Hosted Altair Units (HAU)

Altair provides a cloud-based license server solution known as Hosted Altair Units (HAU). This allows customers to use either/or a traditional on-premise license server or an Altair hosted server managed via Altair Connect. Altair Connect is Altair’s global customer portal.

Hosted Altair Units (HAU) is a cloud-based licensing system. As long as the user has internet access, the hosted units can be used to run all applications. There is no VPN necessary.

A client computer and/or individual user is authorized to use an accounts license. Typically, an individual user will authorize their own machine and user/login account. A single machine that is shared by multiple users may either have multiple authorizations for each user or if done by an admin, a single machine can have ALL users authorized.

The primary differences between these two authorization schemes are for accounting and management purposes. If an individual authorizes a machine, that machine may be de-authorized just for that individual, leaving other users authorized. When the machine uses a ‘system wide’ authorization, the entire machine may be de-authorized by simply de-authorizing the system wide authorization.

The primary use case for a system wide authorization is for compute clusters. It is not known at authorization time what machines in the cluster a particular user may end up on at run-time, etc. So, the admin authorizes the entire machine for all users. The usage log files will still record the username, but the authorization will be for all users.

HAU is only supported on Windows and Linux clients.

Setting up the HAU System

In order to use the HAU system you must first have a valid Altair Connect user account, and your account (your company's account) must have purchased and enabled Hosted Units. Check with your administrator if needed.

Once you have a valid Altair Connect account, you should be able to see the HAU or Hosted Units menu on the left-hand side. There are both administrative functions (if you are one of your company's designated admins) and user functions. This section will cover the typical user functions. The two main functions are authorizing a machine to use HAU and checking on current usage.

In order to utilize the HAU system and your purchased units, each machine you wish to use your units from must be authorized prior to running any client applications. This is a two-step process.

  1. Obtain an authorization code from Altair Connect then enter it into almutil on the client machine. You may authorize multiple machines to your account using this code, or new codes. This authorization is for your specific username on the specific host you authorize. Your computer login username is not tied to the HAU account. The association is through the authorization tokens. This means if you are logged in on machine A as user1 and machine B as user2 you can still utilize the same Altair Connect account on both machines.
    Depending on what products you have installed, you will find almutil and +lmutil_gui in different places.

    For Linux, the command line utility almutil is in the security directory (typically <installdir>/security/<PLATFORM>/almutil), and the GUI utility almutil_gui will be in the same directory under GUI (<installdir>/security/<PLATFORM>/gui/almutil_gui). You will need to open a command terminal to run this command.

    For Windows, there is a Start Menu entry for Altair LicenseUtility under Tools, and the command line utility is under the security directory in the install (typically <installdir>/security/win64/almutil.exe)

  2. To authorize a machine, obtain your authorization code by logging in to Altair Connect, click H-HWU User and click Generate New Token.

    Figure 1.
  3. Highlight the code and copy it using your browser, or simply keep the window available to see the code.

    Figure 2.

    This temporary authorization code is only valid for 15 minutes, as shown by the counter in the browser. If it times out, simply generate a new one. Your machine and user account are now authorized to use the HAU system.

  4. Enter the authorization code into the command prompt or into the GUI text box depending on which one you use.
    1. For the command line utility, change the current working directory to the location of your almutil and use the following command, replacing YOURCODE with the code you obtained.
      ./almutil -hhwuauth -code YOURCODE
    2. For the GUI tool, select the Hosted HWU tab, paste the code into the text box titled Authorization Token, and click Authorize.

      Figure 3.
    Important: If you have ALTAIR_LICENSE_FILE set or a local, nodelocked license file in the default security location, then those will be used first before trying HAU. If you would like to change that, please set ALM_HHWU=T in your environment variables. This will tell the client to not try using LM-X first, and only use HAU. In contrast, if you set ALM_HHWU=F, then you will get just the opposite. Clients will only use LM-X and not use HAU even if authorized. If not set at all, then the default is to try LM-X then HAU. You cannot change that order.

HAU System Advanced Settings

There are many advanced settings that may be useful for using the HAU system. Many consist of setting environment variables to change behavior or running almutil to change settings.

If you have a shared home directory on multiple machines, you may have multiple config files. Each one will be in a separate directory under .altair_licensing in your home directory.

Location of the HAU config file on supported platforms is as follows:

(~ is your home directory and HOSTNAME will be replaced with the actual HOSTNAME of each system authorized)
Default Location

Valid Environment Variables for Controlling Licensing Behavior

Name Possible Settings
ALM_HHWU Controls where the application will search for licenses. Unset, the application will try On-Premises server then HAU (if the machine is authorized). Set to “T” will only use HAU. Set to “F” will only use On-Premises Server.
ALM_HHWU_CONFIG Overrides the default directory for storing the HAU config file.

(Windows Only)

The default proxy information (if required) is stored in the HAU config file. Setting this variable to “T” allows the applications to use the Windows Global proxy settings and supports interactive password prompts etc. Recommended only for GUI applications. Batch (solvers) should not have this set in their environments.
ALTAIR_LICENSE_PATH Set to point to On-Premises license server or NodeLocked license. Do not set if you ONLY want to use HAU.
In order to use a Proxy Server with HAU you can use almutil to set the appropriate settings. Open a command shell and execute almutil with the appropriate options to setup the Proxy according to your network configuration. The available options relevant to configurating HAU are shown below:
Usage: almutil [option]
-hhwuauth [-system -code <code>]
Authorize with the Hosted Altair Units system.
-system will set system-wide authorization.
-code the authorization code you receive from the web portal
-proxy [-system -host <host> -port <port> -user <user> -passwd <passwd>]
Configure proxy settings for use with the Hosted Altair Units system.
Optional parameters -host, -port, -user, and -passwd can be given on the command line.
The -passwd option can be given without an argument to avoid passing a password on the command line. In this case you will be prompted for input.
-system will configure the system wide proxy settings
You must be an administrator to use -system