License files

When you install the License Server, a startup license and an options file are installed automatically. To license your Citrix products, you add one or more license files. For information about adding your product licenses, see Install licenses.

You cannot change the location of license files on the License Server. License files must reside in their default location.

Startup license file

The startup license file (citrix_startup.lic) is a text file that Citrix products use to communicate to the License Server using a continuous open connection. Every five minutes the License Server and the product send a heartbeat message to each other to verify that they are mutually communicating. When the product and License Server are exchanging heartbeat messages, but there is an interruption in the exchange, the product goes into a grace period. A power failure is an example of an interruption. The startup license does not affect your license count.

Citrix License Server Diagnostics License|Server

The License Server uses Citrix License Server Diagnostics License|Server for internal diagnostics and alert message notifications displayed in Studio and Director. It is available by default with the startup license in the citrix_startup.lic file.


Do not edit the startup license file, or any other license files.

License file

The license file is a text file containing the following:

  • Product licensing information
  • License Server name (or other binding identifier)
  • Customer Success Services membership renewal date (also known as the Customer Success Services expiration date)
  • License expiration date (if applicable)
  • Other system information

All this information is encrypted using a digital signature. When you purchase a Citrix product, go to the website to download a license file. You can have more than one license file per License Server. The license file resides in these directories, where the License Server references it.

  • C:\Program Files\Citrix\Licensing\MyFiles directory on a 32-bit server
  • C:\Program Files(x86)\Citrix\Licensing\MyFiles directory on a 64-bit server

The License Server uses this file to determine whether to grant a license to a Citrix product.

A license overdraft is included in all user/device, per user, and per device licenses. For more information on the license overdraft, see License overdraft.

Move licenses to a different host

You cannot move the license files that you downloaded for the old License Server to a server that has a different host name or MAC address. Create license files that reference the new server name by reallocating them

For more information, see Modify licenses.

License file format


Changes can make license files unusable. If using Citrix Licensing for Windows 11.6.1 or later, editing license files is not necessary. You can manage licenses through the Citrix Licensing Manager, the License Administration Console, and the My Account site.

You can change the name of the license file, but it must have a .lic (lower case) extension.

Citrix license files use the following naming convention: license_FID_XDT-PLT-UD_25-mar-2013.lic

License files are composed of lines listing specific information, such as the server name (SERVER) or quantity of licenses (INCREMENT). These lines begin by using words denoting their purpose in uppercase letters, such as VENDOR, SERVER, INCREMENT, USE_SERVER.

The following sections provide in-depth information about the following elements of license file syntax: the SERVER line, VENDOR line, USE_SERVER line, and INCREMENT line. While the term feature is used in the options and license file syntax, in this document, the term product license is used whenever possible for clarity.

Example license file displaying numbers corresponding to the explanations following the example:

Example license file

1 SERVER Line:

The SERVER Line. The SERVER line specifies the binding identifier (also known as the host name) of the License Server.

Caution: Do not change the binding identifier on the SERVER line. Otherwise, the license file doesn’t work.


SERVER this\_host ether


SERVER this\_host HOSTNAME=hostname

Parameters Description
ether The MAC address of the appliance on which the License Server is running. Do not edit this text string.
hostname The name of the computer on which the License Server is running. Do not edit this text string.


SERVER this\_host HOSTNAME=license\_server1

2 VENDOR Line:

The VENDOR line specifies the Citrix vendor daemon name.


VENDOR CITRIX [vendor_daemon_path]

Field Description
VENDOR CITRIX Name of the Citrix vendor daemon. Do not edit this name.
vendor_daemon_path Path to the executable for the Citrix vendor daemon. Citrix recommends that you do not change this path.


An INCREMENT line describes the license required to use a product. License files (*.lic) contain one or more INCREMENT lines. Each INCREMENT line makes up a user-specified allocation of product and license (users, connections) counts.

Each increment line contains:

  • A signature based on the data in that line
  • The hostids specified in one or more SERVER lines
  • Data selected by Citrix

INCREMENT lines use a backslash (\) to wrap long lines of text.


INCREMENT feature vendor css_expiry_date exp_date num_lic
SIGN=sign [optional_attributes]


Do not change the six fields after the INCREMENT line keyword. The fields are required and have a fixed order.

