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Technical Article   Error:  FLEXlm Error: -15 Cannot connect to license server

Article ID: 12654
Software:  ArcInfo Workstation 7.2.1, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3 ArcGIS - ArcEditor 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcInfo 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcIMS 4.0, 4.0.1, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1 ArcGIS - ArcView 8.1, 8.1.2, 8.2, 8.3, 9.0, 9.1, 9.2, 9.3, 9.3.1
Platforms:  Windows NT 4.0, 2000, ME, XP, 2003Server, Vista, 2008Server

Error Message

The following error message displays when starting an ArcGIS Desktop application:

"FLEXlm Error: Cannot connect to license server. The server (lmgrd) has not been started yet, or the wrong port@host or license file is being used, or the port or hostname in the license file has been changed.
Feature: ARC/INFO
Server name: server1
License path:[Below are examples only]

FLEXlm error: -15,10. System Error: 10061 "WinSock: Connection refused"
For further information, refer to the FLEXlm End User Manual,
available at "".
Program not run."


ArcGIS cannot connect to and check out a license from a license server.

Solution or Workaround

  • First, verify that the License Path indicated in the error message is the correct host name or IP address of the license manager system. If the License Path is 'Not_Set', then Desktop Administrator has not been configured with the location of the License Manager.-show me-
    Why is 'Not_Set' listed in the Desktop Administrator License Manager folder?
    The name listed in the License Manager section of the Desktop Administrator is the hostname of the License Manager server selected during the installation of ArcGIS. If no license manager was selected at the time of install, 'NOT_SET' is used.

    If selecting to subsequently install a License Manager on the machine, the 'Not_Set' value does not change. It must be manually changed to point to a valid License Manager server.

    See the link in the Related Information section for more information.
  • If the 'License Path' is correct, then the license manager may not be running. If the license manager system cannot be accessed, contact a license administrator for assistance. Otherwise, perform the following troubleshooting steps on the license manager system.
  • Restart the License Manager:

    Click Start > Programs > ArcInfo > License Manager > License Manager Tools.

    Check the Configuration using Services radio button.

    Select the Start/Stop/Reread tab.

    Click Stop Server.

    Click Start Server.
  • Perform a Status Enquiry to confirm that the licenses are available:

    Click the Server Status tab and click the 'Perform status enquiry' button. 'Display Everything' should be selected.

    Verify that there are no errors in the status enquiry. -show me-
    A successful Status should look similar to:

    Flexible License Manager status on Fri 2/12/2010 12:54

    [Detecting lmgrd processes...]
    License server status: 27004@hostname
    License file(s) on hostname: C:\Program Files\ESRI\License\arcgis9x\ARCINFO9.lic:

    hostname: license server UP (MASTER) v11.6

    Vendor daemon status (on hostname):

    ARCGIS: UP v11.4
    Feature usage info:

    Users of ARC/INFO: (Total of 2 licenses issued; Total of 0 licenses in use)

  • Check the license manager log file for any errors.

    On the Config Services tab, click View Log. -show me-
    This document contains various messages that can be found in the ESRI or ArcGIS License Manager log file.
    Errors in the ESRI or ArcGIS License Manager can be caused by anything ranging from lack of permissions to an incorrect hostname.
    Solution or Workaround
    The ESRI or ArcGIS License Manager log file displays the status of the license manager and is very useful in debugging license manager problems. By default, it is recorded in user TEMP directory as lmgrd.log but may have been redirected and renamed by your choice.

    • Creating the Log File
      See the link in the Related Information section below.
    • No Log File
      If the license license manager designated does not exist after restarting the service, ensure that you are logged into the computer as an administrator.
    • Empty log file
      If license manager log file exists, but is empty, try setting the license file user environment variable. See the link in the Related Information section below.
    • Driver not installed

      <time> (ESRI) Logfile switched from stdout
      <time> (ESRI) The SuperPro Driver is not installed on this system
      <time> (ESRI) daemon shutdown requested - shutting down

      Possible causes of this error message are:
      1. The Sentinel SuperPro hardware key may not be plugged into the port properly.
      a. Make sure the key is plugged into the parallel port or USB port (depending on the type of key).
      b. For parallel keys, check the pins in the hardware key because bent pins can render a hardware key inoperable.

