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See this playlist to learn how to use the Arnold License Manager.




No more environment variables! You can use the Arnold License Manager to configure licensing for Arnold:

  • Just sign in to activate a single-user Arnold license
  • Connect to one or more network license servers
  • Switch between different licensing systems (single user, NLM, RLM)

Whatever you set up in the Arnold License Manager is used by Arnold when you render. 

Opening the Arnold License Manager

The Arnold License Manager is available from the Arnold > Licensing menu in Maya, 3ds Max, Houdini, and CINEMA 4D, and from the Arnold shelf in Katana

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In CINEMA 4D, click Extensions > C4DtoA > Help > Licensing > License Manager

In CINEMA 4D Team Render Client, click File > Extensions > C4DtoA > Help > Licensing > License Manager


CINEMA 4D R21 replaced the Plugins menu with Extensions

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In Houdini, click Arnold > Licensing > License Manager

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In Katana, click the Shelf icon and in the KtoA shelf, click License Manager

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In Maya, click Arnold > Licensing > License Manager

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In 3ds Max, click Arnold > Licensing > License Manager




If you're not running a 3d application (for example, you're setting up a render node), then you can run the ArnoldLicenseManager executable.

  • MtoA: Look in the bin folder of the MtoA installation. For example, C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Arnold\maya2019-4.0.1\bin\ArnoldLicenseManager.exe
  • C4DtoA: Look in the arnold/bin folder
    • C:\Program Files\MAXON\Cinema 4D R20\plugins\C4DtoA\arnold\bin\ArnoldLicenseManager.exe
    • /Applications/MAXON/Cinema 4D R20/arnold/bin/ArnoldLicenseManager
  • HtoA: Look in the scripts/bin folder
  • KtoA: Look in the bin folder of the KtoA installation
  • MAXtoA: Look in the MAXtoA install folder. For example:
    • C:\ProgramData\Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins\MAXtoA_2020\ArnoldLicenseManager.exe

How does it work?

If you really want to know how it works, here's how:

  • The Arnold License Manager saves a a plain-text config file on your system. 
  • This config file is specific to your user account.
  • When you render, Arnold reads this config file and uses that information to get a license.

The config file

The Arnold License Manager is a user interface for setting up this config file.

Code Block
    "license": {
        "clm": {
            "servers": [
        "order": [
        "rlm": {
            "servers": [
    "version": "1.0"

The config file is a per-user setting:

  • Windows: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Autodesk\Arnold\
  • Mac: $HOME/Library/Preferences/Autodesk/Arnold/
  • Linux: $HOME/.config/Autodesk/Arnold/

When Arnold renders a frame, Arnold reads the config file to get the license server connection information.




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