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Knowledge Base

The Node USB key license model allows for the selective use of Lumerical products on multiple computers by moving the USB key.  This license model is occasionally used in secure environments where computers are not connected to a network, or as a portability option for those needing to run the product on different non-networked computers.

A License File will be provided together with the USB key and both are required to be on the machine when accessing Lumerical's photonic design software. This license file is activated Offline.




Administrator access is required.

This license can not be accessed by other computers connected to the same network.  

This license can only be used by one user at a time.

Can be used to run products on different computers by moving the USB key.

This license model uses a file-based (.lic) license in addition to the USB key.

There is an extra charge for the USB key.

Not available for Linux operating systems.

License is activated offline.

FlexNet license manager is not required.


Product installation

Importing license file

License availability

Using a different machine


FlexNet license manager is not required.

Product installation

Install the Product according to your Operating System from here: Installation Manual


Note: Install with "HASP drivers for use with a Flexera hardware key" option checked.

Install with USB key drivers

Plug the USB key into the machine, it should now be detected by the system. Then proceed with the license file installation.

Importing the license file (Done Offline)

Node MAC Locked and Node USB Key license models use a file-based (or certificate) activation. The license file is processed and sent pre-activated by Lumerical, which does not require an internet connection for further processing.


To import the license file, navigate to the following default installation directory, replacing <Product> with what is installed in your machine.



C:\Program Files\Lumerical\<Product>\bin\licenses\

for example for FDTD Solutions:

cd C:\Program Files\Lumerical\FDTD\bin\licenses\

Windows directory

Windows directory

Mac OS:


for example for FDTD Solutions:

cd /Applications/Lumerical/FDTD\ Solutions/FDTD\

Mac OS folder

Mac OS folder

There is an existing file called start.lic; do not move or alter this file. Copy and paste, or move, the received license to this directory. You may see the warning prompt below; click Continue to save the license file to this location.


If your license entitlement includes multiple products, this process will have to be done under each product's license directory. Launch each of the application to verify that the license has been imported successfully.

Copying the license file will require Administrator privileges. Please ensure that the above directory is accessible with Read/Write access to all users.

Administrator access required







License availability

When launching the software, an error message will indicate if the license is currently in use or not.

Running on other workstations

The product and license must be installed on each workstation you would like use.  Once the software is configured on each workstation, it's simply a matter of inserting the USB key into the desired workstation then launching the software.

Common issues

Error code: -9 Invalid host = Missing USB key

If the product is launched without the USB Lock inserted, you will see the following error prompt. Plug in the USB Key and click Try again to run the product.


Floating error: -9 Invalid host. The hostid of this system does not match the hostid specified in the license file.


You may find additional useful information in the Advanced configuration chapter.

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