Technical Note - MATLAB FlexLM Licensing Issues


You may sometimes find that MATLAB tells you that it has run out of licences, or words to that effect and you may then want to try and see who is using the licences in case there's a chance you can pull rank on them.

The Matlab documentation will tell you to use an utility called lmstat, however it may not be obvious how you should do that, especially if it is not on the default PATH, so here are some instructions that apply to the School's machines.


Firstly, be aware that lmstat is part of the FlexLM/FlexNet licensing product and that it actually just an invocation of a more general utility lmutil, and you can therefore invoke "lmstat " as "lmutil lmstat". Should you be on a machine not covered here, looking for lmutil may be all you need to do to follow these instructions on that machine.

Secondly, products such as MATLB which use the FlexLM/FlexNet licensing suite tend to install it below their own product's directory structure.

Thirdly, lmstat/lmutil needs to be able to access whichever licence file is controlling the product you are using, in this case MATLAB. The licence file itself may simply be a pointer to an external licence server, as opposed to an actual licence, and the location of that licence file may be set in the environment ($M_LICENSE_FILE) or specified directly, however the principle remains the same.

Fourthly, FlexLM/FlexNet licensing, when done over the network, often uses just one licence for many products so as to ease administration. This means that if you simply query the licence server you may get more information than you know what to do with. Fortunately, lmutil allows you to specify only specific features within the licence.

Fifthly, these instructions were written when the current version of MATLAB was 2010a, so this version's name appears in the instructions: you may need to replace that string with whatever version you are using.

Sixthly, throughout the MATLAB product you may see "licence", the noun, spelt with an "s" as in the verb: this is an American thing.

Seventhly, the output from lmstat shows you the usernames on the machine where that user is running MATLAB. The licence server controls usage across VUW, so the usernames you see may not be ECS/MSOR ones.

Finally, yes, there are other ways to do this, including, adding stuff to your PATH, setting licence file locations in the environment, grep'ing the output, etc, etc.


MATLAB is installed on the C: drive

lmutil is found as

c:\program files\MATLAB\R2010a\bin\win32\lmutil.exe

the licence file is

c:\program files\MATLAB\R2010a\licenses\network.lic

You'll need to run lmutil from within a DOS box, usually initiated by running CMD.EXE

Within the DOS box, you should type

cd C:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2010a\licenses
..\bin\win32\lmutil.exe lmstat -f matlab -c network.lic


MATLAB is installed on the B: drive

lmutil is found as
B:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2010a\bin\win32\lmutil.exe

The licence file is

B:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2010a\licences\network.lic

You'll need to run lmutil from within a DOS box, usually initiated by running CMD.EXE

Within the DOS box, you should type

cd B:\Program Files\MATLAB\R2010a\licenses
..\bin\win32\lmutil.exe lmstat -f matlab -c network.lic


MATLAB is installed below /vol/matlab

lmstat is found as


The FlexLM/FlexNet utilities know which licence they need to access by default

You should type

/vol/matlab/R2010a/etc/lmstat -f matlab


MATLAB is installed below /vol/matlab but I could not find a Solaris version of the FlexLM/FlexNet utilities for 2010a, so you'll need to use 2009b

lmstat is found as


The licence file is


You should type

/vol/matlab/R2009b/etc/sol64/lmstat -f matlab -c /vol/matlab/R2010a/licenses/network.lic

Generic command line

Given that now (Nov 2014) we appear to have a "current" pointer to one of the various MATLAB installtions we maintain you should be able to do the more generic

/vol/matlab/current/etc/glnxa64/lmutil lmstat -f matlab -c /vol/matlab/R2013b/licenses/network.lic