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STAR-CCM+: How does the licensing work?

Siemens Creator Siemens Creator
Siemens Creator

There are two primary types of licensing administration for STAR-CCM+: Flexlm and Power on Demand (PoD) licensing. This is important to understand since all STAR-CCM+ add on's (Optimate+, Optimate, CAD clients [ex: STAR-NX], EHP, etc.]) work on Flexlm. However, Power on Demand covers STAR-CCM+ but not the afore mentioned add on's. Please take a moment to read about the differences:


Flexlm Licensing

  • A computer (server) is setup with Flexlm (licensing administration). Flexlm will use/read in a license file that we send you. Users at other computers can point to that computer/server to checkout available licensing features. As long as those other computers are on the same network so that they can see/ping that server and they are not blocked, they should be able to checkout the license. Note that the same computer that you're running simulations on can also be the license server.
  • All our products use Flexlm.
  • "Seats" of STAR-CCM+ allow you to open a session of STAR-CCM+. In STAR-CCM+, each session automatically opens on one core. Note that if you have unused seats in your license, you can use these seats as additional cores.
  • The feature called HPC partitions (or STAR-HPC) allow you to add the ability in your license to run a session on additional cores without consuming open seats. This is being replaced by Power Tokens in our academic program, since it contains additional licensing flexibility. More on this can be read in our "Spotlight on Licensing" article in the Steve Portal.
  • Examples:
    • If I open 1 session and elect to have a total of 5 cores to run on, that means I have taken 1 seat (for the 1 session and 1 cores) + 4 seats (for the other 4 cores needed) = 5 seats taken from the license.
    • If I try the same thing (1 session with a total of 5 core) it would take 1 seat and 4 HPC's from the license.
    • If I open 1 session in serial (using just 1 core) the simulation will be able to run on 1 core and I have taken 1 seat from the license.
    • If the license only has seats and no HPC's:
    • If the license has both seats and HPC's:

PoD Licensing


Power on demand (PoD) is a licensing option only for STAR-CCM+ that contains a set number of hours for the year. When a simulation is opened (whether it is for preprocessing, post processing, or running) the system starts drawing from the pool of hours till the time the simulation is closed. Note that this is INDEPENDENT of the number of cores you open a simulation for. For example, 1 simulation opened with 1 cores VS 1 simulation opened with 1000 cores would both consume hours at the same rate. 


Power on demand allows for:

  • Unlimited cpu’s per simulation
  • Unlimited open sessions
  • Hands off licensing management: License administration is run remotely on our system via an internet connection
  • You manage your own keys – this allows the user to create, monitor, and set expiration criteria based on the number of hours allowed in the license or date for each key

How PoD works:

Start by going to the Steve Portal (, licensing section, create a key, copy that key, go to STAR-CCM+, go to new or load simulation, and select PoD (Power on Demand). This will let you paste in this key into the user interface (note you can save this configuration so you don’t have to paste this key in every time) and click OK. STAR-CCM+ then goes to our servers across an internet connection to check this key, and once validated it releases the license of STAR-CCM+.


Re: STAR-CCM+: How does the licensing work?


I've put the license key (the department head gave me) into a license.dat file and invoking startccm+ like this "starccm+ -licfile ~/.star-12-04-11/license.dat" but it doens't seem to take it.   Is there a flat config or XML file I can put the key in?





Re: STAR-CCM+: How does the licensing work?

Siemens Creator Siemens Creator
Siemens Creator

I assume by key, you are referring to a PoD key? If yes please see the following article: