Release and license information: adding or updating

This page assumes you are using the 2023.2 (or later) version of Helix Core Server.

If you are using an earlier version, go to the previous version of this page or find your version at earlier versions of this guide.

License by standard users

Helix Core Server is licensed according to how many standard users it supports. The types of users are standard users, operator users, and service users. (See Types of users in Helix Core Command-Line (P4) Reference.)

  • A standard user is a traditional user. Standard users are the default, and each standard user consumes one license.

  • An operator user is intended for human or automated system administrators. An operator user does not require a license but is restricted to a limited set of commands.

  • A service user is for server-to-server authentication, whether in the context of remote depots (see Remote depots and multi-server development) or in distributed environments. A service user does not require a license, but is restricted to automated inter-server communication processes in replicated and multi-server environments.

Limits for unlicensed use depend on the release

2019.2 patch 14, 2020.1 (patch 8), 2020.2 (patch 6), 2021.1 (patch 1), and later 2016.1 and later but prior to 2019.2 patch 14, 2020.1 (patch 8), 2020.2 (patch 6), and 2021.1 (patch 1) prior to 2016.1

Unlimited number of files for 5 users and 20 client workspaces,


Unlimited number of users and workspaces for up to 1,000 files

Unlimited number of files for 5 users and 20 client workspaces,


Unlimited number of users and workspaces for up to 1,000 files

Unlimited number of files for 20 users and 20 client workspaces,


Unlimited number of users and workspaces for up to 1,000 files

Three repos for Git ConnectorClosed A component of Helix Core Server that enables you mirror, cache, or replicate a Git repository into a Helix Core Server repo in a graph depot. See hybrid workspace., which leverages the power and scale of Helix Server for large binary assets while allowing you to manage Git repos natively.    

Failover licensing for standby servers and replicas

Standby servers and replicas that might be required to take over from a master server during Failover require their own license file. The p4 license -L command lists the server IP and MAC addresses to use for Helix Core Duplicate Server Requests.

License information

You can update an existing license file without stopping the Helix Core Server by using the p4 license command. See Adding or updating the license file.

  • If Helix Core Server is running, any user can use p4 info to view basic licensing information. Hide sensitive information from unauthorized users of p4 info by setting the configurable.
  • If the server is down, you can also obtain licensing information in any of these ways:
    • running p4d -V from the server root directory where the license file resides
    • running p4d -V when the P4ROOT variable is set to the server’s root directory
    • running the the p4d -V -r server_root command, where server_root represents the server root directory
  • Administrators can use p4 license -u to obtain more detailed information about how many users and files are in use.
  • The p4 license -L command lists the server IP and MAC addresses to use when requesting a valid license from Perforce Support.

Adding or updating the license file

When you receive your license file, its name might include the license host, an IP address or MAC address, or other identifying information.

Rename the new license file to license, then copy it into the P4ROOT directory.

To add or update the license file, use one of the following: Valid for ...

Copy the license file to the P4ROOT directory. See License file in the P4ROOT directory

  • Server
  • Any replica that you want to enable to become a master through Failover

Issue the p4 license command. See p4 license command


Use P4Admin. See Helix Visual Client (P4V) Administration tool


Restart for licensed servers not required

Although a restart for licensed servers is not required, if the license file has any change, server performance might be impacted until you issue the following command:

p4 admin restart

Restart for unlicensed servers required

If you are adding a license for an currently unlicensed installation, including a previously unlicensed replica to prepare for a possible failover, you must stop the server and restart the server.

Stop the server:

p4 -u User -p Server:Port admin stop

Restart the server:



Open an administrator command prompt and enter

net start perforce

Run the server start-up script you usually use. If you do not have a start-up script, the command to start the server in Daemon Mode in the specified P4ROOT location might resemble the following:

p4d -r /specify/path/to/P4ROOT -d

License file in the P4ROOT directory

Copy the new license file over any existing license in the P4ROOT directory.

p4 license command

MAC Address


The MAC address must use the colon (:) separator. For example,

PV6 Address

The IPV6 address must be enclosed in square brackets. For example, on Windows:

and on Linux/Mac:


where %2 represents the "Interface" integer that appears when you run the p4 license -L command. For example,

IPv6 Address (Interface 2): 2001:db8:a::21d:4fff:fe4a:8c60

The reason that IPV6 address must be enclosed in square brackets is to avoid confusion with the P4PORT values that also use colons. For example,

For more information, see the Knowledge Base article, "Perforce Helix Core Server IPV6 Support".

Install the new license

If a valid license file is already in the server root directory, as a super user, you can update it.

  1. Display your current license with p4 license -o.

  2. Install your new license with cat license.txt | p4 license -i or p4 license -i < license.txt

Helix Visual Client (P4V) Administration tool

  1. Launch P4V as a Helix Server superuser.

  2. Choose Tools > Administration, which launches the Administration tool in a new window.

  3. On the Home tab, click Load new license file and browse to the license file on your local disk.

  4. After successful installation, verify that the Home tab is updated with the new license information.

For more information, see Moving a Helix Core Server in the Perforce Knowledgebase.

License error about 'ExtraCapabilities'

If your license causes an error message like this:

Error in license specification.
Error detected at line 31.
Unknown field name 'ExtraCapabilities'.

upgrade your Helix Core Server to one of the following (or later) versions:

  • 2019.2 patch 14 (2019.2/2136041)

  • 2020.1 patch 8 (2020.1/2138914)

  • 2020.2 patch 6 (2020.2/2152297)

  • 2021.1 patch 1 (2021.1/2156517)

  • 2021.2 (2021.2/2201121)


If you are unable to upgrade at this point, you can use a 'Legacy' license without 'ExtraCapabilities'. You might already have this second license file. If not, Request Support.