Installation and Licensing Problems FAQs


Why can't I log into the License Administrator App?

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.

What is the Render error: "No licenses could be found to run this application..."?

If you encounter the Render error:"No licenses could be found to run this application. Please check for a valid license server host"?

You need to 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

How do I move licenses to another computer?
  • Houdini licenses are registered to both the computer hardware and computer name.
  • It is not enough that you uninstall Houdini from the computer to move your licenses.
  • Release the licenses by returning them back to your account at SideFX using the License Administrator.

    License Return
  • Once the licenses have been released from the computer, they are returned to your account.
  • They will show on the account as uninstalled license entitlements.
  • You can then use the License Administrator on the new computer to install the returned licenses. This will complete the move.

Note:

  • You cannot use the web portal to move your licenses.
  • Licenses must be moved from the machine with the licenses, using the License Administrator.
  • For more information, please see Return licenses.
Why have my 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.

Why can't I see my licenses after formatting my computer?

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

Why are my licenses showing as 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 reinstall the new SERVER key.

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

Why have my licenses stopped working on Mac OSX?
  • 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.

Why is the License server not serving 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.

Why am I being told that "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.

Why am I not able 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).
What is 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).

Why is the SSL peer certificate or SSH remote key 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 (10.13):

  • 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).

Why am I getting a Pilot PDG License error?

The PilotPDG 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 Houdini Engine, then you won't need PilotPDG as Houdini Engine can process TOP networks. 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. However, only the PilotPDG license can launch PilotPDG GUI.

Why are my upgrades or extensions 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.

What do I do if I'm in a Licensing 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.

Why can't I 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

Why did my licenses stop working afer I renamed my computer?

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?

Why was my Indie or Commercial session downgraded 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

Why does my Server code keep changing on 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.
What does `GLIBCXX_3.4.14' not found (required by ./sesinetd) mean?

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.

Why does the license server (sesinetd) 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

Why are licenses showing as temporary?

For Education and Commercial users

Temporary licenses first issued. Once payment is confirmed, license extensions are issued for the full duration of the invoice.

Please refer to How do I extend licenses to a new expiry date?

If you have any questions, please contact your account manager or sales@sidefx.com.

Why did my licenses stop working on Mac OSX?

OSX has a feature in that it will allow remote network routers to change the machine name.

Houdini licenses are dependent on the machine hardware and machine name. If the machine name changes, this will invalidate the licenses.

Apprentice, Indie and Commercial Workstation licenses will look to the local machine.

Apprentice users:

Launch the License Administrator and select File->Change Server and press the Local Server button. Ensure it matches your current machine name.

Indie or Commercial Workstation users:

Launch the License Administrator and select File->Change Server and press the Local Server button.
Ensure that the server name matches the machine name associated with your licenses.

If the machine name is different, you will need to rename your machine back to the original to what the licenses were registered with.

If you want to change your machine name, you will need to release the licenses first: www.sidefx.com/faq/question/how-do-i-return-my-licenses/