Create an Inexpensive FME Floating License Server in the Cloud in 15 Minutes

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated

Hosting the FME Floating License Server (FlexNet) on an Amazon AWS EC2 instance (virtual machine) is quick and inexpensive.

Some EC2 types are free for the first year after you create an account, but the nano instance type is only $0.0052 per hour; a little over $45 per year. And if you reserve the instance it can be even cheaper; up to 75% off. This makes the t3.nano instance type with a reservation the cheaper option by the end of 2 years of use.


Before you start

  • Create an AWS account if you don't already have one.
  • Create an IAM Role for AmazonEC2RoleForSSM. This is needed later for accessing the virtual machine using the Session Manager.
    • Go to
    • Click on Roles
    • Click Create role
    • Click EC2 then click Next: Permissions
    • Check AmazonEC2RoleForSSM and then click Next: Review
    • Provide a Role Name (I recommend AmazonEC2RoleforSSM) and click Create Role
  • Have your FME Desktop (floating) serial number handy.

Getting Started

Set up the virtual machine

  1. Log into the AWS Management Console
  2. Click on the Launch Instance button in the Create Instance section
  3. Select the top-listed Amazon Linux 2 AMI
  4. Select the t3.nano type, and click Next: Configure Instance Details
  5. Check that Auto-assign Public IP is enabled
  6. The IAM Role must include AmazonEC2RoleForSSM.
  7. For Enable termination protection select Protect against accidental termination
  8. Click Next: Add Storage
  9. Click Next: Add Tags
  10. Click Add Tag. Key = Name Value = FME Desktop Floating License Server
  11. Click Next: Configure Security Group
  12. Security group name = FlexNet
  13. Click Add Rule
  14. For Custom TCP Rule set Port Range to 27000-27010, and Source to My IP and Description to FlexNet. Ports 27000-27009 are used by lmgrd. Port 27010 is used by the safe vendor daemon.
    The Source IP range limits locations that can obtain a license.
  15. Click Review and Launch
  16. Review and click Launch
  17. Select Proceed without a key pair, check I acknowledge... and click Launch Instances. The machine will now start. It will take approximately 2 minutes to boot up. It will take that long for the next steps to log in.

Log in to the virtual machine

  1. Go to the Session Manager
  2. Click on Start Session
  3. Select the FME Desktop Floating License Server instance, and click Start Session
  4. Update the SSM Agent if prompted to do so.
  5. The session manager will give you a Linux terminal window. Issue the following commands at the prompt:
cd ~
sudo yum -y update
sudo yum -y install redhat-lsb-core
mkdir flexnet
tar -xzf fme-flexnet-linux-x64.tar.gz -C ./flexnet --strip-components=1
cd flexnet
./lmutil lmhostid

Request the license file

  1. Copy the value of the host ID
  2. Go to and fill in the form.
    1. Enter your Product Serial Number
    2. Select the Version of FME (Most likely the top option)
    3. Hostname is localhost
    4. Enter the Host ID from the ./lmutil lmhostid command
    5. Enter your email address
    6. Click Submit Floating License Request
  3. Check your email for "FME License for Safe Software Inc." from FME Codes and copy the safe.lic download link.
  4. Return to the System Manager window and enter wget <link to safe.lic>
  5. Edit the second line of safe.lic by using the command sed -i '2s/.*/VENDOR safe port=27010/' safe.lic
  6. Start the license server using ./lmgrd -c ./safe.lic -l safe.log
  7. Check that the server started correctly using command ./lmutil lmstat -a
  8. You can now use the Public IP Address of the FME Desktop Floating License Server to license FME Desktop.
  9. Close the Session Manager window. You are done!

Additional considerations

If you only want the license server available to certain locations, you can edit the Security Group to only allow specific inbound IP address ranges.

The IP address of the license server will change if the virtual machine instance is stopped. To preserve an IP address, use an Elastic IP address .

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