Installation and Licensing Problems FAQs


Licenses have stopped working

Have your licenses expired?

  • Open the License Administrator and select the option to Show Expired Licenses. You can also check your account at www.sidefx.com/services.

  • If you are an Indie customer, you can purchase a new license here.

  • If you are customer using FX or Core, please contact your account manager or sales@sidefx.com.

Have you changed any hardware in your computer?

  • If yes, then most likely the SERVER code on your machine has changed. Please see here to fix this issue.

  • If you haven't changed anything, try reinstalling the SERVER key. If this is an ongoing issue and you are on Windows, see here about Hyper-V and virtual ethernet adapters.

Have you recently changed the name of your computer?

  • Please rename the computer back to the original name used when you licensed Houdini.
  • You can see the machine name tied to your licenses when you log into your account.
  • Go to Services->License Manager->Manage your licenses for details.

Are you experiencing a licensing loop? You cannot get past the licensing prompt.

Are you using OSX and moving between networks?

  • OSX has a feature in that it allows network routers to change the machine name. This will invalidate your Houdini licenses. If you notice your machine name has changed, rename it back to what it was.
  • You can see the machine name tied to your licenses when you log into your account.
  • Go to Services->License Manager->Manage your licenses for details.
  • See here for more troubleshooting tips on OSX.

Other things to check

  • The reported local hostname matches the name tied to the licenses if running the licenses on the local machine. Did the machine name change? What computer name are the licenses looking for?

  • Ensure the license server (sesinetd) and the client program (hserver) are running.

  • If connecting to a remote license server, make sure your local machine matches the allowed subnet for the licenses on the server. Also make sure that the local machine (client) can connect to the license server on TCP port 1715.

Can't log into License Administrator

Apprentice Users

Apprentice users will not have an account in the licensing system so logging into the License Administrator will not work.
When Houdini Apprentice is first launched, the user will be prompted to install the free license.

Indie and Commercial users

Try resetting your password at www.sidefx.com/password_reset.
By resetting the password, it will unify the login credentials for both the website and licensing system.

Licenses show 0/0 available

The SERVER code has changed on the machine. This will invalidate the SERVER license keystring.

The SERVER keystring validates the machine to run Houdini licenses.

To install a new valid SERVER key for your computer, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the License Administrator (hkey)
  2. Select File -> Install Licenses
  3. Log in
  4. In the dialog box click on the "Licenses" tab
  5. Select the checkbox to reinstall the SERVER key
  6. Press Install button

This should reinstall the new SERVER key for your computer.

If you are on Windows and the SERVER code keeps changing after rebooting please see here.

License Administrator Error: invalid machine name: localhost

Please rename your computer to something other than localhost.

localhost is a hostname that means this computer. It is reserved for loopback purposes only. It is used to access the network services that are running on the host via the loopback network interface (127.0.0.1).

SSL peer certificate or SSH remote key was not ok

Windows

  • This issue may occur if you are running Windows 7. This platform is no longer supported. You will need to upgrade your Windows installation to a supported version.

Houdini system requirements

OSX High Sierra:

  • Download the cacert.pem file from https://curl.haxx.se/docs/caextract.html.
    The file is at the top of the page, on the left-hand side.

  • Rename the downloaded file to cert.pem and move it to the directory /etc/ssl. You will need elevated privileges to modify the contents in /etc/ssl. The new file will be located as /etc/ssl/cert.pem.

  • On OSX, you can find the /etc/ssl directory through: Finder->Go->Go to Folder and type /etc/ssl

  • After replacing the system /etc/ssl/cert.pem file with the one you have downloaded:

    • Apprentice: You should be able to launch Apprentice to acquire a license.
    • Indie or Commercial: You should be able to log into the License Administrator to manage licenses.

Another option would be to use the License Administrator from the latest production or
daily build of Houdini 17.5. Download and install Houdini 17.5, minus the license server component.
You can then use the 17.5 License Administrator (hkey).

Houdini crashes on startup

Open the crash log generated. Usually the logs are created in

Windows: C:/Users/UserName/AppData/Local/Temp/houdini_temp

Intel OpenCL Driver

If you have anything with the Intel OpenCL driver listed in the crash log try disabling this driver.

