Installing Arnold Single License Server Model flexnetserver Systemon an Apple Mac OS Render Farm.

As of version 5.0.1 Arnold requires that the license server is using the Autodesk flexnetserver system instead of the RLM system previously used by Arnold.

I have just switched the render farm over to this system and had some trouble getting all the required information I needed in one place as many instructions have a certain amount of assumed knowledge.

So here is various instructions gathered from different parts of the Autodesk support site and placed in ONE list, with a few comments and additions here and there from myself.

1. Download the installer

This will be installed on the server computer.

You will need to be on Apple macOS High Sierra 10.13, Apple macOS Sierra 10.12 or Apple Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11.


2. Reveal the hidden folders and documents in your Finder

You will need to do this to be able to see some of these folders where the installation is taken place.

  1. Open Terminal found in Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. In Terminal, paste the following: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES.
  3. Press return.
  4. Hold the ‘Option/alt’ key, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.


3. Obtain a license from Autodesk

You can do this by logging into your account on and going to “Manage Products and Downloads” and selecting “Generate A Network License File”from the Arnold drop down menu.

It’ll ask for the MAC address and name of your machine.

You can get the MAC address by going to System Preferences, click on NETWORK, choose WIFI from the list of connections, then click on Advanced and then select Hardware.

The MAC Address is displayed here.


4. Install the flexnetserver software on your server

In Finder, go to the Downloads folder and double-click nlm11.14.1.3_ipv4_ipv6_mac_universal.tar.gz

In Finder, double click nlm11.14.1.3_ipv4_ipv6_mac_universal.pkg to run the installer

Copy your license file to /usr/local/flexnetserver

I had trouble with this as my admin did not have permission to look inside the “usr” folder.

So, post intsallation, I moved the flexnetserver folder onto the root of my Hard Drive. Consequently I had to adjust all subsequent addresses from  /usr/local/flexnetserver to /flexnetserver.


5. Start the Server

Open a terminal

Start the license server. Copy this line of text and paste it into the terminal window. Then press ENTER

/usr/local/flexnetserver/lmgrd -c /usr/local/flexnetserver

(in my case Where the first address is the location of the flexnetserver file and the second is the location of the license file.)

This is the command that run to start the license server after you restart the computer.


6. Test the Status

Type this into a terminal window.

/usr/local/flexnetserver/lmutil lmstat -a -c /var/flexlm/adsk_server.lic

Where the first address is your flexnetserver adress (see above) and the second is the location of your license file.


7. Convert any text files you make into PlainText

In TextEditor go to “format” and select Make Plain Text.



8. Set up the Server so that it automatically restarts.

  • Copy the contents below and save the file on the Desktop and call it: profile.txt
/usr/local/flexnetserver/lmgrd –c /usr/local/flexnetserver/adsk_server.lic  –l /var/flexlm/adsk_server.log
(Note: the above command assumes that your Autodesk software license file name is adsk_server.lic and is located in /var/flexlm/ folder.  If your license file name and location is different, please adjust the command accordingly.  The same assumption is made regarding debut log file, /var/flexlm/adsk_server.log.)
  • Open a Terminal and type: 
cd $HOME
  • Type the following and the file will be moved from your Desktop to your HOME directory and renamed:
mv Desktop/profile.txt .profile
  • Type the following and confirm that there is a .profile file in the folder:
ls -la
  • Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups.
  • Select your user and finally Login Items.
  • Click the + symbol on the bottom. In the dialog window, click on the search bar on top-right and type “Terminal“. Double click on the correspondent result. Eventually, Terminal will be added in the Login Items list as shown below:
  User-added image
  • Reboot your computer and if this shows up in the Terminal, it’s working.  You can also open the Activity Monitor (View > All Processes) and confirm that the adskflex and lmgrd are running.
​ User-added image

9. Creating the Environment Variable for the Client Machines.

Make sure that you correctly set the  ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE variable:

An Environment Variable is needed for Arnold to verify where to pull a license from. This needs to be done on the workstation where MtoA will run.

Use a text editor to create a flexlmrc.txt file. Its content should look like this, except with the name or IP address of your license server:



If the license server is on the same machine as Arnold, 
your flexlmrc file will look like this:

Save the txt file anywhere on your machine. Open a Terminal window and type open ~ (Mac) or nautilus ~ (Linux) to open your Home folder, then drag and drop your flexlmrc.txt file there.
Then type  cd ~ to move your terminal to the Home folder.
Finally type mv flexlmrc.txt .flexlmrc (Mac) or mv flexlmrc .flexlmrc (Linux) to make the file a configuration file.

This file can now be copied to the Home folder of the other machines in your farm.

