Migrating NI Volume License Manager (VLM) to a New Server

Updated Nov 8, 2018

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager

Issue Details

  • I would like to migrate, move or export NI Volume License Manager (VLM) to a new server and then import the configuration. How can I do this?
  • We have moved our volume license server to a new computer with a different computer ID. What steps do we need to take to get our server up and running on this new computer?


Below is the recommended procedure for moving NI Volume License Manager to a new server.  Note that your old server should be left in production until the procedure verified as successful. 

In NI VLM 3.0 and VLM 3.1

Exporting License Server Files and Settings 
Reference Backing up and Restoring NI VLM Data 

Setting up a New License Server
Request a new license file from National Instruments to install in your server emailing agreements@ni.com, and refer to the help topic: Complete the NI VLM Getting Started Wizard.  You will need to access the files that you copied from your old server in the Exporting License Server Files and Settings step.

In NI VLM 1.0 to NI VLM 2.1

Exporting License Server Files and Settings 
  1. Save the Activity Log from your old server by navigating to Options»Save Activity Log...
  2. Save the compliance log, which has a .log file extension and the configuration file nivlm.cfg. The configuration file nivlm.cfg contains both permission and client information. Therefore, moving this file will prevent you from having to re-enter this information on the new server. These files can be found at <National Instruments>\Volume License Manager\
Setting up a New License Server
Perform the following steps to move NI Volume License Server to another computer: 
  1. Install the NI Volume License Manager software onto your new server.
  2. Find your new server's computer ID by selecting Options»Display Computer Information.
  3. Send both your new computer ID and the activity log from the old server to your local National Instruments Volume License Agreements representative at agreements@ni.com. National Instruments uses your computer ID, the activity log, and your agreement ID to generate a new license file.
  4. Once you receive your new license file from National Instruments, install it onto your new server by navigating to Options»Install License File...
  5. Replace the activity and compliance log, which both have a .log file extension, and the configuration file nivlm.cfg on the new server with copies of each from the old server. These files are located in the <National Instruments>\Volume License Manager directory. Please be sure that  VLM on the new server is closed, when copying the nivlm.cfg to the new server.
  6. Set your preferences on the new server by navigating to Options»Preferences.

Additional Information

Client Modifications

The above changes affect the server, not the clients.  The recommended way to ensure the clients still point to the proper server is to rename the new server with the Windows names of the old server.  

Alternatively, you can point the client computers to the new NI VLM server by creating a Network Installer according to the instructions in Creating a Network Installer that Does Not Send Permission Requests.  Copy the resulting Client folder from this Network Installer to the client computer, and run vlmclient.exe.  Ensure the end-users enter the requested information accurately in the Network Installer dialogue as all fields will be updated in NI VLM.  

If you follow this alternate approach, the clients will be configured to query both the old and new server for licenses.  To remove the old server, open National Instruments License Manager on the client computer and modify the server list in Options » Preferences.  This process can be automated as this information is stored at <ProgramData>\National Instruments\License Manager\Data\servers.ini for Windows Vista and later or in the following registry key for previous Windows versions: 


Leave the path to the local license folder in this registry key if the client computer ever needs to run any software from a local license.


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