Some machines come with Intel HD graphics as the default, low-end graphics adapter, and also an NVIDIA card for performance graphics

To temporarily disable the OpenCL driver you can launch regedit and edit the Windows registry. The key to look for is

SOFTWARE\Khronos\OpenCL\Vendors. Within that there should be keys for the NVIDIA driver and the Intel driver. If you remove the Intel key that should cause the Intel driver not to load.

3D Audio Drivers

Are there Nahimic or 3D audio drivers installed? Or 3D audio software installed?
Also check for Asus Sonic Suite 2, the audio card software that comes with Asus ROG mainboards.

If you have any 3D audio drivers, please uninstall them or disable them. The drivers are currently conflicting with Houdini.

Pilot PDG License error

The Pilot PDG license is for users that want to use the PDG capabilities outside of Houdini.

If you want to use PDG inside Houdini, simply press tab on the network pane and place down a TOP network node.

If the machine already has engine, then you don't need PilotPDG. In terms of licensing, the order in terms of features is as follows: FX/Core > Engine > PilotPDG. So if you have FX or Core or Engine, you don't need PilotPDG. Think of PilotPDG as the lowest license tier, which the other licenses already cover. The reason for PilotPDG is when you don't have the other Houdini licenses and only need to cook TOP graphs.

License activation loop
  • If you are using Apprentice or Indie, ensure the server name in the License Administrator matches your current machine name. Apprentice and Indie licenses are node-locked meaning they will look to the local machine itself for licenses. Both the client and server programs run on the same machine.

  • For OSX users: OSX has a unique feature in that it allows remote network routers to change the machine name of the local computer. Your machine name may have changed.

  • Go to File->Change License Server and click the Local Server button. Ensure it matches your machine name. If you are using Indie, ensure the machine name matches the name associated with the licenses.

  • If you are trying to launch Indie, ensure that you have Indie licenses and not only Engine Indie licenses.

  • Please rename your machine using only English characters and numbers.

  • Ensure your username for the machine uses only English characters and numbers.

  • Do a full install of Houdini. Install either the Production Build or a Daily Build. Daily builds can be found on our website under Get -> Download -> Daily Builds. Install Houdini making sure to select the License Server component.

  • Ensure that the Houdini license server (sesinetd) and Houdini client (hserver) programs are running.

  • If you are on Windows, ensure that any realtime-virus scanners, security software and firewalls allow communication between the Houdini server (sesinetd.exe) and client (hserver.exe) programs. You may need to whitelist these two executables.

  • If you are on Windows and still encounter a license loop, try creating a new user account on the computer (using only English characters) and see if the software will launch.

Upgrades or extensions are not listed

Upgrades are for valid Indie subscriptions, Education/Commercial rentals or Commercial licenses on the annual upgrade plan (AUP).

Extensions are for Education/Commercial rentals or Commercial licenses on teh annual upgrade plan (AUP).

Sometimes the upgrades or extensions do not get written properly to the locally installed licenses file. You can copy & paste the UPGRADE or EXTEND keystrings for your licenses and manually install them using the License Administrator. This can be found on your account at www.sidefx.com under Services->License Manager->Manage Your License. Click on the License ID.

If you have any questions about a license that should have been upgraded or extended and has not, please contact your account manager or support@sidefx.com.

Can't render

Make sure to have the Render license installed.

If running Houdini Indie or Houdini Apprentice, the render license will be listed as Renderer (NC) meaning non-commercial render.

If you are trying to render using the most recent version of Houdini, the render license must also be at the current version.

For example, if you are trying to render in a Houdini 18.0 session, Mantra will look for a version 18.0 Render license.

Houdini licenses are backwards compatible. This means that you can run older versions of Houdini using the most recent licensed version. For example, Houdini 18.0 or below will open with a version 18.0 license.

This is true for all Houdini products - FX, Core, Engine, Mantra, Indie, Apprentice

OSX licenses not working
  • A common issue with OSX is that the machine name may change when moving between networks. This name change will invalidate the installed Houdini licenses.
  • With OSX Catalina, sometimes it disables the license server program from starting.

For the first issue of the machine name changing

Change the name of your machine back to the name your licenses are tied to. If you don't have this information, you can log into your account at www.sidefx.com/services. Under License Manager, go to Manage your licenses and look at the SERVER column heading.

