How do I install MATLAB, or other MathWorks products, on a client computer for a network license?

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I am trying to find instructions on how to install a MATLAB client for a Network-based (concurrent or network named user) license.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 16 Apr 2021
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 26 May 2021
There are two different methods of installing MATLAB, or other MathWorks products, on a client computer using a network license: a standard (online) installation or an offline installation. The following will provide information on:
  • Obtaining the server license file
  • Installing online using the MathWorks Installer
  • Installing offline using the File Installation Key
Obtaining the server license file (Required)
To install a MATLAB, or other MathWorks products, on a client computer, you will need the server license file, which is typically named "license.dat" or "network.lic." The server license file can be identified by the first line, which will start with the directive "SERVER."
Please note that this is not the same license file as the one you can download from the MathWorks website. If you do not have your server license file, contact your license administrator.
The "network.lic" may be found in the licenses folder of an installation that is already pointed to the license server. The "license.dat" file may be found inside the license manager installation folder:
Open the folder where the license manager is installed:
  1. Open the folder "etc."
  2. Create a copy of the file "license.dat." Do not remove the file from this directory.
Installing MATLAB, or other MathWorks Products, using the MathWorks Installer
To install MATLAB, or other MathWorks products, using the MathWorks Installer, your MathWorks account must be on the license as a Licensed End User and have download permissions.
After obtaining the server license file, you may refer to the following link for installation instructions:
Note: When installing MATLAB, or other MathWorks products, using a network license, there will be an additional step that requests for the path to a license file.  The license file will be the server license file obtained following the instructions above.
Installing offline using the File Installation Key
To install offline, you require the server license file, the installation files, and the File Installation Key. 
After obtaining the server license file, you may refer to the following link for instructions on installing on an offline machine:
Note: For installations on a client machine, you are not required to activate, as the network license should already be activate to the license server.  You will require the server license file mentioned above to complete the installation.
Stan Martin
Stan Martin on 31 Mar 2022
Edited: Stan Martin on 31 Mar 2022
Despite having a network.lic file, I cannot get past the 2022a installer asking for an Activation Key or a license from my account (not network). I work for a large company and have not been provided with a key (and have been waiting over 3 days for our IT to call back). I should be able to point the installer to our network license server and it should go from there, but there does not seem to be such an option in this installer.
I have two individual Matlab licenses, however they are in use on other non-network computers so I assume if I use a key from one of those, it will deactivate on the machine it is actually in use on. Also, if I tell the installer to use one of those, I do not get any other chance to provide a network license instead.

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More Answers (6)

Steve Pellegrino
Steve Pellegrino on 14 Oct 2021
Edited: Steve Pellegrino on 14 Oct 2021
It amazes me how incomplete the instructions are. I think it must be a case of ‘not my job”.
For clients, the license file is a simple text file with the extension ‘.lic’ or ‘.dat’.
The first line starts with the word SERVER followed by the server's name (usually a DNS FQDN), followed by the server’s MAC address and then the listening port for the FLexLM licensing service (usually 27000). The second line is USE_SERVER. So, for example:
SERVER EF0123456789A 27000
The license file can be created with a text editor like Notepad, Textedit, Vi, or nano.
Comment lines can be added if started with #
  1 Comment
Gjermund Holøyen
Gjermund Holøyen on 25 Feb 2022
Thank you! It's baffling how hard it seemingly is to make a good set of instructions, when your post is such an excellent example of the opposite.

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sebastian almenara
sebastian almenara on 20 Sep 2016
Edited: Walter Roberson on 19 Jun 2018
Por favor: tengo la licencia de estudiante nº 4XXXXXX pero cuando intento activarla en la confirmación me da un error 1.616. NO TENGO NINGUNA OTRA ACTIVACION,¿ESTE PC TUVE QUE FORMATEARLO Y A CONTINUACION INSTALE OTRA VEZ MATHWORK R2015A. LES RUEGO ME AYUDEN PARA CONFIRMAR LA INSTALACION. MUCHAS GRACIAS

ELAKKIYA BALAN on 18 Feb 2019
hi i am installing matlab2018b version..error:353 is showing in textbox

Jason Abelloso
Jason Abelloso on 25 Aug 2021
error installing

Joseph Bushee
Joseph Bushee on 12 Oct 2021
This gives zero info on obtaining the license file

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Tapio Kramer
Tapio Kramer on 3 Aug 2022
Edited: Tapio Kramer on 3 Aug 2022
Since 2022 there is a MathWorks Packet Manager for MathWorks products on Linux.
You can install most MathWorks products on Linux (not Windows) easily and fast - without requiring a license.
But for sure ... you can only use them with a license.


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