This is a legacy documentation space! Please visit the License Server 5.0 documentation for an up-to-date information. 

This page provides information on the Enterprise Licensing Server for large-scale deployment.


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The Enterprise License Server is intended for large-scale deployment only. In case you don't need to scale your licenses to 100 nodes or more, please refer to the standard License Server documentation.

The Enterprise License Server solution is currently available strictly with online licensing and allows for horizontal and vertical scaling with License Server version 5.0.0 and later. This would be useful for deploying a large number of licenses for render farms, large studios, cloud based services, or other similar scenarios where the number of licenses served across a network is in the hundreds or thousands.

It is recommended to assign one CPU core per 1,000 Chaos Group product instances. For ease of scalability, the unpacked folder and file structure can be copied over to other machines and started there, provided the activation has been successful and the paths contained in the etc/config.yml file are correct.




The Enterprise License Server comes with an installer executable for Windows and with a .zip installation for Windows and .tar.gz for Linux.


Running the installer

The installer executable is only available on Windows.

Before using the installer, please make sure to uninstall any previous versions of the License Server if there are any and also make sure there are no authentication files left on your machine. Usually, it's best to delete the files from C:\Program Files\Common Files\ChaosGroup\ssl if there are any.


To install the Enterprise License Server using the Windows installer, follow these steps:

1. Unpack the downloaded archive, navigate to the folder containing the unpacked files and start els_installer.exe.

2. Please read the Enterprise License Server Agreement carefully. To continue with the installation, click the I Agree button.

3. You can choose to accept the default installation parameters by clicking the Install Now button, or use the Customize button to change these parameters.



4. If you have chosen to Customize the installation parameters, you will see a list of customizable settings:

License server directory - Specifies the installation folder for the License Server.

Activate during installation - This option will be available when running the installer on a machine that has not been used to activate the License Server. If you choose this option, the installer will present you with a screen for entering your credentials as a step of the installation process. If you have opted to activate after the installation, please see the Activation section below.

Add firewall exceptions - Automatically adds a firewall exception for the license server so it can run uninterrupted.



5. Click Install Now to continue.

6. If you have chosen the Activate during installation option, you will be presented with a screen to enter your credentials. These are the same as your online credentials used to log into your account at Enter your credentials and click Activate to continue, or Skip to activate later. Refer to the Activation section on this page for more details.


7. Click Finish to complete the installation process.


Once the installation and activation are successful, the License Server is installed in C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\Enterprise License Server by default. The authentication files are by default copied to C:\Program Files\Common Files\ChaosGroup\ssl . You can use the authentication files together with the .zip install to scale your deployment. See the instructions below for installing from a .zip file.



Installing from a .zip file

Depending on your operating system, you will be provided with an archive containing the installation files.The archive can be unpacked to an arbitrary location.

After unpacking the archive, you will see the following file and folder structure:

data/ssl (folder) - Stores the key and certificate files after successfully activating the License Server. These files are required for authentication with the License Server.

etc (folder) - Stores the License Server configuration file config.yml. The License Server requires that the configuration file and its location are passed as an argument to the License Server executable. This folder also contains a sample configuration (config.example.yml) file where all possible configuration attributes are listed and documented. You can refer to it for details if needed.

cgels.exe (executable file) - The License Server executable file. The executable is called from a terminal to run the License Server. A required argument is the location of the configuration file, passed with the -config flag, for example: cgels.exe -config etc/config.yml

LICENSE SERVER AGREEMENT (text file) - A text file containing the End-User License Agreement (EULA). Please read the EULA carefully before configuring and running the License Server.

Readme (text file) - A short description of the required setup for running the License Server.




The Enterprise License Server configuration is stored in a configuration file. By default, this file is located in the etc folder: etc/config.yml.

The configuration file requires the location of the License Server log file specified with the diagnostics: file attributes and the location of the data folder, specified with the data: directory attribute.

Please make sure you edit the etc/config.yml file before proceeding with activating and running the License server.

The following attributes are additional configuration for the License Server that can be added to the etc/config.yml file.

The format of the config.yml file can be used with version 5.0.0 and later of the License Server and is not compatible with older versions.