      2. The computer is not recognizing the hardware key. This could be because the Sentinel Pro hardware key driver is not installed. If the following error message is displayed in the 'Display Hardware Key Status' -
      "The SuperPro driver is either not installed on this system or this machine has not been rebooted
      since it was installed" - check the following:
      a. If the installation of ARC/INFO was successfully installed by a user with administrative privileges, reboot in order for the Sentinel driver to become active.
      b. Install the latest Sentinel Pro hardware key driver:
      1. Download the latest Sentinel driver from Safenet. Under Sentinel Support, click Sentinel SuperPro. Under Step 1, click Download Driver to download the latest.
      2. Install the driver. Select the custom option and only install the hardware key drivers. Additional 'server' components are not used by the ESRI nor ArcGIS License Manager and are not necessary.
    • Hardware key not installed

      <time> (ESRI) The SuperPro hardware key is not installed on this system 
      <time> (ESRI) daemon shut down requested - shutting down

      For USB keys:
      1. Test the port to make sure it's functioning correctly. For example, plug another USB device into the port and verify that it works.
      2. If the key continues to cause problems, download and installed the latest driver. See the instructions in the previous bullet

      For parellel keys:
      1. Check for bent pins in the hardware key.
      2. Test the port to make sure it's functioning correctly. For example, connect a printer and print through the port.
      3. This error also is caused by other devices connected to or 'piggy-backed' on the hardware key in the parallel port. Temporarily disconnect these devices to determine of they are interfering.
      4. If a printer is connected to the key turn the printer on; the key will sometimes not return a value unless the printer is on.
      5. If the key continues to cause problems, download and installed the latest driver. See the instructions in the previous bullet
    • Incorrect hostid

      <time> (ESRI) Wrong hostid, exiting (expected ESRI_SENTINEL_KEY=37101174,
      got ESRI_SENTINEL_KEY=37100548).

      This message appears when the hardware key plugged in and the ESRI_SENTINEL_KEY number in the license file don't match.

      Replace the key that is plugged in with the key that's expected. If you don't have that hardware key, request a new license file that matches the hardware key you have and then update the license manager service. See the links in the Related Information section below for requesting a new license file and updating the license manager service.
    • Invalid hostname

      <time> (lmgrd) "HOSTNAME" not a valid server hostname, exiting
      <time> (lmgrd) Valid server hosts are: "HOSTS"
      <time> (lmgrd) Using license file
      C:\Program Files\ESRI\License\*.lic

      If the license manager log file has this error and starting the ESRI or ArcGIS License Manager service in Control Panel > Services displays the error message "Could not start the service: ESRI License Manager on \\HOSTNAME Error 1067: The process terminated unexpectedly.", make sure the hostname on the SERVER line of the license file is correct. Use the HOSTNAME command at an MS-DOS prompt to determine the correct hostname.

      Make sure TCP/IP Networking Protocol is installed, which requires a network card or the MS Loopback adapter to be installed. For assistance, contact your Network Administrator.
    • Vendor Daemon Died

      <time> (ESRI) Vendor daemon can't talk to lmgrd (Cannot connect to license 
      server (-15,11:10060) WinSock error code)
      <time> (lmgrd) Vendor daemon died with status 241
      <time> (lmgrd) Since this is an unknown status, lmgrd will
      <time> (lmgrd) attempt to re-start the vendor daemon.
      <time> (lmgrd) Restarted ESRI <internet tcp_port 0 pid <number>

      This message is repeated several times.

      Check, and set if necessary, the following permissions on the C:\flexlm directory; the group SYSTEM must have FULL CONTROL.

      Another reason for the error is that the IP address is incorrect and unresolvable. Contact your Network Administrator to ensure that your IP Address is being resolved.
    • Multiple Lock Files

      <time> (ESRI) cannot open lock file (C:\flexlm\ESRI): Permission denied
      <time> (lmgrd) MULTIPLE "ESRI" servers running.
      <time> (lmgrd) Please kill, and run lmreread
      <time> (lmgrd)
      <time> (lmgrd) This error probably results from either:
      <time> (lmgrd) 1. Another copy of lmgrd running
      <time> (lmgrd) 2. A prior lmgrd was killed with "kill -9"
      <time> (lmgrd) (which would leave the vendor daemon running)
      <time> (lmgrd) To correct this, do a "ps -ax | grep ESRI"
      <time> (lmgrd) (or equivalent "ps" command)
      <time> (lmgrd) and kill the "ESRI" process

      Stop the License Manager service. Browse to C:\flexlm and remove any existing files. Restart the License Manager service.
  • If the status enquiry and log files do not indicate any errors, there may be a firewall running on the license manager system. -show me-
    Instructions provided describe how to configure Windows XP's Internet Connection Firewall to work with the License Manager. With the release of Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft has enabled its Internet Connection Firewall (ICF) by default. ICF restricts access to ports necessary for communication between ArcGIS and the License Manager. Instructions provided below describe the steps to reopen the correct ports and allow ArcGIS to communicate with the License Manager.

