What is the License Administrator app?

The License Administrator (hkey) is the easiest way to manage Houdini licenses.


If you are running a headless system (a machine without a graphical display), please refer to to Using the License Administrator non-graphically on the general License Management FAQ.


  • Start menu -> All Programs -> Side Effects Software -> Houdini version -> Administrative Tools -> License Administrator
  • You may also do a search for License Administrator


  • Applications -> Side Effects Software -> Houdini 20.0 -> Administrative Tools -> License Administrator

  • Or, open a Terminal and type:
    $ cd /opt/hfs20.0
    $ source houdini_setup
    $ hkey


  • Applications -> Houdini -> Houdini 20.0 -> Administrative Tools -> License Administrator

When you launch the License Administrator, you will need to log in to your account if you wish manage your licenses. There are two ways to log into your licensing account in the License Administrator:

  • File->Login...
  • Press the Log in to get started button

Hkey login

The License Administrator from Houdini 18 and up connects to Side Effects Software using port 443 (https). If you require a proxy to access the web, please see this section..

If you are having difficulties logging into your licensing account from the License Administrator, try resetting your website password at www.sidefx.com/password_reset.