To prevent OSX from changing your computer name when moving between networks:

Go to Utilities and open the Terminal.

Run the following two commands but substitute your computer name where it says yourmachinename below.
You can use the machine name without the .local or .lan etc.

sudo scutil --set HostName yourmachinename
sudo scutil --set LocalHostName yourmachinename

You will be asked for your machine password (the password you use to log into your computer).

For example, if the machine is called toronto.local or toronto, the commands would be:

sudo scutil --set HostName toronto
sudo scutil --set LocalHostName toronto

After renaming your machine, reboot the computer.
Open the License Administrator and select the Change License Server option and enter the name of your machine.

For the second issue of the disabled license server service

Launch the Terminal from Utilities and type the following command:

sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.sidefx.sesinetd.plist

You will be prompted for a password. This is your password for the machine.

The License server may not serve licenses

The SERVER code has changed on the machine. This will invalidate the SERVER license keystring. The SERVER keystring is needed to validate the machine to run Houdini licenses.

Please see Reinstall the SERVER key to fix this issue.

Has SERVER license: No

The SERVER code has changed on the machine. This will invalidate the SERVER license keystring. The SERVER keystring is needed to validate the machine to run Houdini licenses.

Please see Reinstall the SERVER key to fix this issue.

Unable to connect to hserver for licence acquisition

This usually means that the client helper program, hserver, is not running.

On Windows, verify that you have the service HoudiniServer listed in Services and that it has started. You can go to Services through Control Panel->Administrative Tools. If it's not listed, ensure that there is a program called hserver.exe located in C:\Windows\system32.

On Linux, make sure that hserver is listed in the process list. If not, you can start it by typing hserver when you've sourced the Houdini environment.

Houdini is using a Houdini License Server (sesinetd.exe) and a Houdini License Client (hserver.exe) to verify its licensing. Houdini uses TCP/IP to communicate with these processes, and if it unable to connect to either of them, it prints error messages. There are a few reasons why Houdini is not able to connect to hserver. The most common reasons are:

  • Houdini License Server (sesinetd/sesinetd.exe) is not running
  • Houdini License Client (hserver/hserver.exe) is not running
  • The firewall blocks the communication on ports 1714 and 1715
  • If installing the license server and client on the same machine, it could be that Houdini wasn't installed using administrative privileges(root/Administrator).
Formatted computer and licenses do not work

Make sure your computer has the same machine name as before.

Houdini licenses are bound to the machine name and hardware.

If you don't know the original machine name, you can log into your account at www.sidefx.com/services. Under License Manager, go to Manage your licenses and look at the SERVER column heading.

Once you rename your computer, reboot and see Lost licenses

Move licenses to a new computer

You will need to unregister the licenses from the machine by returning them back to your account at SideFX. Once they have been returned, they will be converted into new entitlements, ready to be installed onto the new machine.

Please see How do I return my licenses?

Lost licenses

Sometimes the license file may get deleted, the disk may get reformatted, or the operating system may get reinstalled. In such cases, the license keys will be removed from the computer and you will need to obtain them again by following one of the methods below:

Apprentice

You can just download the software and install. You will be prompted to install non-commercial licenses when you start Houdini.

Indie and Commercial

  1. Start the License Administrator
  2. Choose File -> Install Licenses... and log in
  3. In the dialog window go to the "Licenses" tab
  4. Select the checkboxes for the licenses that you want to reinstall (this table lists all the missing non-expired licenses that match your computer name)
  5. Select the checkbox to reinstall the SERVER key as well (just in case it is missing too)
  6. Press install button

This should reinstall the selected licenses on your computer.

If the License Administrator runs on a computer with no Internet connection, you will need to reinstall the license keys manually:

  1. Log into http://license.sidefx.com with your username/password combination used for licensing
  2. Go to Manage Licenses and search for the machine that needs the license. Look your license history for every machine that has a license installation. Notice that each License ID (first column on the left hand side) contains a link.
  3. Click on the License ID to bring up a pop-up window, containing the keystrings
  4. Start the License Administrator and go to File->Manually Enter Keys. Copy and paste each keystring for the machine. Enter each keystring one line at a time. Note that you only need 1 SERVER keystring per machine. A keystring will begin with: SERVER, LICENSE, EXTEND, UPGRADE or INCREMENT.

