Tip of the Week: Troubleshooting slow tool invocation due to licensing

Blog Post created by andrew_audova on Apr 28, 2013

If you are experiencing slow invocation times with one or more of your Mentor Graphics applications - here are some general tips and techniques, as well as application-specific options (for Expedition PCB and PADS Layout), that are available for use:



  1. Check your licensing environment for any invalid or duplicate license server (port@host) references.


  • If you find any, remove them.
  • A quick and easy tool for editing your licensing environment is the Mentor License Utility:

Using the Mentor License Utility to query and edit the licensing environment (video)


Note: Before making any changes to the environment you can back-up your current settings via the 'File>Export Environment' menu-pick. To import previously saved settings navigate to 'File>Import Environment'.





2. Check your licensing environment for any license files containing un-edited lines starting with "SERVER put_server_name_here"




  • If you find any, AND your machine is NOT intended to be a license server:
    • Add a pound/hash character at the beginning of the line and also the line after it (starts with "DAEMON")




3.  If you have any non-Mentor Graphics (mgcld daemon) license files or port@host references in your environment

  • Make sure all your Mentor Graphics (mgcld daemon) licenses and port@host references reside under the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE environment variable
    • If not, you can use the Mentor License Utility to move them





3b. If you have any non-Mentor Graphics (mgcld daemon) license files or port@host references set in the LM_LICENSE_FILE environment variable or registry entry

  • Set the MGLS_LICENSE_SEARCH environment variable to a value of 1. When set, Mentor Graphics licensing will ignore the LM_LICENSE_FILE values (and other vendor licenses) if it finds that the MGLS_LICENSE_FILE is set.


How to set or edit an environment variable on Windows



4. Use any application-specific license options/dialogs to reduce the number of licenses that get checked during the invocation


  • Two good example applications are Expedition PCB and PADS Layout, both of which check for many licenses on invocation in order to enable as many options as possible.

    • Note: This information only applies to users pointing to a license server for licenses
    • The reason it's not necessary to take these measures with a local Mobile Compute (a.k.a. Nodelocked Uncounted) license file, is because the checkouts are much quicker (no network latency), so any additional checks shouldn't add any noticeable delays to the invocation.



Expedition PCB


  • The default behavior is to check for all the options licenses in order to display the following dialog. In this example only the base licenses for Expedition Pinnacle, Ascent LX, and Ascent.



  • If it is taking a long time for the above dialog to appear, there are two options available:


     A). Set the MGC_DISABLE_PRESPLASH_CHECKS environment variable to 1.




  • The MGC_DISABLE_PRESPLASH_CHECKS variable changes the number of licenses the Expedition checks for on invocation. Instead of checking for every option license it only looks for a base license (for Pinnacle, Ascent LX, or Ascent).
  • When the license selection dialog appears, all options are selectable regardless of whether or not a license exists and is available.
    • If you select an option that you don't have a license for (or it's not available) you will get a licensing warning after you click OK (and before Expedition comes up)
    • This option works well if you just want to select one of the first 4 radio buttons (for Pinnacle, Ascent LX, Ascent, or Xtreme Design Client), and checkout (and in) any option licenses via the 'Setup>Licensed Modules' menu-pick (on-demand licensing).




     B). Add one of the following switches to the Expedition PCB Start Menu shortcut target path:






  • Right click on the Expedition PCB shortcut, and select "Properties".
  • Add the switch to the end of the "Target" field (add a space in-between)
  • Click Apply and OK.


  • With any of these switches in place, Expedition will bypass the license selection dialog and go directly into the requested mode (for Pinnacle, Ascent LX, or Ascent), provided the licenses are available.
    • You can then checkout (and in) any option licenses via the 'Setup>Licensed Modules' menu-pick



PADS Layout


  • By default PADS Layout checks for all available options as seen in the 'Help>Installed Options...' dialog.



  • To change the behavior and have PADS Layout look for only those licenses that you have available, you can uncheck the 'Checkout all available options' and then uncheck the 'Not Available' options.
    • Note: If you add option licenses to your license server, PADS Layout will not pick these up (it's no longer looking for all available licenses). You would need to set the 'Checkout all available options' again, temporarily, to see what new options have become available.