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Offsite access to MATLAB License Server (Mac OS and Linux Computers)

Note : This is only available for staff members and postgraduates. This is not available for any of the other undergraduates. This is also not available for visitors.

The information given here is for installing MATLAB and accessing the MATLAB License server from Computers in College rooms and Home Computers (even if not connected to the Cambridge University Network). This is only for the category of users listed above.

For computers running Mac OS (MATLAB Version R2010b) and Linux (Version R2010b)

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


The steps involved are listed below :

  1. Establishing a connection to the CUED Computing system using secure shell.
  2. Downloading the appropriate version of MATLAB from the web. This could be a slow process and time will be saved if you download only the TLBXs for which there are 50 or more licenses (listed in the following web page) :

    Departmental Networked MATLAB Licenses

  3. Install and start MATLAB.
The first 2 steps are independent of each other and can be performed in any order.

Setting up a Secure Shell connection

Mac Os Computers

Open a terminal window and type :

ssh -L -N -f -l 'userid'

ssh -L -N -f -l 'userid'

Here replace userid with your Teaching System login ID. Enter your password when prompted for. You need to type both these lines in sequence. If you user-ID is abcd123 then type :

ssh -L -N -f -l 'abcd123'

Linux System

Type :

ssh -f -x -L -L sleep 30

Enter your userID and password when prompted for it.

Then type :

matlab -desktop

Downloading MATLAB and Collecting MATLAB CDs (from Computer Operators)

For later versions of MATLAB or for versions not listed here please contact the Computer Operators (operators@eng).

Access the appropriate version and download. Access will require the Raven password.

Mac and Linux Versions

In order to install you will need the installation key and possibly the license codes for mac OS installation.

MATLAB Installation Key

For later versions of MATLAB please contact the Computer Operators (operators@eng).

The Mac OS version available for downloading is R2008a and users should use the installation key corresponding to this version and NOT the installation key for the latest version R2008b.

MATLAB Installation Key (along with the MATLAB License codes) requires the Raven password .

MATLAB License Codes.

Install MATLAB (Version R2008a)

***** Note : The following instructions are for Windows XP ********

Instructions for Installing MATLAB on Windows XP .

Skip the step given at the start about mapping drives etc as you have already downloaded the necessary TLBXs.

Start with the step about Installation.

Please note that these instructions are for an older version of MATLAB and where reference is made to PLP it should be replaced by Installation Key.

License files : license.dat and network.lic

Then use a text editor (emacs) to create a new file (license.dat) to have the following 2 lines :

SERVER localhost 0 1711

Make sure that the license.dat file is placed in the .../licenses directory. Failing to do this will generate a flexlm error.

Also create another file called network.lic with the following 2 lines. Place this file in the .../R20XXn/licenses directory

SERVER localhost 0 1711


  1. If you get a licensing error message then the ssh tunnels are not set up correctly (Action : check through all the previous steps for typos etc.).
  2. If you get the following error message when using the installation/version file downloaded from the web:
        B2. Install the FLEXnet Network License Manager                           
        License manager executables are missing . . .                   
        License manager installation skipped . . .                         
    To install the license manager executables try reinstalling the License Manager. If you downloaded the products you may need to download the matlab.glnx86 file.
  3. Activation Key : There is no Activation Key associated with the Departmental networked licenses. During installation or when attempting to run MATLAB after installation if MATLAB asks for an activation key then the license.dat file is not in the correct directory. Move it to the licenses directory under the MATLAB installation directory.
  4. When it comes to selecting the various TLBXs (during installation) there aren't any TLBXs listed to select (It is all greyed out). Check the directory to which the TLBXs have been downloaded/copied. The TLBXs should be in the same directory as the installer.

Report Problems

If you run into any problems email a description of it to

Include screen dump of any error message.

Last updated: 13 January 2011

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