Chapter 11. Windows licensing and MS-DOS applications

Licensing Windows and MS-DOS applications

SoftWindows includes a built-in licensing system which allows you to set up licenses for third-party 16-bit Windows and MS-DOS applications. You can use this to monitor or enforce the licensing restrictions imposed by the Windows and MS–DOS applications used with SoftWindows.

Note: The SoftWindows application licensing system does not support the licensing of 32-bit Windows applications.

In particular, the licensing feature allows you to:

  • Limit the number of users who can run a particular application.

  • Prevent applications from being run beyond a specified expiry date. This can be used to ensure that users stop using an old version of an application.

  • Provide a record of the applications being used, the users using them, and the hosts on which they are run.

To license applications you need to:

  • Enable Windows and/or MS-DOS licensing for each SoftWindows user.

  • Generate an application license for each Windows or MS-DOS application you want to license.

These procedures are described in the following sections:

Setting up application licensing

The SoftWindows application licensing uses a small Windows and/or MS-DOS program to monitor each session being run. It then uses the standard FLEXlm system to administrate the licenses.

Although the system is effective, it is not guaranteed to be completely secure. Malicious users may be able to disable the licensing system, which will prevent any checking against licenses when applications are started.

The licenses themselves are set up using a GENLIC utility, provided with SoftWindows.

For security reasons, the program is not installed on the default SoftWindows hard disk file, but in the UNIX directory:


Once an application is licensed, a user will be prevented from running an unauthorized copy and receive an error message.

To enable Windows application licensing

Add the following line to the [windows] section of each user's WIN.INI file:


Note: Windows and MS-DOS applications are licensed independently. For example, if you only want to license Windows applications, you only need WINLIC.EXE; there is no need to run DOSLIC.EXE.

To enable MS-DOS application licensing

Add the following line to each user's AUTOEXEC.BAT file:


To set up access to the license generator in Windows 95

Configure a VFSA drive to point to the $SWINHOME/dos/insignia directory.

To set up access to the license generator in MS-DOS

  1. Startup SoftWindows in MS-DOS mode.

  2. Configure a suitable VFSA drive by typing the following command at the MS-DOS C:\> prompt:

    NET USE F: $SWINHOME/dos/insignia 

You can now run GENLIC from the VFSA drive or copy it to a suitable directory.

Generating application licenses

To generate a license

Type the following command at the MS-DOS C:\> prompt.

GENLIC application

where application is the full drive, path, and name of the application to be licensed. For example, to license Microsoft Word for Windows you would type:


This prompts you for the following information:

Table 11-1. License Prompt Descriptions



Start date

The date from which the license is active.

Expiry date

The date the license expires.

Number of

The number of simultaneous users copies of the application that may be run.

User string

A string of up to 64 characters describing the application, to help identify the appropriate line in the license file. This defaults to the application filename.

Server name

The host name of the license server workstation.

Server ID

The host ID of the license server workstation.

To obtain the server ID, login to the license server and type the following command at a shell prompt:


Alternatively, see the SERVER line in the existing license.dat file.

The GENLIC utility will then display the correct license line on the screen, as shown below, and you should write this down before exiting or entering information for another application.

A sample license line is as follows:

FEATURE VaTG62Ua insignia 4.000 1-jan-04 4 5DC04041C6EE3F7CCC43 "EDIT.COM"

The fields in this line are described in the following table:

Table 11-2. License Field Descriptions




Identifies the type of line to the license server.


An encrypted feature name, generated from the Windows or MS-DOS program being licensed.


Specifies that the Insignia daemon controls the license.


The version number of the feature. This will always be 1.000 for Windows and MS–DOS application licenses.


The expiry date, if specified.


The number of users.


The FLEXlm encryption code.


The user string. Can be set to any string value when the license is created, but cannot subsequently be changed.

To define a license for unlimited users

Specify the number of users as 0, and include a further field, DEMO, following the number of users.

The encrypted feature name depends on the application program file, and is independent of the program name or path name. However, different versions of the same program will generate unique feature names and must be licensed independently. Therefore, for each program license either ensure that all users are using the same version or make separate licenses for each version in use.

To install the application licenses

The Windows and MS-DOS application licenses must be added to the license file used by the Insignia licensing daemon unless it is combined with licenses for other products. The default location is:


where $SWINHOME is the SoftWindows installation directory.

  1. Add the feature line displayed by GENLIC for each Windows or MS-DOS application to the end of the license file using a suitable text editor, such as vi.

    Be careful to enter the feature line exactly as displayed by GENLIC, and on a single line.

    There must only be one feature line for each unique feature name, that is, for each unique Windows or MS-DOS application.

  2. After making changes to the license file, type the following command at the UNIX prompt:

    $SWINHOME/FLEXlm/lmreread -c $SWINHOME/FLEXlm/license.dat

    where $SWINHOME is the SoftWindows installation directory.

    This ensures that the licensing daemon takes account of the changes. Changes to the license file will normally only take effect on copies of SoftWindows which are started after lmreread has been executed.

To change the license for an application

To change the license for an application proceed as follows:

  1. Generate a new feature line using GENLIC.

  2. Replace the existing line in the license file.

    For example, you can do this to increase the number of licenses available.

    If the license file includes two lines with identical feature names, the second one will be ignored, and an error will be reported in the FLEXlm daemon log file.

Sample license file

The listing below shows a sample license file containing a SoftWindows FEATURE line, and FEATURE lines for a Windows and an MS-DOS application.

SERVER ivy 4606bc4e 744
DAEMON insignia /usr/SoftWindows/FLEXlm
FEATURE SoftWin95 insignia 4.000 01-jan-00 20 145BF061754DC412304A "5003 6583 7650 0020"
FEATURE VaTG62Ua insignia 4.000 1-jan-0 4 5DC04041C6EE3F7CCC43 "EXCEL.EXE"
FEATURE 9VHNPQ83 insignia 4.000 30-jun-1996 0 D9E6A0F149743A74F357 "WP.EXE"