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Login licensing uses SideFX servers as the License Server in place of an on-premise License Server. Using this setup is recommended for most users as this removes the need to maintain their own License Server.


Login Licensing requires an active internet connection and version 18.5 or greater!

Steps to setup login licensing

  1. Install Houdini.

  2. Open Hkey

  3. Login to your sidefx account File ▸ Login….

  4. Open the dialog Change License Server File ▸ Change License Server….

  5. Clear all entries from the table Search these license server(s). To clear an entry click the - sign on each row.

  6. In the Found Server(s) table add www.sidefx.com (SideFX Login Server). To add an entry to the list of servers to use click the + button on the desired row.

  7. Once www.sidefx.com (SideFX Login Server) is the only entry listed in the Search these license server(s) table press the ACCEPT button at the bottom right of the dialog.

Setup for API Keys

When setting up login licensing for machines that do not have a user monitoring the machine (e.g. render farm machines) API key licensing can be used. API key licensing gives you the freedom of login licensing without the need to login through hkey. To generate api keys either open hkey to Help ▸ View Api Keys Online or go to https://www.sidefx.com/oauth2/applications/ and select Register a new application.

To enable api key support for hkey and sesictrl add HOUDINI_API_KEY_FILE="file location" to the houdini.env file. The format of the file is <client id> <client secret>.


HOUDINI_API_KEY_FILE is only meant for hkey and sesictrl. Hserver uses option APIKeyFile instead. See hserver for further details on how to setup API keys for hserver.

Who is this most meant for?

All Indie and Education customers are encouraged to use Login Licensing. As login licensing requires an active internet connection this may pose a challenge for commercial users and as such is not recommended. Since apprentice users dont have a commercial license Login Licensing is not supported for these customers.

Installation And Licensing



Specific Setups