    An alternative to this procedure would be to disable the ICF completely. Consult IT personnel before disabling the ICF.
    Machines running ArcGIS and Windows XP SP2 with ICF enabled, including the License Manager server, must run these steps while logged in to the computer with 'administrative' rights. If the user account does not have 'administrative' rights, contact a system administrator.

    This article requires use of the Classic View in the Windows XP Control Panel.

    1. On the License Manager server, lock the ESRI (ArcGIS 8.x) or ArcGIS (ArcGIS 9.0) vendor daemon to a static port.
      -show me-

       The port specified in this step must be different than the port specified in Step 6 below.

    2. Click Start > Control Panel > Network Connections on all machines with Windows XP Service Pack 2.

       These steps require the use of the Control Panel Classic View.

    3. Click 'Change Windows Firewall Settings' in the left panel.
    4. Click the 'Exceptions' tab.
    5. Click 'Add Port...'
    6. Enter 'lmgrd' in the Name field. In the Port Number field enter the port number specified in the license file.
      -show me-
      Protocol should be set to TCP. Click OK.

      Note: For ArcGIS Desktop 10 software the port is 27000.
    7. Click 'Add Port...' again in the 'Exceptions' dialog box and follow the same procedure used in Step 6, entering 'ArcGIS' at version 9.x or 'ESRI' at version 8.x in the Name field, and the number added to the license file in Steps 1-7 as the Port Number, for example, 1234.
    8. Click OK to close and enable the Internet Connection Firewall.
  • If issues persist, contact ESRI Support for further assistance.

Related Information

Created: 6/15/2000
Last Modified: 9/2/2011

Article Rating: (4)
If you would like to post a comment, please login


By Anonymous - 01/04/2010 3:09 AM

The article has missing, misleading, or conflicting information.

Last point says, copy code but it contains or shows no code. Please help out. Perhaps I overlooked it. Sorry if this is the case.


By Anonymous - 12/16/2009 2:34 PM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

If you cannot run ArcMap due to licence server error, solution is not to run ArcMap to fix it!

By Anonymous - 12/16/2009 9:32 AM

The article is incorrect or the solution didn’t work.

The error prevents ArcMap from running.


By Anonymous - 02/20/2008 7:10 AM

The article needs to be updated.

Hi there. I've got ArgGIS desktop 9.2. Solution 3 given on this page [] does not work because the file you mention [C:\Program Files\ESRI\License\drivers\SetupX86.exe] does not exist in that place or indeed on my machine anywhere. The file Sentinel protection installer 7.2.2 exists in [C:\Program Files\ESRI\License\arcgis9x\drivers], but running it seems to change nothing. Nor does [C:\Program Files\Common Files\SafeNet Sentinel\Sentinel System Driver] exist as your article suggests for ArcGIS 9.x users. Thanks for looking into this.


By Anonymous - 09/27/2005 9:23 AM

Update the Rainbow Sentinel Link: received a 404.

By Anonymous - 02/17/2005 11:37 AM

Though when I checked all five possible clauses listed, I checked out OK, but still had the problem d3escrobed in this article. Turns out that Norton Antivirus 2005's Worm Protection Feature blocks communication between the dongle and the license manager. Turn off Worm Protection and everything is fine. You might want to add this as an extra check.


By Anonymous - 08/12/2004 1:12 PM

All the steps didn't fix my problem...although step 3 couldn't be undertaken because said file was missing: C:\Program files\ESRI\License\drivers\SetupX86.exe What do I do now? A re-install didn't work either.

By Anonymous - 03/03/2003 9:07 PM

By Anonymous - 02/28/2003 9:07 AM

You have to restart the centinel service from services manager. Is a problem with the centinel service, no with configuration.