Access NI Volume License Manager from a Different Network or Behind a Firewall

Updated May 31, 2018

Reported In


  • Volume License Manager

Issue Details

My company uses NI VLM to manage our National Instruments software licenses. I know that I should install NI VLM on a server computer that is accessible by most computers, but my server is on a different network or behind a firewall. How can I configure NI VLM so that my clients can check out permissions from the server?


To supply licenses for clients on more than one network or when the server is behind a firewall, you have the following options:
  • Configure your firewall to allow access through the firewall
  • Configure the licensing daemons used by NI VLM to communicate over the Windows Firewall by completing the following steps:
    1. Go to Start»Control Panel»Windows Firewall
    2. Change to the Exceptions tab 
    3. Click the Add Program button. 
    4. Click the Browse button.
    5. Browse to the program found at C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Bin\lmgrd.exe and click Open.
    6. Browse to the program found at C:\Program Files\National Instruments\Shared\License Manager\Bin\nilm.exe and click Open.
    7. Click OK twice to close the Windows Firewall setting dialog box. 
  • Open all the ports that are required for NI Volume License Manager and the client computers to communicate with each other. You can set which ports will be used by editing the license file. Find the most recent copy of your license file or the email containing your license file. In the license file, the first two lines designate which ports to use. The format is as follows:
SERVER <servername> <MAC address or Disk Volume Serial Number> <lmgrd port number>
VENDOR nilm PORT=<nilm port number>
You can change the nilm port number by modifying the line in your license file to resemble the above example. If you do not specify a nilm port number, the port will be chosen randomly. See the Related Links below for more information on editing the lmgrd port number. Do not use the same port number for nilm and lmgrd. Once you edit and save the license file, open NI Volume License Manager and install the edited license file. Click Apply Changes.

Once you have set the ports, you need to allow communication over those ports through the Windows Firewall:
  1. Go to Start»Control Panel»Windows Firewall
  2. Change to the Exceptions tab. 
  3. Click the Add Port button. 
  4. Enter a name to represent the port and enter the port number. 
  5. Click OK.
Repeat these steps to add the second port to the list of exceptions. 

If you are not using the default Windows Firewall, consult your firewall's documentation for information on how to set these configuration options.
  • Disable your firewall
Navigating to Start»Control Panel»Windows Firewall. On the General tab, set the Windows Firewall to Off.
  • Use disconnected licenses 
Disconnected licenses allow you to create a license file that contains all of the permissions necessary to use NI software without ever requiring that the client computer connect to the NI VLM server. For information on how to create disconnected licenses, see the NI VLM help. 
  • Use a VPN connection to access the network
If the network with the License Server has a VPN set up, you can use the VPN to access the network. The License Server should then be visible as if you are on the network. For information on setting up a VPN connection, contact your company's IT support personnel.
  • Use separate contracts 
If your networks cannot be configured to communicate with each other, you can split your Volume License contract into 2 or more sub-contracts. This would require you to install NI VLM on a server that is accessible by each of the client computers on each of the networks. If this solution fits your needs, please contact

Additional Information

Be aware that this method will ONLY work if you are trying to access your Volume License Server from a network that is immediately accessible from the network the Volume License Server is on. This method will not allow you to check out licenses from the internet. If this functionality is required, you must set up either a VPN or use disconnected licenses.

For information on configuring your network, contact your company's IT support personnel.


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