Another manual way to rebuild your licenses file is to copy and paste the keystrings into a file called licenses, then install this file onto the machine.

Location of the licenses file

  • Windows: C:\Windows\keys\licenses
  • Linux: /usr/lib/sesi/licenses
  • Mac: /Library/Preferences/sesi/licenses

Make sure that you don't append any extensions to the filename (eg. .txt or .doc).

Please contact SideFX support support@sidefx.com

Computer renamed and licenses do not work

Houdini licenses are tied to the machine name and hardware. Rename your computer back to the original name associated with your Houdini licenses.

If you would like to rename your computer, return the all the licenses back to your account at SideFX using the License Administrator.

This will release the licenses from the current machine. They will be placed back into your SideFX licensing account as uninstalled entitlements which can then be installed onto a different computer or different machine name.

Please see How do I return my licenses?

Render error: No licenses could be found to run this application. Please check for a valid license server host

Make sure to have the Render license installed.

If running Houdini Indie or Houdini Apprentice, the render license will be listed as Render (NC) which means non-commercial render.

If you are trying to render using the most recent version of Houdini, the render license must also be at the current version.

For example, if you are trying to render in a Houdini 17.5 session, Mantra will look for a version 17.5 Render license.

Houdini licenses are backwards compatible. This means that you can run older versions of Houdini using the most recent licensed version.

For example, Houdini 17.0 or below will open with a version 17.5 license.

This is true for all Houdini products - FX, Core, Engine, Indie, Apprentice

Houdini Engine Indie license cannot open Indie interface

You cannot open the Houdini Indie interface using the Houdini Engine Indie license. Your Houdini Engine Indie license can be used to run Houdini Indie in non-graphical mode or to load Houdini Digital Assets into other content creation apps such as Autodesk® Maya® and Cinema 4D, or game editors such as Unity® and UE4®.

www.sidefx.com/buy

Licenses are temporary but they were purchased permanent

For Commercial users

Once accounting verifies payment, your permanent licenses will be issued to you (in the form of extensions of your existing licenses). If you have any questions, please contact your account manager or sales@sidefx.com.

License server (sesinetd) does not start

OSX

Launch the Terminal from Utilities and type the following command:

  • sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.sidefx.sesinetd.plist

You will be prompted for a password. This is your password for the machine.
This will clear the disabled flag for the license server daemon.

Fedora/RedHat/CentOS

The culprit is most likely SELinux. You can create a policy for sesinetd or put SELinux into permissive mode in the SELinux configuration file.

Other

Check that your operating system meets our system requirements

`GLIBCXX_3.4.14' not found (required by ./sesinetd)

This is due to an unsupported operating system.

This error has most often been seen on those running CentOS 6.x and trying to run Houdini 18.0, including the license server. You will need to upgrade the operating system.

There is no installer for Houdini 18.0 (including license server) for CentOS 6.x.

Please refer to the System Requirements.

Server code keeps changing (Windows)

The SERVER code is used to generate the SERVER keystring which installs when you license Houdini. This is to authenticate the hardware to run Houdini licenses.

Sometimes these virtual network adapters change how Houdini chooses the primary network device on each reboot, causing the server code to change.

  • Open the Command Prompt.
  • Type: ipconfig /all
  • Check if you have anything listed as Hyper-V in your network adapters such as Hyper-V Virtual Ethernet Adapter.
  • Try disabling the device and reboot a few times to ensure that the server code remains consistent.
Indie or Commercial session downgrades to non-commercial

Your Indie or full Commercial Houdini file is saved as Apprentice Non-Commercial (.hipnc):

  • Ensure that you don't have any Houdini Digital Assets (hda) saved in non-commercial format (.hdanc).
  • The asset could also be saved with the .hda extension but still in non-commercial format.
  • An asset in non-commercial format will downgrade your Indie or Commercial Houdini session.
  • Any assets in the otls folder will be automatically loaded. It will be a good idea to check in this folder first for any non-commercial assets accidentally saved.

Location of the otls folder

Windows: C:\Users\your-username\Documents\houdini18.0\otls

OSX: /Users/your-username/Library/Preferences/houdini/18.0/otls

Linux: /home/your-username/houdini18.0/otls