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This chapter covers the following topics:

Operating system licensing

QNX must be licensed for each computer it runs on. This is true whether you're using 10 standalone machines or 10 networked machines.

In a network, each machine is referred to as a "node" and each node is assigned a "logical" node ID. Logical node IDs range from 1 to the number of nodes in the network. For example, a network licensed for three nodes would support logical node IDs 1, 2, and 3.

The number of nodes in your network is determined by the number of licenses you've installed. You install old-style licenses by running the license utility or new-style licenses by adding them to the /.licenses file (see the "Adding licenses" section).

Note: For licensing to work across a network, the boot server (the machine with the licenses) must be running the nameloc utility. If a machine boots from local hard disk (with licenses) but isn't on a network -- a portable, for example -- it must also run nameloc for licensing to work.

Old- and new-style licenses

QNX now supports two licensing schemes concurrently: old-style (earlier than QNX 4.23) and new-style (QNX 4.23 and later). All QNX 4 products released prior to QNX 4.23 use the old-style licensing scheme.


Old-style licenses are kept in the /etc/licenses directory. There's one file per license, and they're always distributed on disk. Old-style licenses can be installed and transferred from disk to disk only by using the license utility.


New-style licenses are kept in the /.licenses file. They can be distributed on disk, but in most cases the license numbers are recorded on paper as a license certificate. New-style licenses on disk must be installed using the license utility, which appends them to the /.licenses file. You may add new-style licenses on certificate to the /.licenses file using any text editor. The /.licenses file can be transferred from disk to disk using the cat command (see the section on "Transferring a license to another node" in this chapter).

The /.licenses file

New-style licenses are maintained in the file /.licenses. The following shows the contents of a sample (i.e. bogus) /.licenses file. It contains licenses for six products, including the QNX OS:

  qnx.00090209-02lg-0947-48g2-00p7-0044 (4 node)
  qnx.00035882-02lg-0947-48g2-00p7-0044 (4 node)
  wcc.00375634-0l04-4k0l-0x6l-6112-5409 (4 node)
 phab.00006233-0040-0527-00l4-ji3g-1130 (4 node)
 phrt.00006932-007l-8070-g140-l410-84n3 (4 node)
 xrun.00004746-0l04-4l0k-0x7o-5514-8609 (4 node)
motif.00053489-00lk-0245-44e9-04i4-0004 (4 node)

The product_name.nnnnnnnn item at the beginning of each line represents the serial number that belongs to the specified product.

All QNX licensing is done on a per-node basis. In the example above, two QNX licenses are installed, and four concurrent QNX sessions can be run from each. This means that a maximum of eight copies of QNX can be running concurrently. If you try to run a ninth node, it won't be able to talk to the network.

The etc/licenses directory

Old-style licenses are kept in the /etc/licenses directory. Each license is an individual disk file that can be viewed using the ls command:

ls /etc/licenses

QNX reports old-style license information in the following format:


where "qnx" is the name of the product, "0000178" is the serial number, "n" is a separator, and "004" means that the file is for four nodes. If you installed other QNX applications (e.g. Watcom C), their licenses will also be displayed.

Verifying your licenses

The licinfo utility lets the superuser list all licenses that have been installed. You can specify command-line options to display information by node or by a particular product:

licinfo (lists all licenses in use in the network)

licinfo -a (lists all licenses whether they're in use or not)

licinfo -l wcc (lists all C compiler licenses)

licinfo -n 1 (lists all licenses on node 1)

Adding licenses

In a network, the licenses must be installed on the boot server. If you wish to boot some machines from their own hard disks, you must install all licenses on all those machines that will boot from hard disk. The newly installed licenses must be activated afterwards in order for QNX to honor them (see "Activating licenses" below).

New-style licenses

When you buy new software, your license(s) are supplied either on diskette or on a license certificate. Licenses on diskette are added to the /.licenses file automatically during the installation process. If you received a certificate, it will have new license number(s) on it. You'll need to add these license numbers to the /.licenses file manually using a text editor.

Note: Don't forget to activate the licenses on your boot server and on all nodes that boot from that server using license -r.

Old-style licenses

The following command installs the license from floppy drive 0 to your hard disk. Note that the floppy driver (Fsys.floppy) must be running:


Activating licenses

After you install a license (typically on the boot server), you must activate it. To do so, run license -r on the node (or boot server), which reads all licenses from /.licenses and /etc/licenses (if it exists) and places them in the machine's in-memory license database.

Nodes that boot over the network will inherit the licensing database from their boot server. You can run the following command to refresh a node's license information from the boot server's in-memory license database:

license -R boot_server_node_ID

Transferring a license to another node

Old-style licenses can be transferred from one location (or node) to another using the license command. For example, the following command would transfer all licenses from /etc/licenses on node 61 to /etc/licenses on node 71:

license //61/etc/licenses //71/etc/licenses

New-style licenses are kept in the /.licenses file. To copy this file from node to node, use cat (not cp) so that you won't inadvertently overwrite the contents of a file. For example, the following command will append the contents of node 1's /.licenses file to node 5's /.licenses file:

cat //1/.licenses  >>//5/.licenses

Caution: You should protect your /.licenses file so that the system administrator is the only user with read-write access to the file:
=>> As root enter this command:
chmod 600 /.licenses

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