Network Licenses Over a WAN or VPN

I’m writing this down because I ALWAYS forget it, and it just happened to me again the other day. I was trying to open Revit and the license server was really far away in another office and I kept getting a pop up saying “A valid license could not be obtained by the network license manager.” I could ping the license server, I could browse to it, but no license.

After pulling some hair out (not much left) I remembered the FLEXLM_TIMEOUT variable.

Granted, you aren’t supposed to try to access your Autodesk license server (FlexLM) over a wide area network or VPN, but sometimes it just makes sense. If you have to access your license remotely, the FIRST THING you want to do is tweak your FLEXLM_TIMEOUT environment variable.

Win 7 Environment Variables
Win 7 Environment Variables

This article says it’s for AutoCAD, but it’s really for almost all their software that uses the FlexLM server, and it does a great job of laying out the steps and recommendations for Windows 7. Here’s where to find them in Windows 10 and 8, just add the same variable and setting from the Autodesk article. You could even get your IT guys to add this as something that gets pushed to all PCs at the domain level via GPO (or GPP), and not have to do it PC by PC. It’s not going to hurt any machine that doesn’t need it.

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