ArcGIS issues: “The computer you chose is not a valid license server or is running an older version of the License Manager”

How to resolve this error

In Detail:

The ArcGIS licenses that we use on campus are managed by three central license servers. The license server software is the ArcGIS 9.3 (Flexnet-based) license server, the hosts are 27013@alecto.mcc.ac.uk;27013@megaera.mcc.ac.uk;27013@tisiphone.mcc.ac.uk

Now we encounter a strange problem:

On the clients we install ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 and set the license server to the above string, using the Desktop Administrator. Desktop Administrator does not accept the setting and returns: “The computer you chose is not a valid license server or is running an older version of the License Manager.”

ESRI says this error is produced when the network lookup by way of hostname or IP address fails. (http://resources.arcgis.com/content/kbase?fa=articleShow&d=33925).  To verify this I run a port scan using Angry IP Scanner, but it shows that the port@host is perfectly available.

I could call ESRI support but can’t be bothered, since fortunately there are two other ways to specify a license server, and both work for us:

  • put the license server string into the registry at HKLM\SOFTWARE\ESRI\License, as described in above link
  • Set an environment variable ARCGIS_LICENSE_FILE = 27013@alecto.mcc.ac.uk;27013@megaera.mcc.ac.uk;27013@tisiphone.mcc.ac.uk

These are actually very useful, since we can deploy them automatically – a nice side effect!

This resolves the problem.

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2 thoughts on “ArcGIS issues: “The computer you chose is not a valid license server or is running an older version of the License Manager”

    1. My post was written for Arc 9.3, which is very old. I am sure in current versions it is all different. I now work on something different, so I can not support this blog anymore, sorry.

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