License files

Before you start installing product licenses, see the prerequisites to obtain your license files.

When you install the License Server, a Citrix start-up license (citrix_startup.lic) and an options file (CITRIX.opt) are installed by default. 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.

Citrix Start-up license

The start-up 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 exchange heartbeat messages and there is an interruption in the exchange, the product goes into a License caching mode. A power failure is an example of an interruption. The startup license file does not affect your license count.

Citrix License Server Diagnostics License

The License Server uses Citrix License Server Diagnostics License for internal diagnostics and alert message notifications displayed in Citrix 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. For more information, see Manage licenses on 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

The license file you downloaded for the old License Server cannot be moved to a server that has a different host name or MAC address. Create license files that reference the new server name by returning them and then allocating them.

For more information, see Modify licenses.

License file format


Any changes to the license file 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 and the My Account site at For more information, see Manage licenses in MyAccount on

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:


For example: FID_30d0000_0000_xxxx_c800_00xxyy000zz7.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.

The following image is an example license file:

  1. SERVER line shows an identifier required for binding licenses to the License Server.
  2. VENDOR line specifies the Citrix vendor daemon name.
  3. INCREMENT lines specifies the license required to use a product.
  4. Comments used by the License Server to translate license FEATURES (PRODUCT_EDITION_LICENSEMODEL) to Citrix product names.

Example license file


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


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


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. For 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. The console displays and tracks a newly created pool independently from other license pools. The Citrix vendor daemon creates a license pool when two or more attributes are different.

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 of issue or if 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 Serial number is the License Access Code and the fulfillment ID of that license.
START= dd-mmm-yyyy The date from which you can start using a license. The License Server cannot use licenses before their start date. You can install licenses before the START date but there are not visible in your License Server inventory until the actual 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