That’s it. Run a simple test and check for watermarks.

Silos and the Open Web

On Blogs, RSS and Social Media:

The Open Web movement asserts a special role for public, cooperative, and standard World Wide Web communications; it opposes private, exclusive, proprietary Web solutions.

Computer scientist Tantek Çelik gives three aspects of the Open Web:

  1. publish content and applications on the web in open standards
  2. code and implement the web standards depend on
  3. access and use content / code / web-apps / implementations



An information silo, or a group of such silos, is an insular management system in which one information system or subsystem is incapable of reciprocal operation with others that are, or should be, related. Thus information is not adequately shared but rather remains sequestered within each system or subsystem, figuratively trapped within a container like grain is trapped within a silo: there may be a lot of it, and it may be stacked quite high and freely available within those limits, but it has no effect outside those limits.


Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like to go full-bore blog again, like in the old days. Twitter’s only real use is as a notification system, after all, so you’d just pump out post links to it from your blog. You know, the way people used to, when having a place for your own voice and your own thoughts was a good thing.

When I was in the swing of it, way back when, it was like the world’s most minimalist radio station. A Station Ident post to start the day, a Night Music or Closedown post at the end of the day, littered with whatever strangeness and wonder passed my screen in between.

I miss that long moment when the web seemed full of people doing the same thing, or thinking in public. It happens in the Republic Of Newsletters, now. But it was nice to have all those little radio stations broadcasting in the night.

Warren Ellis

The above tweeter, RSS pioneer, David Winer has made an RSS feed for journalists. Eliot Landrum has followed suit with an RSS feed for Open Architects.  These are in the form of OPML files that can be read in your RSS reader of choice.

High Sierra 10.13.2 move/copy files finder freeze issue

There appears to be a compatibility issue between the High Sierra 10.13.2 security update and Samba (SMB), the networking protocol. I believe this is an issue to do with Intel processors, but that is as far as my understanding goes.

As a result, moving files on an externally mounted drive on an internal network causes the finder to freeze, (with the message “preparing to copy…”) requiring a manual shutdown to get the computer going again.

We have found a work around as follows:

  1. Eject the drive/computer from the machine where the freeze is happening, using the eject icon in the finder window.
  2. Go to Finder > Go > Connect to server…
  3. Into the server address type afp://xxxx, where xxx is the internal ip address of the server where the drives are located.
  4. Follow your normal connection procedure from here.

This reconnects the drive using the AFP protocol. So far we have been able to have full control over our folders on the externally mounted drive on the internal network. At this point we’re not sure if this requires reconnecting each time you start up, but it would be advisable to turn of any auto load of the drives in the “login items” in your User Preferences.



I have been reorganising my site a bit. I decided to use the WordPress Portfolio system, which allows you to build a network of pages showcasing work. I thought it might free up some time and energy as there is so much built in functionality there.
It’s early days yet, but I have changed some of the menu above to reflect the changes. You can see the full portfolio pages here.
As well as giving each project it’s own page the system provides specific pages for tags and types so as I add more things the possibilities of how things can be viewed and juxtaposed increases, which I find very interesting.
Here’s a few different groupings below to give you an idea:







Like I said it’s early days. As I ass more things hopefully it’ll fill out more.

Also I am toying of upgrading my WordPress so I can sell stuff directly from here instead of Big Cartel and that should enable more to do some more CSS modification of the site.



Follow my blog with Bloglovin if you like that sort of thing.

Since the very sad and untimely demise of Google Reader I have been using Feedly to read and sort the large amount of blog and RSS feeds I follow.

But still I missed the hive mind collaborative and interactive nature of Reader, being able to leave comments on posts and see what other people were reading. I am aware thereis a payment level on Feedly that allows one to do something similar,  but I am in the early stages of making my work profitable in some form so such expenditure is out of the question at this stage and by its nature one would be only interacting with a small, exclusive commmunity.

Bloglovin seem to be, at this stage, to have the potential of having a simile sharing platform to Reader. You can follow, comment and collate blog posts into collections of particular subjects which echoes the nature of Flipboard. And it all links to your profile and your own blog. Theref providing a potential for a great network of blogs, people, connections and recommendations to those of a similar mind and compulsions.

I recommend giving it a try and please follow me there to see what I get up to.

El Capitan OS and After Effects network issue.

Do not upgrade yet to El Capitan OS if you use After Effects a lot. When working on networked files it slows to an unworkable speed.

I’ve been on it for a while, but have only just noticed this as I’ve only been working in Maya recently and that is fine.

It appears to be a major issue involving smb sharing and whatnot. There’s some people discussing it here.

I’m just downloading an upgrade for AE now so will keep you informed.