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LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"

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Kirk Reindl
Frequent Advisor

LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"

OpenVMS 7.3-2
DW-Motif v1.3-1
AS1200 server.

I'm having an issue with logining into VMS from my console using DECWindows. DECWindows/motif seems to launch fine. I go to my gui console and I have a windows like interface. But when I attempt to login I get the following message: "LMF license check has failed"

I'm quite sure I have the software legally licensed. Why the availability shows zero I have no idea as no one is even logged in with a gui session.

Here is some output from the show license command

SYS_OSIBK1>show license /full dw-motif

Active licenses on node OSIBK1:

Producer: DEC
Units: 100
Version: 0.0
Release Date: (none)
Termination Date: (none)
Availability: 0
Activity: 100
Reserve: TRALEY


I checked the openvms newsgroup and there are like three posts pertaining to this problem, however not really any good answers. Same goes for the OpenVMS doc and ask the wizard.

Any direction/help would be great.


Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"


the DW-MOTIF license you're showing is a personal use license, limited to OpenVMS user TRALEY.

Did you login with that username ? You could modify the reservation with $ LIC MODIFY DW-MOTIF/RESERVE=username

Jim Strehlow

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"

Did you already do a


Jim S., Alameda, CA
Kirk Reindl
Frequent Advisor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"

It is now working.

Volker, you got me down the correct path.
I guess I need a course in DECwindows/constant licensing.

When I intially set up the licensing it asked which users would you like to have the ability to use a DECWindows license. So I'm thinking even if I have one license maybe it isn't being used by anyone and someone else can use it. So I keyed in 4 names, the last name was TRaley. I wasn't trying to log in as him; but rather as system. As you know it was bombing.

That was the problem, I think the license manager just took my last entry, Traley as being the only user that can use the license.

Any way,
I did the $lic modify dw-motif /reserve=system
Well the setting didn't take. (At least it didn't appear to take) I did a show lic /full and it was still showing Traley. So I deleted then re-installed DW-motif, and when it asked what user I wanted associated with the license I put in "system".

Now I'm working from the gui console and I can get my char based monitor off the table.

Thanks again for the responses.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"


LICENSE MODIFY only changes the PAK details on disk. You then need to LICENSE UNLOAD and LICENSE LOAD the PAK to have the modification reflected on the live system.

On more recent versions, LICENSE LOAD should be sufficient as it will perform an implicit UNLOAD.

The "RESERVE_UNITS" indicates your PAK is "personal use". That means the license agreement is it be assigned to a *PERSON*. It can be reassigned to a different person, but only once in any 30 day period. Furthermore, you're not allowed to reserve it to a username which may be used by more than one person, so generally speaking, usernames like "OPERATOR" and "SYSTEM" shouldn't be used (they would be red-flagged if you ever had a license audit).

Remember, LMF is a license "manager" not a license "enforcer". It's up to you to be able to demonstrate your compilance with the license agreement.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"

Hello John,

while I am sure you did summarize hp's position on this correctly, I would appreciate some further clarification on the "it is your duty to proof compliance with the license" part, since it does sound a bit like "SCO speak".

I would expect the initial assumption would be that a customer is innocent of license infringements and that any claims to the contrary do need some good evidence to start with. Just basing this on the fact that an account sounds generic seems a bit weak to me. I certainly know that on the system I am typing this on "System" is essentially used by one person (My wife only logs in as system if something is seriously broken ;-). OTOH I also know positively about JOHNDOE "personal" accounts (not on my box!) that are used by various different persons (even simultaniously), so using only this to launch an accusation against a customer does not sound like a very good idea to me.

If you could explain this a bit further it would be greatly appreciated.

Greetings, Martin

P.S. ... who has not "bent" a license since the advent of the hobbyist program.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"


"Personal Use" PAKs were a mistake. They're not sold any longer, so the issue is somewhat moot. The big problem was they were in the books with a very attractive low price and were often sold without the sales person or the customer understanding the terms of the license agreement.

The trouble with the SYSTEM account is a LOT more than just a login for the system manager, so it's pretty much impossible to prove that the work performed using a personal use PAK is for a single individual. The license agreement specifically precludes the designated user of the PAK performing work for others (So, for example, with a compiler PAK, you can't compile someone else's work on their behalf).

I'm not saying that the PAK being assigned to SYSTEM is automatic presumption of guilt, rather, that it would be red flagged to be checked. If you do assign a PAK to a generic account, in some circumstances you might need to substantiate a claim that the account has been used exclusively by one individual.

In my role as "licensing guru", I couldn't count the number of times I found a personal use PAK assigned to an account called (say) "DEVELOPERS", *specifically* to get around the reserved use issue. People carefully explain to me that it's needed so that all six programmers can use the compiler - "Oops!". I'm sure that most of these cases have been genuine ignorance (otherwise they would have tried to conceal it from me), but that doesn't absolve the customer from the liability!

Bottom line is this kind of agreement is very difficult to manage, and pretty much cannot be tracked by software, so the classification has been dropped.

On the whole I find the vast majority of customers are very keen to ensure they comply with all their legal obligations. I perform license audits, mostly at the request of the customer, to help with compliance management, never with a view to prosecution.

I'm not a lawyer, but, when it comes to license compliance, you can't just claim "the software let me do it, so I didn't know I was doing anything wrong". The onus is on the user to have read and understood the EULA, and to ensure they comply with the terms (this is a very general principle, not just something to do with software licensing).
A crucible of informative mistakes
Kirk Reindl
Frequent Advisor

Re: LMF license check has failed "DECwindows"


You guys have added value to this post. Thanks for the info.

I told my colleague the other day,

"You'll know we are all in hell, when colleges offer degrees in software licensing."

Please don't tell me this is already being done. I don't want to hear it. :)