Using a license from the License Server

pdfToolbox 10.2 and higher have support  for license server. Fail over mode is only available in pdfToolbox 10.2 (508) and higher.

License server access is initiated by the --licenseserver option. Since pdfToolbox 10.2 (508) multiple --licenseserver options can be used for failover mode. The license from the first license server that provides a license is used by pdfToolbox. If the --licenseserver option is given local licenses are ignored.

The --licenseserver option takes an IP number or hostname and a port separated by a colon. If the port is omitted, the default port 1400 is used.

License type

There are two types of cartridges available: Runcount or processes and Credits. 

Process cartridges set the number of parallel process that are allowed to run concurrently. 

Credit cartridges are based on processing time without the limitation of the number of parallel processes.

If process and credit cartridges are installed the license server tries to use a license from process cartridge first and in case no process cartridge license is available it tries to use a credit based license. By using the --licensetype option the license type can be set to a specific cartridge type.

What if you want to upgrade only some of your processes to version 11 while leaving the rest to version 10?

This is definitely possible. pdfToolbox 11 could use the version 11 Cartridge and pdfToolbox 10 would use the version 10 Licenses first and would fall back to the v.11 if there are no more v.10 Licenses available.

In other words: switching to 11 would not exclude the use of pdfToolbox 10.


The pdftoolbox with --licenserver option tries to get a license from all specified license servers for 60 seconds before giving up. This time out can be modified by the --timeout_licenseserver option.


There is an option to specify a message string that is written to the REST interface and log files on the license server side. This message can be set by using the --message option.

$ ./pdfToolbox --help
      --licensetype               Use only specific license type on license server
                                      all (default)
      --timeout_licenseserver     Time interval in seconds before search for available license is cancelled, if < 0: wait forever, default: 60)
      --licenseserver             Use a callas license server instead of local license
                                  Syntax: --licenseserver=<IP Adress>:<PORT>
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