The following table explains these fields in the order they appear:

Field Description
feature The product license. Do not edit this line.
vendor Indicates that this license is for a Citrix vendor daemon. Do not edit this line.
Indicates the date until which you are entitled to product version upgrades. If you don’t have a Customer Success Services membership, or this license isn’t a Customer Success Services license, the date indicates when you ordered or redeemed the license. Do not edit this line. Note: If you renewed your Customer Success Services membership and received an upgrade license, the CSS_expiry_date is listed. Example: INCREMENT MPS_ENT_CCU CITRIX 2019.0311 permanent 1000
Expiration date of license in the format dd-mmm-yyyy, that is, 07-may-2006. Do not edit this line. Note: If the exp_date field contains the text string permanent, the license never expires.
num_lic Number of concurrent licenses for this product license. Do not edit this line.
SIGN=sign SIGN= signature to authenticate this INCREMENT line. Do not edit this line.
SUPERSEDE_SIGN=sign Strategically turns off specific licenses based on license feature and signature or INCREMENT line to be disabled. Customer Success Services or maintenance upgrade licenses include SUPERSEDE_SIGN. Example: SUPERSEDE_SIGN={“CBR_100_SSERVER:0F76 2946 4790 6B67 08E0 65BC 302B E1B6 6ECE 41D6 8AB6 E9C6 FE44 4EB3 9A83 01E4 D405 3E95 74B8 9BC8 7791 BDD3 1385 33F8 9533 95FF A3E4 F461 35B4 251E”}

INCREMENT lines also determine the grouping of licenses in the management console. These groups are known as license pools. The Citrix vendor daemon creates the license pools based on common attributes, such as product license or version. When a new pool is created, the console displays and tracks this pool independently from other license pools. When two or more attributes are different, the Citrix vendor daemon creates a license pool.

Citrix Attributes in INCREMENT Lines:

INCREMENT lines can also include more attributes from Citrix. These attributes provide information about the license, such as the date on which it was issued or that the license is an upgrade license.


Do not change or remove these attributes.

Example: Increment line Important items are highlighted in the preceding example:

  • The Product (license feature) appears in blue
  • The Customer Success Services expiration date appears in red (Format: YYYY.MMDD)
  • The License (user, connection) Count appears in GREEN



The following table describes the Citrix attributes. The uppercase letters of the attributes indicate that this attribute is not editable.

Attribute Description
DUP_GROUP=V This attribute allows license sharing for the same client device.
ISSUED=dd-mmm-yyyy Date issued.
ISSUER=”…” Issuer of the license.
NOTICE=”…” Your company name.
SN=serial_num A number that is used to identify INCREMENT lines.
START= dd-mmm-yyyy The date from which you can use a license. The License Server cannot use licenses before their start date.
SUPERSEDE=”MPS_ADV_CCU MPS_STD_CCU …” This attribute appears in the upgrade license file when you move to a higher product edition. If this attribute appears, this line supersedes all licenses issued before the date specified in ISSUED= and they become ineffective.
VENDOR_STRING=”…” Text string defined by Citrix.

Example of a base license:

INCREMENT CBR\_100\_SSERVER CITRIX 2016.1201 permanent 10 \\

   VENDOR\_STRING=;LT=Retail;GP=720;MAXBW=1;MLC=0;HA=0;CL=BRSE;SA=1;ODP=0 \\

   DUP\_GROUP=V ISSUED=18-dec-2005 NOTICE="Citrix" \\

   SN=100se200seB SIGN="1B19 C213 7517 CC62 756F 864C 9C93 06FC \\

   E1DE B5D5 D793"

Example of a Customer Success Services renewal license containing SUPERSEDE_SIGN:

INCREMENT CBR\_100\_SSERVER CITRIX 2017.1201 permanent 10 \\

   VENDOR\_STRING=;LT=Retail;GP=720;MAXBW=2;MLC=0;HA=0;CL=BRSE;SA=1;ODP=0 \\

   DUP\_GROUP=V ISSUED=18-dec-2007 NOTICE="Citrix" \\

   SN=100se200seU SUPERSEDE\_SIGN={"CBR\_100\_SSERVER:1B19 C213 7517 \\

   CC62 756F 864C 9C93 06FC E1DE B5D5 D793"} SIGN="1D5D 869A 40BE \\

   D4DB 361D 7897 AFA5 FF8B E52A 20BA 5525 01AA F241 6919
License files