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Two render nodes render with watermark while rest are working fine (Arnold Backburner)

Message 1 of 6
265 Views, 5 Replies

Two render nodes render with watermark while rest are working fine (Arnold Backburner)

Hey there, so I work with a school and department where I need to update the Render Farm on occasion. In this case I have a Render Farm that utilizes 30 or so Mac Minis that are all connected to the College's network. All these nodes utilizes Backburner and are all successfully working. I am in the process of introducing two new Mac Minis to this farm. The project is to test if the 2018 Mac Minis (with intel chips) will potentially work. Big Sur has caused a lot of issues for various licenses and software before, so we wanted to approach this carefully. So far, I was able to set up the two new Mac Minis with Maya (Edu) Backburner and they show in the Backburner Manager. However, they render with watermark.


Working with ITS and seeing the Arnold Logs, we are not sure why these two are behaving differently (Arnold License Manager does have active network licenses). We reviewed everything, from the way network is set up, to making sure all subnet masks, IPs are accurate to how the other nodes are. So we are not sure why these two Test Nodes are rendering with watermarks, when everything else is fine. 


My predecessor asked a similar question in which i'll link it here:


However we went through this process and have yet to figure out why it still does not work? One of the suspicions I have is that in all the other older nodes (Mojave), the .flexlmrc is located in Macintosh HD, where as on these two new ones (Big Sur) I cannot even move  anything into the Mac HD, and can only keep them in Users. We have tried a range of ways to get that file to work, but unfortunately exhausted most of my options.  


Any idea how to move forward? 

Message 2 of 6
in reply to: sbommakanti

Please post the Arnold logs, or at least the relevant licensing messages. 

If you cannot touch the user's home folder, that's going to be a problem. How about setting up a launch daemon to set the environment variable?

// Stephen Blair
// Arnold Renderer Support
Message 3 of 6
in reply to: Stephen.Blair

You helped my predecessor a while back, glad to hear from you, atleast you may be aware of the situation. 


So I just rendered out a quick test render, and set the Arnold Log to debug and high verbosity. I attached both a Log for the one that has Watermark and one that works successfully. Currently It seems that I cannot even drag the .flexlmrc file into the Macintosh HD for Big Sur. The rest of the older nodes use Mojave, and when speaking to my predecessor, he said he never had issues moving files into the main folder.


I did see this in the Log: 


00:00:15 984MB | authorizing with default license managers: rlm, network, user ...
00:00:26 989MB WARNING | rendering with watermarks because of failed authorization:
00:00:26 989MB | [rlm] error initializing license system:
00:00:26 989MB | [rlm] * Can't read license data (-102)
00:00:26 989MB | [clm.v1] generic license checkout error (22)
00:00:26 989MB | [clm.v2] timeout before callback was called
00:00:26 989MB | environment variables:
00:00:26 989MB | ARNOLD_LICENSE_ORDER = (not set)
00:00:26 989MB | ARNOLD_LICENSE_MANAGER = (not set)
00:00:26 989MB | [rlm] solidangle_LICENSE = (not set)
00:00:26 989MB | [rlm] RLM_LICENSE = (not set)
00:00:26 989MB | [clm] ADSKFLEX_LICENSE_FILE = (not set)
00:00:26 989MB | [clm] LM_LICENSE_FILE = (not set)


In the .flexlmrc file, it does point towards one of the network licenses, and I got ITS to confirm it was accurate (infact I copied and pasted that .flexlmrc file from a working node) . In each working Mac mini, I noticed this .flexlmrc file is in Machintosh HD, and I wonder if it needs to be there in order for it to talk. Backburner currently states it works with Big Sur, but this file cannot be moved to Macintosh HD it only can be in Users. 

Message 4 of 6
in reply to: Stephen.Blair

Alright so this is what I did to make it work. When my predecessor was working on this, he was successful because he was able to move the .flexlmrc file which points to the network license address. This file is in Macintosh HD, but on the Big Sur test and Catalina Test it seems that you cannot copy .flexlmrc into that Macintosh HD. 


Now I took the Intel Based 2018 Mac Mini, and downgraded it from Big Sur to Mojave, which is the latest OS that will allow one to move things into the Macintosh HD. The node successfully renders without watermark. I did one more additional test, and in this test I removed .flexlmrc from Macintosh HD and moved it to Users, and it was the same watermark problem. I can only assume that the .flexlmrc file that point to our network license needs to belong in the Macintosh HD Folder. Unless there is another alternative, I believe that Autodesk should look into this, as the Maya Backburner website link says it works with Big Sur. This is not the case however, as there was no solution to unlocking the Macintosh HD in both Big Sur and Catalina (Apple OS has been incredibly restrictive in security recently). Autodesk should also perhaps not advertise Backburner as working on those OS, unless any other solution is provided I have not explored, I believe that this might cause issues to others who are using a similar infrastructure. 


Thank you. 



Message 5 of 6
in reply to: sbommakanti

There is one additional thing I will try however. Since I was able to, in Mojave OS, drop the .flexlmrc file into the Macintosh HD, and make it work successfully, I will now upgrade one of my test nodes to Catalina and Big Sur, and see if it will still allow for the render to work without a watermark. 



I am going to "Accept Solution" once I provide my results on this. 

Message 6 of 6
in reply to: sbommakanti

Final Conclusion: I upgraded a node that was working perfectly from Mojave to Catalina, and during the update, the OS deleted the hidden .Flexlmrc file. and the same problem occurs. The situation here is this: Backburner needs a .flexlmrc file to work on mac os under Macintosh HD. We even booted the OS and removed any special security permissions. Repeated tests proves that without this .flexlmrc file that points to the network server license in Macintosh HD, backburner will not work at all and will render with license.


As mentioned before in Mojave and previous, you could drag things into Macintosh HD with no problem, however they seemed to have locked it in their security starting with Catalina. I hope that someone from the backburner team can take the chance to see this post so that they too can test it out, but so far, because it will not let me add that .flexlmrc file, it's not able to function with the farm. The solution here was to just keep Mojave, and revert to an older build of the Backburner App (so its consistent with the older nodes). I cannot find any other solution to this, so this will be my "accept solution" post. Please feel free to reply if there was some process I missed. 


In Short: If you have a Mac Platform, Backburner will not work with network license server on 10.15 and up. 10.14 seems to be the ideal. 

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