Installation and setup


Downloading the binary package

Download the latest License Server binary distribution here. Unpack the contents to a folder where the user has both read and write permissions.

Starting the application

License Server requires Java 1.6 or newer to operate. For other system requirements, please refer to the FAQ. The License Server functions as a standalone web application. To start the application on the foreground, run:

$ bin/license-server run

You can also specify a custom port or context path:

$ bin/license-server run -Dhttp.port=9000 -Dapplication.context=/license


On Windows you need to surround arguments containing = with quotes, e.g. "-Dhttp.port=9001".

If you want to start the server on the background, use the start command instead. This is useful for adding to the OS startup scripts.

$ ./bin/ start

Opening the web application

License Server runs on port 9000 by default. Point your browser to or localhost:9000.

Activating the product

Fill out the activation form and press Activate. License Server will contact ZeroTurnaround and activate the product.


If your License Server instance is isolated from public internet, you can use offline activation. Press the offline activation button to open the offline activation form:


Use another device with internet access to access the offline activation form. After completing and submitting this form, you will receive an offline activation key. Paste this key into the offline activation form on the machine running license server and press Submit. The server instance should now be activated.

Upon success, you will be presented with the option to create the first administrator account.

Creating an administrator account

You need to create the initial administrator account to continue. This first account comes with all the relevant permissions set automatically. If necessary, you can create a more selective authorization scheme later on.


Once logged in, you will be presented with the default Dashboard view.

Uploading a license

To finish the setup process, head over to the Licenses section and upload a valid license. The license file is sent separately from ZeroTurnaround.

Press Select file to locate the license file on your system. Once found, press Upload to add the license to the License Server.


To verify that this step was successful, observe the licenses details in the top right corner of the screen. After uploading a license for X developers, it should state: Seats: 0/X. When no licenses are uploaded, this counter should display 0/0. Note that following a successful license upload, the counter in the upper right corner now displays for example Managed seats: 0/7. This means that there are 7 shiny new managed seats available and none are taken yet.


Shazam! You are now good to go!

Installing License Server as a Windows service

License Server can be run as a Windows service. To install the service, please execute the following command (administrator privileges on your device are required).

> bin\service install

To specify custom JVM arguments (context path, port or log level) when running as a Windows service, append these to the install command. Note that you need to surround the JVM arguments containing equal signs (=) sign with double quotes ("). Here’s an example:

> bin\service install "" "-Dhttp.port=9001"

To manually start the service from the command line, use this command:

> bin\service start

If you need to edit the service’s JVM arguments later on, you need to stop, reinstall and restart the service:

> bin\service stop
> bin\service uninstall
> bin\service install ""
> bin\service start

When License Server fails to start as a service, but does start up using the command line scripts, check the log file in the logs folder. One possible reason can be that your system environment variables (as opposed to your user environment variables) do not include java.exe in PATH (when started as a service, License Server is started in the system environment).

Using an Ubuntu Upstart script

When using Ubuntu, it is convenient to configure the License Server to automatically start up during system boot. Here’s an example of the script to implement this. Customize this according to your needs and store it under /etc/init/ (for example as file /etc/init/license-server.conf).

description "Start/stop License Server service"
author "John Smith <>"

start on runlevel 2345
stop on runlevel !2345

setuid johnsmith
chdir /opt/license-server

exec java -Dhttp.port=8999 -jar /opt/license-server/lib/license-server.jar > /var/log/license-server/license-server.out 2>&1

Be aware of the prerequisites for this script to work:

  • User johnsmith has to exist.
  • License Server has to be extracted into directory /opt/license-server.
  • Directories /opt/license-server and /var/log/license-server have to be writable for user johnsmith.

Polite shutdown

These are the polite ways to shut down the License Server. This ensures that there is no danger of corrupting the database and that the database compact procedure has a chance to run. License Server can be politely shut down using:

  • a request to URL /shutdown by a user from the localhost,
  • the script command ./bin/ stop (or on Windows, bin\license-server.cmd stop),
  • kill -15 [PID] (but only if really, really necessary).

Calling kill -9 for the process or yanking the power chord is not considered a polite shutdown! Doing this can corrupt your data, so use this at your own risk! Additionally, the customer side system administrator is expected to take care of regular database backups (unless you don’t care about your data and are willing to recreate the accounts – if the database should become corrupt due to an incident).