I just installed License Manager. However, I have errors associated to my OrCAD environment variables.


In the event that the License Client Config Utility or the License Manager installation does not create the required CDS_LIC_FILE and CDS_LIC_ONLY variables, or does not properly configured the variable settings, then a manual fix is sometimes needed. The steps that follow explain how to resolve most CDS licensing variable modifications that are required.


  1. On the machine with missing or incorrect variables press your keyboard Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.

  2. Enter systempropertiesadvanced in the Run window and click the OK button.

    Or open your Control Panel > System & Security > System (or System) and on the left side of the System menu there will be Advanced System Settings.

  3. Click the Environment Variables.


If the required CDS_LIC_FILE and CDS_LIC_ONLY variables are not present, complete the following steps.

NOTE: If you are connecting a client to a license server, edit variables in the System section (bottom box). If running a local license service the edited variables can be in either System or User variables.

  1. Click the New button in the respective licensing box.

  2. In the Variable Name section enter in CDS_LIC_FILE. In the Variable Value add a Port@Hostname address replacing the port and hostname with respective information. Example: 5280@Localhost.

  3. Create another new variable in the same section as the previous variable. Call this one CDS_LIC_ONLY. For the Variable Value it needs to be “1” without quotes.

  4. Once done click OK on the variable editor and then OK again on the editor to save the changes.


If the required CDS_LIC_FILE and CDS_LIC_ONLY variables needs to be corrected, complete the following steps.

  1. Find the CDS_LIC_FILE and CDS_LIC_ONLY variable in its respective box. Once located ensure that there is only 1 set of CDS_LIC_FILE and CDS_LIC_ONLY in the respective box (Refer to the note above for where they should reside).

    If there are multiple variables of the same name, do not delete them. Simply rename them to OLDCDS_LIC_FILE or OLD_CDS_LIC_ONLY to comment them out until the issue is truly resolved. Then the commented-out variables can either be removed or reverted.

  2. Once done select the CDS_LIC_FILE variable and make the required change. Usually this is correcting an incorrect port or hostname. Example: Changing the Variable Value from 5280@Cadence_Server to 5280@localhost.

  3. Once done click the OK button located in the variable editor and then the OK button located in the main window to save the changes.