About the software key and the security directory

When you purchase ACL Network you are issued a customized software key file called acl.ini that enforces the maximum number of concurrent users as specified by your license agreement. The acl.ini file must be in the application executable folder in order for users to access and run ACL Network. If you make any changes to acl.ini, ACL Network will not function.


If you have an older version of the software key file called aclnet.ini, and it is still valid, you can rename it acl.ini and copy it into the ACL Network application executable folder.

As part of implementing ACL Network, you need to create a shared folder on a network drive for use as a security directory, and provide the UNC path to this folder to ACL. ACL uses this UNC path to populate the Directory parameter in your customized software key file. The security directory is simply an empty folder for which all ACL Network users have read, write, and modify/delete rights. As each user logs on to ACL Network using ACL Workstation, a temporary log-on file is created in the security directory (ACL.1, ACL.2, etc.). When a user logs off, the corresponding log-on file is deleted. With each log on, ACL Network performs a concurrency check to make sure that the number of log-on files in the security directory does not exceed your maximum number of licenses, as specified in the software key file.


The security directory can be on any computer accessible to your users, including the computer on which ACL Network is installed. However, do not locate the security directory on a computer on which ACL Workstation is installed. ACL Workstation will not function if it is on the same computer as the security directory.

If you need to change the name or location of your security directory, you have to submit an updated UNC path to ACL and receive a new acl.ini file. Manually altering the Directory parameter in the acl.ini file does not work.

UNC path validity

The security directory UNC path (uniform naming convention path) that you submit to ACL should be in the following format: \\<computer name>\<share name>\. If necessary, the security directory can be a subfolder in a shared directory folder structure. For example: \\<computer name>\<share name>\<subdirectory>\<security directory>\.

The computer name can be a Windows computer name, a fully qualified domain name, or an IP address. For example:

Some additional conditions apply to the UNC path and the security directory:

Error codes

If a connection attempt between ACL Workstation and ACL Network fails, the following error codes associated with the acl.ini software key, or the security directory, can appear. Table 1 contains an explanation of the codes. You may be able to troubleshoot some of the problems yourself, or you may need to contact ACL Support Services for assistance.

The error messages that appear all display Copy type 5, followed by the specific error code number.

Table 1. ACL Network connection errors

Error code number



Security code in acl.ini does not match that generated by ACL


ACL serial number is missing from acl.ini


Security directory is missing from acl.ini


Number of licensed users is missing from acl.ini


Security directory is on the same computer as ACL Workstation


Designation missing from acl.ini


Security directory specified in acl.ini does not exist, or cannot be accessed


Security directory is a file, not a directory


Security code is missing from acl.ini


Security directory is incomplete


Security directory is not a UNC name

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