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, CUE or Workshop 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

Next steps

Getting started examples

Work through one of the introductory Getting Started examples.

Opening multiple Graphical Interface instances

MacOS, by default, only allows the user to open one instance of the application at the same time. However, using a command line workaround, it is possible to open multiple Graphical User Interface with a single license. To do this:

1.Please ensure that none of FDTD Solutions Graphical User Interface window is open on the MAC computer

2.Open your terminal by:

Click Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

3.Enter the following command:

/Applications/Lumerical/FDTD\ Solutions/FDTD\

The above command would open the Graphical User Interface of the software, and the ampersand (&) would return the command line control to you, thus allowing you to repeat the same command in order to open the 2nd GUI.


Note: You can repeat step #3 as many times as required, but please note that you should only do this on a single terminal window. Running the command on a different terminal, would use another license.

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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