License Management - Documentation topics on: developer,developing,development license,license management,.

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License Management

The License Manager displays the license status and details of your dotCMS instance, and allows you to install and remove licenses, or request a trial license.

To open the License Manager, select System -> Configuration and click the License tab.

License Editions

Community Edition

For dotCMS Community Edition, no license is required. However if you are interested in unlocking the full dotCMS feature set, you may wish to request a trial license.

Enterprise Edition

If you are a dotCMS Enterprise customer, click on the Current Customers button in the License Manager to display Enterprise licensing options.

Request a Trial License

If you are not currently a dotCMS Enterprise client, you may request a trial license. To request a trial license:

  1. Open the License Manager.

  2. Press the Request a trial license button.

  3. A form will open on the dotCMS web site. Fill out and submit the form to request a trial license.

    • After your request is received, a license key will be sent to you via email.
  4. Copy the license key from the email link and paste it into the Activate an Enterprise License field in the License Manager*.

  5. Press the Apply License button.

Generate Enterprise Licenses

Enterprise customers may request Development licenses, licenses which can be applied to a single dotCMS server, and cluster license packs. The licenses available to you are specified in your dotCMS Enterprise contract.

Tutorial Video: License Generation for dotCMS 3.x

Single Server Licenses

To activate a single server license:

  1. In the License Manager screen, press the Current Customers button.
  2. Step 1 (Request Code)
    • In the Step 1 (Request Code) section of the screen, set the License Type to Production.
    • Select the appropriate License Level.
  3. Step 2 (Copy to Portal)
    • Copy the temporary license key from the Step 2 (Copy to Portal) field.
    • Visit the dotCMS support portal.
    • Log into your client account.
    • Select a valid contract.
    • Generate the activation key using the temporary key copied from the server in step 2, above.
    • Copy the Activation key displayed in the portal.
  4. Step 3 (Activate License)
    • Paste the Activation key from the Support Portal into the Step 3 (Activate License) field.
    • Click the Apply License button.

Cluster Licenses

If you are using Manual Clustering, you must license each individual server with a single server license.

To enable Auto-Clustering, you must have a valid cluster license pack. You may obtain a license pack by requesting one through the dotCMS support portal.


To enable Auto-Clustering, perform the following steps:

1. Upload the license pack to the first server in the cluster.

Important: Do not upload the license pack to more than one server. After the license pack is uploaded, additional servers in the cluster will automatically find the license pack on the first server and apply a license from the license pack.

2. Activate one license on the server where the license pack was uploaded.

Click the Apply License to Current Instance button.

The image above displays the configuration of the first node in a 4 server cluster. A 4-server license pack was downloaded from the support portal and uploaded to the server using the Cluster Licenses Upload button at the bottom of the License Manager options for Current Customers. After uploading a license pack, the first node in the server can grab the first license by clicking on the “Apply License to Current Instance” button.

3. Start up each of the other servers in the cluster.

The rest of the servers in the cluster will automatically find the license pack on the first server, and will automatically apply a license from the license pack, as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Each server's context.xml file must be configured to share the same database (/dotserver/tomcat-X.x/webapps/ROOT/META-INF/context.xml) with the first server.
  • Each server must share the same assets directory with the first server, using a symbolic link (/dotserver/tomcat-X.x/webapps/ROOT/assets).
  • IF multiple servers in the cluster are on the same physical server, then each server must be configured to use a different tomcat port and shutdown port in the server.xml file (/dotserver/tomcat-X.x/conf/server.xml).

Upon startup, each server configured this way will understand that it is part of a cluster, and:

  • Automatically take the next available license from the license pack that was uploaded to the first server.
  • Configure itself as part of the cluster.
  • Start dotCMS.

No other configurations are necessary when using auto-clustering with valid license packs.

Development Licenses

To receive a Development environment license for your Enterprise license contract, perform the steps outlined for a single server license above, but select Development instead of Production for the License Type.

Development License Limitations

Development licenses are limited licenses for the purposes of development only, and are not suitable for use on a production site. A dotCMS site using a development license is limited to only allow a single request from the dotCMS front-end at a time.

Removing Licenses

To remove or de-activate an enterprise license already applied to a server:

  • Single Server License: Press the Reset License Identity button in the License Manager.
  • Cluster License: Click the unlock icon to the left of the server id you wish to release.

When you attempt to remove a license, a warning displays prompting you to confirm. When you confirm the license removal, the selected license is removed, and the server resets to dotCMS Community Edition.

License File Location

Licenses are tied to the dotCMS server id, which is stored in the dotsecure/server_id.dat file in the dotCMS distribution. It is important that you maintain the server ID when upgrading dotCMS versions or moving dotCMS to another server:

  • If the server ID file is removed or changed, any previously applied licenses will no longer be valid, and you will have to apply for a new dotCMS license.
  • The actual location of the server ID file is determined by the DYNAMIC_CONTENT_PATH` property in the file.