The YAML format used in the configuration file is very sensitive to indentation. Each level of indentation expects an exact number of spaces. Tabulation can not be used for line indentation. When adding attributes to the configuration file, it's best to copy the lines from the config.example.yml to your config.yml file and simply replace the values to keep proper indentation.





The host attribute controls the network visibility of the license server, which determines whether it will be visible to all machines within a network or only visible to the machine where it's running. There are two possible values for the host attribute: ( or :: ) - Visible to the local network. When this value is used, then the license server will be accessible from any machine with a connection to the server. ( or localhost ) - Visible to local machine only. When this value is used, then only Chaos Group products that run on the same machine as the server will be able to get licenses from it.





port: 30304


The port to which the license server will bind. The default port number is 30304.








Specifies the location of the licensing back-end.






type: http


port: 2222

username: proxy_username

password: proxy_password


Allows setting up proxy settings.

type - The proxy type. Possible values for the type attribute are: http, https, none or auto.

http - The proxy is an HTTP proxy. Note that this does not mean that the proxy cannot pass over HTTPS requests.

auto - Let the License Server detect what type of proxy exists.

none - Do not use a proxy.

host - The hostname or IP of the proxy.

port - Port of the proxy.

username - Username (if the proxy server requires authentication).

password - Password to be used against the proxy server.






file: /path/to/user.log

level: info


Determines the level of verbosity and location of the License Server logs.

file - The location where the License Server log file will be written. The License Server must have write access for this folder.

 level - The verbosity level for the log. Possible values are: debug, info, warn, error.






directory: /path/to/data/dir


Specifies the location of the data directory that contains the activation files for online licensing.






enabled: false


- ::1


Enable the integrator option only if you are an integrator and you are planning on using secondary accounts.

remotes - Specifies the IP addresses which are allowed to use the integrator API.






Follow these steps to active the Enterprise License Server:

The configuration file etc/config.yml has to be edited with the path where the installation archive has been extracted.

  1. Navigate to the directory where the installation archive has been unpacked.
  2. Start the server in a terminal or command prompt by initially running the executable, passing it the -activate flag, the -config flag specifying the location of the configuration file, along with the -username and -password flags specifying your username and password credentials. The credentials required here are the same ones that you use to log into your Chaos Group account.

    Example: Activating the License Server on Windows
    cgels.exe -config etc\config.yml -activate -username <username> -password <password>
    Example: Activating the License Server on Linux
    ./cgels -config etc/config.yml -activate -username <username> -password <password>
  3. A few moments after running the activation command, a couple of files will be copied in the data/ssl folder. These files are required for authentication when the license server is running.


The activation is now complete. You can now run the license server. Read the Usage section below for more details.

Note that the -username and -password arguments are only required when activating the License Server. Stopping and starting the License Server again does not require passing these arguments.


Manual activation of the license server after running the Windows installer without activating during installation

If you have used the installer executable on Windows to install the Enterprise License Server and you have chosen to activate manually after the installation, you will need to do a manual activation.

You will need to run the activation command line mentioned above, but since the installer doesn't use a config.yml, you will need to create one and use it for the manual activation. You can edit and use the example config, found by default in C:\Program Files\Chaos Group\Enterprise License Server\ELS\config.example.yml . You will need to edit the data:directory attribute of the configuration file to point to data\ssl folder where the authentication files will be stored after activation. See the Configuration section for more details.

Once you have successfully completed the manual activation, you no longer need the configuration file for running the License server.




After a successful activation of the License Server, you should have a key and certificate file pair in your data/ssl folder. You can now run the License Server.

To run the License Server, run the executable file from the directory where the installation archive has been unpacked.


Example: Running the License Server on Windows
cgels.exe -config etc\config.yml
Example: Running the License Server on Linux
./cgels -config etc/config.yml




Scaling the License Server deployment is fairly easy. Running a new instance on another machine requires the files from the .zip installation together with the authentication files.

To run a new instance:

1. Copy the unpacked .zip installation to a new machine.

2. Copy the authentication files to the data/ssl folder.

3. Run the License Server. See the Usage section for more details.