Prev | Next

Licensing and Installing the License Server


The latest release introduces a significant change to the licensing scheme for Pixar's RenderMan products. For a number of reasons, we are now using a proprietary licensing system. While the basic functionality is virtually unchanged from our previous licensing mechanism, there are some important things to be aware of to ensure proper setup.

Whether your licenses are floating or node-locked, the license file is now an XML-formatted file named pixar.license. The file is provided to you either by the Pixar license administrator, via the Pixar LicenseApp, or via Pixar's Web-based licensing tools using an Entitlement system. The Entitlement system is an efficient way to manage licensing and is capable of delivering a floating license to your license server and “stub” licenses to your artists' desktops, or a node-locked license directly to your workstation.

RenderMan for Maya and the individual components of RenderMan Studio find the license file via a preference set in their respective .ini files:

	SetPref LicenseServer [file join [RATGetDir installdir] rmantree etc pixar.license]
For this reason, we heartily discourage putting your license file elsewhere.

Node-locked Licenses (RfM Only)

If you are using a node-locked license on Windows or OS X, licensing is very simple. During the course of running the RenderMan for Maya installer, the licensing application will automatically start. You will need to enter your Entitlement Serial Number (as provided by Pixar) and your Support Forum user name and password. The pixar.license file will automatically be saved to the correct location — the rmantree/etc directory of the RenderMan Studio installation.

Floating Licenses

First, you will need to download and install a new license server. RenderMan Studio and Pro Server users should use one of the following packages:

RenderMan for Maya users who are using floating licenses should download and install (Windows) or license-5.0-la.tgz (OS X). The changes for node-locked RenderMan for Maya licenses are essentially transparent; licenses are downloaded during the installation process and are still installed in the /etc directory of your RfM installation (not in the rmantree/etc directory, unlike RenderMan Studio).

Installing and Running the License Server

on Windows

  1. Extract the .msi files from the .zip file.
  2. Double-click on the appropriate .msi file to invoke the installer. This must be done on the machine that you intend to use as your license server. The installer will take you through the installation process, step-by-step.
  3. By default, the license server is installed in C:\Program Files\Pixar\license-5.0 and contains the following components and scripts:
  4. Near the end of the installation, the licensing application, LicenseApp, will be invoked. It will ask you for an “Entitlement Serial Number”, and your Forum login and password. Enter the information in the appropriate fields (if you use a proxy server, your proxy information should be added as host:port, e.g. and click on the Get License button.

    NOTE: If you received your license file directly from the Pixar license administrator you can skip this step, and the next. At this point, you can simply copy the pixar.license file to C:\Program Files\Pixar\license-5.0.

  5. The application will contact Pixar's servers and download your license to the appropriate location. Once that is finished, quit LicenseApp and the license server installer will run to completion.

Now, when you install the plugin on your artists' machines, you will follow the same steps as for a regular installation, including entering the “Entitlement Serial Number” and your Forum login and password when LicenseApp asks for them. The license file that is downloaded will point to the machine where you installed the license server, automatically. If you received your license file directly from the Pixar license administrator you will need to copy a “stub” license file to the rmantree/etc directory of your artist workstation's RenderMan Studio installation.

Eventually, you will need to start the license server. This can be done via the Windows Services panel (Start-> Control Panel-> Administrative Tools->Services), or you can run the executable via the Command Prompt (the -help option will give you a rundown of the optional flags for running the license server, including -v:X for debug output and -log filename for logging).

on Macintosh OS X

  1. Download and unzip the appropriate .tgz file.
  2. Double-click on the .pkg to start the installer. The installer will take you through the installation process step by step.
  3. The license server is installed, by default, in /Applications/Pixar/license-5.0 and contains the following components and scripts:
  4. Your license file, pixar.license (as provided by Pixar) should be saved in this directory. License.App (on OS X) will automatically connect to our servers and download your license file to this location.
  5. To start the license server, run the following command from a Terminal window:
    To stop the license server, run the following command from a Terminal window:
    Please note that each of these scripts can be edited to accommodate your site's configuration. Also, the Start/Stop button in the License Server window of the installers for the software packages is not, currently, functional.

on Linux (RenderMan Studio Only)

To install the license server to the default location, in a root shell, navigate (cd) to the directory where the license-5.0-0.gcc333glibc233_ix86.i386.rpm is located and type:

> rpm -i license-5.0-0.gcc333glibc233_ix86.i386.rpm

To install the packages to a different location, the /opt prefix of the default path can be replaced. For example, to install to /usr/local/pixar/rat, from a root shell type:

> rpm -i --prefix /usr/local license-5.0-0.gcc333glibc233_ix86.i386.rpm

After installing the license server you will need a valid license file. Licenses are obtained from Pixar, and are keyed to a special machine designated as your license server. In order to generate your license, Pixar will need that machine's unique hostid number. To query the hostid, you must run a utility that is part of the installation. If you have installed to the default directories, run:

> /opt/pixar/license-5.0/PixarLicenseServer -hostid

This will print out information similar to the following:

	Pixar RenderMan host identifier: foo 0d4ys54s6ey

Send the entire output of this command to RenderMan sales (, who can then create your license. Or, if you have been issued a serial number, you can use the Online Product Activation page. Once you have received a valid license file, you will need to replace the contents of /opt/pixar/license-5.0/pixar.license with the license file you receive. Please ensure that no spurious line feeds have been introduced by your mail client during this process.

After installing your license, you will need to start a license server daemon on the license server host. The license server daemon can be manually started on a host by using the shell script /opt/pixar/license-5.0/ and stopped with /opt/pixar/license-5.0/stopPixarLicenseServer.tcl. The script may be invoked interactively by any user or from the system startup. The license manager needs no special privileges to run.

In order to have the license server be started automatically, you may want to install an rc.d script. For example:


# Start the license manager
case "$1" in
        ( cd /opt/pixar/license-5.0 ; ./ > /dev/null 2>&1
        ( cd /opt/pixar/license-5.0 ; ./stopPixarLicenseServer.tcl) > /dev/null 2>&1
        echo "usage: $0 {start|stop}"

can be placed into the directory /etc/rc2.d and renamed to S99startlm.

Known Issues

Prev | Next



Pixar Animation Studios
Copyright© Pixar. All rights reserved.
Pixar® and RenderMan® are registered trademarks of Pixar.
All other trademarks are the properties of their respective holders.