Userful MultiSeat License Installation for OEMs

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Copyright © 2008-2015 Userful Corporation. All rights reserved.
(Updated 2015.09.28)


When deploying Userful MultiSeat on large numbers of PCs, installing the license key via the conventional, manual approach may be too time consuming. This document describes several methods to efficiently license large numbers of multi-station PC systems using a single customized drive image or install CD:

  1. Activation Code Method: (Recommended Approach) PCs are drive imaged with a script and activation code that auto-retrieves the license over the internet after imaging is complete. This method is recommended provided the systems are individually booted with Internet access after they are assembled.
  2. Group License-Key Method: This method requires you to know the MAC addresses (or SysID) of all your PCs prior to generating the drive image. Here the drive image (or install CD) should include the license keys for all the systems in the build.

Activation Code Method

Activation Code is generated using the Reseller Portal and linked to the corresponding number of licenses required. This activation code is included in your disk image or Install CD along with Userful MultiSeat. On first boot -- provided there is an Internet connection -- the activation code is sent to Userful's Licensing Server to automatically retrieve and install a license key on the system. This method is recommended when deploying ten or more systems at once.


  • More secure
  • More flexible (systems can be built as needed)


  • Extra step required in build process (PC must be booted and retrieve license through Internet post install)
  • Internet connection required in build plant

How to generate license key

Following are the steps of generating license key using Activation Code:

  1. Log in to the Userful Licensing System at
  2. Click on the link Enter a new sale (create a new contract).
  3. Fill out the necessary information to create a new contract, and you will find the activation code for the new contract.
  4. Create an installation disk image containing Linux operating system, installed applications, etc.
  5. Install Userful MultiSeat to the installation disk image, but do not attempt to license it.
  6. Create a file on the installation disk image containing the activation code to be supplied from the Userful Licensing Server. Suggested location is /etc/OEM-activation-code
  7. The disk image is ready to install to the production machines.
  8. When the production machines boot up, Userful MultiSeat will retrieve the licenses from the license server using the activation code from /etc/OEM-activation-code.

Note: For security purposes, the script will automatically delete the /etc/OEM-activation-code file after the license key is successfully retrieved and installed.
For additional security, it is possible to restrict retrieval to a single IP address (e.g., the IP address of your factory or build plant).

License Group Pre-Install Method

Pre-installing a group of license keys is required if the deployment site is not Internet-enabled, or if your manufacturing process does not allow them to be booted with an internet connection after the drive image has been installed. Basically this method involves creating a zip file of all the license keys. This zip file is included in your drive-image and installed on all systems along with Userful Multiseat. This method requires you to know the MAC addresses of all the computers that will be receiving the drive image in advance. Any systems which need to be replaced post-deployment will need to be treated as special cases.


  • Simple testing process
  • Single restore CD can include all license keys without any extra effort


  • All MAC addresses (as well as the exact licensing needs of the systems to be deployed) need to be known in advance of building the drive image
  • Less flexible (e.g., if you decide to build more or fewer systems than expected)

How to generate and copy license keys

Following are the steps of generating and copying license keys on the system.

To generate the license keys:

  1. Prepare a list of the MAC addresses you wish to license
  2. Log in to the Userful Licensing System at
  3. Click the contract you wish to use to generate the licenses
  4. Click on the Allocate or Generate Licenses link to generate licenses
  5. Choose Use MAC addresses for the Identification Method field
  6. Copy & paste the list of the MAC addresses to the List of IDs filed. One line one MAC address
  7. Check Generate Licenses and Download Licenses options
  8. Click on the OK button. The license system will generate the licenses, and a .zip file which contains all keys will download automatically

To copy the license keys:

  1. Unzip the zip file and ensure that all the license keys (each should appear in format "") will appear in the /etc/userful-multiseat/license folder on your Linux systems (whether your deployment technique be via installation disk or drive image).