Search Contact information
University of Cambridge Home Department of Engineering
University of Cambridge > Engineering Department >  Computing Help

Offsite access to ABAQUS License Server

This deals with installing ABAQUS (while connected to the departmental network) and subsequently accessing the ABAQUS License server from Computers in College rooms and Home Computers (even if not connected to the Cambridge University Network but connected to the internet with broadband).

For computers running Windows XP, Vista, Mac OS and Linux.

Strictly for Members of the Cambridge University Engineering Department as it requires a valid UseriD and password.


The steps involved are listed below :
  1. Installing the appropriate version of ABAQUS from a mapped drive (from within the department)
  2. Establishing a connection to the CUED Computing system using secure shell.
  3. Modify the lmhosts file. Create "hosts" and "lmhosts" file.
  4. Starting ABAQUS from remote Location (College rooms and Homes)
The first step has to be carried out before being able to use it from college. This would require the computer to be brought to the department so only suitable for laptops. It is currently not possible to install ABAQUS remotely. This is being investigated as this is possible from other departments (Chemical Engineering, Dept of Earth Sciences). The steps 2 and 3 are then carried out from the remote location.

Installing ABAQUS

ABAQUS Installation Instructions

Setting up a Secure Shell connection

The information presented here is based on the following web page : Offsite access to Remote Desktop (Windows PC).

The steps given in the above web page is essentially the same as for logging into the CUED Teaching System except for the SSH tunnelling commands. Therefore follow the instructions given in the above page upto logging into the Teaching System, with the following exception :

Instead of the tunnel entry :

use the following ssh tunnel settings :

Once you have established the SSH connection you can minimise the PuTTY window.

lmhosts file (for Windows XP/Vista)

Copy c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\lmhosts to tmphosts.

Note that the "etc" directory may have READ ONLY status.

To unset it : START ---> My Computer ---> Windows ---> system32 ---> drivers.

Then Right Mouse Click on the "etc" folder and select PROPERTIES from the menu. In the dialogue box uncheck/unset READ ONLY attribute. Then click on OK/APPLY. You need to set it back to READ ONLY later when you have ABAQUS working.

Edit "tmphosts" and add the following 2 lines and save it.    abaqus-lmserv    matlab-lmserv    localhost
Create a copy of this file called "hosts" in the same directory (if the file does not exist, if it does then add the above lines to the file).

Network Connections

Start -> Control Panel -> Network connections ->

For the next step choose the icon for whichever option is used to connect

to the Internet : LAN or LAN2 or Wireless ->

(note : LAN stands for Local Area Network )

RIGHT MOUSE Click on that icon and from the Menu which pops up select "Properties"

scroll down and select "Internet Protocols (TCP/IP)" ->

Click on "Properties" button in the same dialogue box.

In the new dialogue box click on "Advanced..."

From the new dialogue box select "WINS" Tab.

Check "Enable LMHOSTS lookup" and click on "Import LMHOSTS...", browse to (say)

C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\tmphosts and click "open".

Click on OK on all the dialogue boxes opened and CLOSE these.

Starting ABAQUS from Remote Location

First you need to change the license server details for remote access.

Find the file abaqus_v6.env in the ABAQUS installation directory. If the default directory name is used it will be in the the following directory : C:\ABAQUS\6.8-1\site

Open the abaqus_v6.env file using notepad. Find the line containing abaquslm_license_file and change it to abaquslm_license_file="27000@localhost" and update the file. Once secure shell connection has been established and logged into gate start the ABAQUS program.

START -> All Programs -> ABAQUS 6.8-1 -> ABAQUS CAE

If you get a licensing error try the following change:


If this does not work check the following files :

C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\tmphosts, lmhosts, hosts for the following entries : abaqus-lmserv matlab-lmserv localhost
If it is the case then report this problem with screen dumps of error message.

In a DOS window (DOS prompt) type : nestat -a > netstat.dat

and include this in the email.

Also include the results of ping and telnet.

ping localhost

telnet localhost 27000


  1. If you get a licensing error message then the ssh tunnels are not set up correctly (Action : check back all the previous steps for typos etc.)
  2. If you get a Flexlm error like : -96, 147. If you get this and after checking the previous steps for any errors look at the license files listed with the error message. Then edit the tmphost file and add a second line to it (if you had not done this already) : localhost

Report Problems

If you run into any problems email a description of it to the following : Paul Long ( Arul Britto (

Include screen dumps of any error messages.

Last updated: 10 August 2009

© 2008 Cambridge University Department of Engineering
Information provided by Peter Benie, Peter Clarkson, Paul Long, Patrick Gosling, John Norcott and Paul Whitehouse